Meet the Founder

 

New Chris

Question: Why did you choose Industrial as your core focus?

As a kid I found myself working production type jobs and ended up working for my Dad's company out in the shop sweating and grinding everyday. I related well to that type of work and appreciated the work ethic it took to succeed in that type of environment. My father is a chemical engineer and I studied a similar field in college, which furthered my understanding of what was going on around me in those factories. As a result when I decided to open Prime, industrial was all I cared to serve. And we hold true to that to this day.

Question: How did you get into the staffing business at such an early age?

I can credit my mother for this one. After college I decided to help her run a small staffing company she owned in the Salt Lake City area due to a family illness. I ran sales operations for two years and tripled revenue during that time. I realized early that I had a knack for this business and decided to come back to Tulsa and fire up my own operation. So in 1996 I did just that. It wasn't easy. I had to go to 70 plus lending companies to find a bank desperate enough to loan me money. I guess you can say I honed my sales skills talking to all those bankers. The staffing business is all I know. My brother now works for my father's company selling combustion equipment. So I guess we like to keep it all in the family.

Question: What are your thoughts for the future of your industry?

Like most industries I think consolidation will continue to play a role in the future. In 1915 there were 195 manufacturers of automobiles in the United States. Today there are about three. In America there are about 17,000 registered staffing companies. There are well over 100 in Tulsa alone. I think that number will go down. A "Wal-Mart" will emerge in the staffing industry and dominate. Only those staffing agencies that are specialized will survive. Coke and Pepsi have 90% of the cola market. That is no accident. I also feel that the usage of our services will continue to rise by corporations big and small. Companies outsource everything. As the American worker is conditioned to apply with agencies companies will turn that way as well. The future is bright and will continue to grow as the percentage of workers employed with outside agencies continues to rise.

Question: Do potential employees stray away from Prime because you are a Staffing Company?

We offer a huge advantage over applying directly with a company. We hire for 100's of companies and if an employee is employable we are highly motivated to find them the right job. We can have their information to 50 companies in Tulsa within an hour. It would take that employee weeks to accomplish this. With a soft job market more employers are hiring contract short-term labor and we have those jobs. It is a win-win situation for employee and employer.  In addition our incentives package allows us to retain employees long term without having to sacrafice full time incentives. 

Question: What is your favorite thing about the employment industry?

Very rarely do things stay the same. This is a Sales driven industry and I love working with customers. It is also very competitive. I am competitive by nature and to survive in this business you better love competition. I absolutely hate to lose. That keeps me going everyday. I also enjoy the reward of helping people find their place in the world. It brings satisfaction to a sometimes thankless industry.

Question: What are your thoughts on manufacturing in America today?

We are up against the wall there is no doubt. Between the loss of jobs overseas to the worker output increases technology has brought on, the number manufacturing jobs has suffered recently.  I truly feel America will lead the world in technology advances and we will lead with a skilled and trained workforce demanding higher wages and worker output.

Question: Is it tough to compete in such a cluttered staffing market?

It is tough to differentiate yourself. No doubt about it. As soon as one staffing company goes out of business another one opens its door. Yes competition is tight. We rely heavily on our niche to compete with the "we do it all" staffing agencies. We compete for every customer we have. In the end we pull ahead with our focus on their needs specifically. Not for the faint of heart.