Kirk Hulbert started at The Lee Group’s Richmond office with a blank slate.

While the staffing agency and executive search firm dates back 50 years with offices in Newport News, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, it had no significant history in Richmond.

“It’s the perfect challenge for me,” said Hulbert, Business Development Manager there. “I love the idea of taking a market and building our name recognition there. The Richmond market is ripe with opportunity for us.”

Growth takes time, patience and forethought and given the pandemic, flexibility. Hulbert isn’t able to set up as many in-person meetings as he’d like, but he’s found success other ways, including online. In 2021, the Richmond office added 14 new clients with contracts in place to make those relationships permanent.

“I see The Lee Group Richmond really taking off in 2022,” he said.

When Hulbert talks to companies and candidates about The Lee Group, he stresses the same qualities that appealed to him when he accepted his job. In fact, he was ready to go another route professionally when he got the phone call from Lee Group President Walt Graham offering him his current position. He spoke in-depth to Principal Eric Kean and Vice President of Operations Sarah Fulton, too.

Here’s what resonated with him. The Lee Group is family-owned and prioritizes people over processes. Often national companies are locked into one way of doing things. The Lee Group offers personalized service with a willingness to explore multiple avenues to achieve goals for its clients.

“We work inside the framework but outside the box,” Hulbert said. “After all of my conversations, it strengthened my wanting to come here. I could see their vision and see where they wanted The Lee Group to go, and I wanted to be a part of that. It was like serendipity.”

Throughout his career, Hulbert has prided himself in being a successful builder, advancing in operations for the textile industry for many years,

“I worked with some of the largest companies in the region,” he said. “Any time you take over an operation, you have to have a plan. They’re bringing you in for a reason, and it’s usually because something is broken, and you have to figure out where the shortfalls are. If you’re a good operator, you’re always in builder mode.”

The economic conditions of 2022 — a glut of job openings and not enough candidates to fill them — are forcing companies to reexamine how they do business to attract top talent. Hulbert can help employers navigate what has become the new normal. He enjoys relationship building and nurturing those relationships to set companies up for ongoing success.

The Richmond office at 4796 Finley St., Suite 1, features a team of five that Hulbert embraces the process of growing the right way over the next three to five years.

“We’re different, and that’s hugely important,” he said of The Lee Group. “We don’t do things the way they’ve always been done. I can’t stress enough how much l like the team here and how much I like the family feel as well as the excitement of growing and getting better every day.”

Contact Hulbert at or at 804-562-3061.

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