SITE Staffing Profile Series
Jeff Wein is the current President/Owner of SITE Staffing after having joined the firm in 1999, and subsequently purchasing it in 2007. Jeff has more than 25 years of experience in HR Consulting and Staffing, a BBA from UW-Milwaukee, and an MBA from Marquette University. Get to know Jeff in our recruiter profile series!
How did you get into this field and what appeals to you about it?
Jeff: Well, after I graduated from UWM with my undergrad in marketing and HR I tried to find a job, and it was harder to find work then. I wanted to work in human resources and after about a year I found a job as a recruiter with a local staffing company called Cornwell Staffing. I spent 13 years there as the Vice President of Operations and then left to join Site Temporaries, today known as SITE Staffing, also as the VP of Operations. Dave Aragon and Chip Holmes were the owners and I knew that I wanted a stake in the company as well. I was able to build into ownership over the next few years after hitting certain goals and objectives, and in 2007 I had the opportunity to purchase the business from them, so I took it.
What appealed to me then, and still does, is the service philosophy, working with people one-on-one and helping them. I’ve always been a social guy – I bartended my way through college and worked in the service industry for years – so I’m the kind of person who prefers the human side of business and working with people face-to-face. And working with and helping people is what we’re all about at SITE Staffing, so it’s been a great fit for me.
What do you love about SITE Staffing in particular?
Jeff: We strive to create a fun, safe environment with plenty of camaraderie. As little workplace drama as possible. You sometimes run into those situations of course, given how many people come through the door in a given day, but they’re few and far between and we pride ourselves on handling them well. We want people to look forward to coming to work, not walk into a hyper-stressful environment. Maintaining that fun, safe environment for all of our employees is important to us, and one of the reasons why I love it here.
What’s a typical “day in the life” for you as the owner of SITE Staffing?
Jeff: Well, with 2017 behind us there’s a lot of accounting and taxes to do, and I try to tackle both to take some pressure off the accounting department. I’m also in charge of the sales staff, so we’re having our meetings and always following up with new clients. Generally, a given day is constant juggling and coordinating with my managers in all areas, as well as building and maintaining relationships with clients behind the scenes. Not to mention being that buffer to diffuse tensions and keep the company safe, fun, and productive.
In the recruiter profile series, we often discuss our relationship with candidates and employees. On the client side of things, how do you go about starting and building those relationships?
Jeff: Trying to get a new client can be expensive, although these days it’s a little easier because there’s high demand for workers. But I’m calling people all the time, along with the sales staff. That said, we don’t work with everyone. We look out for our employees first, so if a company seems unsafe or doesn’t pay a fair wage, we may not do business. In the same way that not every candidate who walks through our doors is a good fit for SITE, the same goes for potential clients – we have standards for both sides of the equation.
First, we often ask for an audition, where we send over a few of our people so you can evaluate our services and employees. And from there we sell ourselves as an extension of our clients’ HR departments. So, if you’re in HR at a company, we want to know how you recruit, screen, and select so that we can do the same thing as an extension of you. At first, we may send you resumes and you might say yes or no, but at some point we want to get away from that, so that you can trust who we’re sending as if they were your own decisions. If we can get that far with our clients, it builds the trust, speeds up the process, and hopefully leads to a partnership.
A great example of that is called a Vendor Management System or VMS, where we manage a company’s entire staffing function as a literal extension of their HR department. That sometimes includes our own on-site office where we do all of the hiring, so much so that we even choose which additional staffing firms to bring in for them when we need more candidates. In many ways that’s what we strive for with companies, to reach that point of partnership, but of course a VMS isn’t going to be the ideal system for everyone.
Overall, it starts with auditioning people, providing excellent service for our clients, and showing we’re an extension of them that can do the same things they would do with more resources, which ultimately builds that trust and confidence.
SITE’s theme for 2018 is “Who have I helped today?” What inspired that and how does it relate to the company culture overall?
Jeff: As I mentioned, the company culture is a service philosophy, and we have a few pillar words to conduct ourselves by: integrity, honesty, and trust. In a meeting we were discussing these values and what the theme for 2018 should be, throwing out ideas, and I just said: “You know what we do here? We help people. Everything else happens after that.” And it’s true, at the end of the day that’s what it comes down to, so we ran with it. We even created an acronym – HOPE: Helping Others Precedes Everything.
I tell my kids every day to try to do something nice for somebody, and it only makes sense to bring that same message to work. If you can get someone working, you’ve helped not only them but the client as well, and if you facilitate it the best you can, hopefully they get hired on and it becomes a permanent solution. All the billing that happens in between? That just comes with it. It’s not just about getting the billing, because if it were, helping others would fall by the wayside and the company would suffer in the end regardless. Helping others has to come first.
What do you do in your free time – Hobbies? Family?
Jeff: I like to golf! Play some games, spend time with the wife and kids. We like to vacation and spend time in Fort Myers, FL, but to be honest I work a lot at home – hard to get away from all the emails. All three kids have come to work at the company at different times, so it kind of runs in the family, and right now my daughter Lauren’s with us as a recruiter and she really has the enthusiasm for it. So I guess family, golf, and staffing are my major hobbies, ha-ha.
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