Interviews

Interview with Jennifer Ménard-Shand & Alison Hernández

Do you consider Online Staffing Platforms as a threat to your current business? What advice would you give to a staffing operator to stay competitive with new Online Platforms entering the staffing market?

Online staffing platforms are not a threat - they are a tool! No online platform or bot can ever take the place of true human connection, but these are tools that can be leveraged by any staffing firm to stay competitive, streamline operations and reach new audiences. We are going that way as well - stay tuned for our app which is in development, and just remember that as long as your differentiators and purpose are unique and solid, no platform can render you obsolete. "Be who you are, everyone else is taken."

How important are MSPs for your business? What is your advice to staffing operators when considering participating in an MSP program?

We definitely believe in outsourcing what you can, focusing on what you are great at and leaving the rest to the experts - if done right this saves time, effort and costs and boosts scaleability. Regarding the choice to participate - there's a mix of great MSP models out there and others need a lot of work. Do your homework, and ensure there's ROI before you become a vendor or run the program yourself. A system is only as good as the people who operate and manage it. The benefits have to outweigh the risks involved with taking the human connection out of most steps in the process. For us, aligning with MSPs is only important if and when we're targeting clients in that space who are aligned with Staff Shop's mission and vision.

What is your view on remote work in staffing?

Since its inception and well before the pandemic, Staff Shop Inc has been a proud telecommuting work environment. We work from remote office spaces, our homes, meet regularly in shared work spaces, and attend meetings and conferences via video and web applications in line with its ongoing goal of Elevating People, Business and Experiences!

This process is in place for the following reasons and considerations:

  • Remote work environments allow for flexibility in attracting and retaining talent with fewer geographical restrictions, giving Staff Shop Inc. access to a much more widespread and deep pool of potential candidates.
  • Moving away from traditional office spaces is in alignment with the Company’s environmental statement. It allows for a reduced carbon footprint by significantly reducing commuter vehicle use, energy use in the workplace, and other waste that comes from the daily operation of an office facility such as after-hours security lighting and loss prevention systems.
  • In today’s marketplace, offering a remote work environment allows Staff Shop Inc. to stay competitive in the market and foster a healthy and flexible work/life balance for its staff - catering to a diverse range of working styles and preferred working arrangements across North America and the Carribean.
  • Employees report a higher level of efficiency when they are not spending time daily traveling to/from a designated working location.
  • Company overhead costs are significantly reduced without the monthly cost of a lease for an office space, allowing more funds to be dedicated to the growth of the business through marketing. initiatives, software implementation and exercises in maintaining and enhancing employee morale
  • Candidates can more readily arrange interviews with us virtually, eliminating the travel expenses and scheduling conflicts that come with commuting to interview at an office location.

At Staff Shop Inc., we believe that remote working arrangements are the way of the future, and this trend is already becoming more and more common.

Are you considering any technology investments this year? What technology platforms would you recommend to other staffing operators?

We started development of our proprietary app in 2019. We realized that such a tool would be essential to keep our promise of always “Elevating people, business and experiences!” Our goal is to make the staffing process easy and enjoyable for all of those involved, and especially to be able to reach our Clients and candidates worldwide as we continue to expand. Many of our competitors have proprietary apps, especially in the hospitality space where our staffing roots are. We’ve been able to assess what has worked and what hasn’t, surveyed our Clients for their user experience feedback, and are launching something that will disrupt the status quo. For other staffing operators, we would advise the following - Your chosen technology platforms and partners are a key element of your value proposition and what makes you different. Choose them based on culture fit, their alignment with your own brand, and don’t ever forget to ask your Clients and Candidates what they’d like to see!

What is your go to place for news and advice on new trends in the staffing market?

We are members of the Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services, and are able to stay very connected with trends through their channels, as well as the SIA, and our partners and affiliates in the industry.

As an Indigenous-French-Canadian woman and entrepreneur, Jennifer dreamed of leading a purpose driven organization, from anywhere in the world - that employs top talent who are hungry to serve, grow and leave a legacy worth following. Staff Shop now provides the platform to keep that dream alive. After growing up in Northern Ontario with a heart for Hospitality, Jennifer made my mark in Staffing by joining The Bagg Group (now TalentWorld) in 2008, and excelling with one of Toronto's most trusted full-service recruitment firms since 1971. In 2013, she created Bagg @ Your Service - The Bagg Group's first Hospitality & Event division. In late 2018, she purchased my creation, and Staff Shop Inc. was born. “Our team is dedicated to Elevating People, Business & Experiences! across the globe. We value meaningful relationships, purposeful work and giving back.” Jennifer’s side hustle with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment since 2006 enables her to elevate Toronto Maple Leafs, Raptors and concert fan experiences, while providing fuel for Staff Shop. Laser focused on her loves and gifts: Leadership, Business, Hospitality and Staffing, driven by Faith-Passion-Freedom at her core, there is no limit to the positive impact Staff Shop can have on humanity. And that is what brings her joy and energy daily to do what she does best, and inspire others to reach their full potential.

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