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Employment Agency Business Plan

Marketing Strategy

AAP's target market is both businesses and professional workers. Phase one of the marketing plan will target the University of Oregon, the technology industry, and the top 500 businesses in Eugene through networking and cold calling. Phase two will target small businesses with less than five employees because smaller businesses may not have the in-house capability to locate, evaluate, and hire potential professional contingent workers through a small PR campaign.

7.1 Businesses

We began marketing the businesses through several personnel surveys. The University of Oregon Alumni Association, University of Oregon Foundation, and University of Oregon Human Resources Department, as well as Symantec's Human Resources director were approached for information regarding their need for professional temporary and permanent workers. These initial interviewees have all (with the exception of U of O HR Dept) become clients within the first year of business. After these personnel surveys were complete, we adjusted our recruitment of professional workers to meet the demand.

Another tactic was joining multiple business groups. AAP became a member of the Eugene Chamber of Commerce and attends the weekly greeters meetings; the Women's Business Network and attends the monthly meetings; the Professional Women's Organization and attend the monthly meetings; as well as the City Club, keeping a pulse on what is happening in the community, attending as the proprietor sees fit.

The next approach is face-to-face cold calls. The tools for these calls are simple-a business card and a brochure. The information collected during the cold call is vital: how many employees does the business have; in what areas have they experienced a need for professional contingent employees; and who is the appropriate contact.

7.2 Professional Workers

Our beginning point in marketing to workers was approximately 30 personnel surveys to professional contingent workers, building the foundation of our database.  AAP intends to recruit workers through advertising in the newspaper and appropriate trade magazines, trade shows, the University of Oregon career center, and by referral. We have found that each division within the company requires a different approach for recruitment. We try not to depend on newspaper advertising as we find the results are moderate. Results are far better with the employment department for some areas, with the U of O for others, and also through a series of developed contacts for the other divisions.

7.2.1 Trust

In order to build trust with both businesses and employees AAP will follow through as promised. We will treat each business, employee, and ourselves, with integrity. AAP will communicate clearly, asking businesses to specify the needs for follow-up service during the time that they employ our contingent worker. We will work with employees to assure that they have a clear understanding of what AAP offers and what we expect of them.

7.3 Supporting Research

"A fading model of employment in the United States envisions a business enterprise with full-time employees who can expect to keep their jobs and perhaps advance so long as they perform satisfactorily and the business continues. Changing labor market conditions threaten the concept of full-time permanent employment. As reported by the Conference Board in September 1995, contingent workers account for at least 10 percent of the workforce at 21 percent of the companies surveyed, or almost double the 12 percent of respondents with that number in 1990. Writing in the Monthly Labor Review in March 1989, Belous estimated that contingent workers constitutes 24 to 29 percent of the labor force in the United States. In August 1995, however, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated the size of the contingent labor force at 2 to 5 percent of the total workforce. However, BLS did not count long-term part-time employees, who constitute 90 percent of part-time workers."
     --- Society for Human Resource Management, The Contingent Worker: A Human Resource Perspective, by W. Gilmore McKie & Laurence Lipset taken from Chapter 1, What Is a Contingent Worker?

AAP is a service company providing businesses with customized personnel solutions by connecting them with the professional contingent work force. Research suggests that 2000 is an opportune time to be in the Eugene market with this service. Even with all of the evidence that contingent work is the wave of the present, and of the future, the niche of placing contingent workers who are paid $12.50 to $40 per hour is untapped in the Eugene area. However, a few companies place high-end contingent workers in the Portland area.

There are many reasons why businesses are turning to contingent workers. The Economic Policy Institute's article "Contingent Work" by Polly Callaghan and Heidi Harmann explains that:

"Growth in involuntary part-time employment is causing total part-time employment to grow faster than total employment. Another indication of the shift toward part-time workers: hours for part-time workers are growing faster than hours for full-time workers. Temporary employment has grown three times faster than overall employment and temporary workers are being used for more hours. Contingent employment is growing faster than overall employment. Part-timers are disproportionately women, younger, or older workers. There has been a shift away from manufacturing toward trade and services. These structural changes help explain the growth in part-time employment."

Because of the changing nature of jobs themselves, AAP's services are desirable to employers of all sizes. Unlike five or ten years ago, many positions are so diversified, or specialized, that it is not financially feasible for an employer to hire a person to fill one position, requiring several areas of expertise. This is not financially wise for the business because of the pay range required to recruit and hire such a talented person (especially in areas such as graphics, design, etc.). The cost of payroll, taxes, benefits, and other miscellaneous staff required to run employees add to the burden of a downsized staff. Contacting AAP and using a professional contingent worker for each portion of a position as needed will solve this dilemma. Currently most businesses locate needed "qualified" workers by word of mouth. With one phone call, e-mail, or connection with our Web page, AAP makes the task easy.

In addition, Oregon's economy is expected to continue growing, and employment, total personal and per capita income, and population growth rates are expected to exceed the national average (according to the 1997-98 Oregon Blue Book). Although Oregon's economy is among the best there is an obvious group of contingent workers available to build an employee labor pool. The company draws from a labor pool of qualified contingent workers which consists of people who work at home, retirees, others who wish to work part-time. According to the Oregon University System, approximately 33% of bachelor's degree graduates will be unable to find jobs in Oregon each year. So, recent college graduates are also a part of AAP's labor pool.

Research shows that a large percentage of workers who tend to work more than one job are well-educated individuals who have a higher degree of education. According to Oregon Employment Department's Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Spring 1997, 9.4% have Ph.D.'s; 6.5% a Professional degree; 9.1% a Master's degree; 7.9% a Bachelor's degree; 7.9% an Associate degree; and the remaining 15.8% lesser education. According to a Personnel Journal article "Contingent Staffing Requires Serious Strategy," April 1995, there are also many retirees that enjoy doing contingent work.