From Chicago Tech to Global Success: PTP’s Journey as a Premier Recruiting Firm

by Pranav Ramesh
December 07, 2022

“Chicago is constantly auditioning for the world, determined that one day, on the streets of Barcelona, in Berlin’s cabarets, in the coffee shops of Istanbul, people will know and love us in our multidimensional glory, dream of us the way they dream of San Francisco and New York.” 

— Mary Schmich, Pulitzer-Prize-winning columnist for the Chicago Tribune 


Incorporated in 1833 with a population of only two hundred, Chicago has grown to become the third-largest US city in population, trailing only New York and Los Angeles. Its location in the heart of America makes it an ideal destination for national and international businesses. This is especially true for the technology sector.  

It’s not surprising that Chicago is one of the nation’s leading tech hubs, and its nearly two-century history is rich with innovations and firsts. There are nearly 6,000 tech companies in Chicago, showcasing all types of organizations- from those with a notable consumer presence to those that focus on B2B solutions.  

With the explosion in growth of Chicago’s tech sector came the need to fill jobs. Quickly and efficiently.  

Enter founder and CEO of PTP, Nick Shah.  

Nick understood what impact the tech boom would have on Chicago and the opportunities that would come with it. Founded in 1997 in Chicago Peterson Technology Partners started as a small recruiting start-up named Solutions 2000. Since then, the company rebranded to become Petersons Technology Partners (PTP) in 2003 and has since expanded to have a global footprint in both the recruiting and consulting industries.  

As PTP celebrates its 25th Anniversary this December, we’re taking walk down memory lane to highlight the parallels between the tech sector in Chicago and PTP’s journey from local startup to global recruitment and consulting leader.  


Growing with the Chicago IT scene 

The rise of computers and the ever-increasing reach of the internet brought a paradigm shift to tech startups in the early 21st century. E-commerce and internet-driven companies began to explode with Chicago leading the way. Both Grubhub and Groupon, founded in 2004 and 2008, respectively, would go on to become industry leaders in their field and post billions in revenue. Today, they combine to employ over 8,000 employees.  

Home to the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE; a financial derivative market) and the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT; commodities market), Chicago would also become a fintech leader. Braintree, a web payment service founded in 2007, was an innovator in web payment services. It would go on to buy Venmo in 2012 for $26 million, before being bought by PayPal in 2013 for a staggering $800 million.  

These changes were matched by evolution within PTP as well, with Nick deciding to rebrand his small recruiting firm to Peterson Technology Partners, in homage to our original home on West Peterson Avenue. The tech boom which hit Chicago at this time meant that IT companies experienced continued growth, and PTP grew as well.  

By 2006, PTP had netted our first billion-dollar client—not bad for a small start-up that, at that time, was less than a decade old. By 2012, PTP had started to expand beyond Chicago, with 250 employees and talent pipelines that extended across the globe. We were providing best-in-class talent and team-building solutions for some of the biggest employers in the country. 


Getting Future Ready 

Today, more than 106,000 people are employed in direct tech jobs in Chicago. That’s nearly 8% of its workforce, making it the eighth-largest tech employer in the US. There are over 2,000 startups, and in 2021 Chicago produced twelve unicorns – a company valued at over $1B.  

As the tech sector continues to evolve, so does our work. As a premiere recruiting and consulting firm, we specialize in Cybersecurity, DevOps, Cloud computing, Data Science, and Artificial Intelligence. These are the specializations that are going to dominate consumer and industrial technology over the next few decades, and we’ve successfully carved out a space for ourselves in this field.  

Developing expertise in these future-facing areas of tech allows PTP to build relationships with clients that keep them coming back every time a new project begins, or a new position opens up.    

Over the last few years PTP has worked on developing a proprietary AI-powered tool, Gabi, which allows recruiters to vet candidates faster and with more accuracy to deliver the best talent for every open role. Additionally, our rigorous vetting and internal audit process improves exponentially upon traditional recruiting best practices and ensures the quality of delivery on every project.  



“Here at PTP we always prioritize relationships, above all. With our amazing clients and talented consultants. We measure success, not by profit, but by the strength of our network.” 

– Nick Shah 

Chicago’s bustling tech sector continues to thrive, just like PTP. Over the past decade, the city’s tech industry has grown nearly 20%, according to the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. Compare that to the small 1% growth in the overall economy over the same period, and it’s tough to argue anything but Chicago’s tech strength.  

The same can be said for PTP. As we celebrate 25 years as a premiere industry leader in staffing services and IT consultation for tech companies, PTP continues to help the country’s, and the world’s, largest employers build effective and efficient teams to deliver projects on time and on budget.  

We’re proud to say that today, PTP boasts a large roster of multi-billion dollar clients, has access to significant local and global talent pools, and has a strong international team of recruiters dedicated to helping our clients find the best talent for their teams.  

As long as there are staffing and consulting needs in tech, we’ll be there to help fill them with the best candidates from around the globe.  


1030 W Higgins Rd, Suite 230
Park Ridge, IL 60068



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