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“I felt I had enough experience and fresh innovative ideas that I could start my own company and work my life away for me rather than for someone else.”

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Star Staffing is the North Bay’s premier staffing provider serving in six counties with offices in Healdsburg, Petaluma, and Napa with satellite offices in Ukiah, Sonoma, and Fairfield. Star Staffing is managed by a dedicated team of professionals with nearly 40 years of combined experience in the staffing industry.

Nicole Smartt, Owner and Vice President of Star Staffing is dedicated to exceeding expectations. This is why they were recently acknowledged as being a Best Job Placement Service in the NorthBay!

Nicole Smartt, Star Staffing - Owner & Vice President

MO: Nicole can you tell us more about your background and what led you to Star Staffing?

Nicole: I have been in the Staffing industry for 8 years now! I started as a part time receptionist and made my way up to Vice President/Co-Owner in less than ten years. I’ve done almost every job in the staffing industry from receptionist to recruiter to manager, payroll, account executive, regional account manager to now handling all operations as Vice President.

I was exhausted and burnt out from making my job a number one priority and to top it off, I could barely pay my bills. I loved what I did, but I didn’t care for the people who were in charge and how they ran their company; little/no appreciation, no passion from management, and I didn’t stand behind their vision/mission. I felt I had enough experience and fresh innovative ideas that I could start my own company and work my life away for me rather than for someone else. I wanted to create a staffing firm that would go the extra mile because we cared, not for the bottom-line. A great deal of businesses miss that aspect- the human aspect. It took me 5 years of building solid relationships and connections to where I could start up a staffing firm. Starting a staffing firm requires a lot of capital. The person I planned to be my ghost partner on the financial side fell through. Luckily, timing is everything. I was sought after by two women empowered business owners that were looking for a sales representative. I had proposed my idea of starting my firm and was only interested if there was potential for being a shareholder. Within 6 months, I had far exceeded their expectations and we began the legal negotiations. It was incredible how everything was placed together as perfectly as a puzzle. Now, I am working more hours than I thought possible, but it’s for my company. My dream has become a reality and the feeling far exceeds anything I ever felt. It’s an incredible, joyous feeling to tell people that is your company and see it escalate to the top.

MO: You are committed to client and employee satisfaction. Can you give us any insight on how you effectively match up employees with clients?

Nicole: The greatest measure of our success is our customer satisfaction. Several of our clients have been with us since our inception. We are in the business of creating and adding value. We are in the relationship business, not the transaction business, and we want to leave our clients and employees with something sustainable and lasting. Our objective is to exceed our client and employees expectations each and every time.

With over sixty (60)+ years combined experience, our direct Star Staffing team members are able to bring industry experience and knowledge to not only be a valued business partner, but also as an on-going resource. Most of our staff has over ten (10) years of staffing industry or recruiting experience and have been with our company for over four (4) years. This is extremely beneficial and vital for placement success. Because our recruiters are industry experts, they are able to quickly and efficiently identify candidates with the experience, knowledge, skill set, and attitude for a certain job. Our screening process takes two hours to ensure our interview, evaluation, testing which includes our state -of–the-art behavioral and skill testing, and background checking result in the perfect fit for our clients.

MO: In an economy where the unemployment rate is up, how do you deal with the over saturation of those looking for work?

Nicole: We are the experts at what we do! Because our clients count on us to make the perfect match between employee and employer, we have an extremely rigorous screening process to weed out unsuitable candidates. Although we would love to help everyone in finding that great job at one of our client’s locations, we have to be realistic and make sure we are only interviewing and seeking out candidates that have the experience and skills needed to perform the job. The great thing about staffing agencies is that we always want to have top talent with different backgrounds and experiences for our client’s wide array of positions so we are constantly recruiting.

MO: You already serve six counties and are actively working towards growing and expanding your company. What practices have made it easier for you to expand?


We Deliver Results. Our success is defined by the results we deliver to our clients. We are intensely focused on providing staffing solutions that create value. We have a passion for delivering results and we achieve this by listening to the needs of our clients, working diligently to exceed expectations and placing our client’s interests ahead of our own.

We Recognize the Importance of our People. Our employees are the foundation of Star Staffing. We have an exciting work environment that is made of passionate and intelligent people that have a winning attitude and thrive on teamwork, excellence, leadership, and innovation. Our team members treat each other fairly and with respect, diversity is valued, and every employee has the opportunity to expand their skills, take advantage of new opportunities and be rewarded for their accomplishments.

We Operate with Integrity. As a company and as individuals, we share a personal responsibility to preserve our clients’ loyalty and trust. We uphold the highest ethical standards and never compromise our values. We do what we say we are going to do and we never make a promise we cannot keep. Job seekers can trust that their job search is confidential and that their personal information is secure. Our clients can trust that their proprietary information is kept private.

We Strive for Excellence. We are constantly seeking new ideas and better ways to deliver results for our clients. We pursue excellence in everything we do, even in the smallest of tasks because we have found that true excellence is achieved by doing many, many small things extremely well. We are not afraid to take risks and we approach our daily work with a passion for innovation, ingenuity, creativity and a desire to learn and share knowledge with each other and our client.

MO: Why did you decide to launch the new division titled Star H-R, Direct Hire Executives and who does this division serve?

Nicole: Star Staffing has always offered direct hire services; however, with more than 6 months of substantial growth in the direct placement sector, we felt it was the perfect time to launch Star H-R. Because we were coming out of the recession, we knew local businesses would begin looking to fill an array of higher level positions and we would be equipped to handle all their needs. For years, we have successfully partnered with our clients providing them with cost saving solutions and top talent. While the Staffing Industry Analysts reported the industry’s worst performance on record, we have seen the opposite. We’ve increased our staff by over 20% due to our significant expansion and growth in sales. Star’s ability to grow over 67% year to date is a testament to our dedicated staff, loyal clientele, and business model. Star H-R enhances our competitive position as the premier staffing firm for top talent and strengthens our ability to attract and place high-end personnel.

MO: Congrats on being the youngest to receive the 40 under 40 award in your community. What do you believe has helped you grow in your career?

Nicole: Thank you! It was a huge accomplishment and honor for me to be the youngest recipient. The biggest contributor would be adapting to change quickly and the realization that you cannot control what will happen; employees car’s will break down, they will get sick, they will accept another job offer, clients sometimes will not choose the candidate you know would be perfect for their position, companies will go out of business, but it is how we deal with those situations that happen to us that shape who we are and make us a better individual. It is through experience and dealing with an array of situations that make us learn and grow.

I am driven by results so I have a lot of goals. Every day, I try to do five specific things to move my goal toward completion. There’s a great saying, “ if you would go every day to a very large tree and take five swings at it with a very large ax, no matter how large the tree, it would have to come down.”

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