Joe Visser

Joseph Visser is the President and CEO of WorkSteer, a staffing company with a focus on finding lasting careers for their candidates.

After a few years in electrical and robotics, Joseph found he had a knack for connecting people to their best career paths. He decided to change careers and spent the next decade as a successful branch manager for an established company.

Joe has always been a believer in hard work and making genuine connections for his clients and candidates. His more than twenty years of experience has made him an industry leader in placement and safety.

Where did the idea for WorkSteer come from?

The idea and concept for WorkSteer came from the notion that staffing companies shouldn’t just be trying to fill a spot for a day or a few weeks. The best solution for candidates and clients is to find the best employee for the position for a long term business relationship. Early on, I found I had a particular talent for finding someone’s strengths and matching them with the best job. Many of the people I have helped place are still in those positions.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I reach out every morning to all my branches. I like to discuss upcoming goals and check the status of established goals daily. I want to be sure we are reaching out to local colleges and high schools to find more talent. Throughout the day, I have meetings with clients and potential clients. We also conduct candidate interviews during the day. There is always something going on, you’re definitely always busy.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I have an excellent team of managers and employees who are veterans in this field. Together, if we think an idea is worth trying, we will brainstorm until we figure out the best way to put it into practice. Sometimes it’s simply trial and error, but we always discuss things to ensure we are all on the same page.

What’s one trend that excites you?

One of the best trends I have witnessed in my industry is the excitement candidates show when they see someone else be successfully placed. It’s an affirmation that they are in the right place and that we will find them their career. Word of mouth is still the best advertising. A lot of people seek us out because they know someone we have placed that is doing well.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I try to be very proactive and I strive each day to be better than the day before. I believe in educated decision-making and listening to multiple opinions before making a move. I’ve learned to trust those around me.

What advice would you give your younger self?

First of all, stay humble. Appreciate your successes and don’t focus too much on setbacks. I think every entrepreneur had that moment where they wonder if they’re taking the right path. As long as you strive to be your best, you will be successful.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

I refuse to allow the state of the economy or the unemployment rate to alter the success of my company. Back in 2008, when the economy took a dive, a lot of business owners allowed that to affect how they ran their day to day. I just kept moving with the full knowledge that my company would continue to be successful.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I recommend everyone keep a daily journal. It can be tough to remember every detail when you speak with so many people throughout the day. I encourage my employees to do the same. That way, you are not relying solely on memory, you have a list of what needs to be done, and I really think it helps keep you on task.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

My best strategy has been simply being different than the competition. There is a misconception about the staffing industry, that people use it because they are too lazy to find their own job. I feel like even some well-known companies have that belief. At WorkSteer, we actively strive to change that perception. We aren’t looking for day laborers, we want to connect people looking for a career to a company that needs their talent.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Understand that every small business is in competition with someone and the competition would love to see you fail. Once I realized this is just how business is, I accepted it and overcame it by simply doing the best for my clients and candidates. We take pride in knowing that we really get to know our candidates. We sit down and talk with each of them one-on-one. This alone sets us apart from others in the industry and it ensures we place the right people into the right roles.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I would love if someone could create an app that effectively manages the payroll process, especially in the staffing industry. Many are still so reliant on paper accounting. Having an app that both the client and the candidate can log into and review would be so much easier.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

We had a young athlete come through our office recently selling candy for her high school sports program. I ended up buying the whole box. Not only was I able to help her with her fundraiser, but we actually discussed what we can do for her career after high school. So, potentially, I have a future candidate I can help.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

While I am not a huge fan of social media, it is definitely an effective resource for recruiting new candidates and networking with new clients. We use several platforms to boost our visibility online.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. It’s an excellent read about a true innovator who wasn’t afraid to step outside the norm and was successful. For many of us, he made life more enjoyable just by pursuing his best self.

What is your favorite quote?

My favorite quote is my company motto, “seek a job, find a career”. We want everyone who works with us to find the career they dream of, to look forward to going to work every day.

Key Learnings:

  • Never give up
  • Be proactive
  • Stay humble
  • Build a great team