Bunker is shining a spotlight on leaders in the staffing industry. Today’s spotlight is with Kforce, the award-winning professional staffing services firm. Kforce engages their network of professionals to fulfill contract jobs and direct hire needs of more than 4,000 employers, including 70 percent of the Fortune 100.
Kforce has been partnering with Bunker since 2018 to help independent contractors find affordable business insurance. The Kforce IC Qualification & Compliance team refers contractors who need insurance to Bunker so the contractors can quickly find the coverage they need in order to get to work.
Christopher Parr, Bunker’s Director of Marketing, spoke to Kforce SME – Ryan Lynch, Business Partner Vice President on the latest trends, news and the future of work:
How is Kforce different than other staffing firms?
Kforce’s secret is our operating model and the power it provides our employees at the tactical level. The firm’s associates are empowered to make critical decisions in real time, without the distraction of bureaucracy, providing our clients and consultants a more personalized and effective product. Our vision for clients and consultants is not a transactional goal, rather a relationship that will stand the test of time, providing value to all parties involved. Service and commitment are at the core of our activity, which I believe makes us uniquely different than more transaction-focused companies in our peer group.
What pain points does Kforce solve for enterprise customers?
We do our best to solve as many pain points as possible for our clients, whether that be through our talent solutions, personal or professional connections or project expertise. On a regular basis we provide strategic and consultative guidance to our customers on how to effectively and efficiently acquire talent and complete enterprise initiatives successfully, all in a compliant manner. To simplify, we ensure our clients have the right people on the right project, acquired in the most efficient manner possible.
Describe how Kforce is helping the gig economy grow. Why would an independent contractor want to work with Kforce?
Each year, Kforce’s network of over 50 offices provides opportunities for 34,000 highly skilled professionals who work with over 4,000 clients, including 70% of the Fortune 100. We are consistently seeking ways to match great people with great companies and the gig economy is a phenomenal way to engage a previously untapped sector of the workforce. Whether it’s a side hustle or full-time job, we want to be an employer of choice for as many talented people as possible. It can be a daunting task for an independent contractor to find their next position, given they are usually too busy to look for what’s next while on assignment and Kforce wants to handle that for them. My father spent the better part of the last five years working as an independent contractor and I have witnessed first-hand the flexibility and opportunity it has provided him to leverage his decades of experience and choose projects that are closely aligned with his skillset rather than be bound by the work he was mandated when he was a full-time employee.
From an employer’s perspective, the nature of work is becoming increasingly project based which lends itself to the gig community. Having the ability to attract highly talented people for a defined duration provides flexibility to the worker and reduces overall employment burden on organizations, all while ensuring progress is made.
What new staffing vertical is Kforce focusing on and why?
Kforce’s vertical strategy continues to evolve and address the ever-changing nature of technology disruption across industry. Over the past two years, we addressed the challenging obstacles facing the Property & Casualty Industry, including customer facing digital systems, policy management platforms, and BI and analytics solutions. We chose insurance due to the increasing nature of disruption and the opportunity for technology to address those obstacles. Insurance providers are seeking new channels to write policies, service existing business and capitalize on the availability of new data sources. This provides us a great opportunity to help our clients respond to changes in their environment and modernize their business model to capture market share.
Kforce has 50 + offices nationwide. How do you create a consistent and healthy culture?
As with any company, our culture is defined and enhanced by our people. Our tagline We Love What We Do, We Love Who We Serve® is underscored by the concept of service to our clients, consultants and each other. This is the driver of our culture and guides our activity from the executive level at HQ through our 50+ offices. Kforce is a flat organization, which provides our offices a tremendous amount of autonomy to make critical decisions that are in the best interest of our clients. Our people have an entrepreneurial spirit that permeates every area of the company and drives our focus on ethical and profitable activity.
Over the last three years we have made significant changes to our operating model that allowed us to ensure we have a systematic and consistent approach to client service. We have also modernized our client and candidate engagement model, implemented a firm wide NPS (net promoter score) program, and invested heavily in technology platforms – which foster communication and collaboration while providing visibility across our organization. For context, we view consultants and clients through the same lens, meaning our recruiters and sales teams all approach their external interactions with value in mind versus the typical staffing transaction.
What advice would you give to a professional considering switching from a full-time role to contract-based work?
Ensure you evaluate all the dynamics and have a clear goal for your employment. Many people are drawn to consulting because of a false narrative of crazy paychecks and the allusion of unlimited choice between projects and clients.
When considering a move to the consulting world you need to evaluate the company you will contract through, their compliance practices, compensation agreements, client base, consultant care programs, benefits (if any), contracting opportunities, industries served and overall stability, all in addition to the procurement practices and restrictions of the end client. There are factors that need to be considered outside of just contract length and pay.
A real benefit for professionals who consult is the ability to break into companies that may traditionally be tough to break in to and the opportunity to deliver immediate value to high level decision makers that can serve as future references or prospective bosses.
Kforce has a team of subject matter experts to onboard new independent contractors and review them periodically throughout their assignments. Independent contractors must meet any requirements set forth by Kforce, our client, the State, and/or the Federal Government.
What are the biggest challenges you face in getting compliant with insurance requirements?
Sometimes the best candidates come from the small business sector, and these companies may not carry the levels of insurance required by our client for the opportunity. We need these companies to move quickly in obtaining the required coverage in order to put the consultants to work. Being able to refer these businesses to companies like Bunker helps us get consultants to work as soon as possible.
What’s on the horizon? What staffing trends do you see for 2020 and beyond?
While it’s difficult to predict the future, I believe the trends of the last five years will accelerate and we will experience further growth in the use of staffing services. Looking at the trends in technology and how the nature of work is becoming more project based, that lends itself to the use of staffing and consulting. The intersection of business and technology will continue to permeate most aspects of our lives which creates opportunities for data collection and analysis, customer experience will drive organizations to rethink their platforms and engagement channels, cloud and SaaS will challenge the traditional monolithic IT organization. I also see the industry shifting from individual placements to bundled services and team deployment, which allows faster project kickoff and completion. I also see responses to government regulation as a game changer. Compliance from an operation and execution perspective will become table stakes, giving larger organizations a distinct advantage.
Learn more about Kforce at kforce.com
Learn more about Bunker Enterprise, Bunker’s New Compliance Verification Platform: