Crime and Poverty to Profit and Success
The Second Chance that lead to many new beginnings
The Story I’m about to tell you is my true account of the beginning of the fastest growing business in the state of Kansas and one of the fastest growing companies in America.
I wrote this article several months ago for another website, who could not use it because of the sponsored podcast. Its an extremely exciting and revealing inside look at the story behind the fastest growing business in Kansas.
When you have some time, listen to the following podcast. I promise you will not be bored and I’m fairly confident you will also be inspired.
As Owner of Elite Staffing Solutions, Chris Rickerson tells his story in the podcast, he starts at the beginning.
He was a delinquent kid who grew up in poverty in the Midwest. After being bounced around the system among less-than-savory youths, he began dealing drugs. At one of his many low points, he was homeless. Staying on couches of other delinquents and criminals.
In Chris’s story, many experiences were violent. He spoke about multiple high speed chases with police. physical confrontations with guns, check fraud, and a lot more.
After having children and raising them as a single father, he began to build a relationship with God. And as his relationship with God developed, so did his purpose in life.
After many encounters with the law, Chris wanted to get his life in order.
Even though he had a lengthy criminal record, an employer gave him a chance carrying bricks up a scaffolding.
Even though the job paid $8.00 per-hour, He worked as hard as he could. Then he continued through life with the mentality of “I’ll work harder for you than anyone else,” which he did. I know this because I used to be a client of his both when he was running his own business, and before that when he was employed by another.
As Chris focused on his climb to a better place in life, he held many different jobs.
After years of hard work, he obtained a position in the staffing industry and eventually started his own staffing agency. This happened because of circumstance and opportunity, not from a planned and executed goal. Still, Chris grabbed the opportunity when it arose, risking everything to bring his successful business to life.
As Chris began supplying staff and laborers to various employers and industries, he realized a few elements that changed the way he approached his business and ultimately his life.
According to Chris, the staffing industry is rough by nature. Some of the jobs use felons. Many of the employees have little drive other than the most immediate paycheck. Some of the customers who use temps do not treat them well.
The final piece of the formula is that most staffing providers’ goal is to bill the client at the highest margin as possible, while paying the temp laborer the lowest amount possible.
An early realization that Chris had as an employee in the staffing industry was that the fairly standard model generates undependable, badly-performing employees. The client receives a lower level of service than they deserve, the temps that do show up to work are over-worked because the job is short handed. The staffing agency is placed in an emergency position where they must manage jobs that end up dramatically under-staffed at the last moment. This causes a high level of stress for the staffing agency employee, who is set up to fail without any chance of success… Everybody was losing when Chris worked for a staffing agency that followed the model I just described.
The void of excellent or even decent service in the staffing industry was an obvious opportunity that Chris recognized as a staffing industry employee.
Later, as Chris started his own staffing agency, Elite Staffing Solutions, his first slogan was: “Putting service back into staffing”
With the mindset of working harder for his customers than anyone else, while always focusing on a superior level of service, Chris experienced profits his very first week in business and ESS has been profitable every week since.
There are two important elements that came together after a few years of successful business for Elite Staffing Solutions.
First, I want to mention that Chris had developed a relationship with God and Christianity as he began to move past his worst years.
As he became more involved in the church, he started to realize that he is in a very special position, where he can positively and permanently impact many many lives by providing second chances… Second chances for people who appreciate and need those opportunities.
At some point, I think Chris realized that giving second chances was very powerful when combined with treating employees better and paying them better.
Although Elite Staffing Solutions projects a steady path of growth, the mission has changed over time.
A few years after Chris started ESS, he realized he had achieved financial stability and would be able to provide a different path for his three boys. Yet this achievement felt empty. What did this success and money mean?
One day, as Chris was seeking motivation, he withdrew a substantial amount of money from his bank account, sat it on the table and stared at it for inspiration. Unfortunately, stability and success weren’t enough. Material possessions were nice, but were not a cause for happiness, fulfillment, or inspiration.
It was at this moment that God told Chris that there was more. He told Chris he could use his position to lift others up and help them take control of their lives.
A few years back, I met a handful of ESS employees. One was an ex-temp of Chris’s.
As a result of the second chance this individual was given, he progressed from homelessness to become a union electrician.
Chris’s business has created dozens, maybe even hundreds of similar stories.
Now, a mantra that was originally intended to set the standard of how employees in his own office will be treated, “People Before Profit” has become the company mission statement.
After just a few years in the industry, the model that has made ESS one of the fastest growing companies in America is simple: Treat people well, pay a bit better, provide opportunities for growth, then promote top performers from within.
For Chris Rickerson and Elite Staffing Solutions, the result has been better retention, better performance, better service, and higher profits.
Crime and Poverty to Profit and Success
Article by Mike Gamache – Blogger, Videographer