Monday, October 12, 2009

Pandemic Planning - A Human Resources Perspective

For many years Pandemic Planning has been a priority for healthcare facilities and government officials. Since June 2009, when the World Health Organization raised the H1N1 alert from Phase Five to Phase Six, business professionals also began taking note. Pandemic Planning involves a thorough review of all policies, procedures and practices to assess and reduce the potential impact of business interruptions. While many organizations are well on their way to developing and documenting a robust Pandemic Plan, some have not yet focused on the most important element, their staff.

Adopting a few simple best practices can help you focus on leading your people through the upcoming anticipated pandemic.

COMMUNICATE
Early, frequent and thorough communication is essential so that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities during a pandemic. Advanced communication also helps employees feel more secure, enabling them to focus on their work. This allows them to reflect on changes to their normal work routines, ask questions and understand the key aspects of the Plan. Test out your Plan with employees and promote two-way communication to gather feedback and identify areas requiring improvement.

EDUCATE
Your employees need to learn about the H1N1 virus and its prevention in order to protect themselves, their families and your customers. Education about Influenza, symptom recognition, hand-washing practices, customer contact precautions, isolation considerations and workstation hygiene is essential in order to slow the spread of the virus within your workplace. Keep all educational materials and resources visible and up-to-date, and make sure all employees know where to access current information and updates.

CROSS-TRAIN
Train and cross-train so that all functions can be performed by more than one "back-up". Employees must be comfortable with additional tasks and responsibilities. The flu can affect anyone. Ensure cross-training covers a couple of levels up and down the command chain and keep all decision-making documentation accessible and updated, including staff contact lists and delegations of authority.

ENABLE REMOTE WORK
Although telecommuting is not possible for the majority of the workforce, it's important to identify which functions can be performed remotely or externally. Proactively plan on performing some administrative, accounting and coordination tasks remotely. Investigate your organization's technical capacity and restrictions, including remote computer system access and re-routing telephone services. Ensure your Information Technology team is up to the challenge of dealing with data security issues. Enabling remote work functionality ahead of time will ensure continuity throughout the pandemic period.

STAFF REINFORCEMENT
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) states, "During an outbreak in a specific area, it would be appropriate for employers to plan for a total workplace absenteeism rate of between 20% and 25% during the peak two-week period with lower rates in the preceding and subsequent weeks". Most experts are predicting that the first pandemic wave will come in November with one or two subsequent waves, each lasting six to eight weeks, with three to nine months separating each outbreak. With these staggering numbers in mind, it is important to have a proactive staffing plan in place before the pandemic strikes. Hiring in October and November rather than waiting for the pandemic strike, plus making advanced arrangements with a staffing provider will alleviate last minute scrambling. A staffing expert such as Placement Group or The People Bank can provide specialized and flexible recruitment solutions based on your needs.

MONITOR
A successful Pandemic Plan should be able to sustain your business' essential functions for a period of months. Monitor the situation closely and perform course-correction as necessary. Ensure your Pandemic Plan is implemented consistently across all departments and areas and monitor your workforce to make sure they are following all policies and procedures.

APPRECIATE
When the first wave has passed show appreciation for the fact that you were able to maintain service for your clients throughout a challenging period. Many of your employees will have gone through a difficult time, overcoming both personal and professional demands and perhaps battling illness. Recognize employees who did something extraordinary and reward those who went above and beyond to aid co-workers or clients.

Be prepared for a range of situations. Although the full impact of the anticipated H1N1 outbreak will not be known until it happens, it's your people who must react and adjust to the circumstances to carry you through this challenging period. If you adopt these simple best practices you have a better chance of successfully leading your troops through the crisis.


This is the most recent issue of the Staffing Insider and is also a modified reprint of an article published in Complete Purchasing Solutions' national magazine, Directions, written originally by Desirée C. Kerr, Manager of Communications at Placement Group and The People Bank. The Staffing Insider is a regularly published insider's view of human resources issues and staffing industry best practices, trends and success stories. You can subscribe to the Staffing Insider e-letter and view back issues of the Staffing Insider are posted on our website.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Is The Recession Over?

Even though some economists have declared the recession officially over, nobody realistically expects a hiring boom to start any time soon. Is there really such thing as a "Jobless Recovery"? Not likely. The complete economic cycle has four stages:

1. Prosperity,
2. Recession,
3. Trough, and
4. Recovery.

Then...back to prosperity again! Jobs are created in the recovery period, but not in the trough.

Economic indicators suggest that we are in the trough. This is the time after a recession freefall, but before we start growing again. We are currently bouncing along in the trough (the bottom), with occasional moments of euphoria followed by equally frustrating moments of financial impatience. How long will the trough last? A close look at the staffing industry offers signs that an economic recovery may be near.

According to years of research conducted by the American Staffing Association, staffing industry employment is a three-month leading indicator of mainstream employment when the economy is emerging from a recession.

The best measure of the temporary staffing industry is total hours per week. The Canadian temporary staffing industry began its decline as early as February 2008. This was six full months before most other economic measures revealed that we were in a troubled economy. Temporary hours across all industries slowly declined from February 2008 to February 2009. This turned out to be coincident with the official recessionary months when Canadian GDP was also in decline.

The period from March through June 2009 remained relatively flat for the staffing industry. The staffing industry was able to inform us on a real-time basis during June that June was flat, yet it wasn't until three months later that Statistics Canada could confirm. In early September, Statistics Canada officially confirmed that June was the first month within the previous 11 that Canadian GDP did not decline. GDP grew in June by .01% which is as close to flat as you can get. This supplies more evidence that temporary staffing hours are coincident with real-time economic activity and several months ahead of other economic measures such as GDP and employment measures.

Recently, in August and September, temporary hours have been creeping their way back up, assignment starts are gradually outpacing assignment ends and short-term assignments are getting a little longer. If past experience is an accurate predictor of the future, these moderate improvements in the temporary staffing industry suggest that there will be moderate hiring across the Canadian economy in Q4 of 2009, marking the beginning of a "Job Creation" recovery. Click here for a report on August employment data issued by Statistics Canada (The Daily, September 4, 2009).
We will continue to share insider information about the employment and recruitment marketplace in future issues of the Staffing Insider. We would encourage you to share our email with friends and colleagues who might be interested in joining the discussion about HR issues and solutions in the upcoming recovery.

Register here to join the Staffing Insider distribution list and find printable versions of back issues.

This is a reprint of the September 9, 2009 issue of the Staffing Insider. This issue was written by Steve Jones, President of The People Bank. The Staffing Insider is a regularly published insider's view of human resources issues and staffing industry best practices, trends and success stories.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Staffing Insider Newsletter

Over the next few months I'm going to write and share a newsletter with you about the employment and recruitment marketplace. You can sign up to recieve the occasional email about best practices, employment trends, industry news, hot candidates, webinar invitations, and more.

Our company's exposure to thousands of clients across a broad spectrum of industries and Canadian regional markets gives us a unique and timely perspective of what's happening. We are going to do our best to keep you informed.

Even though the current economic environment is filled with uncertainty, we believe that courage and optimism are critical to our collective future prosperity. We believe in offering solutions, highlighting opportunities, and sharing success stories, strategies and celebrations. We want to influence the creation of renewed optimism and we want to be a partner in your future success. That's just the way we think.

Staffing Insider will address Human Resources topics like recruitment branding, job boards, employee retention, on-boarding, technology and the occasional spotlight on regulatory issues such as temporary foreign workers or reforms to employment standards. We are committed to your success and our goal is to share meaningful, valuable and relevant information that will contribute to your business' ongoing prosperity.




If you sign up for the email then you are encourage to share it with friends and colleagues who might be interested in joining the discussion about Human Resources issues and solutions in the upcoming recovery.



Steve Jones
President
The People Bank

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Canadian Staffing Industry - A Story Worth Telling

ACSESS printed this message in the July 10th, 2009 membership e-newsletter.

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

At ACSESS AGM 2009, returning President Steve Jones asked to make a general address rather than the standard president’s message. His motivational speech was followed by a standing ovation and left all those in the room feeling positive and excited about the industry and their future.

Consider these points that he made…..

We are the single largest employment pipeline for job seekers, job changers, up graders, new immigrants, new entrants, students and career changers.

Last year, our industry provided hundreds of thousands of Canadians with opportunites for full time careers, contract work and temporary employment.

We make the process of job finding, job changing and upgrading easier, quicker and more effective. When a candidate makes one contact with a staffing company they enhance their network through us, to our clients and employers by dozens – even hundreds.

We can take credit for removing barriers that job seekers might otherwise experience. We create and provide access to employment opportunities giving people the dignity and respect that they deserve.

We lead all industries in foreign skill assessment and recognition of foreign experience.

We are the buffer between unsuspecting workers and unsafe workplaces. Our safety programs, education, communication, worksite inspection and operational standards ensure that workers are assigned to safe work environments. We play a vital role in the reduction of workplace lost time injuries, illnesses and fatalities. For example, empirical data in Ontario proved that we lead all industry groups in the reduction of lost time injuries.

We help people and businesses to make the right fit, enhancing productivity, improving employment longevity while contributing to employee satisfaction.

We are an ombudsman, agent and filter between employers and potential future employees. We protect their rights and help them achieve their career objectives.

We provide income and income security for people who need it the most. When a man or women needs income for a sort term to pay rent, or feed a child then temporary help will provide a lifeline for a day, a week or a month.

We help doctors, nurses, lawyers, engineers, IT professionals, accountants, administrators, drivers and labourers. We help executives and students, new immigrants, return to work moms, injured workers and the semi-retired. Every Canadian has the opportunity to benefit from our services.

Every day, we make a meaningful difference in the lives of the people we serve. Simply put, we help people! We give people dignity. We contribute to their happiness while we deliver the right people that employers need to succeed.

Steve’s closing words - “I am proud to be a friend to so many industry colleagues. I am proud of what we do. I am especially proud to be the President of ACSESS because of all that ACSESS does and all we represent. I know that we share this pride. So please, go out and tell the world your proud story. You deserve the recognition”.

ACSESS Members can click here to view the full speech within the members only section of the ACSESS website. http://www.acsess.org/NEWS/PresidentsAGMMessage.asp

Monday, June 29, 2009

Statistics Canada 2007 Employment Services Report

Report validates temporary staffing industry as a significant economic indicator.

MISSISSAUGA, ON, June 26 /CNW/ - Statistics Canada yesterday announced its detailed composite report on the 2007 Employment Services Industry. The results of this annual report give us a snapshot of the staffing industry and provide historic validation that year over year, the industry has continued to grow.

The Employment Services Industry report confirms a stable industry in which the 20 largest firms generated 38 percent of the total industry operating revenue; this dispels the misconception that the industry is dominated by "fly-by-night" temporary staffing operations. In fact the Statistics Canada report confirms that the staffing industry is a significant employer in the economy, accounting for $5.7 billion in salaries, wages and benefits.

According to Steve Jones, President of the Association of Canadian Search, Employment & Staffing Services (ACSESS), "While the Stats Canada survey is lagging data, its real value is in affirming, through hindsight, the fact that the temporary staffing industry is an important leading economic indicator."

Historically, the temporary staffing industry experiences economic shifts approximately three to six months prior to when they are actually revealed by other economic indicators. "With regard to this current recession, our industry was feeling the decline in temporary help hours as early as May 2008 - a full 6 months ahead of what was clearly obvious by October 2008,"explained Jones.

The American Staffing Association released research on Monday, based on a statistical analysis of 36 years of data, confirming that when a sustained upturn in staffing industry employment occurs, it would indicate the end of the recession and suggest that overall nonfarm employment would start growing again approximately three months later.

As a leading indicator of economic activity, ACSESS will introduce an independent, industry-wide monthly study as early as next year to track economic trends on a more timely basis.

About ACSESS

ACSESS is the single voice for promoting best practices and ethical standards for the recruitment, employment and staffing services industry in Canada. Its members provide a key service to businesses and offer a broad range of career planning and employment opportunities to their clients. For more information visit: www.acsess.org

For further information: Media Contacts: Mark Van Tol, Miranda Keyes,NATIONAL Public Relations, Phone: (416) 586-0180, mvantol@national.ca, mkeyes@national.ca ; Mary McIninch, Director of Government Relations, Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services Association (905) 826-6869, (888) 232-4962, mmcininch@bbandc.com

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Temp Staffing – Barometer for Economy

Here is a reprint from Canadian HR Reporter May 2009

Staffing industry was first to feel pinch and will be first to recover
By Steve Jones

The only thing certain about this global economic recession is it will eventually end. Everything else seems unclear. Has the economy hit bottom? How long will it last? And, most importantly, where will the jobs appear in the post-recession recovery?

Governments within developed nations across the globe are strategically placing stimulus capital into sectors they believe will win in a post-recession competition. There will be winners and losers and the challenge for each government and investor is to pick the industries, regions and players that have a fighting chance to come out on top.

When the forces of the global economic recession eventually loosen their grip and trade and capital begin to flow, where will the Canadian jobs be? History tells us the winners will likely be the traditional industries of energy, mining, automotive, manufacturing and financial services, but we can also expect new sectors to emerge. And early indicators won’t be found in the stock markets but in the temporary help and contract employment markets.

While hit hard in the downturn, temporary employees will be the first to return to work in the recovery period. The temporary staffing services industry is a leading indicator of the economy, says Mary McIninch, manager of government affairs for the Association of Canadian Search Employment and Staffing Services, which promotes best industry practices for the recruitment, employment and staffing services industry in Canada.

“Our members began reporting a reduction in their hours as far back as April 2008, a full six months ahead of the dramatic declines in the stock markets and other traditional economic measures.”

On a micro level, businesses will remain cautious and uncertain about the permanency, magnitude and timing of recovery prospects. Managers won’t jump to rehire and sign on long-term permanent employees until the fog has lifted and there is visibility down the road of recovery. The first jobs to emerge will be temporary and contract. The staffing services industry will provide just-in-time skilled resources to meet staffing needs while helping businesses hedge against the uncertainties ahead.

“It’s like the hockey pre-season exhibition games,” says Rolie Hamar, president and COO of Inteqna, a staffing company specializing in information technology and accounting roles, who has been through these cycles before.

“Short-term employment contracts will give workers and managers the opportunity to check each other out and to eventually choose their roster of regular players. Many of the contractors and temporary workers will be signed to full-time employment agreements. It’s a great way to find talent, determine if there is a match and build a winning team.”

If history is a good indicator of the future, then renewed activity in the temporary services industry will signal the beginning of a broader economic recovery, says Judy Tidlund, a veteran staffing industry manager with Placement Group in Alberta.

“New temporary assignments, then shortened gaps between assignments, will be followed by longer contracts and, eventually, a return to permanent hiring.”

However, there are some who see a negative side to the use of temporary workers during a recession. When speaking in April to an Ontario parliamentary committee about the temporary help industry, Ken Lewenza, president of the Canadian Auto Workers union, cautioned that 80 per cent of the job opportunities available to his laid-off auto workers are temporary. Instead of describing this as a transitional return to work phase in the economic cycle, he said it is a “trend in the employment market that offers less security and benefits.”

But recent changes to Ontario’s Employment Standards regulations ensure temporary workers now have equal access to public holiday pay, the same as all other workers, putting a long-standing, contentious issue to rest. This is an example of how the staffing industry and various governments are raising the bar to ensure temporary and contract employment serves the needs of workers and employers in these difficult times.

Before traditional hiring and the traditional lagging indicators of recovery, such as inventories, production volumes and financials, companies will rely on flexible staffing options, often choosing temporary, contract or temp-to-perm recruitment. The staffing industry remains the best leading indicator of recovery and we look forward to the early signs.

Steve Jones is president of the Association of Canadian Search and Employment Services and president of the business services division of Design Group Staffing.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Say What You Will with Justin Hines!

Justin Hines deserves all the recognition we can give him. Every one of his new creative ventures reinforces his well established themes of benevolence, caring and empathy. His new creative work, CHASING SILVER, and the marketing campaign around it are no exception.

Justin is promoting his new album with a creative and interactive experience. You can Say What You Will (Before It's Too Late) by sending a customized message to a friend or relative along with Justin's new music video. In keeping with a similar theme to his previous music video success "April on the Ground", his new video captures the genuine emotion of everyday humanity. That's us!

Justin's new album, CHASING SILVER , will be released through Walmart locations and other fine music retailers across Canada on June 2nd.

Justine Hines does tremendous work for Variety-The Children’s Charity, Walmart - Walk for Miracles and he operates the Justine Hines Foundation, helping all kinds of organizations that choose to emphasis abilities - not disabilities.

I first met Justine on the Easter Seals tele-thon and then in 2008 he graciously appeared as our guest judge/performer at Ontario Track3 Craigleith Idol.

You can check out his new release of Say What You Will and send a very cool video email to a friend by following this link http://swyw.inmusic.ca/ Justin's success as an artist and performer also influence his success as a philanthropist.

When he's rising to the top, he lifts up thousands of people with him. Spread the word - This guy is good!

Steve Jones
Past President
Ontario Track3 for Disabled Children

President
Business Services - Design Group Staffing

Friday, May 08, 2009

Canadian April Employment Data

video
Friday May 8, 2009

Monthly employment data is a lagging indicator that confirms what really happened in the two to three months preceding. Nevertheless, the markets and the media react to this information as if the Colonel had just unveiled his secret formula of 11 different spices.

Today's information was an exception to the rule. Job creation? Who would have imagined that 36,000 jobs were created in April 2009? Did that really happen? Nevertheless, the April overall unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8% because more people entered the job market to offset these new job gains.

Quebec lead the way with new jobs. It's not hard to imagine why Quebec is out pacing Ontario when you compare the Quebec dynamic leadership of Minister David WHISSELL (PQ, Minister of Labour) and Minister Sam Hamad (PQ, Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity) to the over interfering and regulation loving controversial Minister Peter Fonseca (ON, Minister of Labour) and over taxing Premier McGuinty. I'm certain that Ontarians will eventually succeed in spite of their government.

The temporary staffing services industry is a leading indicator of the economy. The industry began reporting a reduction in their hours as far back as April 2008, a full six months ahead of the dramatic declines in the stock markets and employment data.

This new April data may be a sign that we have found the bottom but it does not mean that we on the road to recovery just yet. Managers won’t jump to rehire permanent employees until the fog has lifted and there is visibility down the road of recovery. The first jobs to emerge will be temporary and contract. The staffing services industry will provide just-in-time skilled resources to meet staffing needs while helping businesses hedge against the uncertainties ahead.

If you know people who are unemployed, then encourage them to consider temp and contract work. Between 45% and 65% of the people who start working temporary will eventually convert to full time. Flexibility, adaptability, a positive outlook and a willingness to seize opportunity - these are just four spices in the Colonel's formula for future prosperity.

BTW - Suhana Meharchand of CBC News Today is absolutely charming. Watch the video and see for yourself.

Steve Jones

President

The People Bank, Design Group Staffing Inc.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fancois Mulder - Soul- Jazz - R&B

Francois Mulder just released his first CD. If you are a Track 3 supporter then you'll remember Francois from the Track3 Steam Whistle event in November 2008 and Craigleith Idol in February 2009.

To quote my daughter Alexandra, "He is an AMAZING person and an AMAZING R&B vocalist. The CD is brilliant and features a wide range of VERY talented artists. (Many of them also performed at Steam Whistle and Grandma and Papa's anniversary). Francois wrote all the songs on the album, they are beautiful! I went to his CD release party last night and the entire restaurant gave him a standing ovation."

Francois has a great talent and he also has a great character. He has willingly donated his time to perform at Track 3 events supporting disabled children. But he really stood out when he came back to the stage after Craigleith Idol and put two children on his knee and sang a memorable rendition of Over the Rainbow. It was a real crowd stopper.

I encourage you to support this talented young artist. Follow the link to CD Baby.
http://cdbaby.com/cd/francoismulder. Listen to the demos and buy the album online. You'll enjoy every one of his orginal songs on this indy label CD. It's a great way to support a young Toronto musician and a great way to say thank you to a young man who has helped make a difference.

Good luck Francois!

Steve Jones
President
The People Bank

Monday, April 13, 2009

Thank You Craigleith


Craigleith Liftline


Several years ago, I met an inspiring Craigleith member named Doreen. While standing in a liftline we engaged in typical lift line chit chat. Weather, snow conditions, and then the obligatory “I remember when”. Then the conversation changed and Doreen told me of her plans to ski as often as possible with her husband Rene. She looked up the hill, smiled and squinted into the sun. With a tone of sympathy or maybe it was appreciation she said, “I can’t imagine what people do in the winter time if they don’t ski. The winters must seem so long.”

Over the next few years I learned that Doreen was an accomplished ski racer and also a member of a dragon boat team called “Dragons Abreast”. It is a team of survivors, who travel the world paddling, racing and inspiring people to live life to its fullest.

Our first encounter stands out in my mind because it made me think about our own daughter Samantha. Could Samantha ever be like Doreen? At that very moment, Samantha was not building a memory worthy of saying “I remember when”. Sammy was in a daycare, with her wheelchair. She was not skiing and her winter probably felt like an eternity.

Samantha was on a waiting list for Track 3. No matter how much we try, there is always a waiting list of children with disabilities like Samantha hoping for a chance to gather their own moments of reflection. Thanks to Track 3, hope became reality for Samantha. It’s been over ten years as Craigleith members and seven years sit-skiing together. We spend our winter weekends as a family, surrounded by Craigleith friends. Little did I know how Doreen’s words would ring true and our winters would fly by so fast. This past season did not seem long enough. I know that all of the Track 3 kids and their families feel the same.

Since joining Track 3, I have been inspired by all kinds of supporters. They are selfless givers who understand what Track 3 can do to achieve an incredible difference in the life of a child and the dynamics of an entire family. Supporters are not limited to the heroes who ride the buses and volunteer as instructors. They include people who donate time to boards and committees, those who run events and attend events, people who donate or raise the necessary funds, those who spread the word and encourage others to be supporters too.

This past season has been quite extraordinary. More kids participated in Track 3 than ever before. More kids gathered their own personal memories so they could someday say “I remember when.” This was made possible because Craigleith supporters like Jutta Witt and Hugh Fallon turned the hugely successful Switchback Snowshoe Challenge into a Track 3 event. The Men’s Day committee dedicated the afternoon to Track 3. The Club Championship committee dedicated their race broadcast to acquiring a new sit-ski. And who could forget when over 800 members showed up on the Family Day weekend for Craigleith Idol. Craigleith families, staff, committees and board members stood up to make a huge difference. You took photos, created videos, played music, printed materials, donated, bought and sold tickets, purchased equipment and helped maintain facilities. The only disappointment was that it went by too quickly. If we could only have more days on the hills with the kids and more time to say thank you to everyone involved.

Craigleith is the cornerstone of Track 3 and is filled with inspiring members like Doreen. It’s easy to be a proud Craigleith member. Thanks for everything you do!

Hopefully we’ll see you at our annual general meeting, Hockley Valley golf classic or our autumn Winterlude at the Steam Whistle Brewery. All events are listed at http://www.track3.org/

Steve Jones
President
Ontario Track-3 Ski Association

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rick Mercer - Paralympian Skier (in training)

Last week, Rick Mercer (CBC Mercer Report) did a wonderful piece on the upcoming Paralympics to be held in Vancouver and Whister in February 2010. Thank you Rick for raising attention to these heroic atheletes and their tremendous accomplishments. You can watch the entire segment at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Y5e5w59KcA&feature=channel_page .

Below is a short segment of the show on sit-skiing. If you are a skier and would like to help prepare young para-atheletes to learn to sitski then contact Ontario Track3 Association for Disabled Skiers. We always need volunteers.
http://www.track3.org/ or call (416) 233-3872

Enjoy

Steve Jones
President
Ontario Track 3 Ski Association for Disabled

video

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Patience & Perseverance

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish” – John Quincy

I thought that business might get easier with time and experience. Last year marked my 25th year in the Canadian staffing industry and my fourth tour as an industry association President, and yet “easier” is not how I would describe these unprecedented times. Although it’s difficult to predict the economy and short term business outlook, my experience says that we should have tremendous confidence in our medium and long term futures.

The ACSESS (Association of Canadian Search, Employment & Staffing Services) organizational structure including our board, management, support staff, chapters and committees is stronger now than ever before. We have clearly established ACSESS as the highly respected single voice of the industry. We continue to develop greater expertise in the areas of government affairs, education, safety, business practices, ethics and conferences to a degree that we can all be very proud.

People continually ask me what I hear about in the industry and what I predict for our future. Here are a few of my predictions:

Prediction #1: The ACSESS conference to be held this spring in Montreal will be one of the best and highly attended conferences ever. In these challenging economic times, good business managers and owners will take the opportunity to network, learn and prepare for a roaring recovery.

Prediction #2: Staffing companies will play an integral and critical role in Canada’s recovery within the global economy. We will be a significant contributing factor when Canada competes and wins post recession business. We will offer new, innovative and better services to match and deliver the best people for jobs. We will do all this quickly, efficiently and seamlessly.

Prediction #3: Technology will enable us to deliver advanced value-added customer services including integration to customer payment systems, time and attendance reporting, dashboards for key performance indicators, applicant tracking systems, job board and internet integration, order management and vendor management. Staffing companies will be among the fastest adopters of new technologies within the entire services sector; this will be critical to our ability to leap forward.

Prediction #4: ACSESS and the CPC designation will continue to improve to such a degree that our acronyms will become synonymous with professional standards, ethics, and quality services. They will resonate with credibility. Other associations in other industries will look to us as a model for establishing industry professionalism and recognition.

Prediction #5: We will continue to be confronted with segments of the media that are addicted to misguided, uniformed sensationalism. Some elected officials will astonish us with their inaccurate industry generalizations and their desire to regulate and intervene. Some unions will continue to support groups that propagate misinformation about non-unionized industries. Unfortunately, there will always be a questionable staffing company, somewhere, that provides fodder to these destructive forces. Nevertheless, ACSESS will be seen by the mainstream public, government and media as the industry experts who can be relied upon for balance, expertise, truth and meaningful solutions.

I hope to see my fellow staffing profesional colleagues at the ACSESS conference in Montreal on April 30th . Participation at our conference (Prediction #1) is important to making the balance of the predictions come true.

Steve Jones
ACSESS National President

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Ontario Track3 Association for Disabled Children

Conquering a Mountain

Ontario Track3 for disabled skiers is wrapping up the 2009 season. It seems too short! Each week of this winter, volunteers across the province showed up at different ski hills to help hundreds of children with special needs to experience the fun and excitement of adaptive skiing and snowboarding. In the seven weeks of this 2009 ski season, we saw so many children change and grow with confidence and pride. It was another fabulous year!

Imagine a child that lives each day with a cane, walker or wheel chair. "Transfers" and "Barriers" are regular occurances in daily living. A transfer from bed to wheel chair, another transfer from chair to toilet, transfer to vehicle, transfer, transfer, transfer. The curb, a slope and stairs are also barriers to daily living. When most kids see grass, fields, ice and sand they think of fun and games. Yet, our Track3 kids often see these same typical sources of happiness as transfers, barriers, obstacles and challenges.

Then imagine, that same child making one final transfer from a wheel chair to sit ski or some other adaptive ski equipment and all of a sudden a snowy mountain transforms from an obstacle to a source of excitement. All barriers fall and anything becomes possible including bumps, moguls, powder, snow, ice, chairlifts, and vertical height. Even though a curb was an obstacle yesterday, a mountain is conquered today. It is amazing!

Check out this photo video prepared by Track3 volunteer Tim Fryer. The photos were all taken by Tim at Craigleith Ski Club on Saturdays of 2009. It’s a wonderful tribute to Craigleith, the volunteers and especially the children and their extraordinary accomplishments.

Enjoy,

Steve Jones,
President

The People Bank, Design Group Staffing Inc. & The Ontario Track3 Association for the Disabled.


video

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

ACSESS - Staffing Industry Association

Despite the economic uncertainty, it is very encouraging to hear so many ACSESS members from the staffing industry describe their personal optimism for this coming year. The staffing and recruitment industry is known for its hardworking professionals who demonstrate both vision and entrepreneurial leadership. Our industry and the people within it will continue to serve an important role in Canada’s economic success. ACSESS is committed to supporting our members to achieve their vision through information, training, professional certification, public policy development, public relations and the sharing of best practices, enabling us all to be our best, now and in the future.

ACSESS enjoyed an outstanding 2008. This success was due, in no small part, to the commitment and participation of our members.

  • The Ontario Safety Group members collectively received a rebate exceeding $1.7 million. This exceptional performance is a reflection of our members’ commitment to putting people first when it comes to improving safety in the workplace.
  • Our record breaking National Conference demonstrated that ACSESS industry members value the importance of a forum for sharing information, recognizing excellence, strategizing and networking.
  • Individuals demonstrated their personal commitment to professional development by setting both enrolment and attendance records for CPC modules, with outstanding subscription to the first offering of the program in the French language.
  • The new Dialogue magaize was launched, and while still in its infancy, our members have repeatedly expressed their appreciation for the rising standards for Canada’s only magazine specifically written for and about our industry.

ACSESS celebrated its 10th anniversary, marking 10 years since the important merger of two strong associations to give ACSESS an expanded mandate to represent all facets of the employment, recruitment and staffing services industry.

It is a privilege to serve as President of ACSESS. I am proud of what our industry does for both the clients and the candidates we serve. Making a difference in the lives of people through meaningful employment is an honourable calling. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for doing your part in creating an industry and an industry association that we can all be very proud of.

Through continual focus on professional standards, member commitment, progressive vision and entrepreneurial leadership, I also believe that our industry optimism will become reality. Wishing you prosperity in 2009.

Steve Jones

ACSESS National President

Design Group Inc. - Staffing Services Division