The Alliance tracks alternative staffing organizations’ annual performance data, including business and employment outcomes, to establish operational benchmarks and measure the sector’s aggregate impact.
Key Findings, 2011 Performance Survey
- Temporary staffing accounts for 84% of ASO revenue. Direct placements account for 6%, grants account for 8% and other business services accounts for 2%.
- Seventy five percent of ASOs cover at least 85% of their total operating costs with staffing revenue. 63% cover at least 95% of total operating costs with staffing revenue, making alternative staffing one of the most cost effective workforce development strategies.
- ASOs have a median gross margin of 22%. This compares to a gross margin of 24% for firms with less than $15 million in revenues in the conventional staffing industry. In the Industrial and Office-Clerical sectors, where ASO business is concentrated, conventional staffing firms report gross margins of 21% and 27%, respectively.
- ASO staffing revenues tend to be concentrated among a few large customers. 33% of respondents received 75% or more of their revenues from their top five customers, while an additional 25% received between 50% and 75% of revenues from their top five customers.
- Ex-offenders, low-income individuals, recovering drug users, people with disabilities, and people who are homeless are the key populations served by participating ASOs. 71% of participating ASOs listed ex-offenders as one of the top three populations they serve; 54% named low-income individuals/TANF recipients, 42% named recovering drug users, 42% named people with disabilities, and 25% named people who are at risk of homelessness.
- People served by ASOs are twice as likely as the employed population to lack a high school diploma. 16% of people served lack a high school diploma and only 31% have continued their education past high school.
- ASOs’ median wage rate was $9.70, a 9% decrease from the previous year. The median bill rate was $14.25, a 1% decrease from the previous year.
- The average duration of job assignments for people employed by ASOs was 28 days, down from 37 days in the previous year.
- Participating ASOs placed 10,041 individuals into competitive employment in 2011 and 1,842 people secured permanent employment while working for a participating ASO.
- 15% of employees in the average ASO secured permanent employment, down from 28% in the previous year’s survey.
- Job coaching and case management are the most common services ASOs offer to employees during and between assignments. 82% of ASOs offer job coaching, 50% offer case management, and 45% offer clothing, work shoes, or tools. While these percentages are lower than in previous years, a greater percentage of ASOs offer services between during and between assignments (92% v. 76%).