Bonny Filandrinos, President & Founder, Staffing Solutions Inc.
Years in Staffing: 40
Fun Fact: When Bonny first started in admin/clerical staffing in the Minneapolis market, her goal was to attract “pink collar” workers who were looking for an alternative to college. She was the first person at Kelly Services to serve solely in a recruiting role in the field, managing community outreach and creating relationships with area high schools to help build their candidate pipeline
What keeps you excited about the staffing industry?
Just before our call, I hung up with someone that had a successful interview after coaching her on how to deal with her anxiety and how to respond to specific questions. Yesterday I received an email from someone I met with 4 years ago. She said, “you told me what I needed to do, and I went back and got my degree and finally got a role as a HR manager.” I get 5 calls and emails a week like that. We’re not just trying to match people, we do a lot more career management. It used to be that people would have managers that were good mentors, and that’s not always the case anymore. There’s no one there to be of service or help anymore. We provide that for people. We’ve never had a sales rep in 24 years. Everyone that walk in leaves as one.
What are you most proud of in your career in staffing thus far?
In 2008, we had 150 temps in the field and in two weeks we were down to 10 or 15. This was a decrease from billing 3,000 hours a week to 700. There were tons of candidates that were coming in and we had no temporary or full-time jobs. Our staff came into work with nothing to do. I was trying to think of what I could do to keep my team busy and do something meaningful. I then spent two weeks writing an outplacement manual and we started providing free outplacement services. We invited one HR person every Friday to donate their time and share their knowledge on searching for work in this market – to crowds of over 60 on a weekly basis. Providing our services pro bono to non-profits was always part of our culture, so during this time, we also helped connect our temps to volunteer opportunities. The team was busy and we were connecting people to volunteer work so they could still feel vital. From 2008 to 2011, I didn’t lay anyone off and I didn’t pay myself. I’m most proud of supporting my team during this time and providing meaningful opportunities for people when they were losing their houses and borrowing against their 401(k).
Reflecting on how staffing has evolved, what do you miss?
After submitting the resume to the hiring manager, I could talk to them about why I selected that specific person! I miss that feedback loop you get when you talk to people on the phone or in person. Email is good for confirmation, but poor for communication. I still match candidates, not source candidates. But, I do like being able to share what we’ve learned and help people by blogging and participating in social media. Also, the quick response via text message is helpful!
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