You Can’t Win if You Don’t Play

I’m blogging from the conference floor of SI’s Executive Forum in Lake Las Vegas. If you haven’t been, it’s rapidly becoming the place for the cognoscenti of the staffing and recruiting industry. SI does a fantastic job and this year’s conference has over 700 attendees from all of the major and fastest growing staffing and recruiting firms in the world. I’m struck by the buzz about strong industry growth. There is no shortage of economic predictions. SI’s Barry Asin is cautious, and while keynote speaker (sponsored by Bullhorn), Robert Reich, preeminent labor economist and former U.S. Secretary of Labor, also expresses some concern, the reality is unemployment is low and demographics and globalization favor industry growth.

It comes back to something very simple expressed in the title of Barry’s presentation, “Change is the Only Constant,” with the clear implication that opportunity always abounds if you possess foresight, a strategy and you’re willing to take a calculated risk. It also reminds me of something I experienced last night (I’m about to violate the “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” line). Last night a number of us from Bullhorn spent time with customers and prospects, enjoying a great dinner and then taking everyone over to the resort casino. Check out some pictures from our event below! I’m not a gambler, and last night was my first time. After some cajoling, our president Barry Hinckley had me at the blackjack table with one of our prospects. I decided, “You can’t win if you don’t play.” In less than an hour, I doubled my return, walking out with several hundred dollars. Why? I didn’t rely solely on luck nor did I place reckless bets. Instead, I placed some calculated bets, based on the hand given to me and what the house was showing. It’s the same thing with the economy. What is the economy showing you? It’s definitely showing uncertainty, but if you hunker down and don’t have the foresight to place calculated bets, you’re not going to win consistently over the long term, despite any of the changes that are taking place.

I suspect many staffing firms are thinking “we need to place candidates while the market is hot.” That’s fine and it’s understandable, but what’s your bet past what you’re seeing today? It’s the same thing when I played blackjack last night, I placed conservative bets on good hands, but doubled down on the great hands. In other words, when change was presenting itself, I took advantage of it. It’s the same thing in staffing and recruiting. What’s your strategy past maximizing placements when change is the only constant? I’ve talked to prospects here who are facing the inertia of change related to their existing technology investments – “we have to do something, but everyone is used to the system,” or “it’s not working, but we need to figure out when the time is right.” You can’t win if you don’t play.

Here’s the shameless commercial – Bullhorn is renowned among our 12,000 users for faster placements, but the beauty of our staffing and recruiting software is that it is so integrated, comprehensive and On Demand that it addresses both sides of your desk, sales and recruiting. If change is constant and you foresee that your business is approaching the inevitable need to generate job orders, why not have the recruiting software in place that will become an enabler of best practices for both sales and recruiting? It’s why our best customers understand that when both sides of the desk are synchronized, their firms perform best in any economy. If you think it’s not the right time for new staffing sofware, think again. No one stays ahead of change, it’s a question of how much you fall behind when change occurs. Don’t solely rely on the house to show its hand, focus on what you’ve been dealt, using a strategy that works over the long term no matter what is on the table. See you next year at SI Executive Forum in Miami Beach. I’ll be there and so will “change.” Here are a few photos from our special event at SI Executive Forum.

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