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Weaker Staffing Firms Failing as Unions Are Finding Favor

March 19, 2009
Related Topics: Contingent Staffing, Managing Change, Latest News
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Some of the weaker staffing firms already appear to be falling victim to the recession, and unions don’t necessarily need to be the enemies of staffing, according to comments by CEOs of staffing firms Wednesday, March 18, during the CEO keynote panel at Staffing Industry Analysts’ Executive Forum in Miami.

Tig Gilliam, CEO of Adecco North America, said weaker firms are failing. But for staffing, “long term I think we’re in a good place.” The United States, with a lower temporary penetration rate than other countries, has room to grow, Gilliam said.

Jon Barfield, chairman and president of the Bartech Group, said unions don’t necessarily need to be enemies of staffing. In fact, he said, his company is working with the United Auto Workers regarding strategies that would respect the union right to make money through dues, the company’s right to make a profit and the need to benefit the client.

Unions didn’t harm the economy; bad management did, Barfield said.

Panelist Jonas Prising, the North America president of Manpower Inc., said companies need to keep a close eye on their balance sheets to survive this recession.

“Clear focus on [the profit and loss statement], yes,” Prising said, “but a lot of focus on the balance sheet.”

Ella Koscik, CEO and owner of MDI Group, said companies that succeed through these tough times won’t necessarily be the biggest, but instead will be those that handle change in the most effective way.

—Staffing Industry Analysts

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