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Top Workplaces 2022: Roth Staffing’s best year comes amid a flexible pivot

Despite all the headlines about inflation and job layoffs, Roth Staffing is poised to have its best year in the company’s 28-year history.

With nearly 700 employees at more than 100 locations across the country, the privately held staffing company based in Orange is still in high demand when it comes to placing qualified candidates at clients’ companies.

CEO Adam Roth does not see that trend slowing down any time soon. Economic pressures though make it “a very challenging recruiting environment,” he said.

A 10-year honoree as a Top Workplace in Orange County, Roth Staffing has been intentional about hearing their employees when it comes to work schedules, with flexibility and choice being key.

Employees in the Energage survey commended Roth for making the team feel appreciated and investing in them.

“I love my job because I feel appreciated and respected as a coworker,” wrote one employee. “I’ve never had such an amazing job like this before in my life and sometimes it feels unreal.”

We spoke with CEO Adam Roth about current economic factors and how they’re affecting his business and how Roth continues to provide a positive work culture. His answers have been edited for length.

Q: How has the steep rise in inflation affected your company? How has Roth Staffing had to adjust?

A: Inflation absolutely has impacted our business and our clients’ business. The most noticeable thing we’re seeing in the second half of 2020 through 2021, and certainly through this year, is an increase in salaries as a whole.

I think we’ve seen clients that have gone through some layoffs. We certainly work with a wide spectrum of clients and industries. We have not seen it, but our clients are seeing it within the market. The good thing from a hiring perspective is we’re still very, very bullish right now about our business, where we’re at today, and what it’s looking like for 2023.

Q: Do you still see a trend in difficulty in finding qualified candidates for your client companies?

A: It’s still a struggle for most of our clients. With anything, we’ve seen the hiring process maybe start to take a little bit longer, and I think it’s because our clients are seeing more in terms of the number of candidates that they can interview for a position.

But you still look at all of the jobs data and there are a lot more open jobs in the United States than there are job seekers. That is still a huge emphasis within our business, and demand from our clients overall is still high. But I think it’s still a very challenging recruiting environment.

Q: What are your thoughts on the concept of “quiet quitting”?

A: Life balance is probably more important today than ever before, and I think people prioritizing that balance is a healthy thing.

Maybe it’s me being optimistic, but I don’t think (quiet quitting) is the norm. I think those same people have always existed in some form or fashion. I think it’s a real thing, but I think it’s a new term for something that’s always been a systemic issue for companies and employees.

Q: Is the work-from-home format still strongly desired by your employees? How is Roth handling those preferences?

A: This is our first full year as an organization … where choice was the key term that we started using. And it’s a choice of where you work and the schedule that you work. That’s something that was not flavor-of-the-week but was our commitment to the future vision of our organization.

The work-from-home option, if that’s what people want, is here to stay. We’ve shrunken our real estate footprint by 60% already, and that will continue to go down.

Some people choose to work in an office still, or some people choose a five-day-a-week schedule rather than a 9/80. But I think the work choice location and work choice schedules for us have been hugely successful in terms of attracting and retaining talent.

Q: With those choices, do you find that there are any challenges related to employee productivity and accountability?

A: I get asked that question probably more on a personal and professional basis than any other question. Our results are better than they’ve ever been.

I think we’ve kind of moved past productivity. I think what we have gone to is that there’s a very strong balance from a culture perspective in our organization of wanting to be a great place to work, where people are cared for and we help people grow.

We also have to balance that with accountability and results. Looking at results, our engagement data, and the engagement of our coworkers, our ambassadors and our clients coming out of the pandemic was all the highest it’s ever been. I think with those two things, we have a very healthy balance between them right now.

I think from a results standpoint and outcome standpoint, we are better today than we were pre-pandemic.

No. 4 mid-size company

Roth Staffing Cos.

Founded: 1994

Industry: staffing

Headquarters: Orange

OC employees: 174

Website: rothstaffing.com

Quote: “There’s a very strong balance from a culture perspective in our organization of wanting to be a great place to work.” — Adam Roth, CEO of Roth Staffing Cos.

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