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. 

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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 on a placement with 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.

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