At the start of COVID, airlines felt the pressure of lost revenue as flights were canceled around the world. STS Technical Services, a staffing firm that serves clients in the aviation industry, had a front row seat when the disaster unfolded.
“The commercial aviation industry was crushed in 2020. No one was flying anywhere,” said Bryan Shaw, the company’s chief marketing officer. Regular customers began to put projects on hold as the need for aircraft mechanics and other service personnel diminished.
As business leaders watched as other staffing firms lay off some of their staff, the STS team didn’t panic, Shaw said. Instead, they took things one step at a time and transitioned their staffing team to working remotely, while moving to meet customer needs outside of the commercial aviation sector.
Flexibility brought new successes. In 2020, Oshkosh Defense awarded STS a contract to provide labor services to build a fleet of Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLVT) that will replace US military Humvees.
Shaw describes the deal as “a huge win for us while looking COVID in the face.”
This is the company’s first year on the Best Workplaces list, ranking fourth among all midsize companies. Employees describe a rewarding, independent and supportive environment.
“I can see that what I do matters,” said one employee. “I’m able to help people pursue their careers and I’m given the support and tools I need to succeed. »
Founded in 1986, STS Technical Services began in Reno, Nevada. It started out as an aviation-only recruitment company, but acquisitions and partnerships over the decades have taken it into other sectors such as aerospace and industrial manufacturing.
The recruiting team recruits for hundreds of technical, commercial and engineering jobs, hiring skilled workers who can supply labor to a variety of clients all over the world. Today, STS is headquartered in Brookfield and has multiple offices across the United States.
Despite the international focus, STS serves a number of Wisconsin companies, including Harley-Davidson and Oshkosh Defense.
Nearly 90% of the staffing team works remotely, Shaw said.
“I think STS was able to handle this transition really, really well,” he said. “They have a lot of tools in place that keep the team connected.”
One of these tools is a bonus system to reward employees. Shaw said he thinks it’s important that hard work is recognized and rewarded within the company, whose mission is “to promote the growth and well-being of our employees by investing in a cultural atmosphere that emphasizes our values and strives for excellence through collaboration and fostering a sense of PRIDE in work, reliability, innovation, generosity and spirit.
The company’s PRIDE initiative, synonymous with professionalism, respect, integrity, reliability and enthusiasm, aims to reward those who go above and beyond.
The five attributes represent the qualities sought by team members. When a person excels in one of these categories, they receive a token that can be redeemed for a monetary reward once they have collected all five.
And outside of the workday, employees also meet up for virtual happy hours to connect and chat.
“Although I am totally distant, my managers at STS have always worked to make me feel included and valued,” one employee said.
Remote work will remain a facet for the company in the future. Future plans include pursuing projects in various sectors and securing new customers and contracts.
“Our team should grow,” Shaw said. By the end of 2022, he said the company’s revenue is expected to grow 15-20% from pre-pandemic levels.
“I think it’s a huge testament to what we’ve been able to accomplish, the obstacles we’ve been able to overcome, and some of the great new client signings and projects we have to come.”