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Forum: Staffing Buyer Wants Empowered Reps

March 16 2012

A staffing firm’s representative must have the power to make decisions, said Greg Muccio, manager, People Department, at Southwest Airlines. Muccio spoke as part of a panel of staffing buyers held Thursday at the Staffing Industry Analysts Executive Forum in Las Vegas.

Muccio likened a staffing buyer’s predicament to that of a car buyer. After hours of negotiating, car salesmen often frustrate customers by telling them to wait while the salesman checks with his manager. That shouldn’t happen with staffing reps, Muccio said. It takes extra time and buyers have to re-explain their situation to the manager.

“If you’re not empowering them, then why are you sending them?” he asked.

Having one point of contact for staffing buyers is also important, said Melissa Ansell, senior contingent labor program coordinator, Bayer.

“It’s so much easier when we know we have one person to get to no matter what the issue,” Ansell said.

She also recommended staffing firms have “subject matter experts” who know a staffing buyer. The subject matter experts can help ensure buyers receive only qualified resumes. Ansell said such subject matter experts are especially important where there is centralized recruiting.

Buyers were also asked about their willingness to share in the cost of penalties that could come as part of federal healthcare reform. Such penalties are set to begin in 2014.

Ansell said it would be important for staffing firms to be upfront and transparent about the costs.

“All you can do is really share what your costs are,” she said.


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