September 30, 2011
Article Two in a Five Part Series:
Several years ago I had a new recruiting manager come to me complaining that they couldn’t get their work done because they kept getting interrupted. In an attempt to learn more about the predicament, I asked for more details. He then began to craft for me a laundry list of fires he had to put out from addressing conflicts between team members to listening to employees discuss personal issues. Of course, he was disappointed to hear that addressing these daily interruptions is part of management.
Too often, however, these interruptions can drive a manager to only think reflexively, to only worry about the next immediate problem and forget about one of the most important responsibilities of the job: Improving the Organization. This limited perspective of the job responsibilities is completely natural for a manager who must constantly address internal issues that come to their desk day in and day out. However, the question remains if management is solely focused on the present, then who is preparing for the future? The answer is “no one”.
It is for this reason that managers must work to pull themselves out of the day-to-day and become more externally focused. To gain an understanding of how buyers, competitors and the industry as a whole are changing and threatening the long term sustainability of their business. Unlike the reactive nature of firefighting, the manager must proactively decide that they need to educate themselves to gain perspective on how they must improve their organization.
The staffing industry is fortunate to have industry associations that provide important perspectives on industry trends, management best practices, and benchmarking. Through these three organizations and others, managers can focus on the broader trends within staffing and how they apply to their competitive situation.
TechServe Alliance: TechServe focuses on the IT staffing and professional services space but can provide interesting insight for other professional staffing sectors through their operational best practices report. Some Resources TechServe provides includes:
- TechServe Alliance Connect: Information sharing network that allows the 350 members to share business solutions as well as have access to a library of shared documents and an eLearning center.
- Benchmarking: Detailed operational and financial benchmarking data for overall operations as well as specific reporting for sales and recruiting.
- Best Practice Webinars: Monthly webinars given by guest speakers including economist and industry experts.
- Annual Conference: Three day conference focusing on industry trends, operational best practices, and networking. The only conference solely focusing on the IT sector.
- Local Chapters: Local meetings that allow you to network with other local staffing firms and discuss industry trends.
- Membership Information: Contact Julie Price at email@example.com
Staffing Industry Analyst: Staffing Industry Analysts is the only independent provider of research, analytics and data on the global contingent workforce. It provides objective data and resources on a global scale for both buyers of staffing services and staffing firms. Staffing Industry Analysts doesn’t specialize in a specific staffing vertical, but instead offers strategic insight on the industry as a whole. Some Staffing Industry Analysts resources include:
- Conferences: Staffing Industry Analysts Executive Forum; Staffing Industry Analysts Healthcare Summit for staffing firms; Contingent Workforce Strategies Summit; CW Risk Forum for buyers of staffing services
- Webinars: Hosts the SI Report Webinar a monthly webinar for staffing members and monthly webinars for buyers of staffing services
- Publications: SI Report for Corporate Members and Staffing Industry Review for staffing owners, executives and managers.
- Membership Information: Membership is available for staffing companies and buyers of staffing services. Please contact Staffing Industry Analysts member services either by calling 800-950-9496 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
American Staffing Association: ASA members include a substantial diversity of staffing vendors including temp, professional contract, as well as direct hire services. ASA provides industry trending reporting, best practice training, as well as a strong networking community through their local chapters. Some ASA resources include:
- Annual Conference: ASA three day conference provides a wide variety of workshops tailored to different audiences with a wide variety of workshops and presentations.
- Local Chapters: ASA local chapters facilitate discussions on best practices and local market trends with other staffing leaders
- Certifications: ASA offers certification programs on a wide range of topics, such as recruiting, sales, employment law, operations, and best practices.
- Publications: ASA offers a wide variety of tools and publications that discuss best practices and legal issues impacting the staffing industry.
- Benchmarking: ASA provides benchmarking from multiple angles including operational numbers, market trends, and client surveys.
- Membership Information: Contact Simone Bielsker at email@example.com
Leaders who wish to broaden their perspective on the industry would do well to further their research on these organizations and choose to join one or more depending on their needs. However, in order to benefit from associations, leaders must be committed to be actively involved and willing to implement new ideas to their business in the ongoing effort to increase its competitiveness.
Leaders who choose to not participate in industry associations must find alternatives to stay informed on this rapidly changing industry. Leaders that choose to do neither run the risk of becoming more and more removed from industry trends and more likely to make decisions that can threaten the long term sustainability of their business.
President, Charted Path