Management guru Peter Drucker ’s aphorism, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” applies perfectly to the companies on SIA’s 2021 Fastest-Growing US Staffing Firms list.

It’s not been the easiest of times with Covid-19. The year 2020 marked a low point for many companies and workers, and the US staffing industry — temporary staffing, direct hire and retained search — saw revenue contract by 11%, according to research by Staffing Industry Analysts.

Yet, there was still growth to be found.

Fifty-two firms powered through and still generated a median compound annual growth rate, or CAGR, of 26.1% from 2016 to 2020. That’s down from the median 27.4% for the 75 firms on last year’s list, but it’s still a number that stands out.

Of the factors driving growth among the 10 fastest-growing US staffing firms, culture ranked high.

“It starts and ends with culture,” says Roger Whiteman, president and founder of Kolter Solutions, one of the top 10 fastest-growing US staffing firms.

Of course, a focus on perfecting processes played a part. And some segments, such as healthcare, performed well even during the pandemic.

However, things are set to bounce back. SIA forecasts US staffing revenue will rise 16% year over year this year and grow again in 2022.

Turning back to this year, the top 10 staffing firms on the list posted a median CAGR of 58.8%. These firms are:

1. JCW Search
2. Midway Staffing
3. Ursus
4. ProLink Staffing Services
5. Lead Healthstaff
6. Conexus MedStaff
7. CSI IT (dba Consulting Solutions)
8. Kolter Consulting Services (dba Kolter Solutions)
9. Curate Partners
10. Aya Healthcare

While there are several new names on the list, there are some familiar ones as well. Among the top 10, JCW Search, No. 1 this year, also ranked as the No. 1 Fastest-Growing US Staffing Firm in 2020. Conexus MedStaff and Curate Partners were also among the top 10 last year. Meanwhile, ProLink Staffing Services and Aya Healthcare were on last year’s list, ranked Nos. 27 and 13, respectively.

In terms of segments, IT was the top skill provided by firms on the list; it was a top segment for 20 of the 52 firms listed. The second-most common segment was travel nurse staffing, provided by 17 firms. To qualify for the list, staffing firms had to post at least $1 million in revenue in 2016 and have a compound annual growth rate in revenue of at least 15% between 2016 and 2020. All numbers are self-reported. However, all firms on the list had to verify revenue under a new procedure added this year. Where companies have international operations, only US revenue is used in calculations for the list.

As in the past, this year we interviewed executives at each of the 10 fastest-growing firms. Find the full 2021 Fastest-Growing US Staffing Firms list and the top 10 profiles.