The Voice of Staffing
By Richard Wahlquist, President and CEO
Walking the Walk
In March, ASA reported that in 2011 the staffing industry employed nearly 13 million people in
the U.S. Add in direct-hire placements and that’s
well over 13 million people for whom staffing professionals had the privilege of helping find work.
That’s also more than 13 million potential advocates of the staffing industry and the opportunities
That assumes, of course, that those contract and
temporary workers were happy with their experiences. Most important, it assumes that staffing
and recruiting firms worked effectively to ensure
unconditional compliance with all the laws and
regulations that have been enacted to protect candidates’ rights. How can staffing executives ensure
their companies are doing that?
As you will read in this issue’s cover story, ASA
has developed the nation’s only staffing certification programs covering all applicable state and
federal labor and employment laws and regulations. These programs are designed for everyone
who works with clients, candidates, or employees.
circumvent labor and employment laws. In the
past 12 months, union-backed measures to inappropriately restrict or ban staffing have also been
proposed in Germany, Austria, and Russia.
Clearly, tensions are running high as countries
struggle to deal with the effects that the recession has
had on jobs. And, trade unions are struggling to hold
on to and resurrect old models of employment.
However, the staffing industry has a strong story
to tell. Based on the work of Ciett and staffing
industry associations like ASA around the world,
we are optimistic that we will be able to prevent the
enactment of the most severely restrictive legislative proposals. But, we have to walk the walk—our
advocacy efforts must be backed by our actions.
will make a
creation and the
Advocate for Talent
Because talent is at the core of the staffing business, companies take very seriously the opportunity and responsibility they have as advocates on
behalf of the millions of candidates they work with
every day. Knowledgeable staffing professionals
can ensure they are treated fairly and legally.
However, critics of the staffing industry don’t
Ensure Your Expertise
see it that way. For example, the 1. 8 million-
member Congress of South African Trade Unions
staged protests in March and issued this statement:
“We demand a total ban of the labour brokers, a
system we have described as human trafficking and
modern day slavery.”
Unions in South Africa allege that temporary
workers are being abused and that the staffing
industry is being used by client organizations to
What can firms do to ensure their employees
are equipped to be effective talent advocates?
First, make sure you and your staff are ASA-certified. Second, take action to protect the
industry and your business by supporting ASA
government relations programs and by contributing to StaffingPAC, the ASA political action
StaffingPAC helps support, on a non-parti-san basis, federal and state candidates who will
defend and fight for the rights of businesses. For
more about StaffingPAC, contact ASA government affairs counsel Toby Malara, Esq. at 703-
253-2027 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The business community and organized labor
have a lot at stake in the upcoming November
elections. This is not a year to sit on the sidelines. Your involvement will make a difference in
helping ASA promote job creation and the American free enterprise system. And, it will ensure
that the staffing industry will be able to continue
to do so many good things for so many millions of
people each day. n