Earlier this year, Rich Karlgaard, the Editor of Forbes Magazine made a trip to our headquarters in Itasca, IL, to conduct an interview with Paul Darley. This followed a special study conducted by Forbes entitled “The Talent Imperative” which featured W.S. Darley & Co. and seven other companies. Darley didn’t seem to fit into the mold of what most companies were doing with respect to hiring and retaining good employees, yet the company maintains an employee turnover rate of less than 2%. Rich wanted to find out why.
During the video interview, discussions focus on Darley’s approach to growth in new markets, hiring and retaining talent, balancing family and non-family leadership, and bringing on the next generation of family members. The interview also discusses Darley’s approach to strategy and execution and why the company feels it’s so important to have a strong outside Board of Directors to help guide the company in its decision making.
According the Mr. Karlgaard, “The Darley story is certainly unique and a great success story. Their approach to hiring and retention really works. This 105 year old family business is steeped in rich culture of treating employees and customers right. They are constantly reinventing the company and achieving staggering growth while its primary market – the US Fire Service remains down over 40% over the past five years.”
According to Paul Darley, “It was a real honor to be recognized by Forbes. For the editor of Forbes to make a personal visit to Darley was never expected. There’s always room for improvement and we’re constantly learning that Rich is a prominent businessman. It was exciting to have his affirmation of our best practices at Darley.”