Inc. Spotlights Job Creation With Hire Power Awards

Bank of America to sponsor launch

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Since its 1979 debut, Inc. magazine has kept a tight focus on entrepreneurs and growing businesses. But with the 2012 election cycle making “job creator” a favorite phrase among politicos, the magazine is inserting itself into the conversation. Next month, Inc. will launch a new editorial franchise called the Hire Power Awards that capitalizes on the growing interest in entrepreneurship by spotlighting the private companies that generate the most new jobs.

“It was impossible to listen to the campaigning this year without realizing the contribution that entrepreneurs and small businesses were making to job creation,” said Eric Schurenberg, editor in chief of Inc. The title has published the country’s fastest growing companies, the Inc. 5000, since 1982 (when it was still the 500), and this year, Schurenberg said, “It seemed like kind of a no-brainer to make an award for one of the other ways that entrepreneurs contribute to society, which is to create jobs.”

The Hire Power Awards, sponsored by Bank of America, rank for-profit and nonprofit companies by how many new jobs they’ve added over the past three years. The companies on this year’s Hire Power list range from California-based Universal Services of America (jobs created: 17,330) to Heartland Business Services in Wisconsin (jobs created: 208), as well as familiar names like GoDaddy (jobs created: 1,403) and Chobani (jobs created: 1,083). This year’s Hire Power launch will be fêted with a dinner in Washington, D.C., and Schurenberg sees the Hire Power Awards expanding into a yearly event on a par with the Inc. 500 franchise.

Inc. hopes politicians grab on to the Hire Power franchise, whether to identify the most valuable companies in a jurisdiction or to decide which bureaucratic restrictions to eliminate. Through a survey of the companies’ 100 CEOs, the Hire Power list could also provide politicians with insight into these job creators’ heads. For instance, the biggest hiring obstacle cited by CEOs wasn’t healthcare costs or the weak economy, but finding qualified workers.

While some of the Hire Power companies may seem small—No. 22 on the list, Florida-based Luke & Associates, has just 211 employees—their combined value is enormous, said Inc. president Robert LaPointe. Together, the companies on the list created more than 73,000 jobs in the past three years. And, according to LaPointe, those jobs add up to about $5 billion in tax revenue.

@adweekemma Emma Bazilian is Adweek's features editor.