3rd Annual Million-Dollar Ideas

Companies always need staff. And the people providing that staff, staffing firms, have been doing well--to the tune of about $63.6 billion in sales. But the downturn of the economy has brought some new challenges to the market.

Deborah Wainstein, 28, founder of Priority Staffing Solutions Inc. in New York City, has been placing fewer permanent workers but more temporary workers in recent months: "Right now we're reinforcing the relationships we have [with clients] and keeping things positive."

The challenges are many--more people looking for jobs, competition from online job boards, company layoffs, to name a few. But opportunities abound, too. Cooper Moo, director of product management at Salary.com, sees strength, in the short term, in the staffing firms that provide security workers as well as those that have a sophisticated screening process for job seekers.

NEXT STEP

A couple Web sites to get you started in your staffing research:

In the long term, good staffing firms will be vital, say experts--especially since some economists are predicting an upswing in mid- to late 2002. "Long term, the outlook for the staffing industry will be very rosy," says Joyce L. Gioia, a workplace trends futurist at the Herman Group. "This is a time for people who run staffing companies to regroup-to prepare for the onslaught that takes place in four to eight months." --Nichole L. Torres

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This article was originally published in the January 2002 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: 3rd Annual Million-Dollar Ideas.

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