Corporate Culture and Business Acumen Drive Gary Carmichael’s Award-Winning Staffing Franchise
The first entry on Gary Carmichael’s résumé is “PrideStaff Franchisee Strategic-Partner.” PrideStaff, a 45-year-old nationwide employment agency, turned out to be Carmichael’s ideal path to entrepreneurship, and he took his first steps down that path 17 years ago.
As a certified public accountant and former general manager of a manufacturing facility, Carmichael already possessed a strong business background. “I always felt I was successful in helping my employers remain profitable, and I wanted to determine if I could have my own business and make it successful. The franchise model generally has a proven cookie-cutter approach to enter a market. PrideStaff seemed a great fit for my background.”
Today, Carmichael serves as general manager and owner of award-winning Mississippi PrideStaff franchises in Hattiesburg (opened in 2006) and Gulfport (opened in 2009). There were initial challenges, but perseverance and a great corporate culture helped him build his businesses. “When you start, you don’t have any clients, but you have expenses. It is stressful, and I worked long hours in the beginning. I’m not a salesman, so I had to push myself to get out in the community and get involved — not just join but get involved. This helped with selling our processes and allowed the community to see who we were.”
Carmichael says the culture of PrideStaff feeds its success. “Every representative of PrideStaff lives the mission statement, ‘To consistently provide client experiences focused on what they value most.’ It is a driving factor in our company’s culture. We live it and breathe it every day in everything we do.”
PrideStaff’s Corporate Leadership
The synergy between PrideStaff’s corporate leadership and its franchisees figured heavily into Carmichael’s decision to invest. “I wanted to make sure there was continued support, freedom to make independent decisions within the model, and that the company was always striving to do better.” He says PrideStaff checks those boxes with communication, coaching, feedback, training and other support.
I can operate at my own pace, set my own schedule, and work with the team I hire and train.
Carmichael endows a similar culture among his 10 employees. “I used the tools in place within PrideStaff to assure my team was properly trained and felt confident about their activities, processes and procedures.” Help is available constantly, he says: “Vice President-Field Consultants (VPFC) and Franchise Support Representatives (FSR) will work with franchisees on a daily, weekly or monthly basis for input, coaching and support at no additional cost.”
At his franchises, Carmichael “engages and challenges employees daily by incorporating their goals with mine. I made sure they were informed about operations, including performance goal-tracking, profitability and feedback. I always shared the profitability with the team members and allowed them to receive monthly bonuses based upon those profits, as per the recommended PrideStaff plan.”
It’s a winning formula, Carmichael says. “I can operate at my own pace, set my own schedule, and work with the team I hire and train. The biggest drawback is there is no one else to blame if anything goes wrong. The buck stops with me.”
Communication is Key at PrideStaff
Franchisee Gary Carmichael praises the flow of communication among all PrideStaff parties, saying:
- “The PrideStaff culture is based upon an open learning environment. We have open forums that engage franchisees to provide and receive feedback, share challenges and provide suggestions.”
- The PrideStaff Brand Advisory Council, composed of Franchise Strategic-Partners, helps franchisees and franchise leaders to “jointly build the brand and help everyone succeed at the highest level, whether we are discussing challenges, changes that affect our industry and how to stay ahead of it, including internal staff, the economy and cutting-edge technology to allow for quick and professional engagement with the clients and candidates.”
- Internal communications range from the Weekly Pulse newsletter and an All Hands on Deck quarterly system update webinar to The Portal intranet, PrideStaff Connect for open communication technology and the AnswerHub, “a well-informed customer service call center for all PrideStaff strategic partners and their staffs.”
- An annual conference and semiannual regional meetings offer knowledge and networking.
For more information about the PrideStaff franchise, visit www.pridestaff.com.
The Staffing Industry
Staffing is a recession-proof industry, providing opportunities for about 16 million employees annually pre-pandemic (13.6 million during the pandemic), according to the American Staffing Association. The industry makes great contributions to the economy, servicing a range of sectors from engineering to health care.