Todd Justic knows that finding the right person for the right job is more than just putting out a job description and looking through résumés; it’s an art and a skill. And he’s honed that skill over a 25-year career in executive recruiting, and through the ranks as intern, associate, vice president, principal, and managing director at Carlyle Group. In 2009, he brought his experience and insight together to launch ALJ Group, LLC, to bring companies the highest-quality talent and represent the best minds in recruiting. The Chicago-based retained executive recruiting firm specializes in the real estate development, general contracting, program/project management, and architectural/design industries. The boutique practice reflects Todd’s vision of what a recruiting firm should be—where the relationships between the client and the candidate are managed thoughtfully. “Talent is the most important asset to a company’s success,” he says. “Education, skills, experience are important, but equally critical is the cultural match between candidate and company, and ensuring each meets the other’s unique needs.” This intersection where art meets skill is where both AIJ and their clients thrive.
With a placement rate of 94%, compared with the industry average of 67%, AIJ has placed more than 7,750 candidates, 70 in the past year alone. And in the era of the Great Resignation, in which companies and recruiting firms are scrambling for top-tier talent, Todd’s network of candidates with whom he’s had long relationships is stronger than ever, all cultivated on trust. “People know me, my firm, so if I reach out to candidates, they trust the opportunity that I’m presenting them with,” he shares. “It’s all about investing the time to get to know them professionally and personally, and understanding what has and hasn’t worked in company cultures before to find them the right match.”
For AIJ’s client companies, Todd and his team bring the same personalized attention to understand their unique needs and place top talent that meets their high standards and meshes perfectly with their environment, creating a “perfect union” in which both firms and candidates flourish. “What I enjoy most is improving the lives of the people I work with by finding them better opportunities. That’s really it,” he says.
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