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2014 BEST Job Placement Service: Star Staffing

Author: Elaine B. Holtz
May, 2014 Issue

“Our employees are the foundation of our business and I want to make sure they understand that.” —Nicole Smartt

Petaluma-based Star Staffing is a local, women-owned, full-service staffing partner serving businesses and job seekers throughout Sonoma, Marin, Napa, Solano and surrounding counties. “We’re constantly seeking new ideas and better ways to deliver results to our clients and employees and strive to go the extra mile,” says Nicole Smartt, vice president and co-owner.
Smartt started out as an account representative and became co-owner and vice president in 2010 (with Lisa Shugarman, co-owner and CEO). Their approach to their daily work combines passion for innovation, ingenuity, creativity and a desire to learn and share knowledge with each other, their clients and employees. They believe relationships based on integrity, and making sure they’re putting the right person in the right position, are the key components of their success. Most of their staff members are also certified staffing professionals, trained safety professionals and/or forklift-certified trainers.
“We offer very personalized service, and I believe that’s why we’re experiencing such explosive growth,” says Smartt. She understands both employees and clients are equally important to the company’s success and considers them both as assets. “Our employees are the foundation of our business and I want to make sure they understand that,” says Smartt.
Smartt believes one of the many reasons they were voted BEST Job Placement Service is because they build lasting relationships with staff and clients and make them feel welcome from the first interaction.
When Kelsey Bracewell graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, she found getting a job challenging. She decided to go to a temporary agency and discovered Star Staffing. “The staff is always friendly to me and they made sure I got a position I was qualified for, which gave me the feeling they really cared,” she says. Bracewell is currently working in publications for a winery, has increased her skill level and is excited about the possibility of getting a full-time, permanent position.
Our growth has been very organic,” says Smartt. “We don’t have sales representatives cold calling and going business to business. Our focus is cultivating the relationships we have with our clients and employees and making the best matches.” Due to this, it’s constantly being referred new business from clients, employees and the business community. “It’s thrilling to be up 28 percent, year-to-date [over a year that was our best year ever], without one dedicated salesperson. We work very hard to ensure every employee and client has the Star experience,” says Smartt.
“If you talk with Nicole for even a minute, you know Star Staffing isn’t only a professional organization, it’s also fun to work with to get the people you need,” says Cathy Poliak, human resources manager for Macro Plastics in Fairfield. Marco Plastics has 12-hour shifts running seven days per week, and needs anywhere from one to 16 people weekly, depending on production needs. Staffing can be problematic for Poliak and, in the two years she’s been working with Star, she says they’ve always sent over good people, which takes a lot of pressure off of her.
Dynacraft Bikes Vice President of Operations/Leadership Development Nelson Costa has been using Star Staffing for all administration positions and general labor for its warehouse centers in American Canyon for the past four years. “I’d recommend Star Staffing because it’s proven to be an excellent business partner and can help you run your business more efficiently and cost effectively when it comes to temporary labor needs.”



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