Recession poses challenges for new staffing company

John Dorau previously owned and operated a Manpower franchise in southeastern Wisconsin for more than 20 years. Earlier this year, he sold that franchise back to Manpower Inc. and, despite the recession that has resulted in massive job losses throughout the region, formed his own staffing company.

Dorau is now president and chief executive officer of Next Level Staffing Ltd. in New Berlin.

He brought with him three of his employees from his Manpower days: Paul Ladson, vice president of professional operations; Shannon Jaskolski, vice president of staffing operations; and Brenda Ensley, support center manager.

They are working to establish the new business.

“Right now it’s a lot of campaigning,” Ladson said. “We are doing a lot of building relationships and just trying to get our name out there. We are just making connections so that we are ready once the economy gets better and those companies are ready to hire.”

Ladson also has an extensive staffing background, and handles mostly the development of professional, technical and management operations and infrastructure for Next Level.

“The hardest part for us right now is getting that name recognition,” Jaskolski said. “We are out there competing with these big staffing names and at times it’s difficult, but we know we have the talent and the strength to compete with them as well.”

Launching a new staffing business in a recession is a challenge, Dorau acknowledged.

“There are a lot of people who need jobs, and right now, unfortunately, there are not a lot of companies hiring,” Dorau said. “All we can do now is form those relationships and let them know what we do and form that connection so they can come to us when they do want to hire.”

Ladson is in charge of recruiting and placement positions in the professional, IT, engineering and managerial fields at the company. Jaskolski focuses on clerical, industrial business, general labor positions and administrative positions.

They place permanent positions, temporary positions or direct hire work, Jaskolski said.

The Next Level staff has also taken this slower period as an opportunity to leverage technology in their business processes. According to Ladson, the company’s application and assessment process is entirely web-based.

“It’s really all about what sets us apart,” Ladson said. “We want to take the time to invest in these employees as a partner. We want to take the time to keep them informed and build those relationships. We have some direct hire positions coming in now, and large clients in the health care, engineering, IT and food research fields. It is slow now, but we have been doing our jobs, and once the economy picks up, we’ll be ready.”

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