Mike Heffner of Express Employment Professionals celebrates expansion

A job for every person

Mike Heffner’s dream for growth of Express Employment Professionals has come true with recent expansion

Mike Heffner

“I say there is a job for every person and a person for every job,” said Mike Heffner, owner of Express Employment Professionals of Indy South.

“I truly believe that is our mindset,” he continued. “We work hard when someone comes in that maybe we don’t have an opening for, to go find a position with one of our client companies.”

That mindset, combined with a servant’s heart, dedicated employees and a shared vision for growth, Mike said, has led to the need for the Indy South location to relocate its business to a larger space which will accommodate the increasing demand. Heffner and his staff celebrated an open house on March 9, inviting the community to check out the new professional look at the 201 S. Emerson Ave., Suite 110 office.

Express Employment Professionals is an international franchise with more than 780 offices. Heffner opened the Indy South location in July 2005. The business performs in the top five percent of the franchise, having put 2,200 people into jobs in 2016, between the Indy South and Columbus locations.

“At the end of the day, what got me into this business was the desire to help people succeed,” Mike said. “This was a franchise that hit all of our values. They are a faith-based organization. It allowed us to be active in the community. On top of that, it allowed me to do what I love to do. This is a sales related business. The majority of our business is sales and business-to-business. It became a good fit.”

When Heffner first opened the business, there were three employees, focusing on manufacturing, warehouse and similar positions. In 2011, they opened the administrative division and near 2012, ventured into the professional division with engineering and advanced manufacturing. Heffner opened an office in Columbus in 2014. In 2015, they added accounting and finance.

“Customers kept coming to us, saying you’ve done a great job with this, can you help us fill this position?” Mike said. “We found the small to medium customers didn’t have the ability to have an hr department and recruiting wasn’t something they had the time to go do. We kept adding divisions based on demand from our customers.”

The business has become a job where, at the end of the day, Heffner and his wife, Kelly, can go home and feel like they did something with purpose.

“Every individual we hire internally into our business has heart, a servant’s heart,” he said. “They really look to help people. They also have a drive, or an energy, for people and also have the ability to understand, read, guide and steer people. My prayer is that this place becomes a place that helps as many people find a job that is meaningful for them as possible.”

Heffner said his role now is to continue to find opportunities for my team to continue to grow with local businesses. He’s involved in the Greater Greenwood Chamber of Commerce and is on the board of workforce development for region five, talking to senators about issues for job seekers.

“The number one thing we hear from people is transportation is the number one reason they can’t get to work,” he said. “Number two is childcare. We have  huge drug problem. Twenty to 25 percent of people don’t pass the drug test. That’s something I feel passionate about, how do we help? There is a skills gap, but if you can’t get to work or childcare for your kids, then it makes it really hard. If you can’t show up to work, you can’t go get the skills training that you need.”

He also enjoys spending his time leading his team at Express Employment and helping develop them into the next leaders of the organization.

“In the beginning, it was more about just make a living,” he said. “Now it’s become how do I help this group of people and how does this group of people help a number of lives…. The dream was to be where we’re at, but it was a big, big dream. To have 20 employees, two locations and to have put 2,200 people to work, that was a far away island we were rowing towards. To see if happen as quickly as it did, I couldn’t have orchestrated it in my head (in the beginning).”

For more information, visit expressindysouth.com/.

Express Employment Professionals of Indy South celebrates growth through March open house

Express Employment Professionals of Indy South celebrated its open house for its new office on March 9. Owners Mike and Kelly Heffner and the staff were not only able to share the aesthetics of the new professional office space, but educate about what they do, the company’s growth and the vision for the future.

“Our goal was to continue to expand the administrative and professional business,” Mike said. “We saw that as a way to help even more people find jobs. The next five years, we hope to put 1,000 additional people into jobs through that side of our business. This space allows us to help every individual that comes in no matter what type of job they’re looking for.”

The Heffners purchased the 12,000 square foot building, which has two other tenants. The Indy South office takes up 6,000 square feet.

“We’ve had great feedback,” Mike said. “We want the experience to be different. We want to help them to feel respected no matter the type of position they have and we want them to feel welcome. They can come in and have a good experience at an employment agency.”

Get to know two of Express Employment Professionals of Indy South’s longest-serving employees:

Erin Ricke

Erin Ricke

Erin Ricke was the first person Mike Heffner hired when he opened his Express Employment franchise in Greenwood in 2005.

“It’s a company I can get behind,” Ricke said. “I want to be passionate about anything I do. For 11 years, I have been able to be passionate about this company. I don’t own this company, but I take a lot of responsibility and pride about what we do here at Express.”

A graduate of the University of Indianapolis, Ricke had served as an ambassador for the university, taking students on tours and promoting the school. She knew recruiting was the route for her. After college, she got a job with ITT Tech in online recruiting, but wasn’t passionate about the online aspect of the job. She applied to Express Employment, knowing that recruiting was a part of the job.

“So I started 11 years ago,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed it since then. I’m able to fulfill my passion of recruiting, helping the community, finding people jobs and being that resource.”

Ricke said she loves that she meets new people every day, each with a different story.

“Some are looking for a job change.,” Ricke said. “Some are down on their luck and think it’s their last resort but it’s not. Express is more of a placement agency than a temporary service. We’re trying to place that person into a full time job.”

Ricke has gone through many roles throughout her time with the company, starting as a recruiter for the industrial team and now serving in an outside sales role.

Phill Powell

Phill Powell

Phill Powell will soon celebrate his 10-year anniversary with Express Employment Professionals. When he was hired in 2007, he said he was able to find a job that fit his natural strengths, making the job all the more fulfilling.

Powell started out doing temporary staffing and placement work. He is now the operations manager for both the Indy South and Columbus offices.

“Because we’re a small business and because we’re franchised, we have all of the support and tools needed to be successful but we also get to do it our way,” Powell said. “We get to make the tweaks and the changes that we need in the moment to grow and be successful. I enjoy that, especially in my role now, leading and guiding the direction alongside Mike. If Mike sets the vision, I become the strategy of, ‘how do we get there?’ I love doing that and seeing us pull it off.”

The latest endeavor, having moved to the new office and the expansion of the professional side of the business, has been enjoyable, Powell said. Express is looking to make the professional division 50 percent of what it does, so Powell said he looks forward to watching and helping the company continue to grow.

“I think that while all companies exist to make money, we have a unique opportunity to do that while helping multiple people at the same time,” Powell said. “The job seeker that comes in, we can provide hope and help in the form of a job or a resource to point them in the direction of their job search. While companies pay us to find employees, we’re providing a service that provides help and hope to them as they try to grow. When you do that together and you’re able to provide someone a with a good opportunity to work with a good company, that’s a three-way win.”