Specialization Good for North Shore Placement Firm
Paul Tosso and Manelly Hauer, Professional Recruiters with Melissa Elliott, Franchise Owner of Express Employment Pros.
POSTED: 01:34 PM Tuesday, September 11, 2012
BY: Ben Myers, Staff Writer for New Orleans CityBusiness
TAGS: accounting, Express Employment Professionals, labor, Melissa Elliott, placement
Editor’s note: The following article is from the “Top Private Companies” feature from the North Shore Report.
The Covington franchise of Express Employment Professionals added a division three years ago that accounted for less than 5 percent of the staffing agency’s overall placements last year, in the estimation of owner Melissa Elliott.
But the new division, which specializes in placing engineering, technical accounting and information technology professionals, is a major reason Express’ revenue grew 27.5 percent last year. That’s because a lot more goes into recruiting highly skilled professionals than the administrative assistants, accounting clerks and warehouse workers Express traditionally seeks. Therefore, the niche has been far more lucrative.
“We have to get to know these candidates, and we have to know at what point will they switch,” Elliott says. “Is it a more stable company they are looking for? Is it more money? Is it a step up in responsibility?”
Things move much more briskly in the regular staffing division, which recruiters and employers seek out. To reach professionals, Elliott’s recruiters build networks through industry associations and old-fashioned sleuthing.
Her franchise is among an exclusive bunch Express corporate leadership has selected to lead the way into professional placements. More than 500 franchises comprise the chain, and Elliott’s is among roughly 50 to add the new division.
The timing of the expansion — at the height of a national wave of layoffs in almost every sector — is no coincidence. Elliott says it was an opportunity to help overwhelmed executives suddenly tasked with sorting through deluges of resumes with every opening.
The participating Express franchises selected their focus areas based on regional need, and Elliott says engineering, accounting and information technology were fairly obvious selections for greater New Orleans.
“A lot of our clients in the staffing company were asking us for those types of positions,” she says. “We were already in the door so it just made sense.”
Express is also attracting more clients because it offers employee benefits such as health insurance, which employers increasingly are wary of providing. Elliott attributes this to three factors — higher prices to benefit pools, economic uncertainty and increased government bureaucracy.
“Because Express has 350,000 to 400,000 people throughout the country, we have a pretty good leverage on buying benefit pools ourselves,” Elliott says. “There is some comfort to the company.”
Article by New Orleans City Business Sept. 11, 2012
Express Employment Professionals Covington, Louisiana
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