Year founded: 1985
Headquartered in: Midtown Manhattan
Number of employees: 5 to10
Tom Buckley, President
LinkedIn: LinkedIn Profile
How and why was your business founded?
We’ve been in business since resumes were sent to HR departments by messenger. Buckley Staffing is the evolution of John Buckley Associates, an executive search firm founded by my father in the financial district during the mid-80s, when Wall Street experienced a bull run, and a contingency staffing line, Buckley Temporary Service, which I developed after joining him in 1989. Brokerage houses had a tremendous need for responsive employment firms that could deliver quality personnel. It was a great time to be in the staffing business.
What is your leadership style?
When I think of leadership, I think of someone who has strong convictions and values that compel people to follow them. I was taught by my father, who was taught by his father: “Your word is your bond.” It may sound old-fashioned, but I think people respond to timeless values such as integrity and honesty. I have always tried to keep my focus on helping people, and treating them with the utmost respect.
What is your company’s growth strategy?
Evolve with technology to serve clients and candidates equally.
Tell us about a difficult time you went through with your business, and how you overcame it.
The ‘00s provided two difficult times for Buckley Staffing. The first challenge began on the tragic day of 9/11. As our office was then located within close proximity to the Twin Towers, that day forever impacted me both personally and professionally. It was a dark period until we moved our office to Midtown three and a half years later. What got us through was the tremendous goodwill and support we received from government entities and local businesses. There was a lot of empathy for the downtown business community.
The second challenge grew out of the recent recession coupled with the technological revolution we have been experiencing. There is some discussion that social media will replace staffing companies, but I disagree. I think this technology is a valuable tool for sourcing candidates, but there will always be a need for dedicated employment professionals to sort through the even bigger playing field that social media presents. Recruiting the right talent requires a serious investment in time and money, two things many internal HR pros could probably use more of.
Do you have any words of advice you’d like to share with our readers?
As a small business owner, I have found it essential that my clients implicitly trust me, and that trust seems to result from being passionate about what I do. Fortitude and resilience have proved equally important.
Who is your hero, and why?
I think you can’t help but admire what Steve Jobs accomplished at Pixar and Apple. I remember being in the 5th Avenue Apple store several years ago and reflecting on how proud I was to be an American—that such a company came from America. It was so cutting-edge and cool. His vision changed the world, and that’s inspirational. I think we all want to make a difference in our communities and interactions with others.
Like Jobs once said, “Everything I do depends on other members of our species and the shoulders that we stand on. And a lot of us want to contribute something back to our species and to add something to the flow. It’s about trying to express something in the only way that most of us know how—because we can’t write Bob Dylan songs or Tom Stoppard plays.”
I’m essentially a matchmaker. Over the years, I have been fortunate to positively impact many great companies and people’s lives by providing the right candidates for the right jobs. That’s how I make a difference.