Griping is common in the contingent workforce world. Buyers carp that staffing suppliers hound them but don’t get strategic. Suppliers moan that buyers can’t look beyond costs in order toget strategic. But here’s the thing. Both sides have the identical expectations of the other. And we have data to back this up.
A Staffing Industry Analysts survey a couple of years ago revealed that when buyers were asked what advice they would give staffing firms, their number one response was that staffing firms should be “more of a real business partner.” In another survey, when staffing firms were asked that very question, the answer was exactly the flip side – buyers should be “more of a real business partner.”
If expectations are the same, then why is there this gap? The notion that staffing firms benefit more than buyers in this relationship, frankly, is silly. At the risk of stating the obvious, staffing firms provide talent that helps buyers get the job done, which in turn contributes to their company’s bottom line — and their salaries. Staffing firms are paid for this competency. The equation is complete. But what irks suppliers is the buyer treating them as a necessary evil. Suppliers resent the fact that their profits are unreasonably squeezed and they are treated as a commodity.
It’s an age-old war.
Obviously, both audiences need to get on the same page. Certification is a way to do just that. “The fact is that we at Staffing Industry Analysts have been doing this for 20-plus years and no one else has this accumulated knowledge. In our CCWP course, we distill and communicate it,” says Jon Osborne, VP, strategic research.
Once certified, both sides define expectations in a common language, says Jerome Gerber, VP of Strategic Solutions, Award Staffing. And once they are speaking the same language, how hard is it to understand the other’s problems and concerns?
Common language aside, certification will also help you motivate and retain your best workers. Another SIA survey revealed that employees feel happier and more productive when offered training and development, among other things.