Staying Profitable in Tough Times

Business Strategy Team Report Chart, Graph, Infographic Data Ana

If you have been following the reporting of the two major staffing associations, Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) and The American Staffing Association (ASA), you are aware that the Industry situation nationally  is “off” by about 8-12 % compared to 2022 dependent upon the geographical area and the particular industry segment.

“Soft Landing” in 2023-24?

This is not good news nor is it any reason to panic or go into survival mode, whatever that may mean?  I am beginning to see much more talk now (May 2023) about a “soft landing” while last August most of the talk was in the coming “pain” and predictions of a deepening recession in 23-24.

Although it might be expected, U. S. Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen has been speaking publicly about a “soft landing” where, she says,“we will be able to bring down inflation while maintaining a strong labor market” and added that she thought  “we were on such a path” right now! (My emphasis)

In any case, it is too early to start talking about survival, which is never the target, even in these admittedly difficult times.  Survival should never be a goal because the actual policy that always comes before it and makes it an unnecessary redundancy is the same for any well-run business; it is the practice, and the discipline of sound human and technical management for profitability & success.

So, the business you walk into in good times is the same one that opens its doors when times are not as good.

Attention to detail (“especially the numbers”), decision making, and the timing of those decisions are no less necessary or critical from a profitability standpoint in good times than they are in more difficult times. You might say that the “margins for error” will be a little tighter and the focus and attention may be greater. But focus and attention in business are always essential, whatever the setting.

Compassionate Human Values & Technical Management:

There are probably some who believe that these two are always or often in conflict, even irreconcilable conflict.

But a business is always a human enterprise which is organized to fulfill some human need,and, in the process, creates jobs and livelihoods for human beings. Or, at least that is the way it has always been, until recently, before automation, robotics, and AI. But that is a subject for a much larger discussion.

Here I am only looking at the modern staffing company and their human management in order to reinforce an approach that, while focusing on profitability, realizes that keeping high standards in the in the human values dimension is the best way to achieve that goal in both the near and long term.

On the technology front, today’s staffing companies have the best comprehensive staffing software ever available with hundreds of efficiencies built-in to keep managers and staff on top of most every detail of their businesses. I will not go on about this because most all staffing companies are well aware of this high standard of development.

The point here is that whether the current business climate is wonderful or marginal, a company’s staffing software is an extremely valuable tool to face any business situation. It allows management to be in constant touch with every detail of the business in order to make timely decisions, to keep the goal of profitability in the forefront of daily operations.

On the human values front, it should be noted that even more than most businesses, staffing businesses are “people businesses”. Their core employees “generate” from a variety of sources, “people”, then deliver and manage them for other people, i.e., clients.

So, if the staffing company is not doing well on the human values front, they are really in trouble. But since the industry has and is doing well they must be giving attention to, and implementing some serious level  of core human values. So why mention it?

All of us are aware that we have a serious cultural problem with cynicism which has been growing into various forms of mutual antagonisms. Because it is a cultural problem it affects us all. So, every industry and perhaps especially the staffing industry because it is particularly a “people business” and needs to be proactive in addressing the encroachments of this growing menace in order to maintain the historical human standards that have guided this industry for so many years.

As always, “Stay Safe” and continue to pray for Ukraine!