“I thought I could do it better.”
That’s how Sue Marks (pictured), founder and CEO of Cielo, responded when asked by the hosts of Milwaukee NPR’s “How Did You Do That?” podcast about what started her on her entrepreneurial path. Believing that there was so much opportunity to improve the quality and range of services that existing staffing and recruiting industry providers were delivering led Sue to found and operate ProStaff. Then she moved on to HRFirst, which she sold to Kelly Services Inc., and later started Pinstripe, the company that would become Cielo, the world’s leading strategic Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) provider.
Sue shares her story with hosts Kathleen Gallagher and Tim Keane in a wide-ranging interview that dives into her family background (her grandfather and father were also entrepreneurs) as well as her role in being a pioneer in the RPO industry.
“I was in the traditional contingency, search and temporary staffing business, and I thought, ‘Wow, our clients don’t really do this very well, and one of the reasons they need so much of us as external recruiters and temporary help services is they don’t do it very well,” Sue tells the hosts.
“I know how to run staffing like a business. I heard a presentation by a TEC speaker, and he talked about turning products into services and turning services into products, and he gave the example of Pitney Bowes, who in the old days sold mailing machines, and then started outsourcing mailrooms. Ding. It made sense to me, and that’s how we started.”
Sue goes on to talk about the impact technology has had on the recruitment experience, both from the candidate and hiring manager perspectives. With record low unemployment, and job searchers having more options than ever, “Companies have to treat candidates like the consumers they are.”
A large part of that means embracing technology, especially in making the application process smoother and mobile-friendly.
“If they want to be first to the best talent, they have to provide an experience that is in the remote control of our lives – the PDAs and devices that are with us 24-7. … Most organizations haven’t made that transition yet, and they need to because that’s where the younger workforce in particular is going.”
Visit Milwaukee's NPR to listen to the entire interview, “Entrepreneur Sue Marks on How Companies Can Win in the War for Talent.”