If you had asked Mary Springer in college if she wanted to own her own business, she would have told you no. At the time, she was preparing herself to climb the corporate ladder, most likely in the area of finance. Upon reflection, she has always been metrics-driven and self-motivated, which are two vital skills for any business owner.
Upon graduation from Purdue University, armed with a degree in financial planning, she moved to Ft. Wayne to start a management training program to become director of finance for an educational institution. While she enjoyed the management aspect of the job, Mary was eager to move back to Indianapolis. Moving back without a job would be tough, so she found a new job in a way that many people get a job – through networking. A college friend had recently talked to a national staffing firm with a local presence in Indy and thought the job sounded like a good fit for Mary, not him. He was right and Mary worked at that staffing firm for six years and then was recruited to open the temporary staffing division at a new, locally based staffing firm that was just starting out – That’s Good HR.
There are some aspects of the staffing business that have remained the same since 2000, but many have changed. In 2000, there was an online job board – Monster.com, while today there are plenty to choose from like Indeed, Zip Recruiter, LinkedIn, Career Builder and more. The online job boards have provided access to more people, but everyone has that access. Mary recruited at college fairs in her early days, a practice that is still done today. And the number one thing that has stayed the same through the years is the fact that staffing is about connecting the right person with the right job at the right time.
Social media has also changed the landscape of staffing. As Mary points out, back in the day when you put an ad in the paper, the people responding didn’t have a LinkedIn profile that was readily available – not to mention that they were still reading a printed newspaper regularly. Online job boards and social media sites like Facebook have changed how we talk to people. In fact, That’s Good HR has only been on Facebook for the past decade! In today’s fast-paced world with technology at your fingertips, Mary remarked that finding that personal connection is harder, but she’s up for the challenge.
The biggest challenge in the past 20 years was the recession of 2008, as it was for many businesses. In theory, the staffing industry is “recession-proof” since when the market goes down, many companies hire contractors and there are more people looking for work, which is good news for staffing firms. But the recession of 2008 was different and forced more than 170,000 small businesses to close during the first two years of the recession. That’s Good HR was forced to reduce staff and do more with less resources but was able to not only survive but thrive amid a dismal economy.
As That’s Good HR continues to reinvent itself to meet the changing needs of the local landscape, Mary looks forward to what the next 20 years will bring. And the end of the day she is most proud of building a place where people want to come to work and help people find jobs to achieve their goals every day. Cheers to 20 years!
Do you have a story about how That’s Good HR has impacted you in the past 20 years? Let us know as we are sharing staffing stories all year long as part of our 20th Anniversary Celebration!