TRN manager: ‘I can hire just about anybody’


Editor’s Note — This article is part of a series that highlights local businesses hiring in 2020 and provides resume and interview tips for members of the community. If you’re a local business owner and would like to be featured, contact McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.

The Reserves Network (TRN) always needs people, branch manager Misty Haag told The Times-Gazette.

TRN is a family- and veteran-owned staffing agency that was founded in 1984 in Rocky River. TRN partners with employers to provide opportunities within the office, industrial, professional and technical markets. It matches nearly 20,000 employees with jobs each year across more than 40 U.S. locations. The Hillsboro and Washington C.H. TRN locations hire employees for businesses in Highland, Clinton, Fayette and Adams counties, Haag said.

Staffing agencies, sometimes also referred to as “temp agencies,” are no longer just about temporary work, Haag said. TRN offers a variety of options to fit individual needs.

”Typically when people think of a temporary agency or a staffing agency, they definitely think temporary work — that’s not today’s staffing agency,” Haag said. “Most of our customers are temp-to-hire, or you can bid on positions once you’re in there, or you complete so many hours and their plan is to hire you on. Years ago, when you wanted to go into factory work, you always heard people talk about probationary periods. Companies have kind of gotten away from probationary periods and have started using a staffing agency to be that person. We recruit that person, we hire that person, they’re our employee until a company wants to hire them on. It’s a good way to get in the door somewhere, to get yourself in front of someone, especially young people who have never had a job. We do short term, long term, temp to hire, direct hire, professional and technical placement, human and clerical functions placement.”

Haag added that TRN doesn’t take money out of their employees’ paychecks.

“People commonly think, ‘OK, I’m going to make $11 an hour — how much are you taking from me?’ We don’t charge our employees anything,” Haag said. “We pay them and then the customer pays us, so it’s not a case of where the employee pays us. I’m 44 now, but I worked for a staffing agency right out of high school, and I did pay them. When they told me I was going to make $4.85 an hour, they took $1 an hour. That doesn’t happen now.”

TRN’s big focuses are workplace safety and candidate experience, Haag said.

”Employees can go into a place and decide that that job’s not necessarily for them, they give their 48-hour notice, and we help them find something else,” she said.

Though some of the office, professional and technical positions may require past experience and relevant education, Haag said many employers require no past industrial experience and offer on-the-job training for industrial jobs. Some positions don’t even require a GED or high school diploma.

”Most of my positions are what we consider entry-level. They don’t require any previous manufacturing experience,” Haag said. “Now, you have some customers who work with sheet metal and some things like that who do ask for a safety-minded background — construction workers do well in that kind of an environment — but really because our customers are so diverse, I can hire just about anybody. I need somebody with a good attitude who’s dependable, reliable and willing to learn. I can teach you a process.”

Haag said TRN has a skill recruiter who focuses on skill-trade jobs, such as maintenance technician and supervisor positions as well as office and clerical positions, where prior experience may be required.

TRN also works with employers who don’t require background checks and will hire people with felonies or misdemeanors on their record.

“When we get to the point [in the interview process] where we’ve looked at their skills, they’ve told us what kind of shift they want, what kind of a pay rate — now we’re kind of formulating in our minds where they would match based on those things, so then we have background policies requirements,” Haag said. “We say, ‘OK, I think I have a customer for you, here’s their background policy,’ and I read it to them, and I say, ‘Do you match that?’ If they say, ‘Yes,’ then great. If they go, ‘Oh, no, I don’t,’ then I go, ‘OK, do you want to share with me what’s on your background, or I can read you a couple more policies?’”

“We bring people in and do an actual interview. I hire the same way that Walmart, Speedway and everyone else does,” Haag said. “We go through their work history, why they left jobs, things like that. We do ask some behavior-based questions and just try to get a feel for the candidate.”

Though people can apply to jobs directly through the job board, if that position later doesn’t fit their needs or expectations, Haag and her staff can help them find a different position that better aligns with their needs. Above all, Haag said, “When you’re job hunting or you’re talking to a staffing agency, be open-minded.”

Resume and interview tips

First impressions begin before the interview — “Set up your voicemail and a professional email address. If you want employers to take you seriously, those are your first impressions,” Haag said.

Take your time on your application and resume — “If they’re looking to present themselves well: capitalization and correct spelling. Take your time. Slow down and fill out the information. You’d be surprised how many people misspell Hillsboro, and I think it’s because they’re in a hurry. I don’t base my hiring decision on that but, you know, first impressions,” Haag said.

Come prepared — “We do reference checks, so make sure you come prepared with your references, preferably people who aren’t related to you. Get a babysitter. My fear is that if you can’t have somebody watch your kid when you come to an interview, who’s going to watch your kid when you go to work?” she said.

Dress appropriately — “Jeans without holes, nothing profane or obscene, no short shorts. Jeans and a hoodie are perfectly fine,” Haag said. “I get a lot of pajama pants and cleavage, and I try to tell those same people, ‘You can’t go to work like that. If you went anywhere else and applied for a job, they probably wouldn’t even proceed with your interview.’ Presentation is the first thing. My customers count on me to send them a good, quality person. I can’t send you in there in a dress code violation.”

Turn off your phone — “Turn your phones off,” Haag said. “People will come in and they’re at our counter, and we’re in the middle of talking to them when they answer their phone, and I’m like, ‘Are you going to be able to put it away at work?’ Again, you’re making an impression.”

Pay attention during training videos — “What that says to me [when you don’t pay attention to a training video] is that if you think that something’s not important, you’re not going to do it. How do I know that when I send you to a job site that you’re going to abide by those standards?”

For more information about The Reserves Network, to fill out an online application or to view its job board, go to Those who wish to apply can also go to a TRN office to fill out an application. There are TRN locations at 938 W. Main St., Suite #8, in Hillsboro, and 318 E. Court St. in Washington C.H.

Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.
First impressions are important

By McKenzie Caldwell

[email protected]

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