I recently received the very humbling news that I had been selected by fellow members of the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) to join their Representative Committee. In this blog article I hope to share some of my experiences’ on working in partnership with APSCo, the election campaign, thoughts and hopes for the future and (hopefully) offering useful guidance to anyone who aspires to join the committee in the future.
A hotly contested election campaign
For me it all started with a newsletter from APSCo, informing me that the biennial voting for Representative Committee members will soon be open. Whilst I immediately knew it would be something I would love to be part of, I just wasn’t confident enough to apply straight away.
I raised this with my manager, Simon Blockley our MD, who without hesitation said I should most definitely apply, and with this endorsement I was ready to go!
Following my nominee application, I engaged on two weeks of canvasing, consulting the APSCo member list, speaking to my connections and any members (which included fellow RPOs) who I felt would share my values and direction.
This strategy seemed to do the trick, and it was with great delight, and a little shock that I was announced as an elected member! I must thank all who voted for me and send my respects to all fellow nominees.
What I can bring to the committee?
I feel I will bring a balanced view of our industry; having worked within agency, in-house/internal and for the last 8 years in the recruitment outsourcing arena. I believe that this breadth of knowledge of the industry that I love gives me the understanding to form an empathetic view from everyone’s perspective. Having worked for micro companies (under 10 people) through to enterprise organisations with over 4,000+ employees I am confident that I will be under no illusions how to truly represent the diversity of organisations who form the APSCo membership.
But, what I feel will most benefit the committee is the experience which I have gained from my mentors over the years who have taught me to blend acommercial outlook with “doing the right thing” – be that recognising diverse groups and breaking down barriers, through to assisting clients and MSP’s to champion local organisations and SME’s on to preferred supplier lists.
The next two years will span a very exciting period for the staffing industry - GDPR, the rise of Business Clubs, APSCo exceeding the 1,000 membership mark, the rise of Insights and Customer Value Management; and of course the little-discussed matter of Brexit!
The three agenda’s that are particularly important to me and thus I would like to see myself/Committee tackle over my tenure are, the education of Guidant team members on ‘everything’ APSCo, the representation of MSP/RPO’s at committee level and finally the recruitment of diverse groups.
I would mean an awful lot to me that come the end of my tenure on the committee, the Guidant team are aware of the critical work APSCo do ‘behind the scenes’ on behalf of our industry; from lobbying government, to understanding where ASPCo can help as a mediator service, the sharing of good practice and all the other areas which they work tirelessly on each day.
Breaking down existing barriers
I would equally relish the opportunity to represent MSP/RPOs within areas such as educating APSCo member agencies on the benefits of working with specialist outsourcing firms, breaking down some of the existing barriers and showing that, when done well everybody can benefit – from supplier, hiring manager, end client and of course, candidate.
Championing the recruitment of diverse groups
Finally, and most importantly I look forward to the opportunity to inspire APSCo members to recruit from diverse groups. I hope to achieve this through growing the understanding of benefits to members and their client’s of initiatives like Disability Confident..
Words of guidance for any aspiring 2020 Committee representatives
For anyone who aspires to join the APSCo committee when the next election campaign comes round in 2020, firstly I would say GO FOR IT - have confidence in yourself and your experience but start now. For more tangible words of wisdom (hopefully!) take a look at the below list of what I feel will help prepare you for success.
- Network with people from all areas of our industry and do this as often as you can
- If you get recommended blogs to read, LinkedIn groups to join or reports to digest, take the time to read them
- Constantly keep your knowledge up-to-date – especially around technology in recruitment
- Embrace other people’s expertise, you can’t be an expert in everything – share your knowledge and knowledge will come back to you in return
- Start to get your voice heard – sign up to speak at APSCo events (I’ve talked at 9 over the years)
- Ask APSCo for introductions to fellow members who might sit outside your “usual” community
To finish, having seen the list of fellow committee members elected, it’s a genuinely humbling experience to be part of this new line up. I am of course looking forward immensely to the next two years as an APSCo Representative Committee member!