Today we’re interviewing client business manager Josh Avin, happily celebrating five years at FootBridge! Before joining the staffing team, he was a Boston special police officer, followed by four years as an infantryman with the United States Army. Talk about a career change! Here, Josh explains what it’s like to work in the staffing industry and offers his advice for anyone considering making it a career.
Q: What were your recruiting goals when you first started at FootBridge, and how have they changed?
Josh: When I started at FootBridge, I aimed to learn the industry, particularly commercial construction, which often requires highly skilled candidates for capital projects. Once I got my feet wet and knew how impactful working in the staffing industry could be, my next goal was sales.
I was comfortable talking with others on the phone, so it was fun putting a system together that FootBridge taught me in combination with my own unique approach to staffing.
Q: What would you tell people thinking about transitioning from recruiting to sales in the staffing industry to sales?
Josh: Don’t give up; get what you put in – it’s a numbers game. When Joe Squires presented my call metrics, it seemed like a lot at first. But the system works, and you have to trust it. I’d also tell people to stay organized as making calls and keeping track can be overwhelming, but whatever you do, keep up the volume.
Q: How did your background in the military prepare you for working at FootBridge?
Josh: Everything in the Army was goal-driven. I had a task and needed to complete it. Sales and recruiting are very similar in that there are a certain number of jobs to fill, giving structure to the day.
Q: What do you like about FootBridge?
Josh: I have the flexibility to approach staffing sales my way. Although CEO and owner, Todd Springer, has built the team, he gives us the flexibility to take our approach to sales. Even when we do that, there’s synchronicity in that, as a team, we follow the same fundamentals. For instance, I don’t have to follow a strict outline every day and can go off-script which makes for a fun environment in which everyone is learning from one another while still working from the same values.
Also, I think everyone is good at their work, which impresses me. It’s enjoyable to work here. From the pieces of training that Joe does with new hires and the guidance I get from sales team members. I don’t ever feel like there is an obstacle we can’t overcome.
Q: What do you think clients like best about FootBridge?
Josh: We have a unique approach to working together in that it’s never a stressful transaction. At FootBridge, we are coming to companies in the position of wanting our help with their staffing requirements. We also want to be helpful and valuable, so I think energy and commercial construction companies consider us an asset to that extent.
Q: What do you think FootBridge does differently from other staffing firms?
Josh: The quality of clients and the work we present are important to us. We spend a lot of time and effort sending suitable candidates to clients because we don’t want to waste their time. Many companies we talk to say other companies tell them they can help but, in the end, don’t. I take that personally and want to make sure if we commit to telling a manager that we can help them, we do.
As a staffing firm, we also do an outstanding job of providing options to companies. We take more time putting candidates through our process, which includes multiple screenings before we place them in front of the client—doing so is representative of our quality and having a better understanding of what the client wants. We also take more time to be consistent in the industries for which we work. We’re all in this together, providing a better solution for the client.
Q: When did you know FootBridge was the right fit for you?
Josh: From the beginning, my team never stopped believing in me, even though transitioning from recruiting to sales was challenging. They were my supporters, constantly motivating my slow progression. But also, it was evident they cared about my success and not just my output.
Q: What do you think it takes to succeed in the staffing industry?
Josh: Believe in the leadership team because there will be an overwhelming period of guidance. Second, stay well organized; lastly, you need grit and thick skin. You’ll be on the phone with people you’ve never spoken to, having hard conversations, so there will be ups and downs. You have to be able to get knocked down and get back up. Just like in the army, having a good team to fall back on makes all the difference.
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