It was a great coming of age. Executive Forum turned 21 and wowed the staffing industry. Talk shows, awards, great sessions, 900 plus people preening in the Red Rock, Las Vegas were just some of the highlights of the party. It was the place to be for the world of staffing.
Networking aside, what endures are the great ideas that emerge from the Forum and move the market. We paid homage to that. The Peter Yessne Innovator Award (since its inception) has gone out to Harold Mills, Max Messmer and, this year, Jai Shekhawat. Letting the client brand attract candidates and then lowering pricing, pioneering professional staffing, and VMS as a stand-alone tool have all benefited the industry. The companies that lead the charge have seen return on investment more than double.
“There is always room for innovation,” said Shekhawat, Fieldglass CEO and co-founder. And the Forum had many such companies unveiling their offerings. StaffingBook, InsightSquared, TargetRecruit, Recruitby.net were just some of firms in start-up mode. I spoke with one of the attendees, Stephanie Ellis, president of IC Advisor a California-based company that provides risk assessment for the client and independent contractor vetting for the managed service provider.
“I see a real need out there,” says Ellis. “People are peddling fear and we aim to teach clients how to buy independent contractor services.” It doesn’t matter what the niche is. Staffing is the great melting pot that gives birth to different concepts. Some are viable, others not. And we all — those in the staffing industry as well as companies that use their services — are beneficiaries of this innovation.