The newly reunited McGladrey & Pullen has been building its presence in the so-called middle market, expanding the firm’s roster of talent.

Gary Sturisky, national leader of McGladrey’s Business Consulting Practice, told me last week that the firm hired 12 percent more professionals last year, in part due to the economic recovery.

“The companies we serve are growing,” he said. “When you look at significant growth for our clients, I would have to assume that’s got some direct correlation to the economic recovery. The growth in middle-market consulting has enabled McGladrey to expand. If we’re growing, it’s because our clients are growing.”

He noted that the firm now employs nearly 12 percent more professionals at the beginning of the firm’s fiscal year than in 2011. Associates and senior professionals are up 26 percent and senior associates are up 31 percent at the firm. McGladrey also experienced growth at the director level, which is up more than 11 percent.

Sturisky credits this growth to top talent seeking out the firm because of initiatives such as a residency program in which the firm hired 70 associates right out of school.

“We send them to the residency program for two weeks, where we really give them the skills and training and expertise to have a very good jumpstart to their career,” he said. “We continue to invest in their professional development. We want to make sure we’re investing in our talent to address our clients.”

H&R Block sold back the non-audit side of the business, known as RSM McGladrey, to McGladrey & Pullen last August for $610 million, adding approximately 5,000 employees (see Block Sells RSM to McGladrey & Pullen). RSM McGladrey, under the ownership of Block, had provided services such as assurance, tax and consulting since 1999. The acquisition was completed last December (see McGladrey CEO Sees Opportunities in Firm’s Reunification).

Sturisky believes the reunification has helped the firm. “I think we’ve repositioned our focus more appropriately to continue to better serve our clients,” he said. “As we are a reunited firm, I think the overall ability for us to continue to understand our clients’ needs has been radically enhanced.”

The firm has been seeing growth in middle-market consulting services such as IPO readiness. McGladrey was recently hired by a leading private equity firm to take 48 of its portfolio companies public, in another sign of the economic recovery.

Another area of growth for the firm is consulting on enterprise resource planning software such as Microsoft Dynamics. “Companies are finally freeing up cash they were previously hoarding to drive their future success,” said Sturisky.

The firm is also noticing growth in performance improvement consulting services, such as cost optimization, for middle-market companies.

McGladrey defines the middle market as companies between $30 million and $1 billion in revenues, although Sturisky’s group also services government agencies, including the federal government, and large private equity firms. The firm is also expanding its services internationally, setting up a delivery center in India to provide business processes over an extended workday.