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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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