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September 17, 2018 Issue



Q&A with Glenna Cose Brin, CPC, President of AllianceStaff LLC, local award winning Recruiting & Staffing firm in Milwaukee Wisconsin, that continuously finds top talent in Milwaukee by paying attention to the cogs in the gears, of Milwaukee’s best companies:  the under-the-radar Support Level talent



Glenna Cose Brin, CPC



AllianceStaff LLC


Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – September 17, 2018


CEOCFO: Ms. Cose, according to the tagline on the AllianceStaff site, “We connect great people with great companies.” How do you do that at AllianceStaff LLC? 

Ms. Cose: That is a good question. The way we do that is through listening. We listen to what our companies are looking for. As recruiters we train ourselves to listen to what the company wants, the kinds of skills, why they are looking to hire somebody, what it is they are needing. Then we personally interview our candidates and look for those candidates, too. Many of the good companies and good candidates really need good matches, good matches for the companies.


CEOCFO: How do you understand what a company might be looking for that they are not saying? What is under the surface? 

Ms. Cose: From our longstanding relationships with companies and our vast experience talking to lots of different companies, we’ve discovered many people want similar kinds of strengths, but just do not know how to articulate it. We find that by working with so many people. We only really work with companies in the Milwaukee area; Southeast Wisconsin. Therefore, we understand that they are all kind of looking for the same thing. We ask questions. Now that we are talking about this, how do we understand? How do we mind read? We are part mind readers. We interpret. We follow up and verify, “Are you saying this?” We just learn to clarify, distill, and yet expand the needs and wants. We learn from one company what another company wants and we learn through continuous feedback what they do and do not want.  


CEOCFO: What is the job market like in Milwaukee today?

Ms. Cose: It is hot! It is very hot! What has really happened is that, Milwaukee has a reputation for being a thrifty place:  great employee work ethic, salaries in line and competitive, willing and able work force. As companies want to do more with less and with technology being the name of the game, companies are moving here and expanding for the foreseeable future. We have an influx of companies hiring in our downtown area. We find that companies here in Milwaukee are excitedly hiring. There is a need for people with good computer skills. Of course, we place people in mid-level positions on down to college grads. We are always looking for people that can go into a company and that can really be there for several years and that the company can invest in. There is a big need; a lot in construction. Real estate is very hot. Healthcare is very hot. The financial services, which is legal, insurance and investments; that whole area is very hot. We have seen a new kind of area come up, too. Call centers! Who would have thought that that was like its own specialty area? However, we have seen that there is a need for people that are articulate. There is a need for customer service people that are driven. Who would have thought that that was anything to pay attention to?


CEOCFO: Are you mostly placing local people? Do people want to come to Milwaukee?

Ms. Cose: Yes and no. People from within Wisconsin do, because this is the economic engine of Wisconsin. People from Chicago sometimes like to come here because it is a little bit more quality of life, more affordable and everything else. However, you would be surprised and how exciting Milwaukee is! Many of the reports say that we are competing with Portland, Oregon right now for the young crowd. That is because we have a lot of affordable and modern rental housing downtown. Many businesses that have been in the suburbs are moving downtown in order to take advantage of the young people. There are many young people that are moving to Milwaukee! It is surprising! Of course, we have two great big new draws. We have a new economic development going on in our downtown area. Then we have an IT company Foxconn, which is controversial for many people to the south of us, that is going to draw from Chicago and from Milwaukee. There is a lot of money coming into Milwaukee.  


CEOCFO: You have “Twenty steps to a successful hire.” What are some of the steps you take at AllianceStaff that are not typical and why are they important?

Ms. Cose: Right now, because identifying and recruiting candidates can be a real hard process, one of the steps that we take that saves companies is the fact that we are a team of eight here on staff, and recruit day and night. We personally interview candidates. One of the steps is interviewing candidates and determining if they are just saying they really want a change or they are thinking about changing or if it is wishful thinking or if they are just shopping for a job but not really going to take it. One of the big steps is that we personally interview the candidates and know what they are about as opposed to just screening them on the phone. Therefore, we know how serious they are. If they are not serious they sit on the shelf for six months until they get a little bit more serious.


CEOCFO: Do candidates understand the difference in your approach? Do they welcome the in-depth process?

Ms. Cose: Yes. I think they do because the most powerful word for them is the word “you”. What do “you” want? Where do “you” want to go? It is an opportunity for them to work through their own personal inventory. “What do I want? Am I happy?” Job satisfaction is important because you spend so much time there that you want your position to be rewarding and satisfying. For someone to spend forty five minutes talking to them about what they are doing and how and where they are going is a very good exercise in job satisfaction and personal growth. Taking the time makes all the difference in the world. 


CEOCFO: What has changed in your approach over time? What have you learned as AllianceStaff has been in business?

Ms. Cose: We have learned to never pre judge, because things are always changing. Transitions are always changing. I have been in this business for a long time, but I do not know everything. The Millennials, the Baby Boomers and Generation Z and Y and all of the different generations all come with different points of view. The richness of the mix and everyone bringing new ideas is what keeps the business fresh and successful. Change is always inevitable, so someone who is willing to work with the changes is what keeps it fresh and alive and vibrant.


CEOCFO: Would you tell us about being recognized as one of the Best and Brightest Companies in Milwaukee in 2018?

Ms. Cose: It is an honor. It is something that of course one works for, for personal satisfaction.  Being recognized as Best and Brightest is a distinction that really has to do with staff. It is really more of a recognition of the staff that is engaged. It has to do with how well our staff is engaged in our business. Do they care enough to contribute and bring ideas to the table? That is what keeps an organization vibrant, in my opinion. Does everyone have an opportunity to help improve things? Best and Brightest recognizes that and we have had that distinction for the last four years. This year, one of our sales meetings each month has to do with wellness. Therefore, we talk about other personal things so that we are helping people, not only to be a better salesperson, but just to be a better person. For a little eight person company it has made a difference! People like it! That is one of the ways that we have learned through the Best and Brightest which has to do with people being engaged in the company.


CEOCFO: How do you reach out for new clients?

Ms. Cose: We reach out through telephone, introducing and asking questions, networking at meetings and keeping an open mind. I do a lot of work in the legal and insurance areas and it has really been about personal interviewing, reading the newspapers, reading the business pages and talking to people. We are a business of people, for people, with people. Of course, websites that draw people in is key in this era of “phones” so we are in the process of upgrading our social media campaigns, too.


CEOCFO: Do you tend to work with a company on many levels of their positions or might it be typically just certain positions at some companies? How do the engagements typically go for you?   

Ms. Cose: We have our sweet spot, which is support level. It is midlevel. It is not necessarily management. Our original company started by placing administrative assistants. Of course we call it “bringing dignity to the little guy”. However, we have some companies that we work with and handle all of their hiring. At the same time, for companies we are niched in that we do the accounting and finance in a certain area. Within healthcare we tend to not work nurses, but we work with the revenue cycle of health. In construction we work with project managers, project coordinators, the people that are really doing the work, but we do not necessarily work with CFOs.


CEOCFO: Why choose AllianceStaff?

Ms. Cose: In Milwaukee we have a team who has been together for a long time and the reason we have been together is because we are consistently training. All that means is that we have such a good outreach and such a vast reach into the little hidden markets in the little hidden spots for finding good talent that companies find that we can save them a lot of time and a lot of aggravation by coming to us the first time. That is really it. And as our name says, there’s only “one word” in recruiting in Milwaukee, and that is “AllianceStaff!”



“The Millennials, the Baby Boomers and Generation Z and Y and all of the different generations all come with different points of view. The richness of the mix and everyone bringing new ideas is what keeps the business fresh and successful. Change is always inevitable, so someone who is willing to work with the changes is what keeps it fresh and alive and vibrant.”- Glenna Cose Brin, CPC


AllianceStaff LLC



Glenna Cose Brin, CPC







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