DISRUPTION NEEDED (In the Staffing Industry)

Eventually, every industry will be disrupted, including the staffing and recruitment industry. 


Disruption occurs when there is a quantum leap in thinking about “how” something is accomplished, and particularly when considering “why” it needs to be accomplished. Currently, most of the operational scenarios in the talent acquisition or staffing market cannot be considered significant enough to be labeled truly disruptive…even the sexy SaaS-based Hired.com model.

As a student of, and consultant in, the talent acquisition space for more than two decades, I would argue that the industry is however ripe for disruption. A mentor a long time ago, once told me,

“How I perceive a problem will determine what path I take to source solutions.”



If I have a problem: A) “I need to get to the grocery store,” I immediately go down the path of considering a variety of ways of getting to the store, e.g., car, bicycle, scooter, taxi, Uber, etc.

But if I perceive my problem as, B) “I need groceries,” my field of possibilities completely changes and includes things like, have them delivered.

However, if I recognize my need for groceries as an input to meal preparation and I re-characterize my problem as, C) “I need prepared meals,” my field of solution possibilities changes again!

The recruitment industry is still at level A above trying to figure out better ways to get to the store to get groceries. This was made abundantly clear to me when I was last at an American Staffing Association national conference and listening to fellow colleagues who are still operating old school staffing businesses. And Hired.com is simply a better version of getting to the grocery store.

Upwork.com is however probably at level B above providing Talent as a Service (TaaS). Upwork provides a whole new way of getting groceries, e.g. freelancer talent – which is frequently superior, less expensive and faster to acquire than domestic talent.

However, what do I do if I don’t want to have to go get groceries, and I just want the meals?

Real disruption will occur when someone solves that question. And it will happen; because, the demand for meals will eventually outpace the demand for ways to get to the store.

So, if we believe that is the trend, should we be focusing on better ways to get to the store or how to deliver meals?

The often quoted advice of the elder Walter Gretzky to his son Wayne seems a fitting closing thought: “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.”

COMMENT: This space is insufficient for a more thorough discussion of real talent market options and alternatives. That is however the mission and purpose of Argus Talent Services and its consultative work with clients.

By Mark Galvan



If you valued this article, please share via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, etc. The author, Mark Galvan, is the President of Argus Talent Services, which is globally headquartered in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas USA.

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