What makes a great employer for temporary workers? It’s different strokes for different folks. Take Fusion Medical Staffing’s temporary workers.

Angela Schmid appreciates the firm’s willingness to embrace her unique lifestyle. For Corry Summerville, a responsive and reliable recruiter makes the difference. And Norma Bivona is drawn to the family-like atmosphere at the firm.

It all comes down to authentic personal relationships. So Fusion emphasizes to its healthcare travelers that they will be working for the recruiter, not the company.

“Fusion versus the other 100 companies? We all have similar benefits and perks,” says President Sam Wageman. “They are all pretty much apples to apples. But when it comes to the recruiter, one thing we get the traveler to understand is that you are always going to be working for me, the recruiter, and I am never going to leave you. The reason we hope you come to this company is because of me.”

This sentiment has won Fusion Staffing Industry Analysts’ 2016 Best Staffing Staffing Firm to Temp For. The company, founded in September 2009, initially served the physical and occupational therapy sectors but now operates five separate divisions: Nursing; therapy; allied lab; cath lab; and LPN/CNA, a branch of nursing but a separate division at Fusion. The Omaha, Neb.-based company has expanded from 55 internal employees one year ago to about 90 currently, while the number of contract workers it deploys more than doubled in that time frame.

Dedicated Recruiters, Dedicated Temps

“I think a lot of times companies lose sight of how important internal employees are,” Wageman says. “That’s our key focus, our culture. That’s what we are built on. When you take care of your internal people and you have a great dynamic culture, they are willing to do a lot.”

That company culture filters down to the contract workers.

“They can feel how much our employees enjoy their jobs,” he says.

Fusion seeks internal employees that represent its core values of “positive attitude, driven and humble.” In turn, those internal employees recruit and retain the same type of people as a temporary work professionals.

Schmid, a labor and delivery registered nurse with Fusion for about a year and a half, appreciates the dedication of Fusion recruiters. She is not the typical traveler: She and her husband home school their three children and park their motor home at RV parks while she works assignments.

“We use the travel as part of our education for the children,” Schmid says. “So some of the places we choose to go to are not about necessarily the money sometimes. A lot of time, it’s about the experience and where we can teach things that we need to teach.”

For instance, Schmid told her recruiter that they were learning about gold mines, and the recruiter found her an assignment in a mining area of Colorado.

A travel nurse for about six years, her experiences with other firms fell short.

“They were picking places that were convenient for them instead of letting me tell them the places I would like to go,” she says. “They would really push and push and push to get you to go to these other places. I never had any issues with the other places, but they weren’t always where I wanted to go.”

24-hour Support

Schmid is also impressed with the way Fusion recruiters keep in close contact with her throughout the assignments.

“They don’t just forget about you once you are placed in your placement,” she says.

For example, her recruiter had her back when she accepted an assignment in Texas that quickly went south.

“The place I was at, I felt unsafe,” Schmid explains. “The things that they did for my line of work were questionable at best — things that just weren’t appropriate for what we do and could risk my license. I was in contact with my recruiters constantly about what was going on over there and letting them know, ‘This is not a good place.’ And multiple times Fusion recruiters called me to say, ‘Do we need to get you out? Do we need to get you out of that situation, because we will if we have to? We are not going to leave you there if you feel that your license in on the line.’”

Schmid continued, “They cared about my safety and my comfort level and were right there with me the whole time making sure everything was OK.”

Fusion eventually intervened with the hospital on her behalf.

“I have a lot of respect for them after that,” she says. “They really did care about what was going on over there. Just because we are travelers doesn’t mean we can be scapegoats.”

Bivona, a medical laboratory scientist, also lauds the Fusion recruiters. She followed her recruiter over to Fusion two years ago from another firm.

“Their recruiters are phenomenal,” she says. “They stand behind their travelers. They are always there for them and care about them. They touch base with them all the time. It’s more of a family atmosphere.”

For example, the company supported Bivona when her mother experienced some medical problems, which required her to fly home unexpectedly.

“They were behind me 100% and told me not to worry and that everything would be OK,” Bivona says. “They said, ‘Don’t worry about your job right now. Keep your concern with your family right now and we’ll take care of the rest.’ I couldn’t ask for a better company to work for.”

One of her travel assignments took Bivona to the company’s headquarters city of Omaha. She stopped in to visit and to put faces to the names of the people she speaks to all the time on the phone.

“I can honestly say, immediately when I walked through the door, the first person I saw sitting at the desk welcomed me with open arms,” Bivona says. “And then it was just domino effect. Not even just my recruiters, but the recruiters throughout the whole company. I felt I had been there forever and it was the first time I had walked through the door and saw these people.”

And Summerville, a contracted speech language pathologist, joined Fusion two years ago. It is his first experience with temporary staffing.

“Their core values — humble, driven and positive attitude — I think they strive for that with their internal employees, and that is one thing that caught me,” he says.

Summerville’s recruiter has been a great support, punctual and always has a contract ready for him.

“When you travel, it is kind of like a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants jobs,” he says. “But I always want to be on top of everything. She is always reassuring me that everything is going to be okay and everything is going to be in place and happen just fine, which it has.”

Staffing is the ultimate people business and no amount of perks can replace that good, old-fashioned personal service.

“Typically, it’s the ‘being real’ factor — taking care of them and doing what we say we are going to do,” Wageman explains. “It sounds simple, but it tends not to happen in this industry.”