Who We Are


The Ōnin Group is a Birmingham-based, privately held group of companies focused on people. Our core business is staffing, where we are among the top two percent of domestic staffing companies in sales volume and rank as one of the SIA’s fastest growing staffing firms year after year. Our staffing brands include Onin Staffing, Excelsior Staffing, A3 Solutions, Focus IT and Onin ProfessionalSearch. Our other ventures include Momentum Capital Funding, Momentum Equipment and Supply and Onin Timber.


Onin Staffing, our flagship division, was founded in Dallas, Texas in 1993 by Managing Partner Keith Phillips in borrowed office space, armed with only folding furniture, a phone and a desire to provide for his young family. Through the 90s the business grew under the name InStaff Personnel as Keith brought in other partners, including The Onin Group’s Managing Partner Hugh Thomas. As InStaff grew from 1 to 35 offices in the 1990s, Hugh drove growth in Alabama and Mississippi while Keith focused on Texas and Arizona. The relationship between Hugh and Keith flourished as Keith’s Texas partners began to move in other directions. In 1999 Keith sold his share of InStaff Texas and retained eight offices with Hugh in the South.


As the now Alabama-based company entered the new millennium, Onin ran around $8 million in gross revenue. Between 2001 and 2007, we experienced exponential growth as we hit $70 million in sales in 2007. While many other staffing services faltered through the great recession, we maintained profitability and positioned ourselves for a rally in 2010.

The Ōnin Group has continued enjoying impressive yet responsible growth over the last few years as we have built our business organically by empowering our staff and developing strong long-term client relationships. We are currently tracking for more than $590 million in annual sales while remaining proudly debt-free.


Passionate about celebrating diversity, The Ōnin Group partnered with Excelsior Staffing in 2008, an Atlanta-based full-service staffing firm and certified Minority-Owned and Operated Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), which serves as Onin’s primary Strategic Supplier Alliance (SSA) partner.Excelsior MS3P, a division of Excelsior Staffing, offers a unique co-sourcing strategy that creates a fresh approach to the management of contingent workforce suppliers and processes with a focus on building SME’s designed with the unique needs of our client in mind. 


Although our growth to this point has been largely organic, we did make a hugely successful acquisition of Mulberry Personnel in North Carolina in 2007. In 2011 we purchased Reliable Staffing on the Gulf Coast and acquired A3 Solutions, a Dallas-based IT staffing company, at the end of 2014.

Our lean, localized command structure made it easy for these companies to fold into our organization. Because of the tight credit market and our strong cash position, we believe acquisitions will play a significant role in our future growth and expanded service capabilities.


In January of 2011 we added Onin IT to the group as we expanded into the growing IT Staffing arena.  Today, we are known as Focus IT, which specializes in recruiting and placing human talent in the Information Technology field.


Our Momentum brands allow us to put our capital to work supporting expanded business relationships. In 2013 we launched Momentum Capital Funding which helps fledgling companies overcome cash flow challenges. Momentum Equipment and Supply was opened in 2015 and leases, rents and finances heavy and light equipment primarily in the oil and gas sector.


In October of 2015,  Onin joined forces with Mikey Johnson through Onin Properties to build Ridgeland Apartments in Pocahontas, Arkansas to support the housing needs of teammates in the market.


Our business is peopleas we look to the future we are focused on being a company that attracts, develops and retains top talent. Our team has carried us to where we are, lives our mission and drives customer-focused solutions and innovations that will carry us for decades to come.