- Tech Insights
Ultru Personnel Recruiting (also known as Ultru), led by Danielle Harris, President, is a temporary staffing, quality inspection, and talent acquisition organization that puts the goals of their customers at the forefront of their actions. Danielle joined Ultru (formerly MCI|AST) in 2015 with an agreement that if she brought in new ideas and helped grow the company, she would become part owner. A business plan was written on a napkin in a café, in Berea, Kentucky and she began working towards her vision for the company. Fast forward to June of 2018 and Danielle had become President of Ultru and bought 51% of the company to become the majority shareholder. Danielle trusted her instincts and experience with each decision she made and became the company's youngest owner. She is proud of the woman-owned and minority-owned enterprise she continues to build.
Initially, Danielle worked in the company's logistics department, as part of the quality inspection sector of the company. She collaborated with quality inspectors throughout her customers’ warehouses and developed a critical set of inspection procedures. After one year, she was promoted to project manager. She began eliminating sectors within the company that weren't working, added in temp-to-hire services, and was then promoted to operations manager.
She rose through the ranks with her customer counterparts and believes that going through the same trainings they went through and literally putting herself in their shoes, allows her to relate to her customers better than anybody else. As far as Danielle is concerned, this is one of the things that sets Ultru apart from their competitors. Danielle explained that most of their customers and the workers they’ve hired have heard about Ultru from others, from word of mouth. Danielle said, “it’s a testimony to the collaborative work that we are doing, and we will only build on that as we progress to the next level.”
In addition to the staffing services provided at Ultru, GP12 containment services make up a large share of what they do. Companies involved in production need solid quality procedures to assure safe and correct production and delivery of parts. If companies are struggling with this or require modest improvements, Danielle’s team can help them design and establish a new system that works for their needs. 20 years of experience in this field allows them to provide this trusted, outside perspective to customers that need it.
While developing and improving the different sectors of Ultru, Danielle said that “learning to step back from micromanaging was as a major life lesson for her.” She said her mentors described managing her "within a larger circle."She says that everyone's way of doing things is acceptable as long as it fits well within the larger circle. Should they stray off course, you can simply steer them back on course with a little coaching. This technique has stuck with her as the company has grown and she’s needed to supervise more employees.
Danielle also said she had to learn how to deal with criticism early on in the building of the company. She explained that it was initially difficult to keep from getting defensive and tiring out from trying to please everyone. She said tolerating criticism and discerning between genuine counsel and emotional outbursts are skills, like any other, that need to be practiced and developed.
At this point in her career, she sees criticism as an opportunity to not only grow and develop further, but as an opportunity to set an example for her staff on how to respond to negative feedback.
Part of Danielle’s approach to running Ultru comes from her experience as a server and bartender in college. It taught her about people, inefficiencies, and how to handle difficult situations. She says that everyone deals with inefficiency, whether you’re in a managerial position or not. She stated that it helped her “understand the stress and emotional roller coaster an employee may undergo” because she’s been there. She can relate. She said she works to “determine the problem, provide help, and assists the employee to address it. If a goal is still not being accomplished, then that employee may not necessarily be a good fit for that particular position. However, their skills could possibly be utilized elsewhere.” Danielle explained, “Ultru and our sister companies are constantly looking for people with a vision who just need a chance. We often meet with people, hear their ideas, and point them in the right direction. If it’s not something we can directly use within our companies, though, then we use our network and connect people.”
The future of Ultru Personnel Recruiting is expansion. Danielle’s new vision is to make Ultru a nationwide recruiting company. They currently hire temp-to-hire employees, quality inspectors, and offer direct recruiting as well. Ultru is undergoing a rebranding process (it was formerly known as MCI|AST) and a part of that is making professional talent acquisition a large part of the company. They're working with marketing firms to grow, stay ahead of the competition, and to enhance their visibility online, on social media, and to upcoming generations entering the workforce. Danielle added, “Customers and workers alike need to hear about the opportunities we can offer". She explained, “I absolutely love this company and I’m excited to take Ultru’s direct hiring services outside of Kentucky – nationwide!”
Ultru Personnel Recruiting
At Ultru Personnel Recruiting, our long-term goals are to continue to expand both geographically and in diversity of service while still maintaining our small-business approach to customer satisfaction. We like to think of our customers as partner companies, and our goal is to have the most mutually beneficial partnerships possible.