Dave Shaffer adapting to a changing world of work

It’s the last day of the 2013 Alternative Staffing Alliance, and we’ve got a recap of the final three sessions for you below. Be sure to check out altstaffing.org for downloads of program content and some great video interviews in the coming weeks!

Adapting to the Changing World of Work
Dave Shaffer from DePaul Industries and Mike Wynne from Emerge Community Development
+  The recession, polarized U.S. politics, and the Affordable Care Act are just a few reasons that employers are uncertain about the job market, and the staffing industry is booming and will continue to grow in the coming years.

+  Emerge had various opportunities for project and managed services arrangements with top nationwide companies. DePaul Industries recognized that its three businesses were really being run as silos, rather than capitalizing on the synergy between all of them. On-site supervisors and job coaches are two ways to  make these types of managed service arrangements successful.

+  In most of these cases, it was a proactive sales pursuit that won the business — leading with “we can get the job done.” Also, asking, “What else can we do for you?” If your existing account managers are on the lookout for how else you can help a customer, additional opportunities can easily arise.

+  When participating in a bidding war, especially when pitching opportunities that are looking for scale, ask, “Are we set up to win?” There’s nothing wrong with walking away from an opportunity that you’re not set up to win — and redirect your energy to pursuits more likely to be successful. It really needs to be a partnership between all parties.

+  The more you move to a fixed price model, your exposure is great — and you’d better be thinking about all of the potential additional costs. Run a cost model. There’s a reason that the client wants the monkey off their back!

Staffing for ex-offendersPlacing Job Seekers with Criminal Records
Sonja Skvarla, A Social Ignition
One of the most challenging populations to work with, from an employer perception standpoint, is ex-offenders. Most staffing agencies receive applicants with criminal records, too, but ASOs are in a unique place to focus on the individuals’ skills and lead with the business angle — rather than writing them off. The sales pitch is key, especially as many commercial staffing firms advertise the fact that they don’t employ individuals with criminal backgrounds — but if business needs employees, they’re not going to be able to ignore this immensely large population of workers. The question is: Will they turn to temporary staffing agencies to handle the entire hiring process?

Staffing for formerly homelessPlacing Job Seekers who are Transitioning from Homelessness
Paul Schroeder, New City Initiative
By really listening and understanding the barriers of individuals, understanding that individuals need societal and community connections, and understanding the overlap of homelessness with ex-offenders, disabilities, and veteran status (as well as other types of trauma), organizations are better equipped to make an impact. Working with other organizations to supply other services — besides just supplying the job — also can help ensure success. The pitch to employers is that if and when you get someone at the right place in their lives who need a second chance, they’ll work twice as hard to make good on that opportunity.

Visit altstaffing.org for more content from this year’s conference in the coming weeks, and search twitter for hashtag #ASApdx for some great quote recaps. Thanks for following along!