Intimacy in the age of technology

After more than 25 years in the staffing industry, Bobbie Ruch, president of Acloché Staffing, observes, “There is almost an attitude of reinvention that takes place in business, particularly in a service business where needs constantly change.”

That attitude of reinvention recently led Ruch to discontinue her company’s 32-year franchise arrangement with Olsten Corp. to begin operating as an independent business.

“Like anything else, times change, and we saw an opportunity to articulate a new perspective and a fresh point of view,” she says.

The transformation process, as Ruch describes it, resulted not only in a new perspective but also in a new name — Acloché — designed to reflect the accolades the company has consistently received from the Columbus business community over the past 32 years.

As part of the transformation, Ruch says the company is working with some very simple, yet powerful themes, such as the idea that less is more.

“We are trying to be very user-friendly,” she says. “In our line of work, when someone wants a job, he wants a job. People don’t want to have things made too complicated.”

To illustrate the drive toward simplicity and redesign, Ruch notes that in the change from Olsten to Acloché, the company tossed out 3,300 pounds of paper.

“In addition to redoing our paperwork, we’ve also done a lot of streamlining and simplification of internal processes with the idea that when you call us, whether you’re a customer or someone looking for work, we can move really quickly to make a match,” she says.

Ruch acknowledges there are certain requirements — screening, testing, and background and reference checking — that still must be done to make good placements. But she says, “In 32 years, we’ve developed a fair amount of expertise in working with people, and we can translate that into our daily actions to get an optimum result for everyone.”

Ruch says Acloché is a human resources business, offering not only permanent job placements and staffing services, but also training.

“We work with people just getting started in their careers, right up into the six figures. We also place a lot of IT people and a fair number of accounting people, as well,” she says. “And, of course, our bread-and-butter business is regular office support and distribution and manufacturing support.”

The company also offers soft skills and computer training classes. The Microsoft-certified training center is at its Easton location, and Ruch says a second computer training center is planned for Marysville.

The company was started in 1968 by Ruch’s parents, George and Betty Lou Ruch. When Bobbie Ruch took over leadership in 1985, its three locations were producing about $3 million in revenue. Today, with 13 locations in and around the Greater Columbus area, revenue exceeds $40 million.

“We’ve been blessed,” says Ruch. “Columbus is a great market, and we are so fortunate to have so many great companies here.”

Acloché works with 16 of the 20 largest companies in Central Ohio, with clients such as Bank One, The Limited and Honda. Last year, it sent out more than 15,000 W-2s to employees.

Ruch acknowledges there have been challenges along the way.

“I think we had some years where we grew too fast, and that put a lot of stress on the business,” she says.

Because of her staff’s commitment to filling customers’ needs, Ruch says it can be very frustrating for them to have open orders they are unable to fill.

“Particularly in Columbus, where unemployment is so low, it becomes very difficult for our service staff, and we try to stay sensitive to that,” she says. “There have been years when we have stopped selling altogether because we’ve had so much internal growth.”

That dedication to customers, as well as a focus on common courtesy, ranks high on Ruch’s list of simple, back-to-basics themes for Acloché.

We want to be the best; to exhibit excellence in everything we do,” says Ruch. “We think that customer intimacy in the age of technology is very important. And we believe in doing what you say you’re going to do, following through, and keeping commitments and promises. We go in every day with the idea that we’re all going to do our best, and generally, I think that human nature is such that everyone wants to do a good job.

“We use that kind of logic in working with people.” How to reach: Bobbie Ruch, Acloché Staffing, 416-JOBS or

Editor’s Note: This page is presented as a cooperative effort of National City Bank and SBN Magazine; however, all material prepared for this page was independently reported and edited by SBN and was not subject to prior review or approval by National City Bank representatives.