2020 Executive Excellence Awards: Debbie Crandall, President, Parker Staffing

Crandall helped Parker not only survive numerous tough transitions, but thrive to this day

This article appears in print in the January/February 2020 issue. See more about the winners of the 2020 Executive Excellence Awards here. Click here for a free subscription.

Debbie Crandall has demonstrated an old-world toughness several times throughout her career.

Crandall, who joined Parker Staffing 21 years ago, was promoted to president in 2005 after the company was sold to new owners. Parker was sold again one year later after the owners became insolvent. Crandall worked diligently to retain staff and met with all clients to reassure them that the business remained viable.

Three years later the global financial crisis hit, and Crandall was forced to close company branches in Portland, Tacoma and Bellevue but managed to retain the Seattle office. As other recruiting companies struggled, Parker became one of only a few administrative staffing firms remaining in the city.

She then used technology as she led the firm through a period of rapid expansion. Fully 100% of all interviews are now conducted through video, enabling the company to expand nationally to eight states without enormous overhead.

Crandall also revamped the business model, reducing the company’s eight lines of business to just one: filling administrative-support positions. Parker also is unique in that it manages its own payroll.

The company, which now employs more than 300 workers, has appeared on Seattle Business magazine’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For numerous times. When the company exceeds its sales goals, all employees are rewarded. Two years ago, they went to Maui.

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