At the end of 2017, the Parker Staffing executive team set an ambitious challenge to for our employees: if each department could pull together to become as efficient and profitable as they could be, we’d ring in Parker’s 40th year in 2019 with a trip to Hawaii. The results are in….and we are happy to say that for four days this March, our office will be relocating to Maui!
This wasn’t just a mere challenge. The team was given a goal that in our history, had never been met before by Parker. For this reason, the goal was given a nickname of “BHAG” (short for Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal).
2018 introduced some new dynamics that have made it one of the most challenging years for staffing in our region. The unemployment rate continues to sit below 4%, meaning job seekers were becoming fewer and fewer in number. Seattle’s $15/hour minimum wage laws had repercussions not just on companies in Seattle, but also to those in the surrounding areas who found that they had to raise their pay rates to remain competitive. And many companies who do business in the state that adhere to drug-free work place policies were finding that their hiring pool had virtually disappeared nearly two years after legalization.
It was clear that to be successful, we had to get creative. We added not only recruiters to our staff, but grew the support team. We added headcount in our sourcing roles and brought on a recruiting director to supervise the recruiting function, which had now been split into two teams to help manage the workload. We expanded our business to their locations outside of Seattle by supporting our long-standing customers in other locations. As a result, Parker hires can now be found in Spokane, New York, Albuquerque, and Irvine.
Most importantly however, we had to come together as a staff. Departures are always tough and stressful, not only on our employees but on the customers who had such strong relationships with their Parker person. So as we rebuilt our staff, we dedicated time to spend as a team. We closed down the office for a half-day each quarter and spent time really getting to know each other. We rolled out a new set of core values and put time each month into learning about what they meant to us. Finally, we doubled our efforts towards customer satisfaction to make sure our customers had never had a better staffing experience.
It is said that you have to spend money to make money, but the same thing can be said about relationships – you have to put energy into them to get results out of them. Our visual representation of the BHAG goal was a Hawaiian volcano with a pineapple climbing its way to the top. Each month, as we saw the pineapple get closer to the top, we doubled our efforts to continue the momentum.
The volcano wasn’t our only marker of progress though. We finished the year with a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 77. The NPS is an industry standard that measures client satisfaction (for staffing, those numbers tend to range between 15-20). We were also named one of Seattle’s Best Workplaces by Seattle Business Magazine. This was our third year receiving the honor, but to do it with the new faces and team structure was a great validation that we were on the right track. But most importantly, we put over 1,200 people to work on contract, temp to hire, and permanent jobs with customers across the country.
We are excited to share this news with you, but that’s not to say that we are resting on our laurels: we have even bigger things planned for 2019. So, stay tuned for some great announcements in the next few weeks.