How to build a winning team nationwide


How to build a winning team nationwide

How do you build a high performing team of highly motivated self-starters even when they are spread out geographically? At SaaM, we often hear of this challenge from organizations with national footprints and the solution is not what you might expect. 

We recently had the opportunity to hear from one of our clients who leads a toxicology laboratory sales team. He told us, more than anything else, the key factor for building client relationships and driving revenues has been the underlying culture of his team.

Listen to what he says:

According to the Harvard Business Review, “Leading with culture may be among the few sources of sustainable competitive advantage left to companies today.” The famous Peter Drucker quote, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” has become a rallying cry for many teams trying to accomplish their goals

Put simply, a strong culture allows the entire team to work from the same playbook.

Teammates can focus on optimizing and growing instead of establishing a foundation. Few things are as important for employee retention than ensuring that the “big picture” objectives and day-to-day working environment align with the goals and personality of the employee. 

Ensuring a new hire is a strong cultural fit can be even more difficult when building a national team. When working with new clients, we are occasionally asked early in the conversation how we are able to prioritize culture fit on nationwide placements. 

The truth is that a large majority of the placements Staffing as a Mission completes are spread across the country. In fact, as of last year we have placed candidates and employees in 34 states. 


When an organization enters a period of rapid growth, it often requires that the team be hired at the same time. Scaling up the number of employees without retaining the core cultural values of the organization can be detrimental to the company’s success. This is particularly challenging when open positions are distributed across the country. 

As a staffing agency based in Nashville, all of our recruiters bring years of national expertise - hiring and building teams across all parts of the country. We reiterate with our clients that we offer a local approach but provide national reach for all of our clients - offering the benefits of national staffing firm with the feel and relationship focus of a local, boutique staffing agency.

As a mission driven staffing agency, the key to delivering staffing excellence for our clients means accomplishing at least three things: 

  1. In order to understand thoroughly what a client is looking for in a candidate, we have to look deeper than the opening itself. Anybody can look at a job description and extract keywords to search resumes, but it’s not that simple. How does the organization’s larger purpose align with the prospective candidate’s long term goals?

  2. A recruiting partner must take the time to understand the industry, what niche the business is in, the working environment, the existing team dynamics, and specifically how the profile of your existing successful employees fit within that space. This means we essentially embed ourselves within the organization so that we can base our search upon the DNA of the company, its current employees and its industry. 

  3. Fundamentally, our approach is about caring. It’s getting to know both the client and the candidate. Even when a candidate does not match the current opening, we still take the opportunity to get to know them. We never know when a better match may present itself. That is SaaM’s ultimate mission: to help others fulfill their purpose.

In the end, we spend the same amount of focused time for a placement at a client that we would for an internal hire. It’s the same thing for us. Only after listening, understanding and interpreting what we learn, can we do what we do best: delivering excellence.


Can staffing agencies actually help?


Can staffing agencies actually help?

If I were thinking about using a recruiter, I’d first want to know 3 things:

  1. Can they understand my organization and what makes for the best cultural fit?

  2. Can they quickly find a better pool of candidates based on that knowledge?

  3. Can they help secure the best candidate - even if that candidate is not looking for a change?

Watch this video about Spiras Health’s experience (less than 1 min) and how partnering with a recruiter led them to find and hire their ideal candidate:  

Companies with internal recruiters might not even consider an agency, but often, critical hires or time-sensitive roles require a staffing partner that excels with those type of placements.

An effective recruiting partner needs to have a streamlined process that accomplishes at least three things:  

Design the ideal team member profile

Reverse engineering the important attributes of the existing team is the first step in knowing where to start the search. What makes the current employees successful at what they do? What are the core values of the team and the organization at large? The answers to those questions are essential in building the ideal team member silhouette.

Map the outcomes

Having a crystal clear definition of what success looks like for the role is paramount. Investing quality time with the team and being transparent with expectations and outcomes filters out unqualified candidates quickly. That time spent up front provides clarity for the right prospects and prevents everyone involved from wasting resources.

Deliver qualified candidates

Okay, we made it through the first two steps, which makes the last part straightforward. Any candidates who align with core values and have the sought-for skill set are presented to the company. Once the team has seen the candidates it’s a matter of determining the pros and cons of each profile and having the guidance of the effective recruiting partner during the interview process.

One of the reasons why we love to staff tough assignments is that we get to work with growing teams like Spiras Health. We don’t shy away from challenging searches where the placement means the difference between getting the next round of funding or not. With the right process in place, the search is still of course a challenge, but means we get to help create teams that click together.



#SaaMstories Rebecca

An employee may be a flawless on-paper fit for a position with their resume polished to perfection, but if they lack good character, they simply won’t last. Luckily, Rebecca is not one of those employees. Kasey Carmona, one of SaaM’s recruiters, described Rebecca as someone who is “extremely detail-oriented, trustworthy and always keeps her word.”

There was only one problem for Rebecca: she was working in a full-time job where she couldn't see herself going anywhere. 

Rebecca started to work with Kasey in September and together they began the search for somewhere that would compliment all that Rebecca has to offer. “It's difficult to hunt for a new job while working full time, and so to know that someone I trusted was also looking for positions for me, and advocating on my behalf, was such a relief,” Rebecca recalled. Kasey was so excited to be a part of Rebecca’s journey and noted, “I was committed to helping her find a new opportunity that showcased her many strengths and provided great joy for her.” Rebecca’s character helped make Kasey’s task that much easier because “she is the kind of person you want on your team!”

After diligently searching, Kasey was able to find a position that not only illuminates Rebecca’s strengths, but also pushes her to grow.

“I was recently placed at a financial planning company, where I get to interact with everyone that walks through the door. I’ve been able to learn new programs and systems in order to assist my coworkers and our clients well,” mentioned Rebecca. Kasey was proud to walk alongside Rebecca and grateful that “she found a wonderful company to bring value to.”

When looking back to her journey on the job hunt Rebecca said, “Working with Kasey at SaaM was so convenient and valuable for me.” It is crucial to find a suitable and fulfilling job and the search is made that much easier when you have someone on your team. 



#SaaMstories - Medical Records Continue to Improve

As we prepare to attend the #HiMSS16 Conference in Las Vegas, I am reminded of my great-grandfather's Physician's Daily Memorandum. It's a cherished family heirloom that has always intrigued me. In 1909, this is what medical records looked like. During the early part of the 1900’s, my great-grandfather, Dr. R.P. Beasley, carried this daybook with him on house calls  across the rural Tennessee landscape of Dickson, Hickman, and Williamson Counties. He carried it with him to every home and recorded the patient's name, treatment, and cost of each treatment. Fees for service range from 10¢ to $5.00. In the photo below you can see several instances where his young son, my grandfather, doodled on the pages amongst the patient records.

It is hard to believe that my great-grandfather’s medical record book was once the standard method of record keeping for all physicians. As a recruiter for Staffing as a Mission, I focus on staffing large EMR/EHR conversions and implementation projects, which capture similar medical information but on a much larger scale.

Perhaps Dr. Beasley didn’t need a more robust system of capturing records. He knew his patients' names, where they lived, what was growing in their gardens, how clean their water was, their families' medical histories, and the general state of their living environment. Because that level of personal knowledge of medical history doesn’t exist anymore, comprehensive medical records are necessary today.


When I look over this relic of days gone by, I wonder what folks looking back on our era will say about our medical records systems in 100 years. Will our records appear as rudimentary as Dr. Beasley’s Daily Memorandum does to us? Will people look back at our records and marvel at the improvements that have been made? I think they will. Partnering with health systems to implement those improvements excites me. I’m inspired as I reach out to each of our consultants to involve them in an EMR implementation project. I am inspired to learn more about the advanced record keeping systems selected by our clients. And, I am inspired to keep learning as a recruiter so I can provide effective personnel for my clients.

Staffing as a Mission serves clients doing business in a changing market. As a recruiter, I must be adaptable to meet their changing needs. My great-grandfather’s Daily Memorandum book was an improvement on a previous method. I am proud to play a small part in that continuing improvement process. 


#SaaMstories Mandy

What initially draws you to a company?

It may be a convenient opportunity, a company’s coveted status, or a position with security and financial stability. For Mandy, the mission behind our company drew her to Staffing as a Mission. “Just understanding the company mission attracted me to [it], and made me want to be a part of such a great idea for a business model,” Mandy recalled.

Spotlighting Employees Through #SaaMstories

Here at Staffing as a Mission, our story is one of passion, mission, and service. We are passionate about serving our clients, employees and ministry partners. There is no better way to illustrate the impact our employees have than through their stories. Spotlighting testimonials about our company, our mission and our employees is the focus behind our new campaign #SaaMstories.

#SaaMstories highlights individuals who work with us and their stories will shed light on our greater mission.

The first #SaaMstories will be posted at the start of next week, so be sure to keep an eye out for the first glimpse of our life at Staffing as a Mission. 

Clayton Associates Announces Acquisition of Staffing as a Mission


Nashville, TN – (May 13, 2015) – Clayton Associates, a Nashville-based private investment firm, announced today that it has acquired local start-up Staffing as a Mission, LLC (SaaM). 

Staffing as a Mission is a socially responsible, Business as Mission (BAM), agency formed to provide clients with staffing and recruiting solutions. The company focuses on staffing IT, clinical, and professional positions through contract, contract to hire, and direct placement. 

In addition to staffing and recruiting, SaaM partners with non-profit organizations to support mission and ministry initiatives in Nashville, the US, and around the world. As a part of this commitment, SaaM donates ten percent (10%) of every dollar earned to support charities and ministries in Nashville and around the world. 

“We truly believe that this partnership with Clayton Associates will allow us to leverage their resources and talent in a way that will help us rapidly expand our operations,” said Jonathan Barnes, founder and CEO of SaaM. Larry Kloess, Chairman of Clayton Associates added, “The acquisition of Staffing as a Mission is extremely well aligned with our firm’s culture and commitment to building great businesses and giving back to the community. We are very excited about the future of this new venture.” 

About Staffing as a Mission 

Staffing as a Mission (SaaM) is a socially responsible employment agency based in Nashville, TN. Founded in 2014 by healthcare staffing veteran Jonathan Barnes, SaaM was formed to provide a fresh approach to staffing and recruiting solutions. Part of the Clayton Associates family of companies, SaaM fills a variety of positions and gives back to the local community through its charity partners. For more information, visit 

About Clayton Associates 

Clayton Associates is an investment firm founded in 1996 by R. Clayton McWhorter, former founder of HealthTrust, Inc. and former Chairman of Hospital Corporation of America (NYSE:HCA). The firm has built on its extensive operating experience and relationships to partner with entrepreneurs and help them build successful businesses. Clayton Associates makes seed, angel, and venture stage investments in healthcare IT and technology companies. Since inception, Clayton Associates and its affiliates have invested in more than 100 companies, representing over $7B in annualized revenue and the creation of over 20,000 jobs. For more information, visit 

Contact: Jade Beazley 

Clayton Associates

Viva La Viva Voce!


Viva La Viva Voce!

Word of Mouth - the classic way to grow a business.

Recently someone connected with me on LinkedIn and said they heard aboutStaffing as a Mission from someone I didn’t even know. That’s the WOM at work!

What’s a "WOM Factor"?

Word Of Mouth, or the Latin phrase viva voce (literally: “with living voice”), is one of the best ways for a business to create lasting relationships. Staffing is definitely a relationship business, and our "product" is supplying excellent talent as well as delivering customer delight in the process. As a growing company in the staffing space, developing a positive living voice in the marketplace is paramount.

We do that by listening to clients and candidates well, networking and consulting with our partners, building trust, and delivering excellent customer service. Our goal is to maintain 100% client reference ability.

This article has some great information about customer service: the good, bad, and the ugly.

Our goal at SaaM is to provide excellent service no matter what.

So, in business, and in life - we at SaaM constantly remind ourselves of the golden rule that Jesus shared:

"So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them . . ."

Jesus urged his disciples to treat others like we would want to be treated. So, seemingly little things like personalized LinkedIn invitations, prompt call-backs, transparent client & candidate communication, soliciting honest feedback, and accurate invoicing go a long way.

“Lead with generosity, follow with care.” - Keith Ferrazzi

Did I miss anything? How do you increase the WOM Factor in your organization?


Bringing SaaM to life


Bringing SaaM to life

Socially responsible. Triple bottom lineBusiness as Mission (BAM).

These are all terms associated with the powerful idea that companies can make a local and global community impact beyond just profits. Looking at the landscape of companies doing great work, you have the TOMSPatagonias, and Chick-fil-As of the world with very recognizable brands and missions. You also have smaller companies like Boll & BranchThr!ve CoffeeSoapboxWork of Worth, andONEHOPE doing incredible things with their products and profits.

Almost 2 months ago, a friend and I were discussing the idea of business as mission and in particular product companies that funded the particular mission/conviction of the company. Diversified Conveyors is one such company that funds a ton of local and global ministries as a part of its work in Memphis. They have millions in revenue and give away a significant portion of profits.

What if, we discussed over breakfast, we created a company that funded great work of Christian ministries that we cared deeply about? How hard would it be to be a service company vs. being focused on products? Much of my career has been spent within the temporary & contract staffing industry. Why not marry talents and experience with my passion for missions?

October 9th was when the idea for SaaM came to be, and just in time for Christmas, we're open for business and ready to help! Our primary mission is to do an outstanding job coming through for business' staffing needs. SaaMcodes is focused on software development and SaaMcares is the clinical staffing division.

We also desire to help others beyond our bottom line. Our mission partners range from online training for non-English-speaking pastors to athletic summer camps for inner city kids. More information on our ministry partners is at

If this resonates with you let us know. Call us at 615.647.6225, or email