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Economy's Matchmaker

The following article was published in the National Post today … in reference to ACSESS, Canada’s Staffing Industry Association.

National Post · Jun. 8, 2011 | Last Updated: Jun. 8, 2011 2:04 AM ET

Whether you’re in the market for a long-term commitment or something a little more flexible, finding the right match can be difficult. And while there are a number of prospects out there for you, connecting with any of them -let alone the right one -can, at times, seem like an exercise in futility.

Commonly associated with romance, this sort of non-specific language can also apply to jobs. And while the hands of fate will, on occasion, bring two compatible parties together in an act of serendipity, divine happenstance is the exception, not the rule. For most of us, finding the right fit at the right time is something we could use a little help with.

Enter the matchmaker.

The search, employment and staffing industries serve employer organizations and prospective employees by providing them with efficient access to, on the one hand, talent and a flexible workforce, and, on the other hand, contract, temporary and permanent job opportunities.

What this means is that the needs, demands and conditions of job-seekers, employers and the economy can be addressed as they arise -real time. If an artist is looking for temporary work, they can easily find it. If a major firm is looking for a star executive, they can track them down. If the economy shifts, the workforce can adapt alongside it, as it happens.

When taking a closer look at the numbers, the indispensable role the search, employment and staffing industries play in our economy becomes abundantly clear. Take the temporary and contract side of things, for example. More than 500,000 Canadians are employed in temporary and contract positions each business day, 79% of which maintain full-time hours. With positions ranging from general labour and skilled trades to finance, engineering and computer professionals, it’s safe to say that these industries are bringing employees and employers together across all walks of Canadian life.

For those looking for permanent placement solutions, professional search and placement firms specialize in matching talent and opportunity. This means that employers can find the best people and skill sets for the short and longer term success of their business. For the candidate, professional search and placement firms not only get talented job-seekers the inside track, but they also focus on career development. It is also important to recognize that there is no cost to the candidate.

For those whose particular circumstances require some more flexibility, temporary assignments and contract work offer just that. From the employee’s perspective, they can explore a wide range of employment opportunities, take advantage of positions they are uniquely qualified for, and gain valuable experience leading to career growth and expanded opportunities. From the employer’s perspective, they can respond to economic changes, meet increasing demands, and supply varying skills as their needs change. It should come as no surprise, then, that almost 90% of temporary or contract employees say their experience made them more employable. In fact, one in five temporary employees choose to work on temporary assignments.

But with so many search, employment and staffing firms out there, how do prospective employers and employees know where to turn? A good start would be to make sure they’re a member of the Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services (ACSESS). ACSESS is the strong, single voice for the industries it represents, and its member-businesses are dedicated to continuous improvement in the area of industry best practices, such as ethics, professionalism and health & safety. To this end, ACSESS offers the Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) designation to validate the knowledge, competency and social responsibility of those with the credential. ACSESS membership truly affords employees and employers the confidence that comes with knowing that the firm they’ve chosen is committed to going above and beyond the minimum industry standards.

So, while ACSESS members might not find your soulmate, they might just find your next job or star employee.