Subadhra Sriram's Blog

Your Biggest Missed Opportunity?

If you were to ask your employees to name the top “missed opportunity” at their staffing firm, there’s a good chance that the answer from both management and other staff would be training.

A recent Staffing Industry Analysts survey asked internal employees this very question. Granted, it was an open ended question and answers did vary widely. What was interesting though was that training was the No. 1 choice among a small minority of employees.  Anecdotally, I hear the same story. Employees like training, but staffing employers don’t provide it.  

Historically, the industry’s training of its people is below the optimal level.  Staffing firms customarily view training as something that interrupts the busy, everyday schedule, costs time and money, and with lackluster benefits. But that rational is erroneous.

Staffing companies can perform better if they train their people.  Buyers of staffing agree. They feel training gets them a better quality of workers, which in turn leads to buyers’ projects being completed right, on time and efficiently. Buyers then want to use the staffing firm for other projects. And so the cycle goes.  Business is good for everybody, including the contingent worker.

Substantiating all this is another piece of SIA research, which shows that training/ developing internal employees is the management priority that is second-most correlated with profitability. This has been proven consistently at some of the most lucrative staffing firms over the last three years. (The top correlated priority is recruiting/retaining quality internal staff.) And if you ask your employees, all things being equal, what make one company more attractive than the other. The short answer will be training/development. If that’s not enough to convince you, just read up on a few of the Best Staffing Firms to Work For. It’s not the perks their employees rave about most. It’s development.

Think about it. Training makes a worker feel valued. They perform better at their job and feel a sense of obligation to the company, which promotes retention. So don’t miss out on this opportunity. Overcome that inertia and start training.  Buyers: you can provide support by demanding trained support staff and temps and emphasizing its value to the ecosystem.

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