Making giant leaps at the California Staffing Professionals Conference

The celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing was the perfect theme for the 2019 California Staffing Professionals Conference (CSP), where we explored how almost anything is possible with the right people, skills, systems, processes and leadership.

As we prepared for lift-off at the SmartSearch exhibit booth to start the countdown on our soon-to-be-launched Version 21 upgrade, we were excited to see our vendor partners Flexible Support Group, Monster, and Universal Background Screening onboard at the Expo.

Long-time SmartSearch astronauts from SuperbTech and Amtec stopped by to welcome us at the opening reception. The evening’s keynote address by Dion Ramos got everyone fueled up about making connections. The speaker’s comments about the importance of finding a mentor, being one, and the need for continuous learning set the stage for an out-of-this-world conference.

“Prepare, Adapt, Improvise.”

Thursday morning blasted off with John Klymshyn (a.k.a. Coach K) and an interactive chat about the Four C’s of success: Connect. Communicate. Collaborate. Contribute. Coach K’s words were so inspiring that I attended his subsequent breakout session on personal branding, where he delved into what motivates people and challenged us to find out what motivates us personally. Coach K also touched on conflict resolution and teamwork, noting that Humor, Humility, and Humanity are the keys to true leadership.

On Thursday afternoon, it was my pleasure to introduce David Searns of Haley Marketing and his gravity-defying presentation on Social Recruiting. In his session, he emphasized the need to reach passive candidates and discussed best practices to attract qualified candidates to your jobs on social channels. He touched on specific research, science, and technology such as the use of video and mobile recruiting strategies. Haley Marketing is known for providing amazing amounts of free advice, including the Smart Recruiting Checklist. Members of the Haley crew are frequent contributors to the SmartSearch blog.

Meanwhile, at our space station at the expo, SmartSearch welcomed CSP members and our invited guests to the Expo, including clients from PTS Advance, Sincerus Solutions and Two Roads Professional Resources. Thank you, CSP for the free Expo Hall passes and additional networking opportunities.

“What makes you different is what makes you great.”

On Thursday evening, artist Richard Hight created a work of art set to a rocket-propelled soundtrack and delivered a payload of moving personal stories in his keynote address on creative problem-solving. Hight’s booming voice and energetic presentation illustrated how the best ideas are often ranked right next to the most foolish ones.

“Whatever you can’t deal with is what you need to eat every day.”

Friday’s keynote speaker Dr. Terry Lyles presented techniques on training yourself to accept and meet challenges. He gave insights on how leaders can help their teams win in high-pressure situations and demonstrated the difference between the perception of stress and how we respond to it. I’m pleased to report I scored 68 on his Stress Test; while this was not enough to fly me to the moon, I’m cleared to work in low-earth orbit.

On Friday afternoon, we enjoyed a delicious brunch and the Awards Ceremony that recognized CSP members for professional achievements, as well as outstanding service to the staffing industry and their communities. A big round of applause from the control room to Jay Ramos of Amtec on winning the Staffing Professional of the Year Award, plus the prestigious Essey Award for public service, which conveys a $1,000 donation to the charity of the winner’s choice.

Congratulations to the CSP mission commanders on the many small steps and giant leaps that led to a history-making program. This year’s Conference had all the right stuff.

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