Mid Oregon Personnel ‘Helping Other Companies to Be Successful’


(The father-son team of Greg and Sam Lambert is shown in Belize on a scuba diving adventure | Photo courtesy of Mid Oregon Personnel)

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the company he founded back when Prineville’s economy was reliant on its five sawmills, Greg Lambert, president and co-owner of Mid Oregon Personnel, recalled that he started with no business phone, much less business cards. “But I did have drive.”

Admitting that “I had to work very diligently,” — which meant from 5:30am-10pm — Lambert landed his first client in the very first week. “We broke even in the third month, and were in the black one month later. I’ve never looked back,” he said.

(Integral in getting the business started, was his wife Nancy, who did a lot of the initial hiring, and after ten years — when Mid Oregon was well established — left to pursue a career in nursing.)

Although none of the sawmills that initially helped sustain Lambert’s fledgling firm remain, the values he stood by 40 years ago are just as important to him — and to his son Sam, vice president and co-owner — in 2024. “Integrity fist — we live by it,” said Sam Lambert. “Do the right thing even if it hurts.”

“The essence of Mid Oregon Personnel is that we always treat people — whether employer or job applicant — the way we would want to be treated,” added his father.

“People aren’t numbers to us,” the Lamberts said. “Nor is Mid Oregon a body shop. We work hard to find the best fit, and would rather not fill a job than fill it with the wrong person. As a result, clients have a much higher retention rate than is typical for our industry.”

“If you’re trusting us to hire for you, in effect you’re saying that ‘we’re trusting you with the future of your business,’” said Sam Lambert. “We take this very seriously, as — in effect — we’re helping other companies to be successful.”

“This is because perception of your company is closely tied to the people you hire,” he elaborated. “If, for example, the employee who answers the phone doesn’t take their job seriously, you could lose an account, or adversely affect sales of your products. This is true across industries — whether a business is service-oriented or a manufacturing operation. If employees’ work is if poor quality, it will burn you, and be expensive in the long run.”

To prevent this from happening, Mid Oregon Personnel has built its reputation on relationships — person-to-person interviews with clients and would-be applicants to understand their needs and goals. “We get to know our clients really well,” said Sam Lambert, “by visiting their facilities, talking to employees, and learning who would make a good employee in their given culture (as this differs from company to company).

“We also spend time talking with applicants to discover who they are, and what drives them. As we’ve experienced, while skills can be taught to a certain extent, personality makes the placement.”

Only then, agree the Lamberts, “are we able to work on finding the best fit for both the employee and the company looking to hire.” “We do the best we can for everybody,” said Greg.

As a result of this approach, “both my dad and I have had people come up to us, in the grocery store or around town — sometimes years after a placement — and tell us that ‘you put me in a position I didn’t think I could handle, and it changed my life.’ These moments are really, really special,” said Sam Lambert.

Another endorsement of Mid Oregon’s modus operandi is the fact that, as he pointed out, “one client has been with us for 40 years — the entirety of our existence — even through four or five ownership changes.”

Like his father, who had not planned to get into the staffing industry, Sam Lambert was working for a manufacturing company — and had just been passed over for a promotion — when deciding to jump into the field. “Starting at the front desk in our Bend office, which was underperforming, I filed papers and answered the phone — and the first job I ever filled was the one I had left (after ironically being offered that once-desired promotion).”

Four years after joining Mid Oregon Personnel, he took on managing the Bend office, and subsequently took over the one in Redmond. He now runs the firm’s day-to-day operations.

In addition to having “an extremely close” father-son relationship (the two men are both scuba divers and “have traveled the world together”), Greg and Sam Lambert “share a lot of the same philosophies, want the same things for the business, and tend to dream pretty big. There’s no ego involved,” said Sam. “We’re always thinking five or 10 years down the road — taking into account advances in technology and factors such as the economy — and work very hard to be positioned for hard times so we can take a hit if we have to.”

“Our staff is phenomenal,” he said, “as strong a team as we’ve ever had. They really care a lot about the communities in which they work, are invested in them, and are consequently able to have a long-term impact. I’m so proud of them.”

While not comfortable providing any specifics, due to the proprietary nature of Mid Oregon’s expansion plans, Sam Lambert said that “there’s a possibility we may have offices in other states, which is really, really exciting.”

Whatever direction Greg and Sam Lambert pursue to help ensure Mid Oregon Personnel’s continued success (while freely admitting that “no one gets it right every time, and despite our experience in hiring, it’s not like we’ve never made a mistake”), their loyalty to the firm’s original locale — like their commitment to integrity — will remain unchanged. “Mid Oregon Personnel is a locally grown, Central Oregon original. It has been a privilege,” they said.



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