As a small firm, attracting and retaining high-quality professionals is paramount for BrownFlynn to provide sustainable impact through our client work. BrownFlynn’s hiring process targets the best and most qualified candidates, regardless of gender or race. Our definition of diversity extends beyond physical characteristics to include professional background, education, and personal life experience. Every one of our team members brings a different skillset and expertise to the Firm that allows us to collaborate across project teams to deliver the highest quality work to our clients. While we actively seek to add diverse talent to our team, finding diverse, high-caliber sustainability professionals is challenging.

To attract and retain high-caliber employees, BrownFlynn offers market-based salaries and a competitive benefits package for a firm of our size. In 2014, we extended our team’s geographic reach, hiring our first team members based outside of our Cleveland headquarters—a Managing Director in Los Angeles, California, and a Senior Consultant in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

In 2013–2014, we experienced higher-than-normal turnover compared with previous reporting periods. We addressed the root causes of our turnover rate to prohibit it from becoming a trend. To maintain a strong talent pipeline, for the past several years we have hired summer interns as an opportunity to evaluate potential employees while offering them meaningful work experiences. Our refined approach to hiring has resulted in several successful hires since the end of 2013.

BrownFlynn aspires to be a great place to work with a culture that is fun, challenging, innovative, and creative. “We Are BrownFlynn” highlights our values and embodies the Firm culture. We provide ample opportunity for work-life balance with the implementation of flexible schedules and telecommuting. We adhere to a 40-hour workweek, with the exception of client deadlines and tightened project timelines in case of client emergency. BrownFlynn has an open-door policy wherein employees are encouraged to offer honest feedback and/or suggestions to management.

Highlight Story
On June 1, 2014, BrownFlynn moved our offices from Highland Heights, Ohio, to a historic office space within Terminal Tower in downtown Cleveland. We chose our new office site for its regional historic significance and because it also serves as the public transportation hub for Cleveland. As a result, our office is a convenient destination for clients and visitors who wish to rely on public transport, with a direct transit line from our building to/from the airport. Additionally, nearly all of our headquarters employees are able to walk or utilize public transportation in their daily commute.

BrownFlynn’s relocation to downtown Cleveland, Ohio in the summer of 2014 invigorated our culture. According to Jennifer Klie, BrownFlynn’s Director of Operations, “The building we’re in is on the historic register and has this enormous, textured history. It really fits in well with our company culture and personality. And, the great views are the first thing people notice when they see our office for the first time.” (Read more in Core Values: Why American Companies are Moving Downtown.)

Over the last year, employee engagement has been a significant focus for our clients. This includes recruitment, retention, work-life balance, wellness, and other important facets of a healthy workforce. Because of this, it has been our goal to focus more effort on effective employee engagement and help our clients to do the same. Our flexible work arrangements and informal Friday afternoon gatherings are great examples of how we manage employee engagement at BrownFlynn.

Recruiting & Retention
Indicators & Performance
Key Performance Indicators 2013 Performance 2014 Performance
New Hires 5 3
Millennials 2 female/1 male, Cleveland 1 female, Cleveland
Gen X 2 female, Cleveland 1 female, Ann Arbor; 1 male, Los Angeles
Boomers 0 0
Turnover 4 4
Millennials 2 female, Cleveland 1 female, Cleveland
Gen X 1 female, Cleveland 2 male, Cleveland
Boomers 1 female, Cleveland 1 female, Cleveland
Gender diversity ratio 25% male 15% male