September 20, 2020

50 Years of Making the Business of People Easier


   










Last month, Pensacola, Florida-based and long-time NAPEO member LandrumHR celebrated a milestone few businesses realize: 50 years of serving clients. 

It’s an impressive feat without question. Through a commitment to excellence, fostering genuine relationships, an ever-evolving technology offering, and a relentless drive to make the business of people easier, LandrumHR has grown immensely over the last five decades. 

The name Landrum is well known in the PEO industry, as the company’s founder, H. Britt Landrum, Jr., is an early pioneer who helped forge the path so many others have followed. In recognition of his contributions, in 2016 his peers awarded him NAPEO’s 2016 Michaeline A. Doyle Award, the industry’s highest honor. That legacy continues today as several LandrumHR employees chair and serve on NAPEO committees and regularly volunteer their time and expertise to speak at conferences and write for PEO Insider

While the company has faced its share of obstacles—recessions, client bankruptcies, hurricanes, and now a pandemic—success has followed. LandrumHR has received the Florida Governor’s Sterling Award for organizational excellence and has been named one of the 25 best small businesses to work for in America for five years in a row. 

Today, the company serves more than 1,800 clients in 49 states and offers a full suite of HR services, technology, and professional expertise, but LandrumHR’s story began like so many American businesses, when a young entrepreneur took a risk to make it on his own. 

PEOPLE FOR JOBS, JOBS FOR PEOPLE

H. Britt Landrum, Jr. was working as a rehabilitation counselor for the State of Florida when he made the decision to start his own company. 

“I really wanted to do something on my own, to be in charge of my own destiny,” recalls Landrum, Jr. “My dad was always in business for himself, so I was inspired by him. I honestly didn’t know what I was going to do at first.” 

He connected with a Florida State University fraternity brother who worked in the employment agency business, and after learning a bit about how the business worked, Landrum, Jr. recognized that his skills translated well to the employment agency business.

In 1970 Landrum, Jr. opened a personnel placement agency in Northwest Florida that would evolve into the LandrumHR of today. He expanded into the temporary help industry in 1973. This brought more reliable and predictable revenue and generated a lot of name recognition in the community, which catapulted the company’s growth and strong reputation. 

“I worked to establish a true resource for our business community,” he says. “I wanted to provide jobs for people and people for jobs, and bring HR services to our market. My real vision was to be the absolute best at what we did—everything was designed towards excellence.” 

DELIVERING VALUE, CREATING RELATIONSHIPS

After one of his largest clients had shared an Inc. magazine article about staff leasing, Landrum, Jr. recognized that the concept was basically what his business was already doing. The promise of more consistent business combined with the added allure of being able to deliver true HR services that would create value and relationships led him to begin offering PEO services (then known as staff leasing) in 1983. His son, Britt Landrum, III, who now serves as president and CEO of LandrumHR, remembers that decision well. 

“He made our whole family sit around the dinner table and stuff envelopes,” Landrum, III says. “I thought it was the dumbest thing in the world at the time, but my dad told me I would remember it one day.”

Those envelopes would be mailed to nearly 300 physician’s offices that Landrum, Jr. was sure would be lining up to jump on board his new staff leasing business. He didn’t get a single call. Despite the early setback, however, the business would take off. 

It was also around this time that Landrum, III became more involved with his father’s business. While in high school, his first responsibilities were cleaning the office building and delivering payroll to clients over the summer. Citing a sense of responsibility to really understand the business, Landrum, III decided to work full-time for his father after graduating from college. 

“It was really smart on my dad’s part that I started out professionally in sales,” he says. “That forced me to learn every aspect of the business to be successful. I was great at identifying a client’s needs and then I would bring in my dad to close the deal. We made a great team.”

From sales, Landrum, III would lead a technology overhaul. He understood that the intersection of relationships and technology was the sweet spot that would facilitate growth. He’d go on to hold various senior leadership roles, including two years as president, and in 2017 Landrum, Jr. officially passed the torch when he named his son chief executive officer. 

Landrum, III has been leading an effort to grow LandrumHR as a national provider of HR services, solutions, and expertise. Last year, LandrumHR acquired hrQ, a national search and consulting firm. This has allowed LandrumHR to expand its national footprint, now offering its services to businesses across the country. This also means that LandrumHR can serve much larger businesses than the traditional small and mid-size market. 

With an eye towards 50 more years of success, the company remains focused on its mission to make the business of people easier. 

“We’ve seen a lot of changes throughout our 50 years,” says Landrum, III, “but every challenge has presented an opportunity to grow, evolve, and help our clients do the same.” 

CHRIS CHANEY
Member Communications Manager
NAPEO
Alexandria, Virginia

Read in the September, 2020 issue of PEO Insider