Like most years, Derek and I try to attend as many staffing industry events as possible for personal growth and education. One of those events is the SIA Executive Forum, where upper management and owners attend 3 days of group and breakout sessions addressing a wide variety of topics. These opportunities help us keep a pulse on the staffing world, and provides an opportunity to learn from others.

Last month we traveled to San Diego. This year’s event was memorable (not just because of the weather), but because of one particular breakout session that was led by three different owners of staffing companies, all with different industry focus. They each had terrific stories and different paths to success.

One individual owned an extremely large IT staffing firm based on the East Coast. He was unique in the fact that he was a doctor and decided to start a staffing business. His family and friends thought he was crazy, especially his wife! During his early years, he continued practicing while managing the staffing business on the side.

He shared a story from early in his adventure recalling a day he was about to perform surgery. In that moment, he received a text from his business partner regarding an emergency with a client’s bill. The error was their fault and they were at risk of losing money. At this point the doctor was frustrated and said, “What would our customer want us to do?” and hung up.

Over the past month, I’ve recalled this sentence regularly. This doctor owned a $300,000,000 staffing company, and his main focus was and still is the CUSTOMER. There is no question he is successful because of this mindset, and the culture he has instilled in his organization.I often ask myself if we get caught up in the everyday challenges of staffing and forget about our customer’s needs.

Are we focused on the right things?

Are we more focused about turning in a report on time, and not providing the best customer service to our customers?

I don’t have all the answers, but keeping these questions in mind will point us in the right direction:

  1. What is our value to a customer?
  2. Are we doing everything we can to service our customers?
  3. Can our customers count on us?
  4. Is our quality different from our competition?
  5. Is it easy to do business with ISS?

Let’s all concentrate on doing everything in our power to provide the customer service our clients deserve.

Nathan Meinhart
Vice President of Business Development, Innovative Staff Solutions