HOW TO MAKE STAFFING A FAMILY AFFAIR
All-Pro Placement Service, Inc.
Many business owners had a hard time keeping the doors open following the 9/11 attacks. But fearless entrepreneur Nancy Kelbaugh, boosted by an inheritance and the support of her business partner (and daughter-in-law), decided it was the perfect time to get started. The bumpy economy notwithstanding, Kelbaugh has ambitious plans to make hers the “go-to staffing agency” in the area.
Q: Why did you choose to found a staffing company?
A: I had spent more than 12 years working for another staffing company in the capacity of controller, so the transition to starting a new business was relatively seamless. Being with that firm from the inception, I was familiar with the process of starting a new company. My partner and future daughter-in-law, Jennifer Quinn, expressed an interest in partnering up following a lengthy discussion around my dining room table one Saturday afternoon. A $50,000 inheritance was the capital we needed to get started. Jennifer had the same goals — and so began the greatest adventure of our lives.
Q: All-Pro launched shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. How did you get the company off the ground at such a tough time for businesses?
A: We’ve had many challenges along the way, with the first being the effects of 9/11 on the economy. It was a tough time to open a business, so it was a struggle and a slow start. But we managed to build the business through our endless networking events, telephone calls and job fairs. We invested in the latest technology at the time and continue this practice today, allowing us to operate efficiently without the expense of a large staff. We’ve had many long days, but we’ve grown every year in spite of the challenges. 2008 was another challenging year, but thankfully our established relationships and careful spending have kept us on top.
Q: How has the demand for temp work developed since you entered the business — do you find that businesses’ reliance on temps has increased or decreased?
A: The business has remained relatively steady through the downturns in the economy. However, the growth has slowed a bit. The companies that see the benefit of trying an employee out before committing are still interested in temp-to-hire, but many companies have just slashed the number of employees altogether. As they get behind with work, they use our services to help catch up.
Q: What’s the future of All-Pro? In other words, where do you see the business in a few years?
A: I see a steady growth in business for our future due to our excellent team, work ethic, integrity, focus and dedication. We look forward to being the “go-to staffing agency” and exceeding our clients’ expectations.
Q: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned as a business owner?
A: As a business owner, I have learned to take nothing for granted, not to put all of our eggs in one basket, to be open to new ideas and innovation, and mostly to value your employees and never get cocky.
Q: How do you ensure you’re placing the right person in the right position? And how do you measure success?
A: For more than a decade, All-Pro has been connecting qualified candidates with quality employers. Our goal is to enrich the lives of our candidates by placing them in the job of their dreams and helping them achieve their highest potential. Nothing is more rewarding than making the perfect connection. Our screening process, coupled with our testing program, makes it possible to discover each person’s talents. Using this method has enabled us to make the right selections for our clients, thus increasing their bottom-line. We are full-service and fill positions from the ground floor to CEO level. Our numerous certifications include Minority Business Enterprise, Women’s Business Enterprise, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) certification. We also hold a General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule. We are active members of Better Business Bureau, National Association of Women Business Owners, Hunt Valley Business Forum, Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce, Baltimore Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Maryland Chamber of Commerce and The American Staffing Association.
Q: What sets All-Pro apart from other businesses in the staffing industry?
A: Though we’re careful with our spending, we never skimp on state-of-the-art technology. From our phone system to our software investment, we are ever ready to test, screen, interview and utilize our huge database of available candidates. Our staff is dedicated, enthusiastic, experienced, and motivated to take on any challenge that comes our way. We are a team of strong individuals who have the best interest of our clients and candidates always at the forefront of our minds.
Q: You co-founded All-Pro Placement Services with your daughter-in-law. Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs who work closely with family, or are considering doing so?
A: How lucky I was to go into business with Jennifer! She became my daughter-in-law after we started the business, and there have been no regrets! Her strengths are my shortcomings and vice versa. She had the sales training and I had the financial background, so we made a good team. We try to keep the business at the door, though it’s not always possible.