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Celebrating the 2020 Proven Performers: A Q&A with Karen Maarouf, Industry Expert and Empress of Supplier Relations

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Each year, Workforce Logiq recognizes high-performing supplier partners committed to helping our clients acquire the best talent and drive new value.

On the heels of announcing the 2020 Proven Performers in our fifth annual Performance Excellence Program, we spoke with Karen Maarouf, industry veteran, respected thought leader, and our Vice President of Supplier Relations, to learn more about what makes this program so special, why these suppliers stand out, and the trends she’s seen over the past thirty years.

Q: What excites you the most about running this supplier recognition program?

I look forward to this program every year because it’s an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our partners who are critical to our clients’ success. It’s especially rewarding to recognize this year’s Proven Performers because they’ve shined during what has been a very challenging and uncertain year.

On top of everyday staffing pressures, our supplier partners have also had to navigate the impacts of an ongoing and unprecedented global health and economic crisis. And through the pandemic, their partnership and dedication to excellence and securing measurable results for our clients hasn’t wavered. They have filled nearly 6,000 positions in 18 countries this year alone, despite budget and staffing constraints. These partners have really stepped up and naming each of them to this year’s list is very well deserved.

Q: What does it take to be a Proven Performer? What stands out about this year’s winners?

Winners are selected based on a variety of criteria we deem critical to client satisfaction. We consider everything from customers serviced, cycle time, submittals per requisition, percentage of submittals hired, program compliance, fill ratio, and more. These metrics are then analyzed across a twelve-month period to create a total performance score, which is what we use to determine the final list.

We’ve honored 40 firms this year as Proven Performers. Nearly 60% are diversity certified, which is noteworthy given diversity and inclusion are topping corporate agendas and critical to our clients’ success. Diversity isn’t just about team member inclusivity – although that’s incredibly important. It’s also about the organizations we choose to do business with. It’s vital for our clients that Workforce Logiq develops a diverse network of diversity-owned suppliers worldwide. In fact, 25% of our total spend goes to suppliers of all ethnic backgrounds and Historically Underutilized Businesses. And 60% of our supplier relationships provide access to markets outside the U.S.

Q: How would you describe Workforce Logiq’s approach to building and optimizing supplier partnerships?

We have the strongest and most collaborative relationships with our suppliers that I’ve experienced in my 30-year career in staffing. They are as invested in our success as we are, and share our vision for finding the best candidates for our clients quickly, affordably – and for providing quality employment opportunities to candidates.  This level of partnership happens because there’s mutual respect, communication, and drive for continuous improvement.

I love that our suppliers will call me to share information on new opportunities, trends they’re seeing in the market, ideas on how we can work together to provide even more value for customers, and more. We support each other so we can grow together. Because of this approach, we’ve been able to expand the number of client programs our Proven Performers support, and their work attracts the attention of other technology-enabled organizations who want to work with them for their staffing needs. In fact, our 2018 Proven Performers increased their business by 40% on average over the course of the following year.

Q: You’ve indirectly been with Workforce Logiq for 30 years. What trends have you seen along the way?

When I joined the industry in 1990, sales efforts often resulted in one requisition, we recruited candidates through fliers and newspaper ads, all of our communication was in person or over the phone, suppliers only serviced the regions where they had offices, and approximately ten percent of the workforce was contingent. Today, an estimated 40% percent of the workforce is contingent, candidates are sourced through the internet using automation, interviews are conducted via web, and – thanks in large part to Managed Services Providers like Workforce Logiq – suppliers have greater access to opportunities. While the industry has evolved, the customer objectives have remained consistent. Customers want suppliers to provide quality talent quickly, at fair market rates, while protecting them from the risks associated with the use of workers. Our proven performer criteria is based on these goals. The suppliers that have consistently innovated to meet these goals and add value have significantly grown their business over the years and have been able to maintain their success during this challenging year.

To learn more about the 2020 Proven Performers and our Performance Excellence Program, please visit here.

To learn more about Workforce Logiq and becoming a supplier partner, please visit here.

 

Karen Maarouf, Vice President, Supplier Relations

Karen leads the Workforce Logiq supplier relations and channel partnership teams.  During her 30 years in the workforce industry, Karen has managed temporary staffing, VMS/MSP implementations, application support, product management, product marketing, account management, and corporate initiatives.  Her teams are dedicated to providing Workforce Logiq customers and partners with the tools, analytics, and best practices needed to optimize workforce processes and quality.

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