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There is no doubt that we are in a very challenging sales environment and will remain there for some time to come. Clients are not likely to accept a face-to-face encounter, although we should be testing the water to see if coffee, golf or even lunch might be acceptable. Also, many clients are working from home which makes “change” that much more challenging. A common phrase we will hear from prospects when presenting our case for acceptance is “let me take your information and get back to you”. By agreeing to this request, we are ceding control. And when we cede control, any momentum we might have built is lost. So what can we do? The first step is to make ...
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As the sales workforce continues to navigate this era of social distance and digital communication during COVID-19, the power and clarity of the seller’s message has never felt more important. Sales and leadership coach Casey Jacox  led the discussion on the importance of internal and external sales messaging during TechServe Alliance’s recent webinar, titled “Being an Elite Seller in the Eyes of Your Customer.” The 20-year staffing and services veteran from KForce spoke from seasoned experience, having gone through the .com crash at the turn of the century, the Y2K scare and the global financial crisis of 2008. Jacox – who also authored the book “WIN ...
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In this COVID challenged world, we are faced with some significant obstacles when it comes to trying to break into and develop new clients. Pre-COVID, we called, emailed, or otherwise networked with prospects or clients to set face-to-face meetings. No real selling, just enough to gain an opportunity to meet and speak in-person – where the real selling began. In the current work-from-home environment, face-to-face meetings (i.e. coffee or lunches) are few and far between and will likely remain that way for the remainder of the year (and possibly beyond). Even when people do begin to return to the office, visitors will not be readily welcomed while the efforts ...
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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. Since our sequestration began five or more weeks ago, we have been blessed with more time, especially so in sales. We have been re-gifted with our normal commute to the office time, our meetings with clients time, time that we used for entertaining others or attending networking events, or the time it took to get to those functions. When you add ...
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As the demand for talent continues to rise, so too does the spend for most companies employing a contingent workforce. And with that increase comes added scrutiny from the C-Suite of our clients. While C-Suite involvement can be a positive event for staffing companies, in this particular scenario it will most likely mean a decree to trim cost by any means necessary. This translates into additional pressure for HR/TA and Purchasing departments to commoditize our offering. Therefore it is critical that sales representatives adapt their selling style. No longer is pure “relationship” type selling a plausible method. In relationship selling, reps focus ...
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With so many employee benefits strategies in the marketplace today, it’s nearly impossible to compare all of your options efficiently, never mind understand which offerings are right for you. That said, there are some emerging trends among employers that are worth considering as you explore new ways to attract and retain quality talent. The New Individual Coverage HRA:   This new, modern model of employer-sponsored health insurance allows employers to reimburse employees for the purchase of individual health insurance coverage. Available as of January 2020, this new program called ICHRA is very simple – employees choose the carrier, the plan, the benefits, ...
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As we begin a new year, it seemed like a natural point to reflect back on the journey that has led me to serving as the President of TechServe Alliance during 2020. Over the past several decades, I have had the opportunity to view the staffing industry from a variety of roles and vantage points. Despite having spent considerable time within the industry, I realized that I still had a lot to learn and needed to invest in developing one of the best sources for insights and information: peer relationships. While TechServe seemed like a natural forum to develop those relationships, my involvement with the group began slowly, choosing to dip my toe in to test ...
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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. The three were, Yuri Aguiar, Director of Innovation and Transformation, The Ogilvy Group, John Higginson, CTO, Enova International and Christine Stone VP Program Management Office, Brookfield Partners. The panel was led by Anna Frazzetto, CDTO & President, Technology Solutions for Harvey Nash, Inc. Frazzetto led the discussion by sharing results of the Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey 2019, ...
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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. For Tomson, the answer to finding that wave lies in the code. The code is simply a set of fundamental beliefs that motivate action, he explained. As the event’s keynote speaker, he translated the concept into a business context, referring to various lessons he had learned from his time as a professional athlete and entrepreneur. In his lifetime, Tomson has started and sold two multi-million dollar clothing brands ...
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TechServe Alliance Sales & Recruiting Management Program Director Founder/President Harvyst Consulting Partners Think about these facts: There is already a significant shortage of talent in the workplace (specifically in IT). Every day, 11,000 more "Baby Boomers" retire (4,000,000 per year). The unemployment rate is at 3.6% (lowest since 1978), Tech sector unemployment rate is 1.9%. The US birth rate continues to decline (3.78M born in 2018) and is at its lowest rate since 1986. Couple this with 4.0M Baby Boomers leaving the workplace and the shortfall grows exponentially. Nearly 50% of all hires fail within the first 18 months ("Dr. ...
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A message from your TechServe Alliance CEO  Over the last year, we’ve been surveying our members formally and informally to understand what challenges impact your firm most. Not surprisingly, your biggest challenges include: Sourcing qualified IT and engineering talent Finding effective salespeople and recruiters Opening doors to high potential prospective clients Developing your staff to their full potential TechServe is making the commitment–and the investment–to tackle these challenges head on. We assembled four task forces of owners and executives along with other stakeholders from a diverse group of companies to consider a range of potential ...
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Dr. Jay Cohen, Founder and CEO, Signature Consultants 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. Throughout the years, I’ve learned that surrounding myself with great people and their good ideas makes the difference. With that in mind, there is no better time to assess our goals for our industry and to take advantage of the resources TechServe has to ...
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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. While the sales team has a very important job, many IT staffing firms struggle with assembling the right team. In the workshop “The Critical Science (& Art) of Developing Successful Sales Organizations,” presenter Rick Carlson of Harvyst Consulting ...
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Good To Great

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Good To Great Barb Bruno, CEO , Good as Gold Training   The recruiting profession is one of the most rewarding professions because what we do each day is change people’s lives for the better.  We identify the top talent needed by our hiring authorities and we help individuals make their next logical career move.  Today we are going to discuss how to go from good to great!The recruiting profession is one of the most rewarding professions because what we do each day is change people’s lives for the better.  We identify the top talent needed by our hiring authorities and we help individuals make their next logical career move.  Today we are going to discuss ...
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What Happens If...

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What Happens If... Rick Carlson, Director , TechServe Alliance Sales Management Program “What-if” situations can be maddening in the sense that they can absorb precious time and brain power preparing for scenario’s that may never come to pass. However, the time spent now, may produce a decided competitive advantage should the un-likely suddenly become likely. If we listen to the ever increasing “noise” about a forthcoming, albeit mild, recession; we might serve ourselves (and our companies) well to have a plan ready to impart. Economists point to four major risks that could cause such an event. For those who were able to ride out the most recent recession ...
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Staffing Market Grows, While Satisfaction Declines Rick Carlson,  Director ,  TechServe Alliance Sales Management Program Recent buyer satisfaction surveys have indicated an overall decline in the satisfaction with staffing companies even though the overall market for staffing is expanding. Sounds contradictory, but if you dissect the situation, it may become more obvious. The growth in demand lends itself to new competitors entering the marketplace, hungry for business. That can lead to desperate moves and poor practices that are very visible at the client level. This desperation may also be seen at the field consultant level as speed to ...
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Sales Best Practices Which Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) Really Matter? Rick Carlson, Director, TechServe Alliance Sales Management Program The number one driver of profitability in any company is the proper utilization of existing resources. Not only do you have to establish the parameters, but more importantly you must track, measure, report, and work to improve on them regularly. The most critical of all elements to measure is gross profit driven, per producer, per month. Depending upon how your organization credits GP$ (whole or split), the number will vary. A very good monthly target for an experienced producer (where client manager contact ...
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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. Have you attended other conferences and walked away with big-picture solutions only, the kind that take months or years to execute? That’s not the case here. The Sales & Recruiting track sessions offer tips that are proven and business-ready. ...
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Visit the TechServe blog for great takeaways from this year's conference. http://www.techservealliance.org/blo
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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. Continue reading this blog post here
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