3 Things I found intriguing about this year's ASA Staffing World Conference

So I’m still a “newbie” to blogging and sharing but I wanted to ensure I added a post specifically about the ASA Staffing World Conference. I have an extremely unique perspective because I am a second generation staffing exec., a millennial, African-American, a woman, and I am a creative (I come from a graphic design / marketing background). The staffing industry is changing…and I happen to think for the better.

Regardless of how you feel about disruption or disintermediation, the industry’s challenges provide opportunity for those that embrace change through engagement and communication. Much of what I learned from the conference circled around the friction and noise that comes with change, however I left feeling energized and optimistic about the future. Here are just a few things that I found intriguing while attending ASA’s Staffing World.

1.     The “Workforce Solutions” era of staffing is here to stay.

This goes without saying, but the conversation was so heavily grated around the idea and not necessary in the specific solutions that it really led me to think through our own current strategic ideas for the following year. And my thoughts focused not necessarily on the solution, but how to repackage and redefine our positioning strategy. The VMS / MSP model (and its pros and mostly cons) were heard throughout multiple conversation inside and outside of the actual workshops. And, regardless of your opinion of new platforms that somewhat displace traditional staffing services, they are here to stay.

2.     Disruptive Innovation is happening all over, not just in our industry.

It’s a big word with lots of depth. The Harvard Business Review describes “Disruption” as a process whereby a smaller company with fewer resources is able to successfully challenge established incumbent businesses. The article goes on to talk about Entrants and how they prove disruptive by successfully targeting those overlooked segments, gaining a foothold by delivering more-suitable functionality—frequently at a lower price. Sitting amongst those large and small – I found this topic to be intriguing. As a millennial, I have grown up in the age of disruption. However, as an industry, we are scared of change. I applaud ASA for embracing the subject and leading the conversation.

3.     Engagement, engagement, engagement!

Without engagement all of us staffing executives will be out of a job. Engagement with our internal workforce, our applicants, our clients and others in the industry is critical to understanding the continuing evolution of the industry. The idea of engaging your workforce can reduce fall off, turnover, and missed opportunities. And, in the same light, it can increase creativity, innovation, and sales. Steven Handmaker from Assurance Agency, Ltd. talked about employee engagement during the conference. In his presentation, he highlighted the characteristics of engaged workforces as leadership, communication, culture, rewards and recognition, professional growth, accountability and performance, vision and values and corporate social responsibility.

I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation, interaction and thought provoking leaders that presented and spoke at the conference. Look for my follow up posts as I expand on my experiences listening to world-renowned thought leaders such as Peter Diamandis and Amy Cuddy.