World Staffing Podcast #7 Cesar Jimenez, CEO of myBasePay


Intro: This is a brand new episode of the World Staffing Podcast. The interview podcast brought to you by, where we meet with entrepreneurs, successful business owners and the greatest minds of the staffing industry. We are interested in what drives them, what inspires them. We want to know what their everyday work looks like and what keeps them up at night.

We should all learn from them and at the same time, have a good time. And this is your host, Jan Jedlinski.

Jan Jedlinski: Welcome to a brand new episode of the World Staffing Podcast today with a very special guest and friend that I highly admire. He's a very successful staffing agency owner, and has recently ventured into a new, and for me personally, very exciting business, which is EOR. And with his new company, myBasePay, he's now running. I'm very pumped for this conversation.

We'll come to the World Staffing Podcasts, Caesar.

Cesar Jimenez: Thank you, Jan. I appreciate that. And by the way, the feeling's mutual, my friend. We've been friends for a while and I've been watching what you've been doing, and I appreciate all your support and absolutely all the collaboration. I love chopping up with you about the industry.

Jan Jedlinski: Thanks Caesar. I have tons of questions for you today, but before we dive in, tell us a little bit of how you drifted into staffing and or how you started a staffing company and where are you today?

Cesar Jimenez: Oh, I'd love to talk about that. It's always fun. Actually, the only issue is that I'm going to date myself when you're a little bit though.

So actually before I got it, you know, I'm officially an analyst, staffing, and veteran. I've been in the business for 25 years before I got into recruiting and started with a global staffing organization. I was actually in the U S military, but the Navy, the US Navy, then my tour there. Learn a lot about discipline, learn a lot by working a ton of hours and, you know, ready for that next opportunity.

I was when I got out the service. And when I first started, when I got out of the service, I actually worked in sales and a non-commissioned sales organization. And learn really quickly what it is to work on a non-salary sales role. It was a great learning experience. And then I had an opportunity to actually run into a friend that wind up getting a job at one of the global staffing organizations, a multi-billion dollar organization, and basically referred me into the company.

But it wasn't that easy because. They actually interviewed me about eight different times. So they weren't a hundred percent sure. And after that eighth time, I kind of figured it out and they gave me a shot and I never looked back. I'm absolutely in love with this industry. And it's all about helping people.

It's all about the worker experience and has been an industry that's been really good to me. And it's also an industry you're going to get out of, how much you put into it, how much you invest into as well. So I absolutely love the recruiting industry.

Jan Jedlinski: Awesome.

Cesar Jimenez: If you want me to I can take it through some mob, but that's how I got in. So you want me to take it a little bit through?

Jan Jedlinski: Yeah, I would actually love to learn, like, you know, you, when you started Pro source, you know, how did you, you know, get into the market with that company? What were the things back then when you started that sort of drove you and then maybe, you know, fast forward 10 or 15 years later, what do you see has changed in the market and where do you see the company today?

Cesar Jimenez: Absolutely. And, you know, obviously before I get to tell you about the pros horror story, I think I need to let you know exactly my transition after, as I got into the staffing industry with that large organization and moved up the ranks in a lot of the various leadership roles and about 2004, I entered, I had the courage to find out the, enter into entrepreneurship and actually start my own firm with two other partners.

And from about 0 4 0 7 Jan, we were rock stars, right. We could not make a mistake.. We're actually what the real truth was. We actually didn't realize how many mistakes we were making, because then all of a sudden, 2008 and 2009 happened and everything fell apart with the financial meltdown in the industry. What happened?

It was a very difficult time for everybody in the U S and then I decided from there, I decided to leave and take all those tough lessons learned and start Prosource in 2010, literally with no investment. Not a dollar of cell phone and a laptop, actually a borrowed laptop from my brother-in-law. And that's how I started Prosource.

Now the biggest thing I feel that helped me at Prosource was obviously all those tough lessons. I learned a lot. When you learn those tough lessons, the hard way you kind of see the challenges clearer, you see the punches coming and allows you to make a lot of different adjustments, to be able to take on those challenges as they come.

Everyone knows, including yourself that you know, entrepreneurship and having a business, it's a challenge every single day, right? So you have to be really flexible and you have the ability to make adjustments, to be able to succeed in entrepreneurship. One of the core reasons I would say Prosource has become extremely successful.

It was the model that we leveraged, we leveraged an EOR model from day one that allowed me. So if you're starting a staffing firm, That is one of the smartest moves to make, because I didn't have any money. I didn't have any credit, but I had a lot of clients and had all this knowledge and I had a lot of inventory.

The one thing I can control was I had great relationships and I had customers that I can be able to, you know, they had positions for me to fill, but what I needed was the infrastructure, the staffing infrastructure, and the financial infrastructure to support that business. A lot of people may not understand that in the staffing industry, it takes a great deal of financial support to be able to do business in this industry, especially from a contingent perspective.

And you know, that kicked off right away. So within 30 days I was actually making money and in six months it was actually wound up being a very lucrative business for myself. We kind of called ourselves. We kind of termed or coined ourselves. We were big billers. By the time of, you know, by myself doing basically full desk and serving my clients and really didn't miss a beat.

And then by the end of the year, we were really looking forward to going into the following year to 2011 was actually hiring our first employee and taking it to the next level. And then, you know, to skip a few years, we had tremendous growth. I mean, Prosource is now a $25 million company. We still leverage the advantages that EOR models provide a staffing organization.

Jan Jedlinski: I find this extremely interesting cause you know, my, my thoughts on the future of the industry of the staffing and recruiting industry looking, you know, after COVID I always think that the next generation of staffing and recruiting companies will. Only actually have, you know, a laptop in their living room, leverage a couple of very good SaaS tools and their network and an EOR model to suddenly run a very large and international business, basically with a very nimble and small team.

So it seems like you've already cracked that model, you know, a decade ago. And I find this extremely interesting and. A lot of staff and companies actually adopt the same approach like you have. So like when you basically look at advising new founders and new staffing founders in that space, you would say, you know, start with a new EOR model from that one right?

Cesar Jimenez: Oh, absolutely. I love those conversations because I've walked in those shoes. I know exactly, you know, the challenges they're about to face and, you know, to select that type of model and leverage that type of model. Like your point, it's very nimble. It's an, it's a nimble model. So it allows you to focus on what you do best, which is to continue to build those.

Build your book of business and deliver on the positions that you have. And if you fast forward to today, I mean the biggest challenge everybody has is finding talent. You need every second pot, any second, and any financial resource today should be going into competing to find the talent for your clients.

The last thing we need to get caught up doing is actually spending a lot of time and money on back office operations. It takes you off the focus of the ball and what you're supposed to be doing, because it's already difficult to find talent today.

Jan Jedlinski: Yeah, I agree and I think that's the future of the industry.

I truly believe that I've seen it firsthand. When we started in 2016, running a small sort of modern staffing company in Austria. The first thing we've done is obviously build a brand, attract candidates, attract clients, and at some point. When did the hiring decision make? We actually thought, Hey, you know, why should we now handle all the paperwork and the finances?

So when we found another staffing company that actually took that over from us, you know, essentially we don't leveraging the EOR model. Right? So that was something that we realized very early on. And I found this extremely interesting. And I was wondering why, you know, not every staffing or recruiting company is doing the same thing.

And it seems like. The market for the EOR is ripe for disruption. I feel like, you know, the technology was not there yet. The international structure was not the area, but it's getting better and better. And I feel like it's a nice segue to talk a little bit about myBase pay as you know, firsthand experience the problems and pain points.

And now founded a company that is actually helping staffing and recruiting companies leveraged the EOR model in a much more modern and better way than before, right.

Cesar Jimenez: Absolutely. That is a great point. You know, everything that we learned from, let's say 2010 until about 2019, when we started thinking about developing this new breed of an EOR model, because one thing that I've learned being a customer of that EOR model is that you learn where the gaps were.

Right. And we wanted to design a platform with a team of practitioners that helped us start. From every different lens from actually the contingent worker lens to the staffing owner lens, to the actual corporate TA buyer lens. And we came up with a solution to address all areas and, you know, from our proper distribution model to our benefits and PTO, everything we do to make sure that the worker experience is first.

We're trying to, you know, whether you are a staffing agency, whether you are a corporate TA executive looking to hire consultants directly, our job is to make sure that we help make the employer value proposition stronger for the organizations that we support.

Jan Jedlinski: And when you have listeners now thinking about.

What other EORs are out there. How can I get started? You know, maybe having met another EOR at a conference or, you know, started those conversations in the past, what would you say is the main advantage or the main differentiation of the traditional EOR to myBasePay?

Cesar Jimenez: I would say definitely do your homework.

And I would say our biggest advantages. You know, we lead with tech. You know, obviously our technology is far superior today's. It's more of a modern technology platform. It's AI enabled and it's on lot of automation. It's automated classification. There are so many different things that just help the hiring process faster.

We needed to have a model and a platform in place to be able to address the hiring. Especially the high volume and having hiring needs at the same time with keeping, making sure that your compliance is in check as well. Because this business, it's great. And the contingent, if you're in a contingent staffing business is no better opportunity right now to be in this business.

Everybody's growing, everybody's hiring the US is predicted to be, you know, over 50% of the workforce will be contingent. That presents an opportunity, but also has a ton of risk to consider. So partnering with, are you able to basically outsource that employment liability at the same time? So it kind of checks a lot of boxes for your organization, and again, it puts you in that position to be successful and focused on filling the position for your clients.

That's what it should be right now.

Jan Jedlinski: Yeah, and I've envisioned this entire workflow. As I mentioned, automation's super important. You've seen them growing every day with the acquisition of Herefish and Bullhorn. And, you know, I always get updates on LinkedIn from that team, like how many automations have been run and nothing.

It's not, it goes into the hundreds of millions so far, and I think that's going to grow exponentially now. And I feel like, you know, the next generation staffing companies we'll have a very automated ATS and has a great brand and has a great candidate and client experience, but we'll then have an, you know, basically a press of a button if they want to employ candidate anywhere in the world, pretty much automated with a platform like myBasePay directly integrated into their workflow. Right?

So it suddenly becomes this very lightweight way to run a staffing firm and be able to really focus on the things that matter.

Cesar Jimenez: Absolutely. You're absolutely correct. I mean, the staffing industry in general is making tons of progress and it continues to go digital with integration, very slick, very lightweight platforms to be able to help you run your business.

The other beauty about, you know, with a platform like this is everything that comes along with it, right. It's cool to have cool technology, but from a service perspective and taking care of the workers, which is our lifeblood for any staff organization. Number one, even in my personal opinion, even higher rises higher than the technology, making sure that you're able to give the workers the right type of benefits, you know, employee funded benefits, and also PTO availability.

You know, PTO to participate in PTO, which they traditionally do not.

Jan Jedlinski: That's actually very exciting. I think there's going to be a lot of patients on that front and, you know, touching base on technology and having to recruiter and the staffing company in between, you know, there's been a lot of talk over the last 18 months about the recruiter-less staffing model.

What is your take on that? Did you think the recruiter is going away anytime soon?

Cesar Jimenez: No. I mean, I've been hearing that for years, you know, I've been hearing that for at least over a decade, but I feel like there's more opportunities than ever for recruiters. I think there's obviously, there's a lot of different customers.

You know, corporate buyers are looking for alternative sources to secure talent, as you know, the rise of all these talent platforms out there marketplaces, you know, But you're going to need recruiters. I feel like maybe the recruiter position would be somewhat altered, more niche related, you know, and there's so many different as companies look for like different strategies that they bring in as far as direct sourcing anything though, you know, pay rolling or those types of forms of recruiting services, there's services that come along, like help them.

The service is going to be born to help those corporations adopt into those different avenues for alternative sourcing.

Jan Jedlinski: And when you think of the candidates sourcing sites, you know, I've been talking to a few other people on other episodes that I've recorded now about the war for talent and what companies can do better to attract talent and retain talent.

And everybody is talking about, you know, the skill shortage, and, you know, it's complaining that every little candidate supply to their jobs, what do you think can companies to better specifically staff and companies to have a better candidate and potentially even client experience than they have today,

Cesar Jimenez: Definitely leveraged some of their technologies out there to help you with building those relationships with this type of inventory, I feel like there's a ton of automation available out there to help you stay connected.

With a lot of the candidates that, you know, the highly sorted out candidates that you're looking for. I think there's an opportunity for a lot of recruiting companies, staffing organizations, to kind of develop more niches. It's really hard to compete today, trying to be everything to everybody. It's very difficult.

Even if you go down to, if you're a medical staffing firm, like you can't, this is hundreds. If not thousands of skill sets within the medical arena, same thing in IT. I mean, it's hard to be everything to everybody in IT. So I think there's really, we kind of coined the term around here as well as the riches and the niches.

And I believe that's a great opportunity for a company, not only to dominate a few different skill areas. But also because they can play some now with the, with no geographic constraints where we're remote work, you can wind up taking that inventory and those niche related skill sets that you can dominate.

And you're an expert in, and you have a bigger marketplace now to be able to do business than before. So I feel like those are the opportunities that this business will have shortly in a very new future.

Jan Jedlinski: Super exciting. And that's where you are, come in again. So I think that's really great.

Maybe we can circle back a little bit and talk a little bit more about leadership, you know, as successful. Staffing agency, owner, and founder of a new business. What keeps you up at night these days as the leader and CEO of those companies? Is there anything in particular that has sleepless nights these days where you wake up and you think like, Hey, wow, that's something that I have to take care of or something that you worried about.

Cesar Jimenez: Absolutely. I think there's always nights that, you know, some, a little nice little harder than others, but it's just about, I guess, experience and risk tolerance. Right? So like, I would say the pandemic obviously definitely made a lot of people's sleep, not sleep for quite a bit of time. It was really quick.

A lot of organizations, including myself, and just based on their experience that we had, that everything that we learned from 2008, 2009, which was even like a longer, you know, trying time for others in the staffing industry would help us adapt and know what to do in those types of situations. And it's all about also, I think how we were able to mitigate there.

It's just having a really strong team. A really strong team was everything. You know, people that can help adapt with you and focus on the positive and focus on, you know, stuff that they can control and not worry about stuff that they can't control that's from a managerial perspective. But I would say from a market perspective, things that keep us up at night right now are, you know, the talent shortage is real, right.

That's absolutely, you know, kind of looking at different solutions, you know, where can we tap into other things? It's something that we're constantly trying to look for alternative sources, we're working every single angle to make sure that we find the right resource for our customers. Other challenges that I would say as well, even with the market condition, where it is a slow hiring process, are fatal in our business.

'cause even right now to find the top talent today is like finding great resources, like finding gold, you get the right type of resource. We need our clients to hire faster and provide feedback faster. There's still some processes out there that, you know, interview cycles are way too long, you know, and today is, it's not a, it's not a sales tactic.

It's not, it is absolutely the truth. So the more that we can actually consult our clients on shortening the interview cycle. The better, the more success for them because you're in this war together. I would say another couple of areas. I would say along with the hiring process for me personally, it is unrealistic employer expectations, right?

Remote. A lot of people still haven't realized that remote is standard right now, remote is a competitive advantage for our organization. Remote provides access to a greater talent pool for organizations. If you are still thinking about having people on site, you're going to be at a disadvantage against other employers that are willing to hire the same type of talent that you're looking for on a remote basis.

Those are big things that keep us at night. It's just trying to continue to educate clients on, you know, putting our clients in the best position to win and bring in the data to help them make those decisions. That's how we try to get if we can help solve some of those problems. I think that'll help all of us sleep at night.

Jan Jedlinski: That's a good point. Actually, we were already thinking of the next World Staffing Summit that is coming up on January 22 to bring in. Both sides of the table have the client side and the staffing agency side sort of educate each other a little bit. And you know, the viewpoints that you just mentioned, I think are very real, right?

So educating clients a little bit on the speed is needed to actually make the right hiring decisions faster and then, you know, find the right talent, but also on the needs that the talent has. Right. You mentioned remote work, you're talking to candidates every day. Right. You know, as you mentioned, I think it's going to be a standard, right?

Our company was removed in 2016, we did have an office of four years old, but then when fully remote. So for us, it was not a big shock, but I think there's a lot of companies that don't really embrace remote work, but I think it's here to stay. So are you guys currently working remotely with myBasePay?

Cesar Jimenez: Absolutely. Our entire firm now. Brochures of the agency that I own. We actually have been remote before in the pandemic. I mean, it's just always, we have a lot of senior people and we've always had that culture. So it was, he wasn't an adjustment, but more than an advantage for us. So that helps in myBasePay.

Absolutely. I mean, we're spread all over the US but I would say primarily between Florida and Texas.

Jan Jedlinski: Cool, cool. That's really awesome. When you speak to the founders or people that are starting a new staffing forum, any specific advice that you would give them, maybe on the leadership may be on tools may be on anything that you have learned that somebody that is starting today can learn from you.

Cesar Jimenez: Oh, I love that question. That's a really good question. The biggest things I like to talk about are the first things, I guess I would ask some questions first. I would basically ask anybody who's willing to start a staffing agency just to understand that it's a startup that never ends. Right. What do I mean by that?

Right? It's you basically in permanent start-up mode all the time, this business is very cyclical. Right. And that'd be, you know, remember we're in the contingent staffing business. So everybody that you placed today, eventually. Assignment end date. So you constantly have to make sure that there's no room for complacency as business is not necessarily.

It's very difficult, you can never keep it on autopilot. You constantly keep on hunting and evolving and making adjustments in the industry because this industry is changing in my opinion, faster than ever. I think the adoption rate is faster than it was five years ago and I think it has a lot to do with it.

Then it has changed things permanently. I think it is kind of fast forward three to five years and advancements inside of 18 months from a business development perspective, I would say, follow your relationships. This business is all about relationships, you know, follow your relationships, let them know that you're available.

And then from a I have to mention this just because I am truly passionate about this model is if you're starting a staffing business, the easiest way to start a staffing business is definitely have a newer model in place. It gives you the infrastructure that you need in order the same infrastructure that any national staffing organization will have.

And that typically staffing owners are used to. So this is what you want to start out the gate with. So the last thing you want to worry about. It's operations, employment liability, making sure people paid on time. All you want to focus on is be able to dominate, be able to build relationships, find the talent your clients are looking for and make sure you're making successful placement.

Jan Jedlinski: That's really great advice. And I'm also a true believer in the EOR model. So, now, without the need for promoting myBasePay here, I would say the same to anybody else. It's definitely a great model and you should definitely consider it when you're starting out. So until on.

Cesar Jimenez: Jan,If you ever decide to diversify and start a staffing company, I think you know where to return to.

Jan Jedlinski: I know where to find you here, for sure. For sure. Because Cesar, before we wrap up this episode, I usually ask the question. What's your go-to source for industry news? Are there specific news outlets that, you know, you subscribe to read every day or every week that keeps you on the forefront, on the industry or anything also outside of the industry that you would recommend?

Cesar Jimenez: Oh, absolutely. You know, over the last, I would say three years, I really spent a lot of time. I love podcasts. Okay, that's fine. Go-to source. I mean, the gym used my sanctuary in the morning. I've been pretty disciplined for many years, you know, 5:00 AM I'm in the gym, 5:30 AM. And I listened to it.

That's why I get my podcast time. I love listening to it. Especially industry-related podcasts. I love learning from other, you know, different industries within that support, the contingent staffing, where recruitment technology is going business. So many resources available. Like one of them I like, I subscribe to art and partners.

They have an excellent contingent of weekly podcasts that always have a lot of different things. Chris wire out there, he's always has a great perspective on the industry and where it's going from a buyer's perspective. And you know, those are the, those are my, I, you know, obviously I'm sure you're aware.

We actually have our own podcast, which is IB podcasts, in which we interview a lot of IT executives. So that's just another great source for us. We are able to get a lot of industry news and practical. What I like is, you know, books are great, but I like a lot of practical advice that people are doing and using every single day.

Jan Jedlinski: Cool. Awesome. Thank you so much for that. Where can listeners find you online to learn more about myBasePay, Prosource or yourself.

Cesar Jimenez: I would say my go-to is LinkedIn is like, are probably the easiest way on LinkedIn profile and myBasePay. You could follow myBasePay. We always putting, we're very committed to putting a lot of industry related content out there.

To help kind educate you from compliance to payroll, just about everything that we do. We love putting a lot of and how to leverage, you know, services and how to leverage and, EOR and things to be concerned over things to, to look out for what's new. So we have a really big commitment and a really big content strategy out there for our user communities.

Jan Jedlinski: Thank you Caesar for being here today.

It was a real pleasure to talk to you. I'm super excited to stay in touch. Check in with you on another episode in the next 6 to 10 months to see what has changed to see you succeed with myBasePay and also continue your work with pro source was a real pleasure. Thank you so much for being here.

Cesar Jimenez: Oh, thank you Jan.

Thank you for having me Jan.

Jan Jedlinski: Thanks.

End: You've been listening to the World Staffing Podcast, brought to you by the digital storefront for your staffing business. If you liked this episode, make sure to subscribe and leave a review so you don't miss out on any future episodes. Got a topic you want us to touch base on.Shoot us a message.

Welcome to the World Staffing Podcast where we speak with success-full staffing owners and operators to learn about the things that keep them up at night, their success stories, learnings and failures while building a successful staffing company and their thoughts on the future of the staffing market.

Cesar, the CEO of myBasePay met with Jan to talk about how he got started in this industry. He shared some interesting stories and insights into his past career before founding a staffing company.

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