By Mark Turpin, CEO, HT Staffing
When an Austin digital media startup was ready to launch its new service offering—publishing printed dailies such as Time Magazine and The New York Times online for the first time in history—they turned to HT Staffing to ramp up their Austin operation in a hurry. The task at hand was labor-intensive. The company was an early innovator founded in 1999 to provide digital reading experiences to consumers and e-distribution to publishers. The company had developed leading-edge software to facilitate the conversion from print to digital, but they needed human eyes—and lots of them—to prepare files for conversion and to proofread every word of the final product before these esteemed publications went live each day.
A growing army of consumers with brand-new eReader devices stood ready to download content from Barnes and Noble; it had to be ready to enjoy with the morning’s coffee, and it had to be right. There was no room for error.
From zero to 60 in 30 days
With the surge in demand for print-to-digital conversion, opportunity knocked for this digital media frontrunner in 2009. There wasn’t much time to recruit the skilled proofreading and copywriting specialists needed to meet the deadlines of multiple new customers, and the company’s lone HR generalist was unable to address the need without assistance.
With the help of HT Staffing, the company was able to bring 60 skilled workers onboard in 30 days. Fortunately, our recruiter in charge of the initiative had previously managed onsite staffing for a print-to-digital-media project. She knew college journalism students were excellent candidates for the skills required. They were also well-suited to meet the demands of the flexible scheduling needed for three shifts and fluctuating demand.
Because the project was on the cutting edge of digital publishing, we learned right along with our client. We helped them figure out the skill sets needed to deliver on their promises. As needs evolved, our continuously cultivated talent pool was a ready source of workers with the right skills.
Recruiting for results
Looking at this HT Staffing/client collaboration from the STAR point of view (a job interview technique), we see:
Situation: The digital media firm was a startup with a limited budget, tight space and uncertainty about staffing needs.
Task: Our task was to form a team of recruiters that could work with management to determine the staffing needs, go find the right people who could jump in quickly and interview and onboard them.
Action: We formed a recruiting team, fulfilled immediate needs and then expanded our role to provide key players in a broader variety of roles.
Results: With our help bringing knowledgeable, reliable staff onboard fast, our client was able to seize a sizeable opportunity; they became the go-to resource for major publications eager to jump on the digital publishing bandwagon. The company’s new customers were delighted with the results—consistently correct publications delivered on time, every time.
The client firm was acquired in 2011 by a global provider of integrated communications that works with more than 60,000 customers worldwide to develop custom communications solutions. HT Staffing continues to provide services, now filling technical, HR and admin positions.
Many of the temps HT Staffing placed during that initial wave of demand for workers are now permanent employees with the client company. One of these is now Operations Training Coordinator. As she became familiar with the digital conversion work being done, she gained increasing interest in the field, and she kept moving up and absorbing new responsibilities.
This now-permanent employee says, “As our work on periodicals has grown, our needs have changed. We continue to use HT Staffing as an invaluable contracting resource for proofreaders and help in various departments. Most recently, they’ve integrated initial testing that was developed here to refine our candidate search process. They also constantly send us potential candidates that they think will be a good fit. It’s nice to know they’re always keeping an eye out for talented individuals. They are responsive, timely and incredibly helpful.”
“In many instances, I’ve been able to contact a representative from HT after office hours,” she continues.” Since our operation never stops, having someone always available is incredibly useful. They [HT Staffing]are always responsive when we want to refine our search process or parameters for new contract workers; they’re flexible, accommodating and just so easy to work with in every way.”
The company’s HR generalist has worked side-by-side with us since February 2010. She comments, “Once we have a staffing need, we need people immediately. We would love to have people next week, but yesterday would be better! HT Staffing always manages to respond quickly. I don’t know where they find everyone, but they manage to fill our positions with the right people every time. HT delivers like you’re the only customer they have.”
By Mark Turpin, CEO, HT Staffing