SEEK Professionals acquires The Waterstone Group

Grafton and Milwaukee staffing firms combine

job candidates

Grafton-based staffing and recruiting firm SEEK Professionals LLC has acquired Milwaukee-based technical staffing firm The Waterstone Group.

job candidates

SEEK Professionals was founded in 2003 and has four employees. The company focuses on identifying and placing professional level employees for direct-hire and contract positions in accounting, engineering, IT, finance, human resources, manufacturing management, marketing and supply chain. It is a sister company of Grafton-based commercial skilled and unskilled labor staffing firm SEEK Careers/Staffing, which has about 110 employees at 14 locations in Wisconsin and one in Minnesota.

The Waterstone Group was founded in 2004 and has 11 employees joining SEEK. It has offices in Milwaukee, Sheboygan and De Pere, all three of which will remain open in the integration, and all employees who wanted to remain on board were hired by SEEK, said Amy Schwengels, a SEEK spokesperson. Karl Williams, the former majority owner of Waterstone, will exit the company.

Williams and Mark Peters also sold their shares in another company that was part of Waterstone Group, Sussex-based management consulting firm Waterstone Technical Communications, about six weeks ago. That company, which has eight employees working independently or at customer facilities, now is owned solely by Lance Woods.

“I felt that both companies would be better off attached to a company that had a more robust recruiting model than Waterstone had and I didn’t want to make the investment in Waterstone’s recruiting platform,” Williams said. “Carol’s a hard charger and just a very delightful person. She’s got very high character. High integrity was really Waterstone’s benchmark. That was what we were known for.”

Now, Williams plans to focus on his other company, Waterstone Consulting. Based out of Sheboygan, the firm offers executive coaching, CEO roundtables and board slection consulting.

Waterstone Group’s technical and engineering recruiters will integrate with SEEK’s recruiters who focus on direct-hire and contract engineering, IT, accounting, marketing and HR placements.

“The team at Waterstone has the same values that SEEK embraces,” said Carol Schneider, who is majority owner of SEEK Careers and minority owner of SEEK Professionals. “We’re excited that they are joining our team.

“I already had a small group of recruiters and it just seemed like we were in the right place at the right time to add staff.”

Dan Pelchen, senior engineering and technical group leader at Waterstone, will serve as team leader in the Milwaukee office. He has more than 20 years of experience in progressive sales, marketing, engineering and technical recruiting.

Waterstone co-founder and senior engineering and technical recruiter Lee Mueller, who is based in De Pere, has been named operations director at SEEK. He has 22 years of experience in engineering and technical recruiting.

Schneider said SEEK Careers/Staffing is planning to complete its own acquisition before the end of the year.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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