Team at a conference

Candidate & Client Relationships: Info from ASA Staffing Connect East

Recently, members of the BelFlex team attended the 2019 American Staffing Association’s (ASA) Staffing Connect East in Charlotte, NC. The conference was one in a series of regional networking and educational opportunities hosted by ASA. Events like these are critical because they allow staffing and recruiting professionals to learn about universal issues and challenges in the industry, while also providing the opportunity to discuss the impacts on our unique communities.

As Council Chairman of ASA’s North Carolina Network, I had the privilege of speaking at the conference—welcoming attendees along with Steve Berchem, COO of ASA and covering conference takeaways at the close of the meeting. In between, my colleagues and I attended multiple presentations and met with many speakers and attendees.

Biggest Takeaways

All of the presentations packed a great deal of information with topics ranging from planning for growth and developing marketing strategies to managing client relationships and attracting millennial candidates. Here are two of our observations:

  • In today’s competitive hiring environment, building and maintaining relationships with talent is critical for an agency’s success. It’s not enough to just match a candidate with a job. Instead, recruiters need to look beyond the candidate’s skill sets and dig into their goals, motivations and priorities.

  • Innovative solutions require clients that are willing to collaborate with their staffing partners. To achieve that level of trust, staffing and recruiting leaders need to do more than fill positions but become a trusted advisor that communicates with clients and invites the exchange of feedback.

Session Highlights

One presentation that particularly stood out was “The New Language of Staffing” with Steve Berchem and Adam Bleibtreu, chief marketing officer of ASGN and Creative Circle and chairman of ASA. This dynamic, research-driven discussion revealed that what candidates want to hear is often different than what recruiters are saying. To be successful, recruiters need to focus more on the job seekers needs—obtaining and keeping a job—and not perceived benefits such as the potential for permanent employment or flexible work arrangements.

Jill White, an attorney at Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP, covered an astonishing amount of territory in her “Employment Law and Regional Legislative Update” session including the Department of Labor’s (DOL) interpretation of “joint employer” status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); the rise of sexual harassment lawsuits and lessons learned from recent cases including one in North Carolina; and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) increased scrutiny of applicant screening in the staffing industry with a focus on drug testing, criminal background checks and employee misclassifications.

Technology is always a hot topic and “Technology Evaluation and Adoption—Understanding the Cycle of Innovation” did not disappoint. Facilitated by John Thomas, professional staffing field consultant with Express Employment Professionals, the session not only looked at the strategies for selecting and implementing technology, but it also featured a video presentation by Brian Delle Donne, president of Talent Tech Labs on how to save time and expense when evaluating technology solutions.

These presentations, and others from the conference, can be found on the Staffing Connect East’s handouts page of ASA’s website.

BelFlex recognizes that professional development is critical to helping recruiters gain the skills needed to tackle today’s workforce challenges so they can better serve both clients and candidates. The BelFlex employees who attended ASA’s Staffing Connect East not only benefited from the experience but were able to share valuable lesson with their colleagues back home making it just another example of how BelFlex succeeds together. You can reach me at to learn more about the event, ASA’s North Carolina Network or BelFlex.


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