Using Breakthrough Leadership to Break Through Industry Barriers

Using Breakthrough Leadership to Break Through Industry Barriers



SIA Executive Forum North America 2019, which took place February 25 – 28 in Austin, TX, explored the theme of breakthrough leadership—noting that the old keys to success for staffing industry leaders no longer guarantee success as we move into the future.


Growth and Disruption

In the keynote address, SIA President Barry Asin recounted how predictions about the industry over the past five years have been off—attributing slower growth and consolidation for the error.
Still, even with 2019 forecasted to bring only moderate growth, the U.S. staffing market is approaching $150B, with professional skills (e.g. industrial and IT) bringing up the rear. Further, the industry as a whole is becoming more global, as the U.S. only accounts for about a third of the current staffing market.
So where do the hang ups lie? For one, skills shortages across the industry are leading to a talent crisis. Because of this, the industry is being forced to consider non-traditional sources of talent, including companies busing people in, opening up opportunities to workers with records, and offering training to upskill. What’s more, current political state and issues with immigration are contributing to shortages. As such, more companies are opting to let employees work remote to meet skills demands.
From a disruption standpoint, MSP/VMS services have altered the staffing landscape over the last decade, while human-cloud platforms (e.g. online staffing, online services, and crowdsourcing) are starting to come into their own. With companies like Upwork IPO experiencing fast growth to become one of the top-20 largest staffing firms, current agencies might need to start looking at hybrid staffing business models and making changes to internal processes to ensure they aren’t left behind as the industry moves ahead.

Notable NA Exec Forum Sessions

This year’s NA Exec Forum offered several hard-hitting, informative sessions. The following workshops were ones we found particularly noteworthy:

“Trends and Opportunities in Payrolling and Independent Contractor Compliance”
In this panel-style session, staffing and legal industry leaders called attention to the particular compliance challenges that plague contingent workforce placements, explored the legal and operational issues payrolling and IC compliance firms face, and looked at the role technology will play as the market evolves. Panelists, including People 2.0’s own President of Global Contingent Workforce Solutions Jeff Nugent, shed light on the importance of creating unity by defining staffing terms (payrolling/employer of record vs. independent contractor), the double-edged nature of compliance complexity and how it’s good for business, and how important it is to educate clients on terms/laws while properly documenting everything.
“[Intention] is so important in classification… it’s usually after the fact when [a contractor] doesn’t know what they’re getting into that an issue arises.” – Jeff Nugent

“Breaking Through the Barriers to Growth”
During this People 2.0-sponsored workshop, firm founders and presidents from around the industry offered their first-hand experience on growing and building a sustainable staffing business, as well partook in small-group discussions to brainstorm practical solutions for real problems growing businesses face. Standard elements all successful firms possess include a clear strategy/direction, a performance-driven culture, a focus on talent development, and proper execution. From a practical-application standpoint, two of the panelists noted how helpful having a peer group can be in guaranteeing your company is on track to not just survive, but thrive as well!

“Building a Magnetic Culture: How to Attract & Retain Top Talent to Create an Engaged, Productive Workforce”
In this seminar, industry speaker and consultant Kevin Sheridan emphasized the importance of attracting talented employees to the workplace, empowering them, and sustaining an environment in which they are more likely to stay. Highlighting the three worker-types (engaged vs. ambivalent vs. disengaged), Sheridan explained how recruiters can play a pivotal role in ensuring they pick the best candidates for their clients by carefully vetting workers via looking for emotional maturity, using a non-negotiable list of qualities, and learning from failure. What’s more, on the side of the employer, Sheridan argued the importance of properly bringing new employees into the organization through productive, organized onboarding activities (e.g. properly introducing new employee to the team members, training schedule, computer properly set up, tidy work area, etc.).

People 2.0 was honored to serve as a sponsor and exhibitor at NA Exec Forum, and applauds the extraordinary effort SIA put into offering inspirational speakers, as well as great learning, networking, and development for all involved!

Interested in meeting up with us, keeping up on industry news, and/or learning new strategies to better your contingent workforce management business? Check out our events page to see where we’ll be next/a list of our upcoming, free webinars!