News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – Executemps Ltd, one of Bermuda’s longest established temping agencies has changed ownership, and Michelle A White, new Principle Director and Owner, is promising 21st century innovation in the resource service profession.
Ms White says: “Many will probably wonder why anybody would take on a new business venture in the midst of the current economic climate with news of businesses downsizing, profit margins shrinking, and retail and other store closures.
“I see this as an opportunity to demonstrate and restore confidence in our economy, in the process of employment, and in business ownership in general. Corporate Bermuda also deserves to have confidence that their Bermuda investment will yield results. And I happen to be a strong proponent of leading by example.”
In January, after nearly 40 years in the business, Carol Carvalho, President and Owner of Executemps was ready to retire. She had been providing Bermuda’s corporate business partners with temporary staff from a wide and diverse pool of human resources, carefully selected to meet the specific need of her clients.
Ms Carvalho said: “The Agency opened in 1982 and last year after running it for 37 years I decided I wanted to retire in 2020.
“The decision was whether to simply close or sell it to somebody who would continue to offer the professional services that the business community had come to expect when dealing with Executemps Ltd. The timing wasn’t exactly the best to be buying a business, but the agency was well established and had a good name.
“A few days later I had an email from Michelle and jokingly replied ‘want to buy a Temp Agency’.
“Having known Michelle for over 30 years I knew she would be ideal person to take over the Agency because of her considerable experience in HR and knowledge about Immigration matters but at that time I wasn’t sure whether she wanted to move from her current position. However, a few months later she came to see me, and the rest is history. I couldn’t be more pleased that she decided to take over the agency as I know she will maintain the professionalism that every company expects when dealing with a service provider, also she will bring a new, fresh approach to Executemps Ltd. with new ideas. I wish her the greatest success.”
Asked about her starting her business during a pandemic, Mrs White said: “Everything I have done, every job I have held, every course I have taken or taught and every person I have met along the way undeniably have all played a role in leading me to this point in 2020. I have also known that I would not retire from full time employment but I would carve my way in my own business; I just never knew how it would happen.
“In 2019 while taking courses at BEDC, the flame began to flicker and later a conversation with Carol would light the flame; I would have an opportunity to re-build a business that was downsized preparing for Carol’s retirement. Handing in my resignation, leaving the security of a full time job and paycheque, leaving my team of dedicated Government officers and transition from an employee to a business woman, quite honestly, was the scariest day of my life, but I have not regretted one moment after January 4, 2020 my last day as a civil servant.”
What was it like to open a business in Bermuda particularly during a pandemic?
a. It was frightening but in reality it offered an opportunity gain new skills, spend time organizing processes, plan, study, attend BEDC supported webinars, hold Zoom meetings and identifying the direction that I wanted to go. I watched and listened to the News, watched the posts on social media (Facebook and LinkedIn) and had chats with industry experts to ensure that I was current with the trends influencing the direction of businesses.
b. I had to be able to pivot, frequently. Due to the uncertainties around the pandemic, the business closures, the restricted movements, etc. I had to continuously pivot; somewhat like a basketball player trying to decide whether to pass the ball or to shoot. My initial business activity was to hold workshops and assist the current clients of Executemps Ltd. with their business practices but the day we were to advertise the workshops, Bermuda closed. Without workshops to hold, or work permits to process, I pivoted to focus on re-building the Temporary Services side of the businesses, but business leaders were not engaging as they were busy focusing on their individual business challenges.
c. I had to reach out to my support systems. I often reach out to industry colleagues, by phone or for virtual ‘tea breaks’. Some conversations are work related, others supporting their initiatives or me sounding off ideas. Networking has been very important to ensuring that I remain engaged in the business community until Bermuda was ready to open for business.
d. Check and re-check I’m on track. In May I sent out a short survey on LinkedIn and on my Facebook business page with the hope that the results would tell me if I was on track or not…I was, I just needed to give it time. “Throw it until it sticks” they say, so I went back to the grind and business has begun to gain traction but I am far from out of the woods.
Ms White continues: “There were many moments when I needed to be reminded of my value, my purpose, but never one moment did I doubt that I made the right decision. This is where I was meant to be, I just need to make it work.
I received assistance from BEDC to manage our monthly operational costs.
“I am not taking a salary from the business but looking forward to the day when I can.
“How can I still be so confident? 2020 has given me a rough start but I believe that I have ‘the sauce’ to be successful; an in-depth expert operational knowledge of Immigration, particularly regarding work permit matters, a high level of professionalism,
“I am principled (hence my job title deliberately spelled as such), my products are personalized to my audience and most of all my integrity. 2020 has offered me a diamond opportunity and like all diamonds requires time, precision and patience to create a product that will stand the test of time.” I welcome this opportunity to grow with my client base, as some seek services that may not be directly in my portfolio but they trust that I will manage their business professionally and confidentially. This trust goes a long way in building a client base who also operate with a high level of integrity.”
Mrs. White (BS in Social Work, MA in Management and Human Resources), brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of all sectors of the business community to current and potential clients.
She has served as an Officer and Corporate Services Manager at the Department of Immigration for the past 12 years, where she has developed expert knowledge of the work permit and the Minister Appeals process; one client often referred to her as “The Oracle”.
The recipient of the annual Visitor In Partnership (VIP) Award in 2011, after which she was a Facilitator for the Community Education Programme between 1998 and 2007 teaching courses relating to office procedures, Human Resource Management as well as Supervisory Management. Mrs White has proven experience in banking, retail, hospitality, and legal environments and whilst in legal, obtained her Corporate Secretarial Practices Course I and II Certificates. It could be said that her front-facing experiences began when she was asked to be Guest Speaker at the Webster University 1995 Graduation Ceremony; final event to be held in Bermuda at the USNAS site.
Mrs White added: “We are committed to providing professional, principled and personal services to our business partners at all times.
“We are committed to provide advice that is accurate to the best of our knowledge, to provide services in a timely manner as agreed with clients and to promote good business practices.”
She is committed to maintaining the agency’s provision of a suite of boutique temporary resource placement services and work permit processing, but adds that her new focus will include auditing work permit and recruitment processes, creating specialised training workshops and service consultations to businesses and organisations, adding to the professional, principled and personal services that distinguishes the agency.
Where the business is primarily business-to-business, Mrs White is sensitive to the issues facing Bermudians. “There is a general acceptance that guest workers are and will continue to be a required resource across all sectors of the business community, however I also believe that there is a high caliber of local talent in Bermuda.
“I am calling out to our local talent to have, and to demonstrate that you have, a genuine interest in ‘outside the box’ opportunities. I am also encouraging current and new businesses to believe in our local talent.
“Let’s work together to be the impetus for change in employment opportunities for Bermudians.
“It is my expectation that once businesses have aligned themselves with their ‘new normal’ temporary resource opportunities will open as it will offer both the employer and the employee a unique opportunity to ‘test the waters’ prior to fully committing to full time employment.
“There are persons who enjoy working as a temp as it allows one flexibility in their schedule. Others like the idea of temping so that they feel comfortable with making the right employment decision for them.”
Where does she go from here?
Assisting employers using traditional recruitment methods along with alternative hiring practices is Mrs White’s first step.
Through her company Mrs White will be conducting a series of courses that will focus on assisting businesses navigate all aspects of recruiting in Bermuda as she believes that it is at this process that employers need the most assistance, and with guidance there may also be a greater opportunity for employers of all business sectors to engage Bermudians. Her first courses will run online at the end of August.
Working hours: 10am – 4pm Monday to Friday
Office space is centrally located in Washington Mall, Hamilton, however until further notice, Mrs. White will continue to work from her home office. Consultations and business meetings are held via Zoom or in airy open spaces; in office meetings by appointment only. Prospective clients should email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation or business meeting. Contact may also be via our website www.executempsltdbda.com, LinkedIn messenger, our Facebook Business Page @executempsltd or Telephone: 441-295-8608.