2021 Year End Message from Kyle Fitzgerald
There is so much to celebrate entering 2022.
As I celebrate what I am most grateful for in entering the new year, highest among the list is our amazing team at PACE. Like many of you, 2021 was a year of re-building, growth, re-defining company culture in our new virtual working world, and shifting with the dynamic external forces amidst the on-going pandemic. Our team has navigated one of the most challenging employment markets in history while cultivating partnerships with our customers that are stronger and more consultative than ever.
I admire our courageous employer clients who embraced change and challenge, who sought the right fitting talent, and who didn’t settle in a tight candidate market.I admire those who have continued to build and invest in the people side of their businesses in times of both economic prosperity and instability, even amidst conflict and the pandemic, with our collective goal of making the Northwest a great place to work and do business.
Human Resources professionals and those responsible for the ‘people side’ of business aren’t often labeled frontline workers – but you are. Your roles have been jolted in unforeseeable ways and had enormous responsibility in quickly moving an entire workforce to a virtual model, re-thinking retention amidst the Great Resignation, and carefully navigating the return to the office. Thank you for choosing us as a partner as you navigate these challenges and changes.
On a personal note, 2021 was the year I returned to PACE after leaving nearly five years ago. For those of you who aren’t familiar with my path, I worked at PACE from 2007 to 2016 as Director of Business Operations then left to work in the national staffing market from 2016 to 2021. As a ‘boomerang employee’, I was curious and nervous about how I would reintegrate with the company? Would the PACE’s culture be the same? Would there be a shorter learning curve?
Luckily for myself, PACE has a very tenured internal staff, most of the people I worked with during my initial time at PACE are still here. Alongside these colleagues I was already familiar with and some Millennial/Gen Z fresh faces, I set out not to pick up where I left off, but to bring a fresh perspective and a new approach to a work environment that I care so deeply about fostering.
I returned to PACE to seek out what drives me the most – helping small to medium sized companies find the right fitting talent that propels their business forward, even on a temporary basis. I also returned to PACE because I craved a work environment that I have only experienced here.
Having now reached nine months of being back at PACE, this is the best professional and personal decision I have made. When my family, friends, former colleagues, or others in my network have reached out to ask how my new role at PACE has been, I can only say: I have never been happier.
We’ve had some exciting changes and growth internally at PACE this year in addition to my new role. Firstly, Nancy, who our employer customers have become so familiar to over her past two decades at PACE, is entering a phased retirement where she will be stepping back from her Vice President role and stepping into a more flexible, part-time role in Business Development I’ve got big shoes to fill as I strive to provide the same consultative and personal touch that Nancy provides to each of our customers individually!
Towards the end of the year, we were fortunate enough to bring on a new Recruiter! Jazmyn has joined the team at a point of time for us where our employer clients need us more than ever! With Jazmyn aboard, we will be able to assist even more Northwest companies and job seekers in 2022.
Another exciting change that occurred this year at PACE is that Mike Gunther, who has been a Recruiter here at PACE since 2013 is now stepping into Order Management! If you place an order for a recruit in the coming months, you’ll get to experience Mike’s 10+ years of Northwest staffing knowledge for yourself!
Staffing is fast-paced, humbling, and at times very challenging work. Work that myself and colleagues at PACE consider a profound privilege and a serious responsibility. But when you enjoy the people you work with as much as I do, it never feels difficult. It is this feeling that drives the work I do on a daily basis, so that every hiring manager and employee partnership we foster is as wonderful and productive as those I experience and enjoy everyday at PACE.
So much of 2021 was spent searching for a new path; a new way to live and work in a way that felt productive and sustainable amid an on-going pandemic. Looking ahead, the big ideas that will define the year ahead are centered around people.
And we have our work cut out for us. As we interrogate the reality of our current talent marketplace, it is easy to feel hopeless. We are struggling as companies and leaders to attract, hire and retain the right fitting talent. This talent could solve some of our biggest problems. Hiring has become one of the aspects of our roles that we fear most. The fear of losing a great employee is even higher among the great resignation that has left business leaders wondering what talented employee will leave next.
These challenges have real costs – both financially and for the stress that falls on hiring managers. But also so clearly display the importance of investing in the people side of your business. Without the right (or enough) resources dedicated to people, you suddenly lose your ability to reach business potential.
When employees are motivated by simply a paycheck, they expect dividends. When employees truly feel that they are part of something larger than themselves, they seek impact. This statement remains true across both temporary and permanent employees. It is one of the people-centered ideas that will be a focus and priority in the coming year for PACE and all employers.
As we enter 2022, I hope that PACE will continue to give you hope in a time when finding the people who propel your business has been more difficult than ever. We hope that you will be able to experience the reliability of committed employees when tasked with tough business challenges. Most importantly, we hope that you feel our gratitude for the opportunity to earn your business, and partner with you as a trusted staffing adviser.
PACE Staffing Network is one of the Puget Sound’s premier staffing /recruiting agencies and has been helping Northwest employers find and hire employees based on the “right fit” for over 40 years.
A 4-time winner of the coveted “Best in Staffing” designation , PACE is ranked in the top 2% of staffing agencies nationwide based on annual surveys of customer satisfaction.
PACE services include temporary and contract staffing, temp to hire auditions, direct hire professional recruiting services, Employer of Record (payroll) services, and a large menu of candidate assessment services our clients can purchase a la carte.