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The Gift of Time is a Critical Asset to Improve Performance

How many times have you heard “I wish there was more time in the day”, or “There just isn’t enough time to accomplish all the things I want to accomplish” or “I ran out of time”? COVID-19 is granting many of us with more free time. What we do with it will tell us if those phrases were excuses or sincere statements.

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Cutting Sales In a Challenging Time

There is no question that we have entered back into an unfriendly business environment due to the COVID- 19 virus. Many of the practices we should follow in an effort to contain the spread of this virus will impact our businesses and the economy. It is a natural and, in many cases, a correct reaction to look at our P&L’s and see where we might be able to make cuts to protect our profit.

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ComplianceHR: 2020 is Already Proving to be a Year of Incredible Change for Employers Across the Country

2020 is already proving to be a year of incredible change for employers across the country. By now, you are likely aware that the Department of Labor’s Final Rule revising the requirements for classifying “white collar” employees as exempt from the overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act went into effect January 1, 2020.

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IMPACT! Talks: Be Purpose Driven. Be Opportunistic. Be Differentiated

While disruption seems to be a way of life in our industry, developing strategies to thrive within change was the centerpiece of the IMPACT! Talks at the 2019 TechServe Alliance conference. Three industry veterans, Andrew Limouris, President and CEO of Medix, Alidade Group & Talentoday; Sue Thaden, President & CEO of Cri and Gary Zander, Management Consultant for the Eliassen Group, shared their stories of how they managed large change within their organizations.

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Finding IT & Engineering Talent: Titans of Recruiting

At the session entitled “Finding IT & Engineering Talent: Titans of Recruiting,” three veteran recruiting executives provided sage advice on recruiting tech talent in today’s challenging market. Early in the session, they discussed the issue of verifying candidate skills when having them take skills tests is not practical.

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Inside the Mind of the CIO: A Candid Conversation

What better way to understand your clients then by getting “Inside the Mind of the CIO: A Candid Conversation”? At the recent national conference, TechServe Alliance brought together three CIO’s to discuss what the IT staffing landscape looks like from their perch.

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The Code for the Next Wave with Shaun Tomson

In true surf city fashion, TechServe Alliance opened their 2019 Conference & Tradeshow in Huntington Beach with world surfing champion Shaun Tomson, who shared his best advice on how those in the business world can catch the next best wave.

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We’re Here to Make Your Membership Work for You

“Together makes us better” really captures one of the most valuable benefits of a TechServe Alliance membership. In addition to a knowledgeable staff and a wealth of resources that are just a click or a call away, the TechServe Alliance community is a unique place where members openly share best practices and partner with other members.

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Rank and Bank: The Power of Online Visibility

Recently, before the world of digital marketing was fully established, ranking high in search engines was the key to success. If you were on top, people picked up the phone and called you. When potential clients did their research, they merely asked, “Who can I partner with?” and left it at that.

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When Demand Ignores Supply

Think about these facts: There is already a significant shortage of talent in the workplace (specifically in IT). The unemployment rate is at 3.6% (lowest since 1978), Tech sector unemployment rate is 1.9%. And yet, companies continue to self-inflict hiring wounds.

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A Message from the TechServe Alliance President

As we begin the New Year, looking to the future and setting our personal and professional goals, it is beneficial to reflect on our past. As I begin serving as the President of TechServe, I do so having had the opportunity to experience this industry in good times and in not so good times, both as a start-up company and as a more established company.

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The Critical Science (& Art) of Developing Successful Sales Organizations

Unequivocally, the IT talent shortage has changed the way firms do business. It’s created an even more competitive market in an industry of nearly 10,000 IT staffing firms, all vying for the same shrinking pool of qualified workers. This reality has put a significant amount of pressure on recruiters to fill roles, yes, but it’s also created the same sense of urgency on the client side for the sales organization.

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Boldly Go Farther

Having recently attended the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, I’m compelled to consider what drives world-class performance. Whether on the ski slopes as an elite athlete, or in the boardroom leading a business, many critical success factors ultimately are the same. While succeeding is only one step, winning is indeed far greater. True victory demands specific individual character traits, plus the support of a strong team that is committed to a common goal.

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Just Do it. Take the risk. Now.

Just Do it. Take the risk. Now. These short, yet powerful phrases permeated the presentations, panel discussions, lessons learned and the overall “attitude” at this years’ TechServe Alliance Conference 2017. It was a welcomed and refreshing contrast to the “present the facts and information” only conferences of years past. The message was clear; we need to TAKE ACTION, TAKE RISKS, and EXECUTE.

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Rejection Therapy with Jia Jiang

Would you walk up to a total stranger and request $100? How about knock on someone’s door you don’t know to ask if you can play soccer in their back yard? Or hitting up a policeman to drive their car?

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Economics for the Real World

Despite the fact that all his news is decidedly not good (there’s another great depression coming in 2030!), Alan Beaulieu knows how to work a crowd. It was a lively audience at Friday’s afternoon keynote to hear the data-driven insights Alan and his firm ITR Outlook bring to bear.

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Lessons Learned from Executives at the Top of their Games

One of several priorities that have emerged from this year’s conference is how to differentiate and grow your business in this very commoditized industry. In breakout sessions, keynote addresses, and even conversations in the hall, staffing executives have been sharing ideas on how to best compete and break out in this challenging workforce environment.

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Negotiating Client Contracts

Although negotiating client contracts by necessity requires an understanding of complex topics such as indemnities and leverage, don’t be fooled into signing agreements without carefully reviewing them. That’s how today’s TechServe 2017 session on client contracts started off, and it continued to deliver terrific tips and tactics.

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Keynote Session Recap: Teams of Teams

Before Chris Fussell became Partner at McChrystal Group Leader Institute, he spent over 15 years in the U.S. Navy. After transitioning into the corporate world from the Navy, Chris started to see a common issue that not only military leaders face, but also organization leaders as well: we have powerful small teams that are able to adapt to change in external environments, but we’re incapable of operating with the same agility as an enterprise and therefore lose to external risks.

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Staffing Leaders Share TechServe Experiences for Our 30th

This year’s Conference will be extra special to us as we celebrate TechServe Alliance’s 30th anniversary. We are so thankful for the commitment of our members, the insights of our speakers, and the support of our event sponsors. To mark the occasion, we sat down with a handful of members to hear their TechServe stories and the impact membership has had on their companies and careers.

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Does the 2017 Conference Sales & Recruiter Track Have Something For You?

Leave your preconceived notions about who should attend the Sales & Recruiting track sessions at the door. According to sales and recruiter trainer Barb Bruno, anyone -- in any area, on any level -- can benefit from attending these information-packed sessions. “That goes for the sales team, recruiters, account managers, company owners and more. There really is something for everyone within this track,” she says.

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How Immigration Uncertainty Impacts the IT Talent Shortage

Just look at the way Wall Street stocks drop in the wake of unanticipated global events and you get a good sense of how toxic uncertainty is in business. Healthy economic growth needs predictability, and the professional staffing industry is no different. While the long-term fate of high-skilled immigration sits in limbo, staffing and solutions firms are naturally going to struggle as the future of a key candidate source is unclear. Here’s what we anticipate happening to the IT talent shortage in the future and what some of our firms are doing in response to the uncertainty.

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Collateral Damage: Your Firm’s Access to Talent

As a kid, your experience was probably similar to mine where you were at some point in the vicinity of bad behavior.  Not your bad behavior (of course), but you were in the same zone as those who broke the rules or norms of acceptable conduct.   Perhaps it was on the playground or in class, or perhaps it was at home with a brother or sister, but someone else did something that violated what the authority figure, be it teacher or parent, felt crossed the line.  In response, you were called out or perhaps punished despite not having done anything wrong.  You no doubt protested loudly, declaring your innocence.  You tried to argue the facts to establish you were not to blame.  It wasn’t right, but there you were facing the same punishment as the transgressor.

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What’s Next in Talent Acquisition Technology? Join the Conversation.

With all the enthusiasm that was evident at the TechServe Alliance Annual Conference at Amelia Island, I thought it timely to reflect on the “What’s Next” themed track and the TechServe Innovation Lab activities that had so many of us excited . First, speaking for Talent Tech Labs, we want to express our deep appreciation for the opportunity to bring some of our insights to the TechServe members who were present. For those who may have missed the event, we’d welcome the chance to get you caught up on all that went on.

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The Election of Donald Trump: The Implications and Key Lessons for the Professional Staffing Industry

Ok, first thing, I am not going to share my personal opinion on the election of Donald Trump. That is reserved for family and friends or those with whom I am sharing a good bottle of red Zin or a Brunello (especially if you are buying). Besides, as we have seen, this is essentially a 50/50 country and alienating half of your audience/constituency is not a good way to start. I am also not going to do a post-mortem on why he won. That is being addressed ad nauseam by your choice of website, publication or TV network. What I do want to tackle is what I think it means for the professional staffing industry.

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Successful Leadership: Make the Most of your One Shot

Dan Quiggle Raises the Emotional Intelligence of #TSAConf2016 Attendees

Serial entrepreneur. Premature baby. Debate club scholarship recipient. Political hack. Ozzy Osbourne fan. Ronald Reagan staff member.

These phrases all describe keynote speaker Dan Quiggle, who brought his storytelling acumen and positive worldview to the stage Saturday night at the 2016 TechServe Alliance Conference.

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Top Twitter Pics: #TSAConf16 Day 2

Twitter has been buzzing with great pictures and takeaways shared from attendees, exhibitors, speakers and the TechServe team. Here are some of our favorites from the 2016 TechServe Alliance Annual Conference.

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Diving into Measurement & Comp Plans that Work

If you’re like many staffing firm executives, the end of the calendar year means a targeted focus on employee performance, achievements, and compensation. You need to know how your team stacks up, and how much you need to pay them to execute your vision.

It’s a complicated topic to be sure, but fortunately we had Business Strategist and Executive Coach Tom Nunn at the 2016 TechServe Alliance Conference to share best practices for measuring success and incentivizing your team. He covered a wide range of topics, from differentiated comp plans to tiered bonuses and work from home policies, and everything in between.

Along the way, he gave our participants some valuable advice, including this definitive statement: “The worst mistake you can make is to pay for activity and not for results.”

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Top Ten Tweets: #TSAConf16 Day 1

One of the most valuable aspects of TechServe’s Annual Conference is the peer networking and information sharing. Discussing real world lessons and tips isn’t reserved for offline conversations. Check out these tweets shared during the first day of conference for more actionable insights.

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Don’t Widen the Bases: A Baseball Lesson at Conference 2016

This week the 2016 Chicago Cubs may have taught the world that baseball can be rich in life lessons, but it was Rick Carlson of Harvyst Consulting Partners who brought another powerful baseball message to life at the 2016 TechServe Conference. During his Friday afternoon session, “An Onboarding Plan to Improve New Hire Productivity & Retention,” Carlson shared the story of baseball coach John Scolinos, who at the age of 78 once lectured at a conference in startlingly unique attire. He spoke with a home base dangling around his neck.

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A Decision-Making Master Class at #TSAConf2016

Professor and author Michael Roberto of Bryant University began his keynote address to the 2016 TechServe Alliance Conference by calling upon the audience to consider an important decision-making question: Are you capturing the wisdom of the crowd? Sharing the data-proven example that an audience will collectively get the right answer to a quiz question 91% of the time, Roberto was challenging the leaders, managers, business owners, rising stars, and contributors of all kinds in the ballroom to consider whether or not they accept input and welcome ideas as they make key decisions.

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Help wanted: How IT teams can alleviate staffing shortages

The ongoing scarcity of IT candidates has recruiters and HR managers desperate to find qualified candidates for job openings.

According to Randstad’s 2016 Workplace Trends survey of IT hiring decision-makers, they are understaffed by 14 percent and take an average of 90 days to fill non-executive positions. Baby Boomers nearing retirement and the ever-changing technology landscape are among the factors that keep the need for quality candidates at high levels.

While recruiters are aggressively searching for talent outside the company, some may be exacerbating the problem by paying too little attention to the workers they already have. Retention is always an important component of any HR strategy, but it becomes even more critical during a talent shortage. In fact, the Randstad survey revealed that one of the top threats to meeting revenue or business performance targets in 2016 is retention of qualified employees.

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Do You Have the Traits of a Successful Innovator and Decision-Maker?

In his keynote at the upcoming TechServe Alliance Conference, Professor Michael Roberto will share case studies like the Mount Everest tragedy of 1996 and the Columbia Space Shuttle accident to illustrate the types of decision-making failures that lead to disaster both at high altitude and in the executive suite.

Your decisions may not have life and death consequences like those scenarios, but they do have profit and loss consequences. Successful climbs, missions, and businesses require not only good decision-making but also innovative thinking – figuring out how to overcome challenges, meet market demand, and make the best of the opportunities presented to you.

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Benefits of Bringing Your Team to the TechServe Alliance Conference

Over the last few years, the number of firms registering three or more people for our annual conference has increased. We love this trend but we wanted to know what’s behind it. Why do so many CEOs bring staff to the conference? Besides saving 25% ($400) per person, that is.

We talked to Andre Krevere, CEO of Alltech Int’l (Virginia), about his decision to bring members of his management, sales, and recruiting teams to the conference each year. “I want everyone rowing in the same direction,” he said. “The annual conference helps to align them with our vision for the business. The experience also broadens their horizons. They return with an understanding of the bigger picture and why we make the decisions we do.”

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Hot Jobs in IT: Propelled by Exponential Growth in Big Data, Cloud Computing Security

The most in-demand IT job for 2016 is project manager – and if history holds true, that bodes well for the U.S. economy.

For years now, Randstad has closely tracked the demand for jobs in six key areas, and the appetite for IT project managers has typically been an indicator for the performance of the entire economy. And in our 2016 Hot Jobs report released last month, project managers led the IT pack – followed by software engineers (with a focus on Java) and network & security engineers.

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Adaptation: The Darwinian Imperative

The late Leon Megginson, a prolific author and authority on business management research, takes a twist on Darwin’s theory of evolution by famously concluding that it is not the strongest of the species that survive, but those who most accurately assess their environment and successfully adapt.

Over the last few months, I have been on the road taking this message to TechServe Alliance chapters around the country and via our “Survival Lessons” webinars. This theme will also be showcased at our annual conference in Palm Springs.

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Forget ABC, It’s All About ABR: Always Be Recruiting

Are you looking for great salespeople and recruiters? Join the club! I have spoken to many industry leaders over the past three months, and literally every person I have spoken to is hiring for these revenue-driving roles.

Considering this situation, your current team is likely juggling more work with fewer resources. This is often a recipe for bad hiring decisions, which ironically lead to less productivity and more stress on your workforce - it’s a vicious cycle.

I recently spoke with Tom Nunn, strategic consultant for the IT staffing industry and a member of the TechServe Alliance Board of Directors, to get his tips for overcoming a common obstacle he sees when coaching growing firms in this climate: Hiring too fast and firing too slow.

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Beyond Gridlock: Agency Policymaking and the Coming Disruption to the H-1B Ecosystem

To read the headlines and listen to the pundits, one can be forgiven for thinking that Congressional gridlock will leave the immigration landscape unchanged for the foreseeable future.  Even President Obama’s recent executive actions face serious roadblocks in the court system.

But, recent activity in Washington suggests we may be looking at some significant changes in business immigration policy within the foreseeable future.  While Congress may be bogged down and unlikely to move any immigration reform – whether comprehensive or incremental – the Administration and federal agencies are moving on several fronts.  Some of the actions by the Administration could prove disruptive to the H-1B ecosystem and likely to produce some winners and some losers.

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Evolution in the Face of Change

My first contact with TechServe Alliance was over 25 years ago when I attended my first Northern California chapter meeting as a recruiter. Stepping into the role of President of the Board of Directors for 2015 really got me thinking about this industry and how it has changed since my first days in the late 1980’s. Way back then, recruiting technology consisted of a well-organized series of file cabinets, each with candidate resumes (obtained by consistent & expensive Sunday newspaper classified ads). Drawer 1 was mainframe programmers; drawer 2, mainframe + online; drawer 3, mainframe + database and so on.

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For the Greater Good: Giving Back

As we come to the end of 2014, it seems like a great opportunity to pause and reflect on our collective efforts and accomplishments in supporting and promoting the IT and engineering staffing and solutions industry.

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A Study in Contrasts: Musings on Boca Raton and Washington, D.C.

As the IT and Engineering staffing & solutions industry recently came together in Boca Raton, Florida for the TechServe Alliance Annual Conference to network and learn, our nation also headed to the polls for mid-term elections. While these events shared the same timing, the key takeaways could not have been more different in both style and substance.

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The Future of IT & Engineering Staffing and Solutions: Expect the Unexpected

So what’s next? As we prepare for the TechServe Alliance annual conference in just a few weeks, that’s a question that’s been on my mind. Every year, our community comes together to exchange ideas and learn from one another. While a major part of the formal and informal discussions at conference inevitably focus on achieving excellence in execution through proven tactics, I feel it's incumbent upon us as the industry’s trade association to concurrently drive the conversation toward strategic transformation as well. In other words, what we really need to be thinking about is the future of our industry.

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