Corporate Blog

Superior Group earns finalist nomination for 2016 GREAT Awards

Superior Group has been nominated for a “Digital Marketing Award” in the Digital Rochester 2016 GREAT Awards.

The purpose of the GREAT Awards is to recognize and celebrate the Greater Rochester community’s entrepreneurial spirit in technological achievement.

The GREAT Awards will take place on September 22 at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center. Additional information about the event and registration is available on the Digital Rochester website.


Superior Group makes SIA’s 2016 list of largest engineering staffing firms in the US

Staffing Industry Analysts has released its 2016 List of Largest Engineering Staffing Firms, wherein Superior Group has moved up to #10.

The 2016 report lists 25 firms that generated at least $50 million or more in U.S. engineering temporary staffing revenue last year. Together, these firms produced $5.2 billion in revenue, accounting for 67% of the market, by SIA’s estimates. SIA defines temporary staffing revenue as “revenue generated from the provision of temporary workers to business clients,” and has not included direct hire, retained search and temp-to-hire revenue, or revenue generated from performing engineering solutions in its calculations.

This list can be used to gain a “big picture” reading of the U.S. engineering temporary staffing industry landscape.


Superior Group makes SIA’s 2016 list of largest IT staffing firms in US

Staffing Industry Analysts has released its 2016 List of Largest IT Staffing Firms, wherein Superior Group has moved up one spot from last year to #38.

The 2016 report lists 42 firms who generated at least $100 million in U.S. information technology temporary staffing revenue last year. Together, these firms produced $17.1 billion in revenue, accounting for 62% of the market, by SIA’s estimates. SIA defines temporary staffing revenue as “revenue generated from the provision of temporary workers to business clients,” and has not included direct hire, retained search and temp-to-hire revenue, or revenue generated from performing IT solutions in its calculations.

This list can be used to gain a “big picture” reading of the U.S. IT temporary staffing industry landscape.


How Google Won Top Talent and Built a Tech Empire

The Remedy for Talent Shortages? Culture.

In 1999, a company began to revolutionize the way companies approached culture by offering a suite of seemingly outrageous amenities to their employees. They hired onsite chefs, masseuses, dry-cleaning, nap pods, and other luxurious perks to create a desirable workplace atmosphere. Most CEOs at that time might had written this culture off as a fad that couldn’t possibly be maintained, but today that company is known as Google, and is worth $527 billion.

What is it that drove such rapid growth? Why was Google able to scale at such an unbelievable pace?

The answer is simple: they invested in a culture that was entirely based on attracting the best employees available. With these lifestyle investments, they were able to attract the best talent available, talent that in turn, built the best product in their industry.

In terms of the numbers game, all of those investments to Google cost a negligible amount in terms of dollars, but paid off in the hundreds of millions in innovation and new ideas that drove the 21st century forward.

Organizations of all shapes and sizes are developing services and software to enrich the lives of their consumers and business partners, and they need talented people to help them build their enterprises into something bigger. The more brilliant people companies can get, the faster they can build better products for their customers.

This is the main reason why many large companies have upped the ante in order to get top talent: the best culture + the best talent = the best product or service. It’s a different environment out there … talented people have lucrative options that convince them to either stay put or pursue new opportunities. Talented people hitting the market are being offered competitive compensation packages to woo them into new opportunities. The lesson to be learned here is that modern employees—especially young millennials—want to work somewhere they feel valued. Companies should take note.


Superior Group makes SIA’s 2016 list of largest US staffing firms

Moving up one spot from last year, Superior Group has been named the 35th largest staffing firm by Staffing Industry Analysts on their list of 2016 Largest Staffing Firms with revenues over $100 million in the United States.

The 2016 report states that revenue estimates reflect “staffing revenue” defined as revenue related to temporary staffing, direct hire, retained search, and temp-to-hire conversion fees.

“The companies featured on this year’s report combined to generate $75.7 billion in US staffing revenue last year,” said Timothy Landhuis, research manager at Staffing Industry Analysts. “This marked a solid increase from the $69.4 billion of 2014 revenue featured in last year’s report, and provides evidence of overall growth in staffing revenue among large firms.”

This list can be used to gain a “big picture” reading of the U.S. staffing industry landscape. Notably, industrial and IT skills represented the largest temporary staffing skill segments by revenue for the majority of the companies.


2016 Bright Buffalo Niagara Entrepreneur Expo

Superior Group was proud to sponsor the 2016 Bright Buffalo Niagara entrepreneur expo. The event featured 35 of the Buffalo-Niagara region’s most promising startups, and was capped off by keynote speaker Bill Rancic.

The winning startups were as follows:

Abcombi Biosciences – $20,000 Winner
Painless1099 – $5,000 People’s Choice Award Winner


Weak Connections are Valuable at Work

If you’re not sure who the weak ties are in your social network, look at the contacts on your phone. Chances are, there are some people in your contacts list you don’t call (much less see) on a regular basis, but you find it useful to keep them listed for those occasions when you do need to contact them. Perhaps your doctor, babysitter, mechanic, or accountant fits this description.

If you use a social network like LinkedIn or Twitter professionally, you will have even more weak links. These weak links are professional acquaintances you may see only a few times a year—or, more likely, people you’ve never met in person, often from other cities and countries—and with whom you’ve connected virtually based on affinity, content conversation, or subject matter expertise.

Weak links aren’t new to researchers. Stanford University sociologist Mark Granovetter identified strong ties as your friends and weak ties as your acquaintances in his influential 1973 paper, “Notes on the strength of weak ties.” More recently, a 2011 Pew Research Center report indicated
that most Americans’ networks “contain a range of social ties that consist of friends, family, co-workers, and other acquaintances. This includes a handful of very close social ties and a much larger number of weaker ties.”

Much has been written about the value of weak links in our social networks. Granovetter may have said it best when he wrote, “The weak tie between Ego and his acquaintance, therefore, becomes not merely a trivial acquaintance tie but rather a crucial bridge between the two densely knit clumps of close friends.”

Thus, weak ties, in addition to representing the first stage in any relationship, bind our networks together (like bridges) and help us understand all our relationships—the close links, the weak and edge links, and the absent connections (or gaps). In addition, today’s social networking tools have allowed us to exceed the 150 or so people British anthropologist Robin Dunbar posited as the maximum number of people with whom we can maintain social relationships. We are literally amassing hundreds and even thousands of weak links in our networks—so many, in fact, that we can subcategorize weak links:

The classic weak link is an acquaintance, someone you may interact with online or in person a handful of times a year. You may send this person occasional texts or blast e-mails.

The median weak link is someone you interact with online or in person at least once a year. On rare occasions, you may “like” or share each other’s social posts.

The diffuse weak link is someone you’ve interacted with online or in person once but have had no contact with afterwards. However, you keep this contact in your network for future, strategic ends.

Given the prevalence of weak links, it makes sense to try to take full advantage of them. Research suggests that wide-ranging weak ties are beneficial in areas such as job hunting, recruiting, prospecting, marketing, and promoting causes. LinkedIn Coach Victoria Ipri contends that weak links are especially useful in some industries. “If you work in a broad industry—say, marketing—build the largest network you can, because your income depends on lots of exposure to all kinds of people and occupations,” she says.

Until recently, most research and networking advice columns focused on weak links outside the workplace. This is partly because commercial networking tools have outpaced workplace technology and made it relatively easier to foster weak links on these external platforms. This situation is changing, however, as modern intranets and enterprise social networks (ESNs) are increasingly being deployed across large and small organizations and becoming embedded in other applications.

IDC, a global intelligence firm, noted in a 2014 report that ESN adoption has continued to accelerate and that the worldwide ESN market will grow through 2018. Jacob Morgan, author of The Future of Work and a proponent of cultivating weak ties at work, agrees, noting, “Now we have access to platforms which offer capabilities such as activity feeds, status updates, rich searchable employee profiles, and internal blogs.”

Weak Links in the WorkplaceAs the workplace becomes increasingly digital, success in cultivating weak links will flow partly from becoming proficient in the many collaboration tools available and using them strategically. The more you learn about your options for making weak connections, the easier it will be for you to find the methods that work best for you and your colleagues.

Intranets and ESNs. If your organization has an intranet or ESN, familiarize yourself with the content that’s available and the contributors. Many organizations are now establishing social intranets, which are part traditional content-based intranets and part internal social networks. These hybrid sites typically include Web content and file downloads as well as activity feeds, blogs, employee profile pages, communities, and forums.

You can form new weak links by commenting on a blog post, asking a colleague to become a part of your network, posting a congratulatory note about an achievement, adding a forum topic, or joining a shared interest community. Your mileage may vary, but what’s important is learning how to form weak links and beginning to do so.

Instant messaging. Over the past decade, instant messaging has grown in adoption and is rapidly becoming a standard and expected method of communication in the workplace, on the same level with e-mail and phone calls. IM is also an ideal platform for establishing and cultivating weak links with colleagues from anywhere in the organization—even in other cities and countries.

Research indicates that many employees value instant messaging because it’s quick and in real time, and it is perceived as a great way to form connections with new colleagues because it feels less intrusive than calling or e-mailing them. The one caveat is with group IMs or group chats, which entrepreneur and author Jason Fried likens to “an all-day meeting with random participants and no agenda.” So, stick to one-on-one instant messaging for establishing weak links.

Employee profiles. You probably establish many weak links at work organically, in the daily routine of doing your job. For example, you may be assigned to a project team and form connections with different co-workers with whom you don’t usually interact, or you might reach out to someone from another department because you need some information from that person for an important proposal. These interactions are the traditional ways that people have established weak links over the years at work.

But the connections you never become aware of will never become weak links. In other words, rather than waiting for connections to form organically, you can be deliberate and proactive by browsing employee directories and profiles for desirable weak links. You can identify subject matter experts, product power users, and thought leaders and cultivate those relationships. (In this same vein, you should ensure that your own employee profile is informative and up to date, because you are someone else’s next weak link.)

External social networks. Regardless of whether your organization has an ESN, external social networks are a great way to cultivate weak links with co-workers. This is especially true of social networks that cater to professionals, like LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. For example, beyond facilitating connections with others, LinkedIn allows connections (and co-workers) to share and like each other’s status updates, endorse one another for skills, post about projects they’ve worked on together, and provide testimonials. Be judicious, however, when exploring weak links on social networks such as Facebook and Instagram, where people share personal information and weak links are often not welcome.

Old standbys and outside the box. The digital workplace offers many opportunities to form weak links. But as you avail yourself of new collaboration tools, keep in mind the traditional methods that continue to work, such as e-mail, in-person coffee and lunch meetings, and (actual) water cooler chats. Also, consider getting involved with different programs your organization may have that will put you into contact with people you would not usually meet. These might include “lunch and learns,” mentoring and reverse mentoring programs, workplace volunteering and give-back programs, and after-work business networking and happy hours.

The Value of Weak Links at Work

Establishing weak links is important, but many people stop there and forget about these links unless they want something. To get the most out of your weak links, nurture the connections and cultivate the relationships before you have a need. While the effort shouldn’t rise to what you put forth for your friends—these are, after all, weak links—you can still do many things that require only modest effort, including engaging your weak links on the intranet or on external social sites, checking in with them occasionally, introducing them to employees or suppliers who might provide value to them in their job, or sending them helpful links or leads.

I mentioned earlier how weak links are beneficial for job hunting, recruiting, prospecting, marketing, and promoting causes. At work, weak links are even more valuable given the many other ways a weak connection can assist you in that setting.

Since many employees today are being asked to do more with less and work effectively with staff in other departments and countries, relationships that can be called upon when needed are key resources. Weak links at work can provide valuable information when needed, lend support to a project, be called upon for testing or review, give impartial feedback about a person or situation, make an introduction, and much more.

When connecting with co-workers in other countries, it is important to keep cultural differences in mind. For example, in India, it’s common for employees to connect with one another on Facebook; the Japanese, meanwhile, don’t use LinkedIn because, as marketing consultant Gary Inwood notes, “Most Japanese companies do not allow their employees to engage in second jobs, so there is little motivation to build up a network outside of their company.”

The Limits of Weak Links

I’m a proponent of weak links. They have been enormously valuable for me professionally, and in my experience, today’s networking and collaboration tools make them easier than ever to form and maintain. However, weak links, by their nature, are shallow and less useful than connections with people on a deeper level, and some people feel these connections are more artificial and inauthentic because of this.

I recognize these concerns, but I myself am comfortable with the limits of weak links. In large part, this is because I don’t view weak links in a vacuum. Weak links are important, but their importance doesn’t mean that strong links aren’t just as important. Both are critical and important in any social or professional network.

The presence of strong links on a continuum with weak links gives context to the shallowness of weak links. These links are supposed to be weak because we have stronger, deeper links with others. They are not mutually exclusive, but rather mutually dependent.

Weak links aren’t new, and they certainly aren’t new in the workplace. What is new are the many tools we have at our disposal in the workplace to cultivate and take advantage of weak links.


5 Reasons a Staffing Partner is the Best Strategy for Talent

Finding top-level talent in a candidate market is a full-time job, and most growing companies have much higher demands for talent than a supply. There is also an increased workload for existing HR teams to adapt to the environment while also maintaining their day-to-day responsibilities. But every new turn creates the opportunity to innovate, and that is where the right strategic staffing excels.

Below are a few reasons why a strategic partner may be the best turn for your company:

Talent Shortages

Top-level talent is an increasingly scarce resource for businesses in a candidate market, especially in industries like finance, healthcare, IT, and advanced manufacturing. Candidates in these fields are hard to find, and are often passively seeking jobs as they are employed. They are selective about taking opportunities.

This makes it hard for companies to recruit, as they may not have access to these scarce talent pools, which is where a strategic partner who already has access to dozens of qualified candidates can step in and take lend immediate value.

Resource Allocation

Recruiting for a growing business or for an important project takes time and resources away from companies’ big picture initiatives. Shifting resources to focus on recruitment results in delays, administrative headaches, and lost time. Organizations who are serious about identifying talent look to a partner who specializes in it.

Time-to-fill Matters

Excess time to finish any project costs organizations money, and it is no different when it comes to recruitment. The longer a position remains unfilled, the more resources and time are used to fill it. This results in wasted productivity for existing workers, as well as time that needs to be made up by the incoming staff. Leave it to the pros, who can access and onboard talent quickly.

Lack of Expertise

Companies of all sizes decide to outsource their direct and contingent labor needs to outside vendors simply because they do not have the resources or expertise to do it themselves. Many candidates in in-demand fields receive multiple offers, which means that the ability to find them quickly is crucial, which makes a staffing partner that much more helpful.

Cost Savings

All the reasons above point to saving money and time by eliminating unnecessary processes and freeing up the resources companies have in place vs. extending their duties to recruiting new employees. Whether it’s human labor, hard savings, or productivity, organizations ranging from large to small use strategic staffing partners to help alleviate their administrative duties and to increase their access to top talent.



Superior Group Recognized in HRO Today’s Baker’s Dozen List

For the fourth year in a row, Superior Group has been named to HRO Today’s Baker’s Dozen list for Managed Service Programs. The results were announced at the HRO Today Forum in Chicago.

The MSP Baker’s Dozen list is determined by feedback from the buyers of the rated services. The organizations on the list are analyzed based on a survey touching on breadth of service, size of deals, and quality of service. The results are then are calculated based on a set algorithm that weighs questions and categories in relation to levels of importance.

Read the article in HRO Today
Learn more about Superior Group’s Managed Service Programs

2016 Baker's Dozen Award


5 Traits of an Ideal Candidate

You’ve made it past the resume screening phase, and now it’s on to the interview. Since the employer has already reviewed your qualifications on paper, now what? What are employers looking to glean from a candidate during their interview and just who is their ideal candidate?

We’ve compiled a list of the most frequent, positive attributes a candidate possesses:

Today, more than ever, the ability to be adaptable to changing environments is essential. With the influx of technology, expansion and the ever-changing workforce demographic, it is important that a candidate possesses the flexibility to be able to adapt to sudden, major (or minor) changes in their work environment.

Positive Attitude
The attitude you give off—whether positive or negative—during your interview is your first impression to your potential employer. While most interviewees are understandably nervous, it’s important to give off an upbeat vibe. When asked about a negative situation or something that may have not played out in your favor, try putting a positive spin on it. People like positive attitudes, and are more likely to give a positive candidate an offer. At the end of the day, people like working with positive people.

Many candidates will boast that they think out of the box, but can you name an example? Employers are looking for those jobseekers who demonstrate past situations in where their creativity was put to use. Many situation-based questions asked are looking to uncover your creativity level in a given setting.

Work pride
Did you help put together a fantastic presentation that won over a client? Or makes a sales pitch that helped seal the deal? Now’s your time to shine. Employers want to hear about your accomplishments and that you take pride in your past projects. They want to know past indicators that will help predict your future success.

Being honest about your shortcomings or weaknesses in a past position without saying anything negative or critical about your past employer is critical. Employers are looking for candid responses that demonstrate loyalty. The ability to be able to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses speaks volumes.