The Truth About My Assumptions


The Truth About My Assumptions
By: Lisa Tracy

I have spent most of my adult life in management, restaurant management to be specific. I can remember so clearly the parts I loved, along with the parts I loathed. Management requires extreme multitasking and so often, things get pushed to the side for another day, and possibly never touched again at all. The one thing I always tried to prioritize was people. These people, no matter how small their responsibilities are, run your business, the day to day operations, filling in all the cracks and crevices that are inevitably unseen by management. They are the faces on the front lines. They create your atmosphere. They build your culture.

In leadership and management, your strongest efforts for success will always fall short without the buy-in of your people.

They outnumber you.

I would like to say that I successfully prioritized people, but the truth is, I never had the time to. Looking back, I see myself in a circus, standing on a stage, juggling fire-balls of all different shapes and sizes – budgets, operations, human resources, client and vendor relationships, product quality, repairs & maintenance, and insert an unexpected task of the day. The list goes on and on and on and on.

Sound familiar?

There’s no shame in admitting it.

I think we all play a part in this familiar circus, no matter what we do for a living. There are highs and lows, rewards and losses, and at the end of the day, we find a way to feel a sense of fulfillment because we gave it our all. But the reality is, most of us spend a work day giving a minimum of 10 things a maximum of 10%. With so many things on our to-do list, paired with the ever-changing business demands unique to each industry, how could we ever be able to stand on that circus stage, even as award winning performers, and confidently say we gave our people 100%? I was humbled to admit to myself that on the good days, I was only able to give people 10% of my time at work.

I had never heard of Priority Staffing Group before I interviewed with them. I had never even considered this as a career option. I was curious, but somewhat skeptical of accepting a position with a staffing agency, caught between my love for staffing and the words I associated with an agency – “low quality, short term, temp employment.” I have no idea where I got that perception from, but I imagine these are common association words from people, like myself, with little to no first hand experience. After all, how many of us have actually partnered with a staffing agency? My best guess is that we all get our perceptions from the few who have been unsatisfied with their experience from a low quality agency. It will always be true that bad news travels fast.

So what happened when I accepted this position and began to dig into this industry? I will tell you, I found myself completely wrong in my assumptions and unaware of the true rewards in partnering with a high quality staffing agency. High quality is the key word here. In a few shorts weeks, my association words would change drastically to “valuable resource, high quality solutions, long term partnerships.” I found that this industry provided a way for any kind of business to give 100% to their people. It’s how you gain an extra set of hands, a business partner, a focused expert in “your people.” It’s how you take something off your plate, and simultaneously guarantee the success of your existing and future employees. I have been completely blown away with my experience, serving as a resource to match local businesses of all sizes with their ideal candidates. While we do offer temporary services, it is not all that we do.

Temp work is a perk for your busy seasons and/or temporary needs. It is not the definition or the ceiling of our partnership.

So, I keep asking myself – How did I get this industry so wrong? How many other people believe the same things I once did? How can I change that?

Over the next few weeks, I am going to share information about a company that is worth knowing about, and an overall industry that is all too often misunderstood and undervalued. If you have any specific topics/questions you would like to be included, send me a message!

Lisa Tracy Account Manager – Priority Staffing Group – Middle Tennessee


How to Attract New Talent




If you’re a business owner, HR manager, or anyone who makes hiring decisions, you’ve probably noticed the labor market is a little tight. If you’re asking how to increase employment in the current tight labor market, you need to consider more than one answer; you need to rethink the whole hiring process.


There are currently more available job positions than there are candidates looking for work. Many companies continue to be short-staffed even though the unemployment rate keeps dropping. Currently, the national unemployment rate is 3.8%, and in areas like Nashville, Tennessee, where one of our offices resides, the unemployment rate has dropped as low as 2.5% recently. And those who are seeking work have more options than they have ever had before.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 6.2 million people are unemployed. So why aren’t we able to put them to work? It is evident that our companies need to make a few changes in their hiring process to combat this problem.


Keep reading for three tips to attract new talent to your business:


1. Shorten Requirements

One reason you’re not getting applicants for your open position is that the candidates don’t have the exact requirements the company is looking for and skip over to another company hiring for the same position.

Recent college graduates are a great talent pool to dive in to. It is impossible for a new graduate to have five years’ experience in their field already, but it won’t make them any less hardworking.

On the other hand, someone who did not finish college, but has worked five years already, might be the perfect fit for your company, college degree or not.

In this market, HR needs to rethink candidates’ requirements. Start thinking outside the company’s box and look for those candidates that they wouldn’t have considered before. Many will have either the skills or real-world experience you need to train them into the position.

So, ask yourself, do you need that job requirement if you’re able to mold them to fit your company? It could work out in your favor to hire someone new.


2. Offer Unique Benefits

With so many opportunities for the same position, it becomes even more important for companies to offer that little extra to put you at the top for job seekers. Like Google, who offers 18 weeks of paid maternity leave and 6 weeks paid paternity leave. SAS, a software company, provides scholarships for their employees’ children.

Out of the ordinary benefits that really attract recent college graduated include student loan repayment assistance and unlimited PTO. And while letting your employees take off as much as they want sounds scary, the companies who have implemented it see better productivity while their employees are working and most don’t take more time off than they usually would. It really decreases the stress of work because if they’re feeling burned out they’re able to take a day or two when needed and return to work refreshed and ready to work at peak performance again.

If you’re a small business that really can’t afford those monetary benefits, even offering a more flexible work environment, allowing workers to choose their schedule (around rush hour traffic or to coincide with their daycare hours) the number of candidates who apply, accept your offer, and stay at your company will increase.


3. Increase Wages

It is difficult, as an employer, to see your payroll money continue to rise. But, when you consider that the economy is good and inflation is happening, the money we’re paying our employees does not seem proportional. The federal minimum wage was last raised in 2009 when it rose from $6.55 to $7.25 per hour. And while it was possible to survive on a $20,000 salary ten years ago, in many areas that is not doable anymore.

This doesn’t mean you have to increase wages all at once or well beyond your means, but making a change to pay a more desirable wage is a great way to attract and retain talent, saving you money in the long run.

A higher initial salary makes a job seem more attractive and will certainly increase the number of qualified applicants you see.


Priority Staffing Group is a small business and advocates for other small businesses’ success. We offer consulting services to anyone who is interested in learning more about hiring and retaining talent.

Contact any of our offices for more information.

Marion, IL – (618) 969-8800

Vandalia, IL – (618) 283-9533

Murfreesboro, TN – (615) 295-2127

Attracting the Right Talent

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Now is a great time for business! When the sun is shining and consumers venture out to frequent their favorite shops, many of us need to increase our staff to cover the higher demand.

But what do you do if the number of applicants you’re receiving isn’t as great as the number of openings you have?


Since unemployment is lower now than it has been in years, it’s increasingly more difficult to find the right candidates for your company.


There are a few things you can do to attract the right talent:


1) Increase wages

While it’s not feasible for everyone to up their pay scale, if you can manage to bump it up some, it will not only attract more applicants, but more experienced applicants.


2) Offer Benefits

Paid time off, health insurance, 401K plans, gym memberships, lunch on Fridays…

While some of these don’t seem like much, if you can offer just a little extra, you’re more likely to get a higher number of applications. If you are a small business and can’t offer health insurance, maybe try paying for annual flu shots for your employees. If you’re making the effort, your employees will notice.


3) Get Referrals

One of the best ways to get good candidates is to ask your friends, family and current employees if they know anyone who needs a job or wants to transition to something new. Even if you don’t get any immediate hits, someone might show up later when you’re hiring again. If you don’t ask, you won’t get an answer!


Lastly, if you need only temporary employees for a season, or want someone else to attract and hire talent while you run your business, Priority Staffing Group has years of experience placing individuals in both temporary jobs and in long-term careers.


We can give you a free consultation if you request a meeting from the location closest to you.

Marion, IL: 618-969-8800 | Vandalia, IL: 618-283-9533 | Murfreesboro, TN: 615-295-2127