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The Bold Faced Blog™

November 29, 2012

Imagining the Future of Staffing

Posted 4 years 359 days ago by Sheila Ellian Lewis

At Ashton212, we’re workforce geeks and proud of it. We love to talk about trends and theorize about how we’ll help our clients meet future challenges. But you can’t understand the future without a firm grasp of where we’ve come from. So we asked Mary Ann Munro, one of Ashton212’s founders how her knowledge of the staffing industry helps Ashton212 stay ahead of the curve.

Tell us a little about the origins of temporary staffing - how did the industry evolve?

Originally, temporary staffing meant administrative workers. People needed a secretary or a file clerk and agencies like Kelly provided those kinds of temporary workers.

It didn’t really take off at the broad professional level until the 1990s, particularly here in California. The 50-year career formula that was around for our parents’ generation started to deteriorate as companies rethought their workforce methodologies and the insane costs of benefits. So we saw a lot of layoffs. 

At the same time, we also saw huge mergers, particularly in the banking and financial services industries. The mergers meant that companies had an urgent need for talented people for short periods. At the same time, you had this huge pool of skilled workers without permanent jobs.  That’s when professional staffing agencies really took off.

What does the staffing landscape look like today?

For professionals, consulting has become an accepted and almost encouraged step on the career path. Today, a well–rounded professional with the experience of several companies is much more attractive to an employer, whether temporary or permanent, than someone who’s had a single employer.  One of the great benefits for consultants of aligning with a firm such as Ashton212 is that ability to gain exposure to lots of different companies and client engagements.

For clients, the changes over the past couple of decades have turned professional staffing into a necessity. Companies have a huge need for talent for short periods that’s often beyond their internal capability to manage. That’s where staffing firms have typically provided a vendor management based solution, to reduce the burden on the hiring manager of managing multiple short-term workers.

And how does all this help Ashton212 deliver bold solutions to its clients?

The fact that we have this in depth understanding of the workforce landscape means we’re in a great position to understand and anticipate the impact of emerging trends. We can be a truly strategic partner to our clients because we’re always looking beyond today for the things that may not be obvious.  That’s how we come up with the bold creative and imaginative solutions.

Tags: career consulting mary ann mary ann munro professional staffing staff augmentation staffing

Categories: categoryConsulting

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