As told to Hannah Clark Steiman

Industry Leader: Human Resources

Three-Year Growth: 4,646.8%

The first company founded by John D. Hawkins and Greg Bauer, Employer Services Corporation, landed on the Inc. 500 in 2001 and 2002. They started ESC Select in 2002 to move beyond outsourced payroll and benefits and into more sophisticated HR consulting. They now own and run both companies.

John D. Hawkins

Mother's occupation: High school janitorial supervisor

Father's occupation: Police officer

Previous job: Vice president of operations at a staffing company

How I Work

Where I get my inspiration: I lost my job once and was left with no income, no benefits, and no warning -- so I have a strong desire to provide for my family.

What I lose sleep over: Personally, teenagers. Professionally, the economy and the effects it may have on our customers

The best part of my job: Relationships with our associates and with customers. I meet so many fascinating people.

My last vacation: My wife and I hosted our 18-year-old daughter and 10 of her friends this past spring break in Naples, Florida. Enough said.

Greg Bauer

Father's occupation: Doctor

Mother's occupation: Nurse

Previous job: Sales manager for a chain of car dealerships owned by my in-laws

How I Work

Where I get my inspiration: My wife of 24 years, Joanne. A lot of things that we do at ESC Select originated in a conversation I had with Joanne.

What I lose sleep over: I sleep pretty well. When I do lose sleep, it's only over things that I can control -- like what we charge for our services.

The best part of my job: My relationship with my business partner, John

Our Company

What it does: If you look at any company's profit and loss statement, they have a marketing budget and a marketing plan, they have a technology budget and a technology plan, but very few companies have a people plan. Yet at most companies, people are the largest expense. We help companies learn how to attract, retain, and motivate the best employees.

What's Next

We have no debt and no outside investors. Now, we're looking for funding, so we can make some acquisitions.