The Faces of Mee Derby is an initiative to share the stories of our team and their journey’s through the staffing industry from a personal and professional perspective. COVID is bringing us all together in a whole different way by connecting through technology. From our home offices to yours, we invite you over the next several weeks to get to know the Mee Derby team through this video series. It is a fun look at who we are – collectively and individually – how we got into staffing and what the staffing industry means to us. This week we are hearing from Kim Whiteley:
Why staffing? How did you end up in this industry?
The staffing industry is right for me because of my ability to help people find jobs, change people’s lives and put them to work. You know when I was staffing commercial services in the Baltimore market, one of our largest clients was the group called service master that the end contract was the McCormick spice plant. It was an awful job and awful shifts but I literally staffed the entire project with homeless people from a church in Baltimore. Out of the 30 we placed on assignment, easily 60% of them turned their life around, stayed employed, were able to get apartments on their own. It was from that project that I was like, this is where I’m meant to be.
How has your journey led you to Mee Derby?
I knew Robin over the years when I worked at Norreal in the Commercial Staffing division and in later years when I was on the Spherion/Randstad side we used Robin as a vendor. So I knew her then because she had filled roles for the organization and then actually for a couple of my other peers at the time. When I left after my son was born, I took a little bit of time off and in trying to think about what to do, I reached out to Robin knowing that she did search for the staffing industry and was really focused on a role that I could do working from home versus commuting any longer. The more Robin and I continued conversation, it ended up being a great move for me to go to work for Robin.
What are the benefits of working remotely both, personally & professionally?
After my son was born, I decided it was crazy for both my husband and I to be running up and down the road and for somebody else to be basically raising our child. I wanted to be doing something where I was home at a decent hour, that I wouldn’t be driving in at 7 or 8 o’clock at night, that I could be present.
After Mark was born, my mom had a stroke and we were in a situation where we made the decision to keep her at home and we engaged private care. [Working remotely] allowed me to manage the caregivers, be a backup caregiver when I needed, walk over and check in during the day since we only lived two houses apart. After my Mom passed and my Dad became ill, I ended up becoming a primary caregiver so I was his caregiver two days a week while still working, while still managing a team. Robin allowed me that flexibility, cause she knew I would still figure out a way to get my job done, to lead the team, to produce and to help the team produce
How does Mee Derby impact the staffing industry?
When you look at our team, everybody on the team is from the staffing industry. Everybody has either come from different verticals or made the vertical that they came from their niche of specialization. We are heavily entrenched in the staffing industry. From the candidate side we probably as a team, talk to 100 people a week in the staffing industry. We remain actively involved in the American Staffing Association, with Staffing Industry Analyst and various different state and local councils for the staffing industry. We are from the staffing industry, we advocate for the staffing industry, we volunteer in the staffing industry and work very hard on a daily basis to be subject matter experts in the industry. Whether it be from a compensation perspective in terms of what’s going with compensation and how firms are compensating their staffing to knowing the different laws in all the different states. Although our team is spread across 6 to 7 states, we do business across the United States and have to know the different laws in each state to do business. We work hard to keep our pulse on the industry and the laws that affect the industry
Why should someone work with a recruiter in their job search?
In general, somebody is working with us because we have a pulse on the industry. In a lot of cases they are working with us because we have higher level contacts than they can get themselves and we can best help position them for a role with a firm they want to go to work for. We have a good mix of candidates that are coming to us for open roles that we are working on but also passive candidates, when they are just ready to start a job search, they know about the work we do in the industry.
Sometimes the work that we do starts out as informational or intropa and works into a new role and or placement. I think people work with a recruiter, whether they are in our industry or not, to better position themselves for the role they want.