Hitting The Target: Using Professional Associations To Create A Staffing Competitive Advantage: Part II

Hitting the Target with Professional Associations in Recruiting/Staffing is a way that Talent Acquisition can create a Competitive Advantage in Sourcing and Talent Attraction.  In this series I study this marketplace and how it is going to have an impact in the future and how to effectively engage, build value and employer brand with these organizations.  The next Topic in the Series, I look at emerging trends, and the future of professional associations.


Professional Associations are continuing to adapt to an ever changing market place.  Their overall contribution to the economic engine of America and the World Economy is quite important.  Here are trends that will affect these organizations as the future goes forward and it is vital to understand this as one tries to engage, work with, and facilitate in building relationships with Professional Associations.

Trends To Watch:

1. New Technologies are emerging.  New Technologies will redefine whole industries, but it is expected that emerging industries will pull together new associations.  As this happens growth and shifting demographics will determine the rise and fall of some professional associations.  It is more likely that more Professional Associations will grow as Baby Boomers retire, driving a need for communities of skill and expertise to rally together towards advancement of a common cause.

2.  Retirement of the Baby Boomer Generation will Have an Impact on Professional Associations: A recent article by: Barbara Friedberg on Investopedia entitled: "Are We in a Baby Boomer Retirement Crisis" - see link: http://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/032216/are-we... - suggests that Baby Boomers are heading into retirement at the rate of 10,000 per day!  If that is true that is an astonishing number.  It leads to a potential Workforce Shortage.  That's 3,650,000 folks annually that are leaving the workforce.  It may only continue to rise.  What does this mean for Professional Associations?  Will millennials gravitate towards professional associations?  Some suggest yes, others suggest that Professional Associations need to re-market themselves.  One issue that will drive the future of engagement for sure.

3. How Associations Affect the Market Place:   How do Professional Associations affect the marketplace?  One article although from 2009, gives us a clue: http://www.thepowerofa.org/facts/ According to the thePowerofA.org - an organization promoting support of issues that affect professional associations, the following facts are pretty remarkable to think about in sheer numbers:

A. "Associations Employed 1.6 Million People in 2009." - If that is true that's a significant and sizable group of professionals running professional associations.  It is likely as the economy improved that this number went up.

B. Quoting from same article: "More than 1.9 million U.S.-based organizations were recognized in 2009. Of these organizations, 90,908 were classified as 501(c)(6) trade or professional associations, and 1,238,201 were classified as 501(c)(3) charities, foundations or religious organizations."

C. Article states that: "1 in 10" workers in the US Capital in Washington D.C. work for Professional Associations, taking part in lobbying efforts in Washington.

D. Of Particular interest is this fact from same website: "Associations are major contributors to the meetings industry, holding meetings and seminars across the country.  The meetings industry accounts for 1.7 million jobs nationwide and generates $263 billion in spending, money that funds local and national economies. (“The Economic Impact of Meetings, Conventions, Exhibitions, and Incentive Travel,” Convention Industry Council, 2011)"

E. The Same Website estimates that 1 in 3 Americans is involved in a Professional Association.

*The Power Of A is sponsored by the ASAE - the American Society for Association Executives - the Trade Group that works with Executives of Professional Associations.

If there is this much clout already, it's no wonder why Professional Associations have such a great community for Sourcing/Recruitment.  Likewise, with nearly 90000 Associations across the spectrum, many of which are also worldwide, it is a great case for many areas of strategic initiatives for companies:

1. Professional Associations Contribute to Diversity

2. Professional Associations are More Likely to Shape their Industry

3. Professional Associations have a Ready Talent Pool

4. Local Chapters of Professional Associations Allow for Local connection and engagement of talent in your area.

5. Local Chapters, and National Organizations generally sponsor networking events, collaboration, and pull together industry thought leaders, and also support newer entrants into a particular field.

The likelihood of finding an exceptional candidate goes up.  While challenges exist for Millennial workers whom generally like to collaborate and network on their own, the increasing value of Professional Associations is only likely to increase, because when Baby Boomers continue to retire, these Professional Associations will continue to adapt.

New trends of new industries emerging from new technology, and new factors at Macro and Micro factors will affect all of the following:

1. Businesses Sponsoring Professional Associations to gain Competitive Advantage.  Would you not want this to be you?

2. Employer Branding will be intimately connected to Professional Association Development.  Don't you want to be at the forefront?

3. Innovation and Entrepreneurship will be Guided by effective Professional Association Engagement.  To be on the cutting edge, your Staffing Dept, will need to reach out to these Professional Associations before your competition.

4. As new Industries not yet to be in existence emerge due to new technological change, won't you want to be tied to these Professional Associations before your competitors? 

5. Competition for Talent in the Labor Shortage will Drive Employers to Professional Associations.

6. As you are Seeking To Engage Software and Top Tech Talent - Professional Associations will be key to that strategy.

7. Professional Associations will Feature Speaking Engagements, Conferences, & Publish Speaking Lists.  Do you want to have that type of talent leading the way for innovation?

8. Professional Associations are more Likely to Sponsor New Talent Development - being engaged at the forefront will enable you to reach younger talent.

9. Increased Involvement by Millennial Talent will become even more substantial as time goes on.

10.  You are More Likely To See Thought Leaders within Professional Associations.

So the stage is set.  In Part III I will discuss how you can Source/Recruit from Professional Associations and Strategies for Engaging this Golden Opportunity for Talent Acquisition.  Create a Competitive Advantage, and Hit The Target.  Until next time.

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