We had the good fortune of connecting with William Vanderbloemen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi William, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I wish I could tell you it was a crystal-clear thought process with a well-defined plan, but it was neither. I had a strong sense that I had found a solution for a very real need and from there, we went all in to try and build a new idea. The solution I saw was taking the way the business world uses executive search to find great leaders and translating that to meet the church’s need Historically, trying to convince churches to try a new idea is a tough sell. I’m a big believer that the tougher the sell, the more energy and effort needed to get going. Once we decided to give it a go, my wife and I made the clear decision from the outset that we needed to be “all in” if the business was going to work. We put our savings on the line, and knew we only had a short window of time to make everything work. Looking back, we’re confident we made the right call. Today, our work is all over the world in church, schools, nonprofits and values-based businesses. None of this would have happened if I had tried to start this part time. I’m all for people having a “side hustle” and I know we are in a gig economy, but I think our decision to go all in was a key reason why we were able to get out of startup and into growth mode as a company.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Vanderbloemen is an executive search firm that serves teams with a greater purpose by aligning their people solutions for growth through hiring, compensation, succession, and culture. Through our retained executive search and consulting services, Vanderbloemen serves churches, schools, nonprofits, family offices, and values-based businesses in all parts of the United States and internationally in hiring and succession planning. Our firm has worked in 48 of the 50 states and in 10 countries around the world. While Vanderbloemen can staff any position at any size organization, the bulk of our work is made up of searches for senior-level staff. Searches involving senior leadership succession are an area of particular expertise. In addition to search work, we also provide services in staff consulting, succession planning, culture, and compensation analysis. Our team has served over 1,000 clients since its founding in 2010, has grown to a dedicated in-person staff of over 30 full time employees, and has won several company culture awards. In 2016 and 2017, Vanderbloemen was ranked in the top five in Entrepreneur.com’s Top Company Cultures list of all small businesses in the United States. In 2015, 2016, and 2017, Houston Business Journal named the firm a ‘Best Place To Work in Houston.’ In 2017, Houstonia Magazine named Vanderbloemen a ‘Best Place To Work in Houston,’ and Entrepreneur.com named Vanderbloemen one of The Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America. The firm was also named 25 on Forbes’ list of America’s Top Executive Recruiting Firms in 2017, and a Forbes Small Giant in 2018, recognizing companies that favor greatness overgrowth. Vanderbloemen’s clients come from over 50 different denominations or types of Chrisitan organizations including churches, nonprofits, schools, and universities. The firm represents churches of any size, ranging in attendance from 30 to over 70,000. Christian organizations such as Life.Church, YoungLife, Mariners Church, Ramsey Solutions, and Grace Community School are representative of those who choose to retain Vanderbloemen to help find key staff. Vanderbloemen has expanded its offerings to serve many ACSI and CESA Christian schools, including schools like Grace Community School and Westminster Christian Academy. Vanderbloemen, with a dedicated Executive Search Consultant for Christian Education searches, partners with clients who are committed to Christ and to excellence in education. Vanderbloemen hopes to serve as a resource to help further their mission and come alongside them as they put the right people in the right seats for better education in their community.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The new renovations and construction on the Buffalo Bayou and White Oak pathways are proving to be a lot of fun for cycling and running. Recently, I discovered White Oak Concert Hall and was super impressed. For food, where do you begin? There are so many incredible choices! But perhaps two of my favorite new spots would be Bludorn in Montrose and Killen’s in the Heights.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I read Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones this year and it has completely changed the way I live, especially in a year like 2020. It changes the way you think by making tiny adjustments for life-changing results.