Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Staffing Index Follows Traditional Seasonal Trend

ACSESS recently released the Staffing Index for September 2011 which rose to 98, the closest to the “100″ index standard established in July of 2008. The Staffing Index peaked in October 2008 at 107 then recessionary job losses knocked the industry down and the Index retreated to a low of 65 in May of 2009. The slow but steady climb since the summer of 2009 is an indicator that the economy is reluctantly finding its way.

In a previous blog, I threw cold water on Statistics Canada’s roller coaster reporting of monthly job gains and losses. In the ACSESS press release, ACSESS President Bryan Toffee seemed to concur with my theory that we need to look at the trend of quarterly job creation rather than month to month numbers which are rife with anomalies.

Canadian Staffing Index
“The flat or subtle net rise in index readings of 90, 85 and 92 for June, July and August, respectively, foretold the flat or subtle net increase of 7,000 jobs reported by StatsCan in September and October,” explained ACSESS President, Bryan Toffey, adding that “the Index is supporting the traditional seasonal trends which suggests that employment will peak in October and November then retract through the holiday season and first month of the new year before it starts to climb again.”


Canadian Staffing Index Chart

The Canadian Staffing Index measures the hours of labour performed by a sampling of temporary and contract staffing in the staffing industry. The data collected is the largest sample size done in Canada provided by a number of Canadian staffing companies and accounts for approximately one third of total staffing industry sales. To preserve confidentiality the data is collected by Staffing Industry Analysts; an independent company specialized in staffing industry statistics. Data is available for the months starting July 2008 (the benchmark month) to the current month.

In review of similar Index research from the USA, many experts agree staffing industry employment data serves as an economic indicator. Historically, temporary employment improves as overtime hours increase and as unemployment claims decrease. This means the Index can provide a “near real time” indication of how the Canadian economy is performing.

“The Canadian Staffing Index demonstrates both the changes in the Canadian economy and the volatile nature of the staffing business. It is that ability to provide a flexible workforce that brings tremendous value to our clients.”

Source: (Association of Canadian Search, Employment & Staffing Services)


Friday, November 11, 2011

Great Recruiters Make a Great Commitment

Not all staffing companies are the same and not all recruiters are the same either. Four more of The People Bank/Aimco Staffing professionals have just joined the ranks of the most respected industry professionals by successfully completing and achieving their Certified Personnel Consultant designation.

We are very proud to announce that Kathy March, Tracey Arseneau, Alfredo de Leon and Aaron Campau have received notification of their accomplishments from the Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services.

As employers and hiring managers, we always look deep into the credentials and qualifications of the people we hire so it only makes sense that when selecting a staffing company or recruiter, we should also look beyond the agency’s brochure and ask a few questions about recruiter and agency credentials.

Ask whether your staffing agency is a member of ACSESS. Every member of the Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services has pledged to uphold the industry’s code of ethics and standards. This code addresses everything from disclosure of information to adherence to laws and respect of individuals.

Also look for the initials “CPC” behind a recruiter’s name. The Certified Personnel Consultant is the only certification for professionals working within the Canadian staffing industry. A recruiter with the “CPC” credentials has made a commitment to the industry and to professional performance.

Kathy March, Tracey Arseneau, Alfredo de Leon and Aaron Campau have taken courses and passed CPC exams that address important topics such as the legal aspects of staffing services, human rights, privacy laws, employment standards, employment equity, health and safety, selection techniques, and industry ethics. With the CPC designation, a staffing professional is not like all the others. We are very proud of their commitment to professional conduct in our industry and to our company. We are equality proud and confident in the services they each deliver to candidates and clients.

Whether you are a job seeker who wants to receive professional quality treatment or an employer who wants to hire with confidence, always look for the ACSESS logo and the initials “CPC” following your recruiters name.

Kathy March, CPC
Tracey Arseneau, CPC
Alfredo de Leon, CPC
Aaron Campau, CPC

Thank you and congratulations!

Steve Jones


The People Bank/Aimco, Allen Professional Search & La Banque de Personnel

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Crazy Jobs loss Report - Stats Can Oct 2011

Statistics Canada released it's typically unbelievable and unreliable monthly jobs data on Friday November 5th. In this bizarre report the bumbling bureaucracy told us in their standard tone of brash certainty that 61,000 jobs were created in September and then in an about face 54,000 jobs were immediately stripped away in October.

Nobody really knows the exact numbers. Jobs data is developed through a series of survey samples across the country and then the small sampling of data is extrapolated to produce this national data which is presented as if it were a hard fact. Of course they offer the standard disclaimer that "estimates are based on a sample, and are therefore subject to sampling variability" however the media, markets and public policy makers tend to ignore the disclaimer to such extent that world markets and governments can rise and fall before 9 am on the news release date.

As an employment guy, I can tell you that job creation in October was not as robust as we expected but a one-month loss of 54,000 is not a credible number. More realistically, job gains have moderately out-paced job losses over the past 6 months with subtle shifts in job types and locations. These wildly fluctuating numbers that are reported by Statistics Canada are more likely a flaw in the data collection methods than a reflection of employment reality.

The Conference Board of Canada produces a summary table of Canadian economic data. When all the data is reviewed on balance, it helps us believe that the job market is probably not a roller coaster ride of neurotic employer hiring and firing.

In this self described experts opinion, temporary and contract jobs are on the rise. The unstable Euro-zone, rising government debt and the stagnant US economy cast a shadow of uncertainty that causes most employers to hedge against their lack of visibility into the medium term future. Businesses need to get the work done, orders and cash are flowing but given the constant stream of conflicting news, employers are reluctant to make job offers in the form of traditional "permanent" employment. There is an increasing number of professionals working as contractors in the fields of engineering, oil & gas, mining, transportation, manufacturing, financial services and property. There is also an increasing number of plant and factory workers who are employed week to week and month to month.

On the workforce supply side, there is also a rise in contract and term employment due to the tenacity of older workers. Freedom 55 is a dream that has not been realized by many boomers whose investment savings are less than they had hoped for due to poor performances of their investments in the equity markets. A few extra years of contract work may not be absolutely necessary before retirement but they are necessary before a "comfortable" retirement. Boomer tenacity also puts extra pressure on young workers who find themselves competing with more experienced workers who also have a more flexible employment outlook.

Smart employers will continue to use contract, term and temporary workers. As time passes and as they become more certain of the long-term nature of their needs, employers will gradually convert these workers to more traditional employment relationships . Job seekers are wise to embrace these contingent employment opportunities as their path to experience and future career employment.

Contrary to the opinions of some, the employment market is not all doom and gloom. Its just different than we expected in would be in an economic recovery. Those who adapt to change, show flexibility and embrace the reality will likely end up with a better life-style and greater prosperity than prior generations, just like every generation before them.

Commentary by: Steve Jones, President - The People Bank, Aimco Staffing and Allen Professional Search (Divisions of Design Group Staffing Inc.)

Sources: The Conference Board of Canada; Statistics Canada; CMHC Housing Time Series Database.