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A Trip to The Industry Association Board Meeting

A two part blog ...

Part one a travel day for a CEO

I spent the day yesterday at an industry association board meeting in Toronto. It was another typical day in the life of a CEO ... I got up at 5am (after having been to a black tie event until 11pm the night before) and got to the airport in time for a 7am flight. We boarded on time, however fog in Toronto meant a late departure and delays in getting a gate once we landed. My meeting was at a hotel near the airport and was due to start at 8:30am ... I arrived about 9:30am because of the delays ... and we haven't even gotten to Winter travel issues yet! Back home by about 8:30 pm in time to do some email!

Part two ... Some thoughts on Canada's Staffing Industry

I spent the day working on our Industry needs along with a cadre of fellow executives who donate their time to serve our industry. It is interesting to be able to sit with a group of industry peers and discuss the big issues and what we can potentially do about them.

Like any industry, the Staffing Industry has its challenges but the potential for our industry is limitless and for the people in this industry there are a myriad of career opportunities. I have come to love this industry and what we can do ... I really do believe that we bring tremendous value to our clients and I don't think we do a good job of articulating that value proposition. I have written several blogs on the subject and one in particular about IT Staffing value proposition.

While I was giving my time for the benefit of all companies in our industry I did also reflect on those companies that really hurt our business. I tried to categorize them ... and focused in on the two categories that give me the most grief.

There are the "Low Price" companies ... who devalue our whole industry. They have a great story about price, but the reality of their offering is that they are driven only by the almighty dollar. Their commitment to the client is defined in dollars, not in effort. Their commitment to quality is all about the dollar. The biggest problem with these guys is that it takes the client a little while to understand what they have ... then they are reluctant to do much about it, for many reasons. They don't want to look like they made a mistake, they want to give them time to clean up their act, the supplier might have a really "great rep", the supplier has great pricing (but doesn't deliver)! Of course they also give a different price to every customer depending upon where they believe the pain threshold to be!

There are the "Slippery" companies ... the ones who play fast and loose with the rules. They circumvent the client's rules, they don't comply with government rules and their regard for business etiquette is non-existent. It catches up with them eventually, but that's OK they will reappear in another name/guise/format once things blow over!

There are plenty of other "characters" in our space ... but the good news is that the majority of our industry is comprised of honest, hard working organizations that want to deliver value to their clients. If you are looking for companies that are willing to stand up for a Code of Ethics then visit our industry association website. You'll find a good list there!