Temp agencies aren't limited to day labor like they they were 20 years ago. Just the opposite.
Today, these companies are better known as specialized staffing agencies, often providing highly trained professionals or services.
They are a growth industry, with the success of HH Staffing Services testament to that.
Founded in 1988 as Helping Hands, HH Staffing's sales have grown more than 400 percent in the last four years.
The Bradenton-based company has been on an expansion mode since 2009, when Karen Rehn, the CEO and president, bought it.
The company already had a strong history of providing short-term labor for the construction industry.
But in the last three years it has grown into a full-service employment agency, adding new divisions as well as offices in Clearwater, serving the Tampa Bay area, and in Orlando. Another office is planned in 2013.
"Many area companies are stretched so thin on staff with the downturn of the economy, they outsource their HR functions," Rehn said. "We recruit, interview, do extensive skill assessments, national background checks, and do all the reference checks. We do drug screenings, too."
Rehn answered questions for Patch about the challenges and opportunities of growing an employment agency in a tough economy.
Q. Has recruiting, interviewing and hiring "the best people" become more complicated over time?
Rehn: Yes, with all the extensions on unemployment, many people opt to remain on unemployment rather than take a job that will bring them back to the workforce, and many people are underemployed and afraid to change jobs with the uncertainty of the economy.
Q. What advantages do companies have in using employment agencies like yours when hiring?
Rehn: Our goal is not just to provide quality candidates, but to give organizations the flexibility to adapt to changing market conditions quickly. Whether they are looking to reduce labor costs or capitalize on new opportunities with our talent pool, our job is to provide the people and HR expertise they need when they need it.
Q. Does HH Staffing have specialty areas in employment, such as IT?
Rehn: Yes, our number one division is our Property Management Division, we specialize in Maintenance techs, leasing professionals and grounds maintenance candidates, we also have a Professional/clerical division, light industrial division and our hospitality division.
Q. How has social media affected or changed the employment industry and hiring?
Rehn: I think social media is a force to reckon with for all areas of business for the staffing industry, I feel it will get our brand out there and help with recruiting and attacting jobseekers- big time, but as for obtaining clients through social media I have not seen a big swing. Linkedin is #1 for recruiting.
Q. Tells us about Ruegger the Recruiter!
Rehn: Ruegger has come to work since I purchased HH Staffing; he started out being a good will ambassador but soon grew into much more with my staff. You can blog with the Dog or visit his cause for the Paws on Face book under Ruegger the recruiter at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ruegger-the-Recruiters-Paws-for-the-cause/155437697861644?ref=hl-
My passion has been with animals my whole life, so we try to get the word out to adopt animals from shelters…We put out a newsletter with the pet of the week. We all are animal lovers here at HH Staffing.