The temporary labour/contract staffing industry has several industry associations. They range from general staffing associations such as ACSESS (Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services) to associations based on a more specific subset of the overall industry like the NACCB (National Association of Computer Consulting Businesses). As a basic foundation, these organizations represent the interests of the companies that comprise the industry and they set guidelines for industry best practices, business ethics and they will interface with other organizations (such as the Canadian Federal and Provincial governments) to ensure the market for human resources remains open for member organizations, Canadian businesses and workers (temporary or otherwise) alike.
Not all staffing companies belong to industry organizations and even fewer take an active role. Why would this be important to incorporated contractors, sole proprietors and temporary workers? Why should you care? Well, I'm glad you asked! By working with or through a staffing company that is directly and actively involved in Industry Associations, there are the following benefits:
They agree to operate to a higher standard -- Industry Associations are quite prescriptive in how they expect companies to behave. By becoming a member, staffing companies agree to a strict set of guidelines, standards and business ethics.
They are open to new ideas and are committed to improving their capability and services over time. Industry Associations provide professional training and business development courses for their membership. They work together to stay on the forefront of new trends so that they (and the contractor partners that they represent) remain relevant in the changing market.
They influence Canada's employment rules and business environment through their work with government departments and committees. They take part in business conferences and influence educational programming by providing relevant market data points for colleges and universities. Through member companies, your collective voices are heard by organizations and institutions that matter.
They are up on the changing legal landscape. Things like Deemed Co-Employment and Personal Services Businesses that directly impact the contractor community are better understood and, through sheer force of numbers, their messages are heard by policy makers. Industry Associations are currently lobbying the government, seeking clarity for contract workers with respect to PSB policy. Through clarity, Canada's contract workforce will be able to make adjustments to reduce risk. Industry Associations are taking the lead in this process to benefit all contractors.
Eagle takes our corporate citizenship very seriously. We have been and continue to be extremely active contributors to ACSESS (Eagle's CEO is on the board and has been a past President) and the NACCB (Eagle's President is also the current President of the NACCB). In addition, our President is a founding member of the Canadian Coalition for Tomorrow's ICT Skills (CCICT) and Eagle's Vice-President of Government Services sits on the Informatics Professional Services Advisory Committee for the Federal Government. Our company is also a member of a variety of industry organizations including the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). Because we know the importance of all of these organizations, we take every opportunity to educate the market as to their value and we encourage the participation of our peers. In return, this promotes the standards and ethics in our industry and has positive effects on independent contractors across the country. How much priority do you place on your agency's industry involvement? Do you think that you might consider it more often when choosing your agency? Tell us why or why not, we'd love to get your opinion!