Mike Cleland was recently featured on Haley Marketing Groups’s Secrets of Staffing Success Podcast. Todd Lewandowski and Mike spoke about the following: The biggest mistake staffing leaders make Biggest key to sustained growth for staffing firms Is metrics based management a double edged sword? How staffing firms can improve internal staff turnover Why the staffing industry needs to be proud of what they do and use it to their advantage Scalable practices for firms looking to grow in the next 2-3 years Is automation a threat to the staffing industry? Click to hear the Secrets of Staffing Success Podcast.
Mike Cleland is the founder of Charted Path, a performance consulting firm for staffing companies, with over 23 years in the industry. Over the last 8 years he has worked with more than 80 staffing firms in every major vertical ranging in size from start-up to $600 million focusing on leadership team development and organizational improvements. In addition, Cleland has worked with private equity firms to assist in the evaluation of potential investments and assisted in post-merger change management initiatives. His latest book Breaking Through: Leadership Disciplines from Top Performing Staffing Firms was co-authored with Barry Asin, President of SIA and released in 2018 as a follow up to Behind the Wheel: Driving Excellence in Staffing Operations which was published in 2013. In addition to his extensive consulting experience, Cleland leverages his background as president of a $65M IT staffing firm to provide practical advice that minimizes disruption while implementing improvements that allow companies to achieve break through growth. He has also been named to SIA’s North American Staffing 100 for three years. Mike Cleland – Staffing 100 Announcement
There are more than 19,000 staffing firms in the US, but fewer than 700 generate over $25 million in revenue and only 140 have achieved the industry heights of building a $100 million business. The new book Breaking Through: Leadership Disciplines from Top Performing Staffing Firms investigates what it takes to be a top performer in a global industry with over $400 billion in annual spend. Co-written by industry experts Mike Cleland, Founder, Charted Path, and Barry Asin, President, Staffing Industry Analysts, Breaking Through is based on interviews with industry leaders and covers companies who have grown from start up to the top ranks of the industry and over the last five years at more than four times the rate of industry growth. “Every staffing executive we interviewed provided invaluable insight on what it takes to build a top tier organization,” said Mike Cleland. “While each took different paths, they all shared leadership characteristics that allowed their companies to excel and consistently outperform the competition. We wrote Breaking Through not only to capture their journeys, but to provide valuable insight for any staffing leader committed to their company’s success.” “There is no magic behind the success of the companies profiled … Read More
There are more than 19,000 staffing firms in the US, but fewer than 700 generate over $25 million in revenue and only 140 have achieved the industry heights of building a $100 million business. What is it about those firms that have grown on their own from start up to the top echelons of the industry? How do they rise above the norm and break through the barriers to growth? The new book Breaking Through: Leadership Disciplines from Top Performing Staffing Firms is an intimate look at leadership, profiling top executives across one of the world’s most dynamic and driven industries, and shares key leadership disciplines for revenue growth and lasting success in a global market that hit $428 billion in spend in 2017. The book is co-written by Mike Cleland, Founder, Charted Path, and Barry Asin, President, Staffing Industry Analysts and will be available for order February 28, 2018. The book launch, along with author signing session, will take place February 28th at Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach during the Executive Forum North America conference. See Press Release
Mountain View, California — February 13, 2017 — Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), the global advisor on staffing and workforce solutions, has unveiled its sixth annual list of North American staffing leaders, lauding those individuals whose excellence, drive and significant efforts stand out as exemplary in the industry over the past year. The list is not a ranking but a way to recognize leaders for the remarkable impact they make in a variety of ways and through various means across the Workforce Solutions Ecosystem. The expertise included on the list encompasses that of CEOs, entrepreneurs, technologists, workforce specialists, data scientists and more, hailing from a host of different kinds of companies and lines of service – from traditional staffing to online platforms to MSP/VMS to RPO. See Mike Cleland – Staffing 100 Announcement
Staffing Industry Review, February 13, 2017 By Barry Asin, President of Staffing Industry Analysts Of the nearly 20,000 staffing firms operating in the US, few reach $10 million or even $5 million in annual revenue — and just a select few exceed $100 million — the threshold for firms to land on our pinnacle list of largest staffing firms. Our 2016 list contains a scant 133 firms. What enables those firms to “break through” to join the pantheon of staffing industry leaders? I’ve been working on a book on this topic with Mike Cleland of Charted Path. We’ve spent hours debating the question. Not surprisingly, we’ve learned that there is no single answer, but there are some intriguing commonalities among those high performers: Strong markets, clear differentiator. What does it take to break away from the pack? First, there are a series of strategic hurdles that staffing firms must cross. While it is possible to grow in just about any staffing market, the fact is that the strategic choices staffing firm owners make have a significant influence on their ability to grow. To maximize the odds of success, staffing firms must choose a strong market to serve and a strategy to … Read More
For decades one of the linchpin exercises for executives has been developing a mission, vision, and values to rally the organization around a shared identity. Going through this exercise is typically seen in a positive light especially when team members are involved in their creation. In theory, it aligns the team by giving them a common understanding of what they are building and provides parameters of how it needs to be built. But more often than not this exercise does not have the intended effect. While values are supposed to be long-term guideposts, they are often in reality a teambuilding exercise or worse, a disruptive catalyst that undermines the culture of a company. When viewed as a teambuilding exercise, the effects are often short term. The feeling of camaraderie quickly fades away when the team focuses on their daily work. While this result maybe disappointing, it typically isn’t disruptive to the business. Ironically, the true disruption is when the management team builds a support system around values that are inconsistent with the company’s true identity. When poorly defined values are propped up by management, people see through the inconsistency and resentment starts to build as the perceived hypocrisy fuels cynicism … Read More
During the last six years, every consulting engagement has challenged my perspective and provided important insight on how best to advise staffing executives on critical strategic decisions. When I started Charted Path, my initial plan was to align execution with strategy by primarily focusing on process efficiency and metrics based management. This approach was due in large part to the prevailing wisdom that process efficiencies and analytics promised to make growth a more objective scientific endeavor. While these tools have proven to be powerful in many industries, staffing quickly revealed the limits of “management science” and instead demanded a more comprehensive, dare I say artful and personalized approach. Why is a more creative approach necessary for staffing companies? Because performance is driven by culture. We have heard a lot about data and analytics over the years and they have an important role. However, individual motivation, passionate collaboration, and steadfast commitment are the lifeblood of a staffing company and all three require a strong culture to thrive. Experienced managers understand this at a tactical level which is why so many staffing companies focus on incentives and recognition to ensure their staff remains motivated. Keep in mind that these tactics only work … Read More
TechServe Alliance asked Mike Cleland to write for their first issue of Beyond Certification, a newsletter for Certified AEs and Recruiters. Be sure and read this article for tips on improving how you connect with your candidates to build better trust and collaboration.
Most staffing executives and managers understand the value of metrics. They see the visibility it can provide and how it allows them to make better strategic and tactical decisions. However, what we rarely discuss are the pitfalls of metrics based management. These pitfalls can effectively banish common sense and replace it with bureaucratic certainty where rule enforcement dominates management decision making. Rule based management does have its place, but taken too far it can compromise adaptability and lead to a demotivated workforce. Below are a couple common pitfalls and how staffing managers can avoid them. Pitfall One: Driving Non-Productive Activity Potential Problem: Focusing on activity is an effective management strategy for a junior level employee who needs to develop disciplined habits. However, as a producer becomes more experienced and successful, focusing solely on activity metrics can be both demotivating and unproductive. In addition, the focus on activity may compromise the quality of the work. A sales person can definitely hit their meeting number, but are those meetings with people that generate business is a completely different matter. Solution: Define the Key Measure of Accountability It is a manager’s job to define the key measure of accountability for the different roles … Read More