On this episode of The Staffing Show, Danny Minor, president and partner at Allegiance Staffing, talks about his experience in the staffing industry and being part of a licensee business model. He explains the many perks of this model, such as a built-in network of like-minded professionals as well as the ability to share technological assets such as software. He also talks about the importance of empathy in business and how it has remained one of his guiding principles throughout the years.
David Folwell: Hello, everyone, thank you for joining us for another episode of The Staffing Show. Today I’m joined by Danny Minor who’s the president and partner at Allegiance Staffing. Danny, super excited to have you here today, very excited about our conversation. To kick things off, could you just tell us a little bit about who you are and how you got your start in staffing?
Danny Minor: Yeah, sure. Well, first of all, David, thanks for inviting me to the podcast. This is pretty cool, never done one.
Minor: Put that on my bucket list, right?
Folwell: There you go.
Minor: Danny Minor, president, partner Allegiance Staffing based out here in Houston, Texas and I started my journey in staffing back in the ’90s when I was in school. And I had a good friend of mine whose mother was a VP of sales for an agency here in Houston and we went to school together and he was like, “Hey, my mom needs some salespeople that work in the summertime.”
So, of course, I don’t know staffing and, of course, they still recruited me and had me come in but, of course. Back then I think it was a lot easier to sell staffing back then compared to how it is now. And so, got an opportunity and went out there and did some sales.
And of course, I still remember back to that time when I sold my first account. It was Olympic Trucking and I sold diesel mechanics like, “Hey, this is easy. Just walk in.” But it was tough though. Imagine, people who know Texas in the summertime, it’s pretty warm so it was an experience, for sure. But it got my attention. I transitioned to a little bit of operations for the company and I ventured out and wanted to see what else was out there. And I partnered with the company I’m with right now with my past mentor and past boss Tom Landry and started at the bottom as a recruiter. From there on, I was a service coordinator to a client service manager to payroll to a manager to BDM.
So, as you can see the journey, I held a lot of positions and gained a lot of experience. And in the latter part of my career, was my director of operations and got involved more with the corporate side of the business, with our structure and our partners like capacity operating like a Roger Goodell to the NFL and so I was helping with the development and growth of Allegiance Staffing. And so, time goes, we’re 20-plus years into this and blood, sweat, and tears with Allegiance Staffing, but I was yearning a little bit more, another chapter of my life. And Tom’s a very good person to work for. I had one of the partners who were looking to sell, they didn’t have a succession plan, kids wanted nothing to do with the business which we know how that can be at times.
So, I went and had a visit, came back and talked to Tom and came into his office, shut the door, say, “I need to talk to you.” And of course, no one likes that type of entry when you come into the boss’s office, shut the door, “I need to talk to you.” From a good personal friend, to a boss, as a mentor and explained to him what I was looking to do and he said, “It’s perfect timing, I’m looking for my strategy and to move on to this next chapter.” And so we brought that market into our family. And I was looking to purchase and operate one major city with one branch and start my new journey. A new volume, another book in my story, went from one to five major markets, nine branches.
So, of course, that conversation went really well with my wife. I’m like, “Go from one to nine branches and five major markets,” and she’s like, “How much is that going to cost us?” But one of the best decisions for me and my business partner to make and continue my journey in the staffing industry and so pretty proud of it. And it’s a unicorn story, you don’t hear those too often but I’ve been very blessed and very fortunate and I’ve had a great boss and a great mentor and a great team all these years to help me flourish and get where I’m at now. So, that’s my story.
Folwell: That was great. You and I have known each other a little bit and Allegiance Staffing’s business model is very unique from what I had understood in terms of different types of staffing agencies. Could you just share what is it that’s different about Allegiance?
Minor: Yes. Allegiance Staffing, we’re a staffing firm, and the difference, uniqueness about us compared to other staffing companies out there, we’re a licensee model and that was formed after…I guess copied after the NFL model. So, not to go too much into the deep history of Allegiance Staffing, and maybe that’s for another podcast, but these partners back then were a bunch of franchisees who purchased out of their franchisor agreement. That corporate store went public and, of course, things went sour and they wanted to get out and so they raised capital and they made it happen. And they said, “All right, we made it, we did it, what do we do?” And we said, “Well, our model, we’re not looking to make money off each other, we’re looking to support each other, we’re looking to share costs, buying power and support each other for our adventure.”
So, they create a licensing model which is very similar to the NFL. You’ve got different entities and you may, Washington State, partnered over there, Jacksonville, Florida and we still have our ethics and we still do things and our screening processes and our deliverables are consistent but we don’t tell you who to buy from, what insurance, who to hire. And so, the model’s worked out, it’s been in existence for 20-plus years and it’s really taken off for us and allowing us to expand and bring in other individual entrepreneurs that want to join us that already established firms across the U.S. And so, again, not going too much into details, the pricing model is not like a franchisee model, it’s a flat fee with dues to support our costs. So, it’s not based on revenue so, if you blow it out in a year, you don’t have to worry about paying royalties to a franchisee.
So, that’s a little bit difference on ours and you get access to network, meaning our like-minded partners, our owners. And so, we have our own little group here that we can call upon and share ideas and grow our company and I mentioned a while ago purchasing power. So, that’s just a snippet of who we are but we’re a light industrial staffing firm, predominantly light industrial but we do 80% light industrial, 20% is other right now and the other is hospitality, medical, non-diagnosing, prescribing, clerical, professional and inch a little bit more 60/40 with the mix right now because some of the opportunities that we don’t really shy away from. But yeah, that’s our model, that’s who we are in 14 states, 40 branches.
Folwell: That’s amazing, that’s really great and sounds like you guys are on a pretty good growth trajectory. And when I think about the different guests I have on here, the different conversations I have, it seems like a very unique and attractive model to work with, which is pretty cool. I know one of the things that you and I wanted to talk about today, shifting gears from Allegiance, is talking about some of the challenges that staffing agency owners are facing today. And one that I know is very difficult for small business owners is how they’re competing with larger national firms. What are some of the specific challenges that you see smaller agencies experiencing today?
Minor: A lot of discussions we’ve had with some of our discovery meetings with incoming partners and just through my network of folks that I know and our challenges and peer groups that I have through ASA is challenge with footprint. They may have a great operation in one state, three or four branches in some of the major cities but their footprint does not give them the opportunity to be recognized by maybe some of the larger national organizations out there who are looking for a staffing firm. These days, the landscape is changing so much in our clients right now. When their local management is reaching out to corporate office saying, “Hey, I want to bring in Champs Staffing.”
“So, okay, you’re having challenges here, where else is Champs Staffing at?”
“Well, they’re only here in Wichita, Kansas.”
So, a lot of times, procurement in HR is not very motivated to engage in those conversations because they can only provide service to one local market versus maybe bringing someone in that can give a backup to the majority of their markets. And so, with that situation there, you can’t get references, you can’t really rely on national presence or a national contract and so it’s really making it hard for those smaller guys. And honestly, most of the time, they provide the better service because they really maintain service levels that we like as well. And so, just because you’ve got 40 branches nationwide doesn’t mean branch A is always going to outperform branch B, it all depends on local management.
And so, sometimes, I think the local and the smaller and independents, it’s a disadvantage for them because, overall, they really provide a great service but they can’t get a seat at the table. And so, size doesn’t always matter when it comes to staffing but, lately here, that’s been a challenge of a lot of conversations we’ve had with other independents.
Folwell: That makes sense and I think that that something that I hear quite a bit as well is competing with the national brands, competing from a digital stance as well at that scale can be very difficult. So, what are some of the ways that Allegiance helps agencies compete at scale and avoid some of these pitfalls?
Minor: Earlier I mentioned we’re in 14 states, forgive me, I think it’s 41 branches now, we just opened another one in the Carolinas so that right there gives us a footprint that maybe those prospects are looking for. So, that gets a better reach with those organizations you’re trying to partner with. Another piece is brand awareness. Number one is we’ve been in business for 20-plus years, just like some of the independents have as well. But we’ve got the footprint and the exposure to be known to a lot of companies out there who utilize staffing.
Now, to give perks to Kelly Services but Kelly Services has been around since, what, the ’40s? Well, I’m sorry, it was Kelly Girls back then. The reason I know that is because I read a book on Kelly Services and they’ve changed their name in the ’60s to Kelly Services. Like it or not, they were a household name brand for a lot of companies, a lot of people looking for work and so people know them. So, of course, not that people know Allegiance Staffing like Kelly Services or Target but, overall, if you’re not known, sometimes they won’t give you time of day.
And so, what we do is, number one, is our brand and marketing aspect nationwide as far as putting our name out there but the thing we’re really most proud of is some of the associations we partner with that actually partner with our client base. And so, we do speaking engagements, we do expos, halls, we do HR symposiums. And so, what we’re doing, we’re at these conferences that are attended by our clients. And so, number one, we want to know your client’s business. That’s what makes us really create that synergy. Number two, brand awareness. Like I said, we do our speaking engagements, not to be a commercial, but to bring resources and education to our clients and to a point that they look at us as a potential partner to bring ideas to help their business grow and flourish and handle some of their staffing and challenges.
And I think the last thing I’ll mention we’re pretty proud of as well is our Net Promoter Score. We’ve been participating with Net Promoter Score since 2001. And, since 2001, our average Net Promoter Score is 70%. ClearlyRated, which is a partner with the American Staffing Association, set a standard of 50 as the Net Promoter for best staffing. And so, we’ve always achieved 50 plus in our Net Promoter Score on the client side and the employee side. That speaks volumes especially in our value propositions and some of our conversations with prospects. Especially when the industry average, when you can literally pull the data from ClearlyRated and it shows, I think, the industry average, I think, is 18 or 19.
There’s some work to be done and we do provide a great service collectively as a whole, as an industry but, overall, these are results that are given by our clients nationwide, not just on a local level. That brings a little bit of oomph to some of our prospects that we know we’re doing and people like working for us or working with us.
Folwell: That’s a really incredible Net Promoter Score overall. I know one of the other challenges that I hear all the time, especially this year, especially right now, is getting new customer relationships, client sales, driving that new business with the market the way it is. Do you have any examples or how has your sales team been able to open doors because of the existing relationships that you have in other markets?
Minor: I’ll mention one. We’re on a common platform, AviontéBOLD. And so, even though we’ve got these different entities within our organization, we’re still one common software platform. And so, what that allows our salespeople, it allows them…. Well, number one, AviontéBOLD, our staffing software which is our CRM and our staffing software, it is front to back office and so this software gives everybody across the nation visibility into our database. So, if I am calling on ABC Plastic in Charlotte, North Carolina and they come up in our system and I see, “Oh, wow, Edgar’s doing business with them in El Paso,” and so you can actually go into the system and you can look at the history of that account. You can see from the lead in aspect to the valuation of options, recognition of needs, discovery calls, the value propositions that were delivered, you can see some of the volume they’re actually performing in El Paso.
And so, what happens is it gives them somewhat of a template. I’ll go, “Okay, this is the steps that this salesperson took in El Paso so I’m going to possibly follow those same steps or I’m going to pick up the phone and call Edgar.”
“Hey, Edgar, I’m working on this account here, I see you’re doing business with them.”
“Oh, yeah, it’s a great account. Actually, I can get with David and he’ll probably give you a reference.”
And so, you’ve got one of their sister branches actually giving them a reference and then, to the prospect, that at least they had some proof of the services that were delivered. And so, that’s been the number-one contributor. A lot of our sales team success is sharing leads, sharing contacts and really honing in, looking into how they may have closed the business and how they may have engaged with the business.
That’s been very successful with us with some of the other software platforms we have as well. But that right there, you can’t really put a price tag on that. When you have visibility into a system that’s going across 14 states with thousands of clients, basically, that you can actually…. As a hit list as well saying, “Hey, oh, they’re at my system, I’m going ahead and create that as a prospect on my hit list because I’m doing business with them.” So, that right there, visibility has really been successful for us, for our team and they love it.
Folwell: That sounds like it’d be incredible. I know many salespeople that would love to be able to pull up a list of all of the customers that are being worked and that they’re currently working with in another market and be like, “Hey, we’re working with you over here in Charlotte, maybe you could use this in Chicago,” seems like an easy path forward to drive something new.
Folwell: That’s great. Another challenge that we’ve discussed is the importance of having a network to discuss staffing challenges with. How has your own network supported you in your work?
Minor: Well, there are partners. I’ll start with number one. Our network of our internal partners that we relied on heavily to actually help us through some changes the industry was going through with ACA. I think everybody remembers when ACA was created and what the impact it was going to have on the staffing industry and everybody’s just scrambling, wondering, “What in the world are we going to do? How are we going to pay for this? How are we going to pass this cost on to our clients? They’re not going to pay for it.” So, there’s a lot of internal discussions, resources that all of us had to call upon and really help us work through the challenges we had. And so, with that being said, a lot of times, that’s why we have partner meetings three times a year. And what it is we are focused on what’s going to help us evolve, what’s going to help us protect our business and what’s the future look like.
And so, three times a year, we lock ourselves up in a room and we discuss these challenges, our internal challenges with our team, our sales challenges, our client challenges, cost challenges. It allows us to have our own little business group basically that are like-minded individuals. Now, it can be challenging because we’re all A personalities so we don’t ever agree. And there’s been some interesting conversation but it’s healthy conversation and they have a mutual respect for everybody in the partnership group and everybody’s on different levels of revenue. It’s a smaller revenue, it allows the network to see a partner who’s maybe doing six times the amount that they’re doing, how did you get there? How did you create your infrastructure? How did you grow? How did you get there? How did you take care of your workers’ comp? How did you take care of your payrolling? How did you do this? How did you do that?
And so, a lot of times, you’ve got this built-in resource here that’s free of charge basically because they’re all friends. They’re all partners and friends and so that’s really helped our organizations to really support us. I mentioned ACA a while ago as well but those couple of things that we had challenges that we really discussed in our network to help shape us and strategize is ACA, we had to figure out how we’re going to manage that. The pandemic.
Folwell: Great time to have a network of like-minded people to talk through the situation.
Minor: Yeah, we had no clue what to do. How do we keep our doors open? How do we protect our employees? How do we protect our clients? How do we stay out of legal trouble? How do we deal with OSHA? That was a big challenge for us, some of that sometime, too. And then legislation as far as rules and things are happening in different states. You got Chicago, you got New Jersey, you got California, you’ve got things that we were having to manage that we know are coming to other states. And so, we’re preparing for those and how are we handling our business in those states with those obstacles we come across sometimes with those laws and then how do we manage those in the states that don’t have those challenges but how do we prepare for those.
So, I just wanted to expand on that as far as the top three things here lately in the last couple of years. That really has been a topic discussion that our own internal network really came together strong and helped us navigate through those seasons.
Folwell: One of the areas where we want to talk about next, I think, is actually probably related to this, maybe a challenge that you’ve even talked about internally is the digital transformation, your tech stack and what technology to implement, what technology can you afford. And I was just wondering how, as a group, Allegiance helps your partners get access to some of the tech or make those tech choices for your group?
Minor: I would say the cost to acquire technology and implement technology. There’s so much out there available to really explore. And when you’re independent with maybe 10 employees, you may not have the purchasing power of 300 users. So, as you said, we’re on common software platforms and some of the relationships that we engage in, it’s not just me and Houston, it’s all of us and so you take us all or you get none of us. It’s pretty much our attitude. So, we may be a little complex at times but we deal and partner with good staffing software technologies that bring solutions to the table.
Folwell: One other question about the power of the network that you have at Allegiance Staffing is how does this all come together, how do you guys actually get value out of the network? A lot of people say, “Hey, you joined this group and you’re going to have this network effect.” How does that happen for you guys?
Minor: Well, we mentioned about the partners getting together three times a year. But the cool thing we have is we bring our sales team together, our operation team together as well. We have two national sales conferences a year, one in January and one in June, and we bring all the salespeople in from across the country. So, even though they work for this partner, we are still creating that bond and we’re still one company. You still know Edgar in El Paso and Alan still is in Charlotte and knows Edgar and they talk together. They may work for two different partners but they still know each other, they still share leads, they have a bond, they have a relationship and they’re friends.
So, when you are independent and you have a sales team of one or two individuals, having that network allows them to flourish and allow them to grow and having a network of someone to talk to versus just themselves and maybe their owner basically. So, giving them that access to a network. And those conferences we have annually. January is our big conference, we bring in top-notch speakers such as… we brought in the Henna Pryor, Will Matthews, we brought in consulting groups like Butler Street, A name speakers coming in and bringing tools to help our employees to be successful and investing in them and we do our award ceremony. So, even though they’re selling for this market over here, we are still tracking sales nationally and creating that competition so they can see who’s the top salesperson in the country and who’s the top number one, number two, number three and, of course, who’s in the 10 million range, who’s in the 5 million range, who’s in the 3 million range.
And then we have our recognition of services. And so, when we do our Net Promoter Scores, those are celebrated as well from branches who have had uptick Net Promoter Score year over year and so we recognize those as well. So, those are so powerful and they love it. We’re three, three and a half days and it’s teambuilding, speakers, discussing technology, awards dinners and of course we let them have fun as well so they’re having a good time. And so, probably a little bit over 10 years ago, we created an operations summit and what that did is we brought the operation people in as well. People know, in staffing, you can’t just shut your doors down and bring everybody to a national conference, you still have to run your company.
So, every April and the latter part of the year too, we do an operations conference and we bring in our branch managers, we bring in our area managers, we bring in senior recruiters, up-and-coming senior recruiters who are being identified as leaders or branch managers for expansion. And so, we’re bringing in technology partners to discuss how the technology is evolving and things are coming ahead, leadership programs or bringing in speakers as well. And we’re creating that bond even with the operation folks who have a network of managers to call when they’re having challenges with their team. Yes, you can go to your owner and speak about it but, a lot of times, if you have another couple of branch managers to bounce an idea off of regarding recruiting or coaching or just technology or software thing that you’re maybe having a challenge with but this branch seems to be doing very well on how they’re operating this piece of the technology, so it allows that.
So, it’s so fun to bring our employees together and our partners meet as well in those meetings, it’s good. I said, overall, it’s been very successful, people look forward to it, it motivates them. There’s a carrot there too so you got to hit your goals, you got to hit your quotas. And so, the best thing for the partners is you’re sharing that cost. If you’re an independent, you’re an individual, you couldn’t bring in these headliner speakers and pay… you could pay for it but it’d be a large investment. So, now, you can bring in these individuals to speak to your team and share that cost. That’s powerful and it pays in fold when you’re investing in your team because you want them to grow with you and you’re trying to create that retention within your own organization which is challenging right now. So, people want to be part of something bigger than a one-city branch or two-city branch, right?
Folwell: Absolutely. I imagine it helps with hiring, bringing on talent and developing talent in a very meaningful way. That’s really great. Going to jump into the last section that always a hot topic, something we talk about on this podcast quite a bit is technology and I know deciding what tech to bring into your tech stack and deciding how to do that can be very challenging and then also the cost of acquiring tech is something that can be hard for small business owners. Could you tell me a little bit about how Allegiance works with your partners to help when it comes to access to technology?
Minor: I’ll go back to 2018, we partnered with AviontéBOLD and it was a monumental move for us. The partnership created a software committee to go seek out the best staffing software partner for Allegiance Staffing. And at that time, we were operating off of seven different platforms so you can imagine the magnitude of that project for any staffing software company to take us on. Comparing seven different others to another one and trying to see how’s it similarity, how’s it going to bring more value to us, not to mention we’re a staffing software company having to implement seven different staffing softwares into one. But when you choose a staffing software, that’s the lifeline of your organization. Choosing the wrong software platform can really cripple your organization.
And so, that was, number one, one of the things that collectively, as a group, we did of choosing a software. So, having these other great minds together and picking apart things with all these different companies that we were trying to figure out what was best for us and best for the organization and best for the growth. Having that ability with our partnership and navigating through all these different software, it could be a challenge for someone not having a network or having a change management consultant to help you through that which could cost you quite a bit as well to try to point you in the right direction to make sure that you’re being sold a really good product.
And that trickled down to all of our other staffing software partners that we have. It ranged from Staffing Referrals, it ranged from Sense, I mentioned AviontéBOLD, you’ve got your Experian…Credit that really helps us out, we got our WorkN partnership with the app. And so, those, Staffing Referrals, I think I mentioned them as well. Having a committee and having a group to really assess all these platforms really gives all of us the confidence that we made a good choice. And with that being a choice, we mentioned earlier, buying power. The cost to acquire and implement was pretty substantial for all of us, we were able to share in the cost of that and really build something tremendous and great for us. It really eased the investment and the amount of users we have. We got 300-plus users, compared to someone who may have 10, so you can imagine the price break you get on your volume.
Folwell: Yeah. I think the price break and then, just independent staffing owners, there’s a lot of technology that would be outside of the budget. And I think you and I have talked offline about this but you mentioned earlier you can’t let a full-time employee necessarily spend two months or even a few days away from the office if you have a small independent office. The time it takes to implement some of this software can be pretty significant and it can take a dedicated resource so I think that could be a pretty big challenge as well, which I think you guys probably help address in a meaningful way. That might actually be your role.
Minor: Yeah, that implementation process, I was heading that up and that was part of my role, as I mentioned earlier, the Roger Goodell of the group. There was a lot of hate email, a lot of threatening phone calls and the standing joke in my house to my wife, “I’m having an affair, her name is Avionté.” Because anybody who’s gone through an implementation, it’s a lot. And especially when you’re doing front and back office, you have to make sure everything’s in line. At the end of the day, we got to make sure our 941 deposits are right, our employees paychecks are correct, we got to make sure that our due diligence is done. But overall, collectively as a group, we were able to really test the program out and test it out and make sure things are operating the way they should, it’s good.
And so, as we grow, through this process, we learned what change management truly is and which is very important for a new organization when you’re going through any software implementation or you’re trying to change in your organization. But the advantage we have, there’s so much coming our way. We’ve got so much more technology that’s being exposed to us. We have Staffing World coming up, just an amount of opportunity to see what works best for your organization and how we’ve approached things now is because of our size and our knowledge and the willingness of our partners group and having technology-savvy folks within markets versus relying on one person in your branch. We can start focusing on proof of concept to a point that allows us to try this platform out in Detroit, Michigan and see if it works for our organization especially and really truly test it and learn from it and how we deploy it nationwide.
And so, that is very beneficial versus trying to roll something out across the board with everybody at once. That’s been our direction now with any rollouts of software, having these key individuals across the country who have the knowledge and technology savvy. Like I said, not everybody has the budget for a chief technology officer and so, at times, having great software partners and having this network of folks across the country to deploy these and assist our sister branches and our other partners is pretty powerful.
Folwell: That’s great. Can you tell me just a little bit about… I know we’ve talked about this on the technology front quite a bit here but how is this supporting your operations overall? I know you said it’s the lifeblood of your organization but how are the tech choices you make helping you guys from an operational perspective?
Minor: When we first chose the software companies that we partnered with, our intent was to allow technology to help us explore more verticals. We don’t turn down any opportunity when it comes to staffing. So, I know I mentioned earlier that we were 80/20, we’re light industrial and 20% other, we’re all gradually trying to shift that number a little bit more. And so, having the right software to allow us to explore more verticals so we can explore outside the blue collar world as well. And it’s allowed us to continue that journey and, gradually, we’re starting to make that move and starting to even out that percentage in the next two years of our book of business. It allows us to grow without adding too much overhead. Our goal is not to have technology replace people, our goal is to have technology help our internal staff provide better service to our clients.
So, if we can take some of the mundane and tedious work out of the day-to-day operation so they can spend more time helping our clients and our associates, that’s more powerful to us than anything else. And so, traditionally, you’re going to add more overhead as you grow but we can add less overhead and compensate better internally because technology is allowing us to take care of our employees internally and take care of our clients. And like I said, the big key there at the end of the day is we’re in the people business and the last thing we want is to let technology take us out of the people business.
We’ve got the technology today to be an e-staffing company and be an Uber. Maybe there’s a place for that, we have the ability to do that but that’s not who we are. We still want to utilize the technology and still have the brick and mortar and give our associates people to talk to, give our clients an option to vet our employees out a little bit better because of our staff, utilizing technology to find the staff faster and quicker so we can actually place those individuals in front of our clients for an interview or place them on a job. That’s something that we’re still going to stay true to because we’ve seen both sides and we see the positives and negatives on both sides and we see more positives of keeping the people and the people business but using technology in a way that helps us internally.
Folwell: That all sounds really great. Shifting gears again, last question I’ve got for you before we’re going to jump into the personal side of this. Looking forward, what are some of the key trends or shifts that you see coming in the staffing industry?
Minor: Well, I think we’ve mentioned technology many times already.
Folwell: Yeah, yeah. Technology comes up no matter what. It’s always consistent in conversations.
Minor: Yeah, it is. There’s so much out there. Right now, you can’t ignore it. Just like I say, staffing’s a necessary evil, technology a necessary evil so you gotta have it. It’s just multiplying so crazy right now. And I mentioned all our partners we have right now. Like I said, we’ve got Avionté, we got Sense and Staffing Referrals and WorkN and AI. We got ChatBot, ChatGPT. And so, now, when you look at all this different technology, how do you incorporate that into your business and does it make sense for your business.
And I think that’s so challenging for a lot of staffing companies right now because it’s coming at you so fast and you’re scared to get left behind but you don’t want to make the wrong decision. That goes back to how we approach things as a group, how we do things because it’s always out there, the shiny object. You say, “Oh, I want this, I want that,” and you have to just take a step back and really assess it and understand how does it affect your bottom line which is, at the end of the day, what keeps us in business and how it affects our employees.
Another trend that we are trying to adjust to is, the staffing industry is a very unique industry. It’s a very rewarding industry. We change people’s lives every day, we give people a career opportunity, we provide an income for them and their family, we get to help our clients meet their business goals. Those are things that drive us in this industry and why we are into this industry. There’s always a joke that says basically, “If you’ve been in this industry for over five years, you’re crazy because it’s so much.” It can be stressful, it could be rewarding but, those things I mentioned a while ago, we impact people’s lives and that’s part of who we are as Allegiance Staffing is how do we continue to make those steps impact people’s lives.
But what’s happening with that is we have to teach incoming entry-level employees into the industry. No one’s beating down the door to get into staffing because all they hear is the staffing challenges and the issues with staffing challenges, trying to find people, there’s employee shortages, you’ve got the strike going on right now and so it could be very intimidating to come into the industry. We’re focused on developing our own talent and really create a career trajectory within our own organization so people can actually have a ladder to success. And I’m not going to say everybody’s going to have that experience that I’ve had that I’ve been so fortunate and blessed to have from where I started and where I’m at now, but our goal is to get them as high as possible in the organization.
I will say the other trend which is really a challenging one right now, for sure, because of all the changes since the pandemic and pay rates going up, costs of direct labor, costs increasing for our clients, especially when they see… we’re one of the top expenditures on our client’s P&L, direct labor cost is up there. You have to have labor to get your product out the door and take care of your clients. We have to work harder now to show value in the services that we actually provide for our clients versus being considered a transactional vendor. And so, that shouldn’t happen right now because it’s tough out there right now and everybody in procurement and our clients and the CFOs and GMs, they have financial responsibility to the organization and we understand that and we get that.
And so, we have to show a differentiator with Allegiance Staffing and maybe other staffing industries and how we bring more value to your organization and how we can save you money which is… everybody’s saying, “How do you save me money?” Well, if I can cut your turnover and increase your retention and provide you better quality workers, that should give you a better output, taking care of your client and maybe reduce your headcount. We have to really strive to show the difference. There’s a lot of staffing companies out there, there’s a lot of good staffing companies, you have to provide a great service to prospects that we go out there as well and there’s some that are so-so, just call it what it is. But we have to really show the value because we’re a needed service but we do have costs and we do have overhead and we are for profit.
So, I think those three right there but the last one on trend and for us to continue to show value is up there, for sure, with our client base.
Folwell: Yeah, absolutely. Especially this year.
Minor: The uncertainty, right? We totally get it but we have an obligation to show a difference and show the clients why especially with business with Allegiance Staffing or any staffing firm. Like I said, you got to show a value in the service you provide, if not, then make them a believer that we’re here to help.
Folwell: Absolutely. And with that, let’s go ahead and jump into the speed questions, the personal side of things. What advice do you wish you were given when you entered the staffing industry?
Minor: I’ll redirect the question a little bit. The advice that was given to me when I entered the staffing industry at a young age was you’re going to be exposed to a lot of different people, a lot of different scenarios, a lot of different clients and you need to understand their purpose and what they’re trying to accomplish, from your employees and from your clients, and be kind. No matter how frustrated you get with the client, how frustrated you get with the employee, always be kind. Your purpose is to bring success to people on all levels.
I still believe that wholeheartedly because that’s the impact of what we provide in the service and, like I said, that comes from the heart as far as just keeping the people business but I like it. I love people. I love talking to people, I love challenges, I love seeing the environments we get to be a part of, it’s just a fun industry.
Folwell: I love that answer and I’d also add that I think it’s one of the better and also more common answers from leaders that are in the industry is, I think, being empathetic and I’m just going to second it and double down there. I think it’s a really great approach to doing business and I think it shows the number of leaders that come on here that is tying back to empathy as a core part of it, it shows the importance of that to end up being in the role that you’re in today which is really great.
The next question I’ve got for you is, in the last five years, what new belief, behavior or habit has most improved your life?
Minor: It may tie into what I just said a while ago. I would say I worked on my own behavior when it comes to listening to other people’s opinions. And I think my kids are what really taught me, honestly. Having the generation of being a younger generation and understanding their perspective and how they view the world and how they view change and how they view life. I think we’re all faced with that, the different generations in our society right now. And so, you just have to listen, take their perspective and try to understand it as best as possible.
Doesn’t mean you have to agree with it, but it’s something that, I guess the word I’ll use, some are very passionate about their beliefs and their opinions or statements and so, no matter what you believe in those conversations, when you’re hearing their perspective, there’s still something to be learned from that and they help us as an organization when we’re in the people business.
So, you have to open your ears, you have to listen, you can’t just close your ears and say, “They don’t know what they’re talking about.” You can’t take that attitude these days. It’s to protect your company and it’s to protect your image. You have to understand the workforce, the employees, and the society.
Folwell: That’s great. Last question I’ve got for you is what is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? Could be an investment of money, time, energy, et cetera.
Minor: I would say my health and my mind. Focusing on just trying to stay healthy, keep my mind right, invest in educational classes, health, gym, nutrients, dieticians, but overall health in general. I said overall, if you keep your mind right and your body right, it’s going to help you be a better leader. We all know this industry can be somewhat stressful at times, it can take a toll on you. So, I’ve learned that, in the 30 years I’ve been in this industry, your health and your mind, you got to invest in it however you choose as an individual. If it’s working out, gym and dietician or educational resources, executive coaches, there’s not really a wrong investment you can make in yourself that’s going to help you be a better leader, better person, better husband, better father.
Folwell: Great answer. I really appreciate having you on today, some really good conversation. Any closing thoughts that you’d like to leave the audience with?
Minor: No, it was fun. I appreciate the opportunity, David. I’ll close out again. I know I mentioned this earlier, I really love our industry and I know I mentioned this earlier, but we change people’s lives and I’ve been so fortunate to be a part of change with my own team, my clients, my staff. Privy to be a part of associations such as American Staffing Association, my state chapters as well, that brought so much resources and allow me to meet so many great people in this industry, colleagues of mine to be able to network and call upon and really solidify what I’ve thought all these years that we’re a great industry, we provide a great service and a lot of good group of people in this industry that do a lot of good. I think I’ll close out with that. I love the industry.
Folwell: Me, too. Thanks for being on, Danny. It’s really good chatting with you and we’ll talk soon.
Minor: Awesome. Thank you, David.