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Pros at staffing.

Prostaff Temporary Services Celebrates 20 Years in Business

THIS YEAR MARKS THE 20TH anniversary of Prostaff Temporary Services of Little Rock, and company President Ed Schulte says there is much to celebrate.

When Schulte founded the company as Dunhill Personnel in 1973, it was one of just a handful of temporary service agencies in the state. At the time, he needed the affiliation of the national Dunhill name.

"It's been a slow growth," Schulte says. But in 1988, he no longer needed the franchise affiliation. He changed the company's name to Prostaff and watched his sales continue to climb.

"Our real growth has come from the mid-'80s on," Schulte says.

With a regular staff of 50 in 11 offices around the state, Prostaff assigns 1,600-2,000 temporary employees each week to Arkansas companies.

Last year, Prostaff had a payroll of $15 million. That's doubled from just five years earlier.

Now there are more than 60 temporary service agencies in the state. However, Schulte says market research shows Prostaff is the largest.

"Business today is so unpredictable that companies cannot plan their staffing needs," Schulte says. "They use services such as Prostaff to fill those ups and downs they have throughout the year in staffing requirements."

Schulte, an electrical engineer before founding Prostaff, says the company began by searching and recruiting for permanent positions in the technical field.

Today, Prostaff rarely seeks permanent positions.

But back in 1973, Schulte had a plan.

"I saw what looked to be some excellent growth opportunities," Schulte says. "I just saw the direction I felt the economy was going."

Continued Growth

Schulte says he realized there was going to be an increasing need for companies to respond more quickly to their workforce needs.

"One thing we can do is attract, evaluate and assign employees much more quickly and effectively than our customers can," Schulte says. "That's our business, so it makes sense that we could do it more quickly and effectively."

Schulte wants Prostaff to continue a 25 percent growth rate over the next five years, and he expects to achieve that.

In February, he instituted a total quality management program in which everyone in the organization participates in a peer review system.

He is also continuing in-house and outside training, which includes updated skill testing.

Schulte's most immediate goal is to recognize both his employees and customers for their 20 years of support.

"One of the things about our success is we have a lot of supportive and partnering type of relationships," Schulte says.

Prostaff's biggest clients are manufacturers with distribution centers that need supplemental staffing. Prostaff also is heavily involved with providing clerical staffs for banking institutions and insurance companies.

Schulte says the recent recession did not affect Prostaff. Even though companies might have had hiring freezes for permanent positions, they did not necessarily look for part-time workers at places such as Prostaff.

But the recession did not hurt the company, either.

That might just be the proof that Prostaff is on the right track.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Journal Publishing, Inc.
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Industry Report; Prostaff Temporary Services of Little Rock
Author:Rengers, Carrie
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Apr 12, 1993
Previous Article:Rolling with the changes.
Next Article:Attracting industry.

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