By Joe Foley
People often ask us about the origins of Marcomm. We tell the story so often that we forget how relevant it is to new clients and employees to hear how a startup was birthed in 1996 from two contractor’s time spent on site at 3M. I decided to share the story of how we began, and how Marcomm has continued to support our very first client for 25 years.
Early in my personal marketing career, I found a contract opportunity on site with 3M. This was in the early days of onsite contract staffing – very few companies were bringing marketing contract professionals onsite to fill ongoing roles or supplement their existing teams. It really wasn’t until IT companies began using contractors on a regular basis that it became more commonplace; So, we were a bit ahead of our time. We carved out a double-wide cube onsite at one of their corporate office buildings. Initially it was just me and my business partner Ben Clark. We served a variety of support needs in marketing communication – most people didn’t know who we were or why we were there, but soon our existence became legitimized and 3M desired to have a contract vehicle to bring contractors on site. Ben and I created that contract vehicle, and Marcomm was born.
Even our name, Marcomm, came from working in MARketing COMMunication for 3M. We saw the staffing industry expanding out of traditional office, admin and manufacturing space into the corporate environment and realized that the Twin Cities marketing community would need a staffing partner who knew marketing, new the local corporate community and would focus solely on the expertise required by marketing communication teams.
It’s interesting to look back on what is soon to be 25 years of serving 3M and see the changes in marketing communication that have occurred with technology advancement and the entry of digital communication. To honor our beginning and share our gratitude with the many Marcomm employees who have worked on behalf of 3M over the years, here are just a few highlights about how Marcomm continues to be a valued partner.
Challenges Marcomm solves for 3M
Marcomm supplies market support in many areas throughout 3M. The main challenge we solve is a seamless injection of qualified talent into their contingent workforce eliminating the traditional headaches that an internal HR department experiences in a direct hiring situation.
- Most interesting roles Marcomm has filled for 3M
Digital marketing roles are becoming paramount in corporate marketing, especially User Experience (UX) and User Interaction (UI). These positions are difficult for any company to fill because of the limited talent pool in the Twin Cities, and the industry expertise needed to fulfill this capability for 3M. Marcomm’s extensive 3M experience and vast network have given us the edge to successfully fill this need while cutting down on the client’s time to get the right person in place.
- Marcomm employees love working with 3M
We have been a supplier for 3M for 25 years and they are hands down our top client. Not only are they easy to work with, but they are also very inclusive of our people and work to set them up for success. Many companies will keep contingent and contract workers at an arm’s length – making it challenging for them to do their best job. 3M is different – they embrace our employees, and as a result our employees love working with 3M. Additionally, about 85% of our placements at 3M have an opportunity to covert to full time employment. So working for Marcomm at 3M is a great avenue to a possible career with 3M.
- How Marcomm works with 3M
3M has a procurement partner – a 3rd party company hired by 3M to run their contingent work program (CWS). They are the gatekeepers as to what suppliers will be used by 3M to help fill their contingent needs. We get a quarterly scorecard based on the criteria I had mentioned earlier. Marcomm, very fortunately, has an excellent relationship with the CWS team and has been cited on many occasions that Marcomm is one of the easiest companies to work with and consistently supply terrific candidates and fill their needs.
- Marcomm is relentless about recruiting
When 3M has needs, they open requests in the VMS (Vendor Management System). Marcomm is quick to provide qualified candidates from our extensive recruiting pool. And, we are relentless in sourcing great candidates until someone has been chosen by 3M to fill their need. The CWS team has told us on many occasions that, especially with “hard to fill” positions that they appreciated that we work as hard as we do to find the perfect candidate. It makes their jobs that much easier and keeps our relationship with 3M and the CWS team extremely strong.
- Working as a contractor for one of the world’s largest companies
Many job seekers have 3M on their “bucket list” of companies. 3M’s inventiveness and breath of products is unmatched by most Fortune 500 companies, so the opportunities within 3M are eminent.
- Marcomm supports 3M and our employees in conversion
Marcomm is very much a conduit for companies to find great talent – whether that is on a contract basis, or eventually a permanent opportunity. If someone does well in their contingent position, there is an excellent chance they will be hired away by the client at some point. It’s a very easy transition and something Marcomm is well equipped to handle. A contract role is a good “test drive” for both the candidates and the clients…. everyone can make sure the fit is perfect before moving forward with a conversion. And Marcomm has the best fee structure for conversions (in most cases – no fee at all).
Recently our CMO, Priscilla Koeckeritz, shared a blog about the changes in contract staffing. The world of marketing has changed in 25 years, but the importance of connecting people and getting the right talent in place to serve 3M, and companies like it, remains Marcomm’s mission.
Here are some highlights from that article. Or, read the entire blog.
[Excerpt] Ultimately, we know that companies use staffing because of the great benefits. COVID-19 has further impacted how companies think about contractors and remote workers. The idea of using contingent talent to build teams and reach goals is more acceptable now, especially with the uncertainty regarding budgets and projects for the future.
Benefits of using contract staffing:
- Fewer barriers to find good talent and faster fulfillment for immediate gaps
- Not dependent on the time and resource intensive process of hiring full time
- Easier to make shifts when needs require changes
- Access to industry-specific recruiting expertise who are working with talent on-going
- Hiring contractors later is easier, and typically has no recruiting fees (Marcomm offers no fee conversions)
In a tight labor market, or when looking for very specific expertise, using contract services maintains a distinct advantage. Staffing companies have a broader reach of candidates and specialized companies like Marcomm have access to a broad talent pool and a track record of making successful connections.
Marcomm is distinctly different:
- We treat our recruiting pool like humans – catering to their interests and needs so that we place them in the right role, with the right company
- Candidates say Marcomm provides a better experience and better follow up – resulting in more successful long-term placements
- Greater marketing expertise than any other local provider means that we understand the unique needs of our client’s roles – from UX Design to Digital Marketing to Communication Management, and everything in between
Why use a reputable staffing partner like Marcomm?
- Reputable staffing companies carry the highest insurance levels to protect clients if something goes wrong
- Working with freelancers directly comes with co-employment risks and administrative headaches
- Sourcing, hiring and firing are the responsibility of the staffing company, reducing client burden
- Good staffing companies provide their employees benefits – helping to provide stability and avoiding co-employment issues in long term contracts
- Taxes, benefits and other financial administration are carried by the staffing company