Happy Friday everyone. For today's Five Question Friday segment we are happy to be speaking with Thomas Hume, from Bloomington, Indiana. He has over 20 years of senior-level agency and client-side experience in business-to-business marketing, branding, and communications in HR solutions, IT, financial services, healthcare, and long term care.  As VP of Marketing at Employment Plus, Inc., he leads the company's marketing group, delivering strategic and tactical support for sales, branch operations, recruiting and call center divisions.

Founded in 1993, Employment Plus is one of the fastest-growing US staffing firms, operating from over 100 branch and on-site partner locations throughout the country.

We are happy to have you with us Tom. Let's get started.

1.) What is the biggest growth area in your business right now?

At Employment Plus, our growth is attributed to our commitment to drive results for every customer. As our client retention rate remains high and as the economy is beginning to turn around, we are seeing a variety of verticals that we are positioned to support (such as industrial / light manufacturing, clerical and transportation] and, in addition, we are diversifying our portfolio of clients, thereby increasing our growth in the coming years.

2.) What is the biggest drag on your business, the bane of your existence at the moment?

As a staffing company, the biggest obstacle for our business is finding the right talent with the right skill sets. This has a direct impact internally on our day-to-day operations as we feel the daily stresses and strains of the sudden and unpredictable spikes in labor and recruiting demand.

3.) How do you define success?

We believe retaining customers is the ultimate indicator of success. We combine our exclusive processes with our centralized corporate resources to build long-term client partnerships, which is a key factor in our continued, rapid growth. At Employment Plus, our main focus is on driving results for every customer. Over the past five years, we’ve been able to maintain a high client retention rate which has helped us to expand to now more than 100 locations in 17 states. Most recently, we have opened up offices in the southwest and northeast and expect to continue expansion throughout 2012.  Knowing that our clients are happy is great because that means that we are doing everything we can as a company to recruit, hire and retain the best associates in order to help our clients be successful.

Knowing that our clients are happy is great because that means that we are doing everything we can as a company to recruit, hire and retain the best associates in order to help our clients be successful.

4.) Name one way you have cut costs or increased profits during the recession?

We have really focused on a number of key areas to increase profits during the recession. We’ve embraced new technologies, centralized key branch resources from our corporate office; we utilize digital marketing communications as well as print-on-demand technology to minimize waste, and more. As we continue to grow in size, our economies of scale enable us to leverage pricing on a variety of consumables. All of our efforts ultimately result in benefits to enable us to deliver greater results to our customers.

5.) What technology do you find indispensable?

There are many technologies that have become indispensable over the years. We’ve found that technologies such as video streaming, VoIP and advanced email capabilities have helped us improve our communications and the way we deliver services to our customers.

Thanks so much for your time Tom. Best of luck to you, and continued success.

If you have anything you would like to comment on, or ask Tom about specifically, feel free to shoot us a comment.

Tags: News, Hiring, Staffing Firms, Temporary Employees, Talent, Transportation, Clerical, Client portfolio, Client retention, Industrial, Labor demand, Light manufacturing