Locally women-owned and operated, the partners agreed that anyone who called could always "talk to an owner" - a principle they adhere to and apply every day.
Photo: Kris Hanning
That hard work and open-door policy has paid off. The Temp Connection is now one of the most respected employment services in Tucson with the client base and employees to prove it.
Business savvy, listening skills, understanding and a large dose of humor underlie their success.
Honesty is a cornerstone of The Temp Connection foundation. Honesty about assignments, expectations and response are hallmarks of the service they provide to clients and employees alike. They keep the promises they make.
Problem solving is a major strength of the company. In the rare instance of a mismatch, the company is quick to provide an immediate "Win-Win" resolution.
Filling a VoidFrom Horses to Human Resources, The Temp Connection Meets Workplace Needs
by Tara Kirkpatrick
Article from BizTucson Summer 2011
Whether it's filling a job for a horse at a local children's event or a spot for a temporary accountant, Ellie Patterson and Cindy Dhuey run their staffing business with a passion for putting quality employees to work.
Their personal touch has made The Temp Connection the go-to agency for Tucson companies. One of the city's largest women-owned businesses, the employment services company is lauded for its professionalism, consistency and proven track record.
"We try to set ourselves apart by treating everyone with respect when they come through those doors," said Patterson, who helped found the company in 1993. After all, Dhuey added, "There is a job for everyone."
See more »
The job request for a horse is a testament to the pair's determination. When they first launched The Temp Connection, along with then-partner Carolyn Monjoi, the trio would take turns staffing job requests. Tucson Mall needed someone to dress up as a horse for a children's event. "They said the costume was for someone who was 5-foot-10," recalled Patterson. Looking at Dhuey, who is tall, Patterson smiled and replied, "I have just the person for you."
"We started on a shoestring," Dhuey said. "We paid ourselves very little. We were really prudent and we've continued to be very prudent."
Dhuey was an office manager when she teamed with Patterson and Monjoi, who were let go from positions in the staffing industry, to start their own agency. They drew up a business plan and searched for funding. Monjoi has since left the company to focus on career coaching and consulting.
The Temp Connection has placed about 15,000 people into temporary and temp-hire positions over the past 18 years, with many hired on permanently. The company primarily places workers in administrative, clerical, accounting, sales and marketing and information technology fields, but has also proven resilient with the times. The current recession has resulted in the company providing career coaching, and it partnered with another agency to fill a call center in an industry that was previously uncharted territory.
"You do what you have to do," Dhuey said. "We appreciated that opportunity. It kept us afloat. Those people were glad to have a job."
Patterson and Dhuey meet personally with clients, to ensure they know the employers' needs. That's why Tucson property manager Lynn Kastella won't use any other agency.
"The thing they give me that no else does is that they have taken the time to come to my office, to get to know me personally, to understand my office atmosphere and exactly what I am looking for in any temporary individual," says Kastella, who owns Southwest Commercial Management. Three of Kastella's 13 permanent employees came to her through The TempConnection.
"I am running a company," she said. "I do not have time to interview. All I have to do is pick up the phone or email them and they don't waste my time."
When there is a "mismatch" in a job, Patterson and Dhuey aim to remedy the problem immediately. "We will make it right, whatever it means,'' Dhuey said. "You are only as good as your last fill, and if the last person I sent you couldn't perform, you may not call me again."
The women enjoy working together. Their easy partnership spills over into a friendly office setting. And they value their job seekers. The Temp Connection is adding health insurance to temp benefits that include paid vacation, paid holidays, profit sharing, direct deposit, drawings for gifts and other perks.
The Temp Connection also hosts workshops for clients, colleagues and job seekers on issues such as conflict resolution, telephone etiquette and public speaking all to better the job candidate. "Your job is everything," Patterson said. "It defines you and it impacts everything in your life."
The partners also invest in the community. Patterson is involved in the Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation Board, Rotary Club of Tucson and Touch Point Connection, a not- for-profit organization for dropout prevention. Dhuey gives of her time to The Key Group, a women's networking organization, and CREW, a not-for-profit organization promoting civic involvement.
The Temp Connection is a sponsor of the Women's Foundation of Southern Arizona and the Centurions, and donates to the OMA Foundation and more than a dozen other organizations.
Said Dhuey, "We appreciate the community because they have supported us."