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Brian Sauerland, Co-Founder, shares insights and how WunderLand’s vision became a reality. 

Brian Sauerland, Managing Director Chicago/WunderLand Co-Founder

How long have you been in staffing/recruiting business development & client service? I started off in the creative staffing business in 1997 (seems like last year) when I was a print production manager and applied to a Chicago Tribune newspaper ad for a creative staffing company called eStaff.  We didn't know what "digital" was back then!  We received resumes on Monday morning via fax after we posted newspaper ads over the weekend.

You are a co-founder of WunderLand.  What was your vision for when you started 6.5 years ago? Has it lived up to your expectations?

Judi, Matt and I had a shared vision to create a company that was built on quality, respect and focused on long-term relationships with both clients and talent. We wanted to create a company that took the best of our past work experiences and left out the negative aspects and detractors.   Our next step was to hand pick a team of people that aligned with our core values and ethics.  People who wanted to create something special with us. While it took time to gather and build the team, I feel we did a great job.  As a team, we have worked hard to stay true to our collective vision and I would say we have successfully built a brand together that resonates in the marketplace.   I am proud of what we have accomplished thus far and look forward to the future. 

What’s wonderful about working for WunderLand? Hands down it's the people here. We are a  diverse, fun and dynamic group of individuals but we all share the same core values. We have a strong commitment to clients and talent alike. We completely trust each other and can rely on each other for anything. I feel like we are a family. 

You have built many successful client relationships over the years.  What’s your secret? I think it's about being genuine and demonstrating you truly care about each relationship. And in general, wanting to help people!

What’s your take on the current creative, marketing and digital business landscape? It's evolving all the time. You need to adjust and shift to market demands or you will be left behind. You need to think out of the box and look for better, more efficient ways of doing things and constantly look to create value. 

What about the creative, marketing and digital job market? It continues to be a candidate driven market.  Candidates have their choice of where to work are often entertaining multiple offers at one time. There aren't enough candidates for the in demand jobs, which makes it more challenging not only to find good candidates but to connect with them. It must be done in a way that is compelling enough for them to want to engage with you. 

You have worked with hundreds companies to help them fill thousands of jobs. What advice do you have for a company that is looking to hire? Find ways to engage and attract people to work for your company. Companies need a differentiator.  What is compelling? Why should someone what to work for with you? Once you have hired, keep your employees engaged. That can be through a variety of methods including: benefits, culture, pay, work/life balance, giving back or creating a solid brand reputation in the marketplace. 

Why should a client want to work with WunderLand? Because of our experience, expertise and the way we treat people. We spend time with them and it shows through the amount of referrals we receive from both clients and talent.

We happen to know you are an excellent fine artist (pastels).  How does your artistic/creative side compliment your day job? There are many parallels, I treat both like a business.  I set goals, work within timeframes and strive to achieve those goals. My art is also my escape. It allows me to be my own art director and  helps me stay grounded.

If you had no fear & unlimited resources, what would you do with your life? I would be a full-time artist, painting and chasing the light outdoors in as many countries as possible and in all seasons. I would love to meet different people along the way and learn about their experiences in life. If that didn't work out I would be a tour guide, rotating around different national parks , learning about the land and its history. 

Lastly, any quotes, mantras or inspiration for our readers?

Don’t be afraid of failing, of trying new things and leaving your comfort zone as often as you can. I didn't do these often enough when I was younger but I will continue to push myself to do so. Heck, one day I may even move out of Palatine to another state altogether. Which one you ask, that will be in my next blog…

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