The 2014 Executive Forum Europe from Staffing Industry Analysts took place on Nov. 4 and 5. During the event, speakers from across the staffing industry met to discuss challenges, changes and growth opportunities in the industry, particularly in Europe. Topics included threats to staffing and opportunities in the industry, IT advances and big data, profitability, supply chains and more. Here are a few snapshots of different sessions and the important information they can provide to staffing professionals.
Staffing Firms and IT Investment
A session on the IT space for staffing with John Nurthen and Ian Anson, both of Staffing Industry Analysts, on the IT space for staffing contained several instructive data points. Most staffing firms invest 5 percent of their IT budgets in new value propositions, 15 percent in growth initiatives and 80 percent to run their systems. The industry metric as reported by Gartner for these categories is: 13 percent expenditure to new value propositions, 20 percent to growth and 67 percent to running existing IT. Staffing firms also rank relatively low on a list of industries by their IT costs as a percentage of revenue, coming in just under retail with 1.45 percent of revenue going to IT costs.
Leaders of several staffing firms participated in a discussion moderated by Bryan Pena of Staffing Industry Analysts about expanding abroad. Each firm executive discussed the challenges, rewards and revenue mix involved in expanding abroad, and noted that there is often quite a lot of research to do. The presentation included a table indicating which countries require firms to become licensed to do business there. It also included information on which countries have the highest potential for staffing firms to increase their revenue. These nations included Japan, France, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S.
Executives at the conference also discussed big data's impact on staffing firms. They revealed the four Vs of big data: volume, velocity, variety, veracity. From these foundations, they then made recommendations for staffing firms, which included the use of the Salesforce, a willingness to keep learning, and agile ways to apply big data to real-world performance. The right staffing software can make all the difference in this area. Staffing leaders should ensure that their new IT tools all help with managing and understanding big data.
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