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Staffing Office Dress Code

  • 1.  Staffing Office Dress Code

    Posted 09-10-2021 09:35
    At our office, we have a typical office attire dress code Mon- Thurs and casual Fridays. It seems that in the last couple of years the understanding of "office/ professional" attire is just not understood.
    We give out a dress code policy with examples and still, it is a daily issue and our business manager is completely frustrated. It is such a waste of time for us. 

    I wanted to know what other agencies are doing and if you have these problems? We are an independent agency with a staff of 10 people.

    If you have any suggestions, please share.

    Lisa Zand
    APS Employment Services Inc.
    Saginaw MI
    (989) 921-0358
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  • 2.  RE: Staffing Office Dress Code

    Posted 09-10-2021 12:05
    Hi Lisa - we do not have any type of dress code for our office staff and it has worked very well. Especially for younger workers not having a dress code or casual/lax code is a huge bonus that costs you nothing to offer. I have had multiple employees bring up to me how much they appreciate the casual environment and not having a dress code and how it makes them feel like they are appreciated as a human being. Literally the only other benefit that I have been personally thanked for offering by employees is paid maternity leave. I think ownership/leadership really undervalue just how much employees appreciate not being policed over what they are wearing. Adults do not like other adults telling them what they can and cannot wear.

    Obviously if client visits are happening (honestly not been an issue in the pandemic) people know to dress appropriately.

    Sean Barber
    Pluto Healthcare Staffing
    Columbus OH
    (513) 600-7331

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  • 3.  RE: Staffing Office Dress Code

    Posted 09-10-2021 13:49
    We are also an independent agency with a 10 person internal staff. We are casual dress. When we have client visits we wear slacks and company branded polos. Beyond that, I allow my recruiters to dress casually, but they use their best judgment (nothing outrageous, unpresentable or otherwise in poor taste). It's never been an issue in the 4 years I've been here.

    Alicia Gordon
    HR Director
    Reno Staffing
    Reno NV
    (775) 356-1137

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  • 4.  RE: Staffing Office Dress Code

    Posted 09-11-2021 12:26
    Suggestion -

    In a New Hire Orientation Brochure - and in verbal orientation - show the New Hire photos of dress that is acceptable and photos of dress that is not acceptable. A picture says a thousand words.

    Cathy Vee (Volpe) | President – (714) 960-2800 ext.805

    CathyJon Enterprises, Inc., dba HB Staffing

    Headquarters: 2120 Main Street Ste. 250 Huntington Beach, CA 92648

    Phone: 714- 960-2800 Fax: 714-960-6563

    San Diego: 9655 Granite Ridge Dr #200 San Diego, CA 92123

    Phone: 619-382-3555 Fax: 619-569-2848

    Inland Empire Office: 1255 W. Colton Avenue, Ste. 124 Redlands, CA 92374

    Monterey: 2100 Garden Road Monterey, CA 93940

    Phone: 909-698-5140 Fax: 619-569-2848

    Website: []








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  • 5.  RE: Staffing Office Dress Code

    Posted 09-12-2021 14:23
    Hi Lisa, 

    I used to have a professional dress code for decades but like Sean said, it makes a big difference to my staff (and ME) to be able to dress however they feel and its never been an issue in the 4 years I took it away. Corporate mentalities and rules don't make employees feel comfortable, and if you think about it, there is no real reason as to why we need to dress that way or invest in professional wardrobes anymore. If we have an event or a meeting, we can plan to dress nicer those days.

    Leona Willener, Owner/President
    Front Range Staffing of Colorado
    (719) 323-6632

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  • 6.  RE: Staffing Office Dress Code

    Posted 09-13-2021 09:55
    Hi Lisa,   We have a smaller office too.   We don't have a dress code anymore either.   Once upon a time it seemed important but not anymore.     If we meet with a client we dress accordingly.

    Tracey Madden CPC, CTS
    McIntosh Staffing Resources
    Dover NH
    (603) 742-8325

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  • 7.  RE: Staffing Office Dress Code

    Posted 09-13-2021 14:31
    Hi All! We just had a convo with our team about how things "used to be!" We reminisced about women being asked to wear "nylons," skirts a certain length and closed toe shoes! An official dress code for us, and I think for many orgs, is a thing of the past. We rely on common sense, and ask a more "professional" look for Zoom or in person client meetings. For our office interactions, we find no reason to dictate attire. Great topic, thanks for the discussion!  Mary Y.

    Mary Younggren, CSP
    Owner & Principal
    Certified WBE
    Creative | Human Resources | Office
    7101 York Avenue South, Suite 240, Edina, MN 55435
    main: 952-920-9119 direct: 952-807-9091

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  • 8.  RE: Staffing Office Dress Code

    Posted 09-14-2021 08:48
    Good Morning Everyone.
    I Hope everyone is doing well. 

    We also have a small office staff, the Owner of the company from day one set forth his view on our dress attire which is business casual at all times no Jeans ever, he likes us to wear slacks and polo shirts for the males and females to dress in a similar way, and our footwear is to be casual shoes for both parties, no sneakers. 
    We all look very professional and comfortable as well.

    I believe that once an employee tries to get away from the dress code and wear what they feel like and their management doesn't say anything, they will continue to do it and others will follow suit. At one point you may need to take charge and possibly make an example of someone for not following the rules so others can line up once again.  


    Angel Laracuente MBA.

    Workforce Manager 

    Primero Staffing 

    156 Newtown Road, Suite A5

    Virginia Beach, VA 23462


    "Having no limitation is a limitation". 

    Bruce Lee

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  • 9.  RE: Staffing Office Dress Code

    Posted 09-13-2021 10:41
    It seems that the consensus is that most staffing firms have no formal dress codes. When I first started my staffing firm in 1987, we had a very strict dress code, and it was business professional - period. Over time, the dress code was updated several times to account for ongoing changes and the movement towards a less strict dress code. Now that we are in that grey area of "business casual," it is tough to define and, as a result, hard to enforce. The organization's leadership must set the tone, and then you deal with individual circumstances as they arise. The business community is much more flexible in this area than ever before, so you have a much wider level of tolerance for individual expression.

    Jay Mattern
    TerraFirma Marketing
    South Bend IN
    (574) 213-3855

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  • 10.  RE: Staffing Office Dress Code

    Posted 09-13-2021 13:21

    Dress codes should be driven by social norms and employee ambition, not employer mandates. 

    Long before the casual dress trend arose, an insurance broker that I worked for moved to Florida and launched a casual dress code/tradition. It never felt right to me, not because it broke some rule but because of how I felt dressed down. We still dressed up for visitors, and I wondered why, if casual was OK, the company was ashamed to have outsiders see it. Sometimes, people would embarrass rivals by failing to tell them that visitors were coming, leaving them as the only casually-dressed people. I eventually seceded from the casual norm and dressed for business every day. 

    Years later, another company that I worked for operated in office space that was decent but not upscale, but the staff dressed for business -- even a notch of sharpness above business (e.g., French cuffs, jewelry, etc.) -- and the atmosphere was very energetic. 

    Later, the company's new president "liberated" the staff from the unspoken dress code as part of his program of doing everything different from what his predecessor did (sound familiar?) He told us to wear what was comfortable. That resulted in a noticeable decline in the energy level of the office environment. I continued to dress for business, since that was what was comfortable for me. For the first time ever, I got disparaging remarks about dress from the president for dressing for business. Some liberation! 

    Casual dress codes may also send the subtle message, "You're nothing special, so you don't have to look special." If management expresses its preferences and sets the example by looking sharp, serious, and businesslike, others should get the message and follow. No need to punish anyone, except for really offensive things.

    George Reardon Esq.
    George Reardon, Attorney & Counselor at Law
    Houston TX
    (281) 888-6641

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  • 11.  RE: Staffing Office Dress Code

    Posted 09-13-2021 13:35
    Ultimately it seems like whatever generates the best culture should be what leadership goes with. If a super-professional attired staffing office is what your staff gets excited by in 2021 (I would love to know where that is in today's world) then that is what leadership should go with.

    However, if someone's dress policy is actively causing issues with staff, frustrating employees, and there is active resistance, it would seem to me that whatever the benefits may be from enforcing the policy, they are substantially outweighed by the friction their policing causes. If the purpose of the dress code is merely personal satisfaction with how your staff looks to you (rather than driving any type of performance outcome), it should probably be dispensed with.

    Sean Barber
    Pluto Healthcare Staffing
    Columbus OH
    (513) 600-7331

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  • 12.  RE: Staffing Office Dress Code

    Posted 09-14-2021 08:48
    Hi Lisa -

    I worked in outside sales before making my way into recruitment, and was always accustomed to a suit and tie. My first firm had a business professional dress code, and later did away with it. In my current firm, we have casual dress. Perhaps it's better described as "dress for you day." If we have internal interviews or clients coming in we step up our dress. 

    Personally, I love the freedom to dress as I see fit. I work a full desk and there are certainly clients where I would feel out of place if I were to suit up for a client visit. Yet, there are others where the opposite is true. At the end of the day, dress is hardly universal. Our clients have different dress codes. In our personal lives we have different dress codes. Why apply a universal rule to something that is more fluid?

    Someone here also commented on the energy / motivation being driven by dress. I can see the point there. I'll share a story of a highly effective recruiting manager I had who every Monday and Friday dressed to the nines. Going as far some days as to wear a tuxedo. He always said "start strong, finish strong". Now, it was absolutely a gimmick. But - it worked. Moral of the story, recruiting leaders can create energy and set the standard without a universal rule and enforcement. 

    Still, I have yet to see dress impact performance. I do quite a bit of business development so I'm dressed in business professional attire more often than not. One of my colleagues wears a hooded sweatshirt most days. She runs circles around me. 

    All that being said, part of the issue with dress codes in staffing also lies in the wording. Our business is hardly "casual". I find saying you do not have a dress code, or your policy is "dress for your day" is much more palatable. 

    Hope I was able to offer some insight Lisa. 

    Thom Jennings
    Executive Recruiter
    Selective Staffing Solutions

    Thomas Jennings

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  • 13.  RE: Staffing Office Dress Code

    Posted 09-14-2021 10:53
    Lisa - 
    For 50 years, our company was business professional dress.  The basis for our dress code was that we wanted our employees to take us seriously.  Like @Mary Younggren, I remember the day of no pants for women, mandatory nylons and skirt hems no more than two fingers above the knee.  As time went on, we shifted to pants for women and no ties for men.  During the pandemice our company had a major culture shift from professional dress to business casual.  Do people push the boundaries?  Yes they do on occassion.  We have a very specific code but I think how we introduce it is important.  I don't know about you but I feel much more powerful and successful in a great business suit than I do in jeans and tee shirt.   It sounds like the issue is how much time it is taking to manage it.  If that is the case, then the fight might not be worth the effort being spend on policing it.  Is there a middle ground you can come to that would make the employees feel that concessions are being made while at the same time still presenting the image that you want for your company? I remember a Staffing World Session where @James Essey talked about the shift of changing the work environment (added a pool table to the office) to have a more laid back culture and fun office but didn't change the very strict dress code and there was a disconnect.   

    At the end of the day, I'd look and see if there was another underlying issue that was causing all the drama surrounding dress code and deal with that and then get on with business. 
    Good luck! 


    Sara Luchsinger PHR, CSP
    Vice President of Organizational Development
    SEEK Careers / Staffing Inc.
    Grafton WI
    (262) 377-8888

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