Family-Owned Staffing Business Gives Veterans the Link to Success
When Bill and Karen Pitts opened a staffing business, little did they know they would inspire a mission for the next generation to help others find success.
The Pitts co-founded Link Staffing Services in 1980 with a single location in Houston, TX. A full service staffing company with a strong focus on the industrial sector, the business has since expanded into 35 franchised locations and 8 company owned across 11 states to help match skilled workers with the right employment opportunities through temporary, temp to hire and direct hire services.
Keeping it in the family
The Pitts’ business leadership has since been passed down to their two daughters, Michelle Bearden and Kathryn Mujezinovic, who now manage the day-to-day operations of the business – Bearden as the Vice President of Franchise Operations and Relations, and Mujezinovic as the Vice President of Business Development.
Bearden said she was motivated to join the family business because she saw the opportunities in the staffing industry to help others find their way, whether that’s finding the right employment or becoming a franchise owner.
“I joined because of my passion for this industry…Being a leader in the organization affords me the opportunity to make a difference in many lives, ranging from our franchisees and their staff, to our internal staff, our clients and the field staff (workers) we place.”
Working closely with franchisees, Bearden and the company’s Franchise Development Manager, Louie Picazo, have seen what it takes to succeed as a business owner in the Link Staffing franchise system. Above all, diplomacy and a desire to take on challenges seem to be the keys to success.
“We’re in the people business,” explained Picazo. “You can’t shy away from conflict and you need to see challenges as opportunities then take action…We look for people with a resourceful mentality and somebody who enjoys taking the lead in meeting and exceeding our clients expectations.”
In addition to strong problem solving and business management acumen, the franchise management team also identified the following characteristics as success markers:
- Passionate and driven with a high sense of urgency to succeed/achieve
- Systems driven with discipline and commitment
- Customer-centric, people-oriented, and confident
- Values driven, respectful and of good moral character
- Accountability and responsibility to self and others
- A resourceful, quality-minded problem solver
- Cooperative, collaborative and team-oriented
Natural fit for veterans
Since most military veterans fit this profile, Link is highly supportive of recruiting veterans.
“Veterans make a really good fit for franchisors,” said Bearden. “They have great leadership and structure. We provide a proven system they can easily execute.”
To help veterans transition into business ownership, Link Staffing offers veterans a discount on the franchise fee, as well as a comprehensive training and support program.
Franchisee Training and Support
After a very thorough discovery process, new franchisees are met with a welcome celebration that marks the beginning of a structured 10-week pre-opening process with an assigned Franchise Support Manager.
“Our process is very personal,” explained franchise development manager Louie Picazo. “There is some classroom training, but they don’t just go through a computer and work through modules. It’s all very personal and hands-on.”
“Link continues supporting our franchisees from onboarding and on through the opening of their Link franchise and beyond. From our support center, we can assist our franchisees with accounting, credit & collection, HR, risk management, marketing, and systems & networking support. We also assist them with all of our major accounts.”
Protected markets and direct accessibility
Link franchisees benefit from protected designated market areas that are large enough to run more than one office, as well as direct accessibility to top levels of leadership within the organization.
“We’re there during the Discovery Process, so they’re connected with the top level of the organization from the get-go,” said Bearden.
Locations and territories
Link currently runs operations in Washington, California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Indiana, Texas, Louisiana, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Florida. The company is also actively looking to open new franchise locations in Denver, CO, Phoenix, AZ, Savanah, GA, and Richmond, VA.
The company is also open to franchising in any available territory with the right candidate.
On a mission
Link already has several veterans seeing success in the franchise system, but the company is actively looking to recruit more qualified vets into business.
“Our mission in franchising is to diversify our franchisee profile, and we are focused on bringing in more veterans,” said Picazo. “Veterans are an integral part of our business success. They provide the discipline and structure needed to support our objective of quality service.”
Veterans who might not be the right fit for the staffing industry can still turn to Link for support through the company’s veteran recruitment program, LinkCorps, which helps veterans transitioning from active duty find the right employment.
“As a company, we’re really committed to making a difference for veterans…Ideally, we would like to bring them on board as franchisees. But even if Link isn’t the right fit, we’d like to help them in any way we can through our staffing resources and support.”
To learn more about becoming a Link Staffing Services franchise owner, visit www.linkfranchising.com
Article written by Diana Cikes, Franchising USA