The best Sourcebook ever?

When I joined Staffing Industry Analysts 10 years ago, I had no idea what the staffing industry was all about. My manager gave me a 500-page-thick tome to flip through, saying this would be the best way to get myself acquainted with the workings of the industry. As I flipped through the two editions (2000-2001 and 2003) of Staffing Industry Sourcebook, the intricate world staffing unfolded in front of me. It was fascinating to learn about people who help put other people to work.

But that wasn't the last time I looked at the Sourcebook. I went back to it again and again, for instance for historical trends, to look at how the different segments were doing in say 1996. Who were the top players in IT staffing then? What were the main concerns of the staffing executives during 1998-99? And what happened during the dot-com bust? All this information in one single book!

And now, 10 years later, I am tickled pink to say that I just finished putting together the latest, 2009-10 edition of Staffing Industry Sourcebook. It's a tough project that completely consumes you, but the end result is definitely worth it. This is the third Sourcebook I have helped edit, and even now, the breadth and depth of the information bundled into the book never ceases to amaze me. 

There are interesting articles on the history of staffing that trace back the origins of staffing to the 1890s. The contents of the book also reflects the change in focus of SIA to more original research, and the latest Sourcebook is packed with our take on the competitive landscape and voices of staffing firms, buyers of staffing services and temporary workers.

And new this year was our special "how-to" section that we called "Success Pointers." This section delves into and offers practical advice on almost every aspect of running a staffing firm ... right from getting started, to leadership, sales, technology and succession strategies. The impetus to introduce this section came from your feedback about hearing more about running a small- to- midsize staffing firm, along with getting information about the larger staffing companies.

Well, needless to say, and I think it's pretty apparent from my writing, that I am tad bit proud of the outcome. Kudos to our SI Review team, our magazine that provided much of the content for "Success Pointers," our research team and our production team. But it's time for me to stop sounding my own trumpet and give you a chance to flip through 400-page Sourcebook yourself.    And when you receive your very own copy in the mail in September (you have ordered one, right?), please don't forget to drop me a line about what you think of the book, the changes that we made to it, what more would you like to see in it that would be useful to you, or if you simply agree with me that this is the best Sourcebook ever!

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