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Meet Christine Hoffman-Hicks of Staff Smart

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christine Hoffman-Hicks.

Christine, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
After working for one of the worlds largest technical staffing firms for close to 9 years, I felt that the industry had lost focus on the very people we serve – our candidates.

A staffing firms role is to find satisfying and rewarding careers for people and at the same time provide support and solve complex problems for our clients. After surviving the wildfires in 2007, (something an East Coast girl is not familiar with) I decided to take the leap and form Staff Smart, Inc. The concept was simple – serve others. Be the bridge that brings like-minded people together and makes incredible things happen!

Of course what I did not anticipate was the same week we launched, (January 4, 2008) was the very same week our country experienced one of the largest financial meltdowns in history. It was a difficult time, to say the least for a startup, yet along a staffing company when many were laying off workers by the thousands. Funding, loans, access to capital did not exist, so we started with $10k in savings and a $15k line on a credit card and every payroll, hoped and prayed that payments would arrive – they always did.

Today our business is thriving, we’ve expanded our reach nationally, and have won numerous industry awards including Inc5000 (2016, 2017), Staffing Industry Review – Fastest Growing Staffing Firm (2017), and named one of Forbes magazines “Best Recruitment Firms of 2017”. We are excited about our continued growth and pride ourselves on providing exceptional service to both our client and candidates for many years to come.

Has it been a smooth road?
As I mentioned previously, launching a new business the same week of the largest financial meltdown in US history was a very scary time. I made a point not to watch the news or absorb anything that would deter us from success.

As they say, cash flow is King and that is very true. It’s very difficult for a new business to succeed with little to no outside financial support. It’s important that all new businesses understand this concept and more importantly prepare for it. You should put at least 20% of every dollar of revenue aside for Uncle Sam and for rainy days in your business. There will be rainy days and you need to be ready for them.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We are an IT/Technical only agency, so we only work on skills within this vertical. If you want a finance or forklift operator, that’s not what we do. Staying true to what you know and doing only those things well, yield results.

What sets us in particular apart from other Tech Recruiters is that we understand technology. Surprisingly, many firms have no idea how technologies work together, so at best the hiring managers are left with the burden of figuring out who fits and who does not. To me, that’s not the role of an agency. An agency is your partner and you’re paying us a fee to find the right talent quickly. Good recruiters earn their keep.

We also hold a number of certifications including being a Nationally Certified Women Owned Business – WBENC (since 2009). as well as being certified by our industry in staffing, employment, and labor laws. These certifications are testament to our credibility in the marketplace and demonstrate our commitment to business and industry best practices.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Our city has been wonderful to us. We are truly blessed to live here. We’ve determined we have about 250 direct competitors in San Diego, yet we rarely cross paths. To me, that means there is great potential. What I’d like to see and welcome is more partnering with other agencies who have similar candidates. We’d help that many more people if we joined forces and that’s powerful.

It would be great if our city had more resources to help companies get off the ground. While we do have programs such as SCORE, it should not be up to the business owners to find them. Information such as this should be provided at the time of filing for your business license so new businesses and focus on just that, their new business and make the process of finding assistance much easier.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 11590 W. Bernardo Ct, Suite 220
    San Diego, CA 92127
  • Website: www.staffsmart.net
  • Phone: 619-342-2600
  • Email: marketing@staffsmart.net

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