Small Business

Small Business Spotlight: Staffing firm focuses on building relationships

Chris Rickerson started Elite Staffing Solutions in 2013.
Chris Rickerson started Elite Staffing Solutions in 2013. Eagle correspondent

Chris Rickerson isn’t one to set modest goals.

After his company, Elite Staffing Solutions, did what he says was just under $1.5 million in business in 2014, his goal this year is to double that.

“I’m pretty smart, I’m passionate, I’m driven,” he said. “I really think I can do $3 million.”

How?

“I beat on doors. I’m a door-beater.”

Rickerson, 34, launched Elite Staffing Solutions in the fall of 2013 after working as a sales representative for another staffing company for three and a half years.

“I did really, really well for those guys.”

A single father raising three children, Rickerson said he used to work as a truck dispatcher, a job that “didn’t play to my strong suit,” before going into business for himself. His first venture was running a banquet hall.

At Elite, Rickerson and two employees work in a modest office on Central near Grove, a location that he said gets a lot of foot traffic. He said he’s also part owner of another Elite location in Indianapolis.

Elite is diverse in the type of employment sectors it serves, he said, providing workers for such industries as construction, light industrial workers and equipment maintenance as well as lining up banquet servers and blackjack dealers.

About two-thirds of his business is placing “temporary-to-permanent” workers in jobs – that is, people who may eventually be hired full time if they work out.

“What I offer people is the ability to try people out,” he said. “Honestly, I do the same thing in my office. Why would you not try somebody before you marry them or become committed to them?”

About a quarter of his business is temporary workers. “Most of that is general labor where somebody says, ‘Hey, I need five guys right now.’ So I send them.”

The remainder are direct hires, in which Rickerson places a person in a permanent job.

“I really like direct hires. Direct hires are great.”

Rickerson attributes his success to the relationships he’s built with employers, an easy-to-use database he uses for potential workers and search engine optimization of his website. He said he’s also flexible when negotiating fees.

The staffing industry has grown because of economic uncertainty – businesses don’t want to commit to a permanent hire – and he doesn’t see demand slowing anytime soon, Rickerson said.

Now you know

Elite Staffing Solutions

Address: 2601 E. Central

Phone: 316-202-2082

Owner: Chris Rickerson

Website: wichitastaffing.com

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