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Top 10 in 2006 (V3)

(December 19, 2006)  Our third trend spotter is Scott Dow, CEO of the Empower Network. If you've been following the ERN, we've been chronicling Scott's views on the marriage of Lean Thinking and the Staffing function. Scott entered the industry doing M&A for Adecco (and some time as the CEO of their Legal temp solution. He began his career as the head of sales for Xerox and then Kodak.

Scott is a global thinker with a penchant for execution. His team straddles a range of definitions. What's most interesting is the way that his customers perceive their results....massive improvements in productivity coupled with real cost savings.

(Oh, you can see Scott in action on the video from Kennedy)

Here are Scott's Top Ten for 2006:

7 things that happened…

  • Economic growth slows to 3.1% - But unemployment holds steady at 4.5% 
    Proof of the demographic reality – we no longer need fast a growth economy to hold unemployment <5%. We've heard about the impending labor shortage. How aging baby boomers were going to leave a massive void in the workforce. I still think this is a few years off, but this year offered some interesting insight into things to come. What happens when the economy cranks up again?
  • Luke 12:48 - Jobster buys another couple years.
    Jobster has an important mission. They've raised the money required to create something meaningful and lasting in the space. Now they have to deliver on that promise. My Sunday school teacher used to always quote Luke 12:48, "For those with much given, much is expected."  I think the same can be said now for Jobster.
  • Swing to the Left (Democrats gain control house and senate) –
    Now the democrats have both the house and the senate. This is no longer a country run by Republicans. Democratic presidential candidates can no longer run on a platform of change, and will have to take more moderate positions – good for business. (And don't automatically concede the White House to Hillary or Obama
  • The Monster mash – Options back dating and accounting questions leads to C-suite resignations.
    I wonder what's going on over at Monster. They have to be reeling, and I don't think that's good for the industry. They're not the first (or last) company to deal with these issues, but they're one of the defining players in OUR space and they've been knocked off course. With so much upheaval and uncertainty, I don't see how there can be much effort being plowed into customers and R&D.
  • Proliferation of contract recruiters.
    They're everywhere! Contract recruiters have become corporate staffing's band aid of choice. Department have staffing problem? Get 'em a contract recruiter. I have nothing against the strategic use of contract recruiters. What I'm referring to is the knee jerk reaction we're seeing more and more in corporate staffing.  Can you imagine if sales were off for a quarter and a CEO agreeing to bring on contract sales people? They'd never think of it. They know how important contact with prospective customers is to their brand.
  • "Knock.Knock."
    "Who's there?"
    "'O' Who?"
    "OFFCP…that's who"
    OFCCP enters the age e-recruiting.  This was a hot topic all year. In 2006 employers spent most of their time trying to come up with real world solutions to regulations written by folks with no idea as to how "recruiting" actually happens. It's been about a year since the new regulations went live, and the OFCCP is still issuing clarifications to their very ambiguous documentation.  One of the stories for 2007 will be how well employers can balance the administrative burden required of the regulations while dealing with a mounting req load.
  • Blah, blah, blog!
    I don't know of a function in all of corporate America that blogs like recruiters do. I keep hearing about what a great recruiting tool blogs are, but too few are actually used for recruiting. Wirelessjobs.com is the best I've seen. It actual appears to be used as a recruiting tool. Too many others are used to promote the individual recruiting professional. I see corporations growing less and less patient with these self promoting recruiters in 2007. Can you imagine sales people, accountants, engineers, IT professionals and other corporate professionals engaged in such blatant self promotion?

…and 3 things that didn't

  • No clear leader in the recruitment outsourcing arena emerged
    The highly fragmented industry is still struggling to find its place in the staffing eco-system.
  • Large temp labor companies still struggling with outsourcing
    Who should have the unfair advantage in the RPO arena? Temp labor (a.k.a. "staffing companies"). Think about it – they have the biggest customer footprint, and (in theory) have proven (and proprietary) recruitment methodologies already in place. So why are they failing in delivery quality BPO solutions?
  • Private equity hasn't flexed its muscle yet
    Private equity is rocking and influencing most every industry sector, but a major private equity play has yet to occur in the recruiting space. Look for that to change sometime in 2007.

John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
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