What ideals drive your staffing company? If you’re a bigger company, do the young folk joining you get a sense that those ideals are real, worth working for? Or do they have a sense that it’s every man for himself?

When I first started working for my dad in 1974, he had a very simple ideal to run the business by – SURVIVAL.  Survival as in putting food on the table.  It was in the pit of the 1974 recession, failure seemed all too possible, and we needed no other reason to make yet one more sales call or go that one extra mile to fill an order to keep a customer happy.

As the business grew and immediate material needs no longer seemed at risk, he added staff, and although making money was still requirement #1, a new ideal evolved – creating highly efficient systems to handle key accounts. That’s when we started coding systems to replace the tag board payroll.

We were out to get rid of all the efficiencies from the staffing process. That meant more pay for the employees, better matches for clients and better profits for us.

What happens when an organization grows and ideals get pushed aside? In a word, trouble. Here’s a quote from a jeromesch on the Robert Half message board on Yahoo:

I tried out selling for a staffing company, and it sucked. Why? There's no differentiated product or service to sell that 800 other staffing companies are selling. It's basically finding an HR rep that's in a squeeze and can't find someone on their own. I watched my bosses lie to companies AND employees, pump a hundred candidates up for jobs that never, ever delivered. I caught my boss stealing job orders and underbidding for their own "off the books" income! Sad. Really, really sad.

And all I was ever told was, "That's what you gotta do. That's the way corporate America is." I'm very, very convinced that staffing companies are their own culture, and that their culture is on the far other end of the spectrum from the rest of corporate America.

I felt like a slimeball every day when I left work. I make more money at my current job and I don't have to sneak and lie to do a good job and get recognized.

Jeromesch was looking for meaning in his work, and he found none.

Now, in fairness to RHI, we don’t know if this quote is bogus, planted by a competitor, etc.  But the message for larger staffing companies is clear.  Ideals matter more than ever.

Tags: Industry, Staffing company, Corporate America, Ideals, Jeromesch, Robert Half message board, Staffing ideals, Survival