Marathon Staffing

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Drive Business Results with These Best Practices for Your Staffing RFP Process

An RFP process can be beneficial for companies who utilize a significant amount of staffing services, whether that be in a specific site or across a large geographic area. As inflation continues to affect all businesses, managing your temporary labor and contingent workforce spend is more important than ever. How can you help your company issue an RFP that will drive results?

Here are some best practices for companies to follow when issuing an RFP for staffing services:


  • Define your needs: Before you write the RFP, be clear on the specific types of staffing services you require. This includes the number of positions you need filled, the skill sets required, and the desired timeframe. Bring in all the involved stakeholders to hear what is important to them (cost, retention, training, safety, etc.) and include these priorities in your RFP.
  • Research potential vendors: Don’t just rely on who you already know. Look for staffing firms with experience in your industry and a proven track record of filling similar positions.
  • Consider using an RFP template: There are resources available online and through professional organizations that can provide a starting point for your RFP or request Marathon’s Staffing RFP Template here.
  • Decide who will be the Decision-Makers: Who will evaluate the RFP responses and be part of the selection committee? Will it be HR/Operations/Finance/Purchasing/C-Suite or a group that represents these functions or others who are knowledgeable about the company’s staffing needs?

Writing the RFP:

  • Clarity and Concision: Strive for a clear, concise, and well-organized document. Avoid jargon and technical terms that potential vendors may not understand to ensure the responses that you receive back are well-informed.
  • Provide Background Information: Briefly introduce your company and the nature of your staffing needs. Make clear your company’s priorities and what is important to your workplace culture.
  • Detailed Job Descriptions: Include detailed descriptions of the open positions, including required skills, experience, and qualifications. Staffing providers need to know details to evaluate the positions from a workers compensation cost perspective to give you the most accurate pricing.
  • Establish Placement Requirements: List the set of pre-requisites that your company has as a standard for your temporary workforce. Examples include: E-Verify, 7-year pre-employment background check, 10 panel pre-employment background check, skills testing results, etc.
  • Specify Evaluation Criteria: Outline the factors you will use to evaluate proposals. This could include experience, qualifications, cost structure, and cultural fit.
  • Timeline and Submission Guidelines: Set a clear deadline for proposals and specify the method for submissions (electronic or physical).

Additional Tips:

  • Be Realistic About Budget: Don’t lowball your budget in the RFP. A competitive budget will attract higher quality firms. Transparency into the volume of staffing services at hand will help staffing companies present you with their most competitive pricing.
  • Focus on Value, Not Just Cost: While cost is important, the best staffing partner will offer more than just the lowest price. Look for firms that can demonstrate a strong understanding of your needs and a commitment to finding the right talent. Programs that reduce staff turnover may save more money in the long run compared to a 1 or 2% reduction in mark-up.
  • Facilitate Communication: Encourage potential vendors to ask clarifying questions before submitting proposals.
  • Paint the Picture: Explain what your company expects will be the end result of the RFP.  Will multiple staffing partners be awarded a contract? Will there be a primary/secondary vendor or tiers established? Will you enter into a round of interviews for short-listed RFP participants?

By following these best practices, you can create an RFP that attracts qualified staffing firms and helps you find the best partner to meet your workforce needs.

Written by:

Kendra Strickland
Chief Operating Officer

Finding a Job in Challenging Times

The job market can be difficult to navigate, especially in recent years, leaving many to change jobs or explore other careers altogether. While there are no guidelines that can guarantee a position, there are effective practices that can improve your chances when applying to jobs.

#1 – Look at Industries that are Actively Hiring

Think about how your skills and previous experience can transfer to industries that are actively hiring such as healthcare, manufacturing, supply chain, etc. These in-demand industries may change over time, so staying informed on areas of opportunities can help with your job search.

#2 – Tap Into Your Network

Do you know anyone who may be able to recommend you for a job? Networking can be a great resource for getting your foot in the door. Online sites like LinkedIn are great for connecting with people in your industry as well. This can be especially helpful when it comes to focusing on relevant job opportunities, as advertised positions are not always accurate or available.

#3 – Continue to Sharpen Your Skills

Look into continuing education and other ways to better position yourself as a great addition to any team. With many industries experiencing shifts and rapid growth, being open to earning new credentials and familiarizing yourself with new technologies might set you apart in a tough job market.

Most importantly, don’t rule yourself out. If you meet most of the requirements detailed out in a job ad and are interested, apply anyway. In many cases, candidates hesitate to apply for a job thinking they need to have all of the skills listed. Additionally, candidates might not see their past experience as being relevant, when it really could be.

The reality is that a company’s initial ideal candidate may differ from the person they end up considering to be a great fit for the role. You never know what might catch a potential employer’s eye.

Written by:
Naomi Raices
Marketing Coordinator

Employer Reflects on Working Alongside New Americans

As the IRC in Missoula enters its eighth year of operation, we continue to welcome new Americans primarily from the Congo, Afghanistan, and Syria into Montana. As part of the core services provided to all newly arriving families, the Economic Empowerment Team at the IRC in Missoula works diligently to secure job placements for adults. They network with local businesses to cultivate job opportunities so families can earn an income and become economically self-sufficient. There are many wonderful businesses in Missoula that have welcomed the people we serve into their workforces. The IRC employment team works closely with individuals to understand their professional and financial goals. IRC staff then work with employers to place people in roles that align with their goals, work experience, and language proficiency. The majority of individuals receiving employment services from the IRC have found positions in retail, manufacturing, food service, and childcare.

Zohair Bajwa is the head recruiter for Marathon Staffing, an agency that partners with a local Bonner business, UFP Industries. UFP Industries has been employing individuals served by the IRC for several years, providing them with job opportunities and pathways for continual growth.

Zohair immigrated to Missoula from Pakistan in 2006 to pursue higher education at the University of Montana. Since 2021, Zohair has made it his mission to support the refugee and immigrant community in Montana, hiring over 20 refugees in the past year and a half.

Employing refugees is incredibly rewarding, and there are learning curves for employers and employees alike! New challenges, such as language barriers, can require patience and understanding to work through. Despite these challenges, Zohair said, “the benefit of their work ethic far outweighs any momentary setbacks.” He has taken great satisfaction seeing our newest community members go from not speaking a word of English to being proficient just from their exposure at UFP Industries. Not only that, but several of them have been promoted to shift leaders with the chance to directly supervise other refugees and help them advance their English skills.

Zohair reflected, “If someone is going to be a good employee, why wouldn’t I give them a chance?”

Through his work at Marathon and UFP Industries, Zohair has been consistently impressed by the “professionalism and unwavering willingness to work to become successful” displayed by those he has hired. He has experienced continued loyalty and gratitude from UFP Industries’ newest employees who value a clear avenue to advance professionally.

His advice to all other employers who are considering hiring refugees is to “have patience, trust the system, trust them, and they will do whatever it takes to become successful and make your organization successful.”

We want to thank Marathon staffing, UFP Industries, and Zohair for their continued partnership, support, and advocacy in giving new families professional opportunities to thrive in Montana.

Blog post reposted with permission from International Rescue Committee

Highlighting the Manufacturing Sector in October – MFG Day and Manufacturing Month

October is recognized as Manufacturing Month to further highlight Manufacturing Day, which took place the first Friday of the month (10/06).

MFG Day was first celebrated on 2012 by The Manufacturing Institute, an affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers, who create and continue to organize this annual event. The purpose of this initiative is to bring attention to the steps the manufacturing sector is taking to support its workforce through training and collaborative opportunities.

Manufacturing Month is organized by U.S. Commercial Service and Federal Export Promotion partner agencies to further recognize Manufacturing’s impact on a national and international level.

According to the U.S. International Trade Administration, the manufacturing sector employs close to 13 million workers, as of August 2022. Our team is happy to be part of this growing group.

Marathon Staffing has over 30 years of experience working with manufacturing partners in a variety of areas, and we understand the industry’s unique needs.

We appreciate our team members and employer partners for their continued collaboration in the month of October and throughout the year.

Written by:
Naomi Raices
Marketing Coordinator

Marathon Celebrates National Staffing Employee Week

Earlier this month Marathon Staffing celebrated National Staffing Employee Week held from September 11th to September 17th.  As part of our core mission, we endeavor to show our appreciation and assist our team members each and every day. 

The contributions of staffing employees are critical to the success of businesses, non-profit organizations, and government entities across the U.S.

As a way to recognize and show our appreciation to our team members, we held a special raffle for various gift cards. 

We are pleased to announce our 2023 National Staffing Employee Week raffle winners:  Edward A. of Arizona, Ali I. of Montana, Rachel C. of Nevada, Jalran S. of Pennsylvania, Torey Y. of South Carolina, and Alfreda R. of Texas!

We extend our gratitude to these team members and to the nearly 20,000 employees who are part of the Marathon team on a yearly basis.

Written by: 
Kendra Strickland
Chief Operating Officer 

Visit Marathon’s Booth at the Food Automation & Manufacturing Symposium and Expo in Florida

Marathon is happy to share that it will be exhibiting at Booth #211 at this year’s Food Automation & Manufacturing Symposium and Expo taking place in Bonita Springs, Florida (Oct 11-13)!

Leading food and beverage companies will be in attendance, including organizations in engineering, automation, sustainability, supply chain, and food safety.

A few sessions we are especially excited about include:

1.      The Art of the Possible (Oct 12th at 8:15 AM)

Organizations are turning to technology to address operational challenges and to improve current processes. With more options being introduced to the market, finding the right solutions that fit companies’ unique needs is important.

2.      Overcoming the Perfect Storm with Flexibility, Innovation, and State-of-the-Art Technology (Oct 12th at 9:15 AM)

In this session, we will hear a real-world example of how to effectively and efficiently build and develop a manufacturing facility’s operations following FDA regulations. Including balancing different co-existing considerations including keeping a sense of urgency, flexibility, innovation, and technological needs.

3.      How To Use Foresights To Navigate Technology Drivers That Produce Products Consumers Want (Oct 13th at 9:10 AM)

The connection between consumer behavioral changes and new products will be discussed in this session. Evolving consumer needs means that companies must become informed of what market shifts may potentially impact them or those that could provide opportunities for growth.

We look forward to hearing from other fellow industry professionals regarding technological and regulation changes, and how teams are adapting in an ever-evolving industry.

Written by:
Naomi Raices
Marketing Coordinator