When it came time to hire an office manager, Trish Schroeder, co-owner of Schroeder Design/Build, Fairfax, Va., was dismayed. After being part owner of a successful remodeling company for years, she knew that the process of hiring a management-level employee was extensive and that the time needed to do it right was daunting. Trish also knew that this new task was going to be added to her continuing efforts to hire capable field personnel. But the company was growing, and the administrative position had to be filled. She discussed her concerns with SDB's sales manager, Andrew Schroeder, her son, who mentioned that a friend who worked for a staffing company might be able to help. SDB, like many small businesses, had not considered a staffing company to be an affordable option, but after meeting with the company's representative, they found out otherwise.

“It's not inexpensive,” Andrew says, “but when I did a cost-benefit analysis, it was obvious that using this service would save hours and hours of time, which translated into an amount that was considerably more than the staffing company fee.”

After researching several staffing resources, SDB chose a company and contracted with it to manage the process of hiring their office manager. “Because we have a very small office, it was important that we have the right person,” Trish says. “The staffing company rep met with us to discuss our needs in depth before they began their search.”

This initial investigation included discussing job duties, attitude, experience needed, and salary ranges. “They told us that we may be low on salary and would give us input as they interviewed prospects.”

The staffing company had a database of prospective employees that they immediately began to cull. In addition, their recruiters were alerted to the opportunity as they were reaching new prospects. The staffing company handled:

  • Advertising the position
  • Résumé collection and review
  • Personal interviews
  • Testing for expertise on specialized software including, in this case, QuickBooks Pro
  • Credit and background checks
  • Employee history checks
  • Reference checks

Within a week, there were six candidates scheduled for interviews with SDB. Before each interview, SDB was contacted and briefed. Trish comments, “If they found someone really good but who wanted more than the salary we had in mind, the staffing company gave us the option to interview them or not.” The staffing company also provided insights into personality and work style.
Six weeks later, SDB hired an excellent office manager for just slightly more than they had originally budgeted.

When asked whether it was worth the investment, Trish exclaims, “Oh gosh, yes! Not only did they save us an incredible amount of time, they are also experts at hiring, so the caliber of the candidates they sent our way was truly impressive. We'd use them again in a heartbeat.”

—Victoria Downing is president of Remodelers Advantage, Laurel, Md. 301.490.5620.