It’s been five months, but the Arnold Group has finished renovating its headquarters at 530 S. Topeka and is throwing a party Tuesday.
The project was terrifically inconvenient, with employees having to work out of adjacent office space, said president Jill Staats, but it’s something the company has needed as it grew and reached out for new markets.
“It was all for a good cause, because they all got their own offices,” she said.
The company needed a high-tech conference room and private offices as it moved from a pure temp agency to include consulting, training and, more recently, professional placements.
The company, like the staffing industry in general, is snapping back after dropping off a cliff four years ago.
U.S. staffing companies employed an average of 2.86 million temporary and contract workers per day in the first quarter of 2013, up 2.9 percent from the same period last year, according to the American Staffing Association. The quarter marked 13 consecutive quarters of year-over-year staffing job growth since the recession ended in 2009.
Staats said her company is seeing growth of about 20 percent year over year.
The strongest demand is coming from manufacturers wary about hiring more full-time permanent staff members, because they are uncertain about the economy and fearful about the costs of health care requirements, she said.
The Arnold Group was founded in 1979 by Staats’ father and mother, George and Marion Arnold. Marion Arnold still works at the company.
Staats grew up in the business and took over in the 1990s.
It started as a franchise, Olsten Staffing, but when Olsten was sold, the company changed its name to Arnold Group.
Today, it has 13 full-time workers in Wichita and about that many in offices in Hutchinson, Winfield, Salina and Emporia. It has about 2,000 temporary employees.