In Conversation with Beatriz Robles from Manpower Group

In Conversation with Beatriz Robles from Manpower Group

With an objective to enlighten and guide the staffing industry professionals through the expert opinion of the industry’s well-known thought leaders, NextCrew has brought together the new concept of Expert Interview Series.


Under this series, we would be interviewing a thought leader every month to learn their take on the staffing industry’s recent happenings, trends, and how best to move forward for a better future.


We kick-started this amazing concept by interviewing Tom Erb. Today, we have one of the notable staffing industry women thought leaders- Beatriz Robles joining the series to share her views on staffing industry evolution, automation, women in staffing, and much more.


Below is the download of Beatriz’s thoughts and response to our questions.


1) How has the staffing industry evolved in the last few years? In terms of technology, approach, mindset, etc.


The staffing industry has been continuously evolving. Lately, we have been witnessing significant demographic changes- the old seasoned professionals are being replaced by young minds who have a lot of new ideas to bring to the table.


The industry’s focus has now shifted from recruiting the best bunch of people to manage the staffing operations to providing the best tools to these people. And that’s where the technological revolution comes into the picture.


Today, staffing managers require the best possible staffing tools and technologies in order to work efficiently and productively. Staffing companies need to acknowledge the increasing technological advancements and how the absence of the same can adversely impact their growth and overall profit margins.


Moreover, the pandemic has been playing a crucial role in evolution. This increasing remote culture and GIG Economy trend has created a rise in the need for smart and robust staffing tools. 


2) The women in the staffing are strengthening the staffing ecosystem with their expertise and leadership qualities. How do you feel about the progress that the female leaders are making in the staffing industry?


In the last few years, the women in the staffing industry have progressed significantly. Their growth and contribution are quite evident. 


To continue this growth, women need to develop the ability to learn new skills and update themselves according to new trends within the industry. That’s the only way to survive and make your presence felt in this competitive yet continuously evolving industry.


Also, I reckon that the staffing companies should also provide proper mentoring and cochin sessions to women. Unlike men, women juggle many responsibilities- household management, kids, parents, in-laws, office, etc. Right mentoring on how they should balance it out and be their best in the respective roles is much needed to help them grow and thrive.


In addition to that, I also consider the lack of opportunities as one of the concerns that need to be addressed. See, if we provide more opportunities to women, the way we provide to make professionals in our industry, I am sure we would witness many more female leaders creating a significant impact with their untapped potential and expertise.


Providing more exposure in order to be more noticed and competent is the need of the hour.


3) Women in the staffing industry are believed to be redefining leadership through their decisions, compassion, and service for their clients and community. Do you feel the same? Is there any other change that the female professionals of our industry are bringing/making and needs to be noticed?


As I mentioned before, women are great multi-taskers and comparatively more empathetic. They have been skillfully managing the family and work through their great capabilities, compassion, and empathetic nature.

Today, we have been noticing many emerging female staffing thought-leaders who have had a great work journey, and their contribution is incredible. But, what we don’t know is how they have been thriving despite the struggle they face in daily life while managing multiple things out. And that’s something that should be noticed and appreciated.

Well, I would say, why to just notice? Why not encourage them more so we can see more such female staffing leaders? To do so, what I think needs to be done is provide a safe and comfortable workspace.

The pandemic has been taking a toll on our safety. So, why not fully embrace the remote culture for the safety of our women professionals? By doing so, we are providing them a safe work culture and contributing to the well-being of their kids, husband, in-laws, pets, etc. 

4) According to McKinsey research, following the fallout of the pandemic, more than one in four women are contemplating downsizing their careers or leaving the workforce completely. 


Through your years of experience in the staffing industry working for Manpower Group, do you have any event to share wherein you felt like quitting, but you did not quit and eventually thrived through the phase? Also, any advice for these female professionals?


Women have been the multi-taskers for years now. The more they advance in their personal and professional life roles, the more challenging it becomes to manage each and every responsibility. 


As a KAM Director of Manpower Group, my responsibilities don’t end at contributing to the staffing industry with my thought-leadership skills and creating my share of impact for its growth. I am also a mother, wife, and daughter at home.


More the responsibilities, more the challenges. But, quitting is not something I think is the only option. Every challenge that life throws at you is an opportunity to bounce back as a stronger person than you were.


When I became a mother, I too experienced a phase when I felt like quitting, but I didn’t. Post-birth, my son faced some severe health problems, which created a lot of stress and concerns in me.


However, rather than getting stressed up (which was anyway not going to sort the issue out), I contacted my head and discussed the issue out. I also request a work-from-home facility since both the work and home needed my attention.


Though the ‘Work From Home’ was not a trend in our industry back then, my head understood the challenge I was going through and allowed me to work in my comfort zone.


So, to all the female professionals in the industry, if you are facing any challenge in your personal and professional life due to the ongoing pandemic, Don’t Quit. Quitting is never a solution and will never be. 


There’s always a solution. Just work towards finding the solution and watch everything falling in place gradually.


5) Is there any change you strongly believe should be made/brought in our industry to encourage more women to leadership levels?


Oh, yes! There are many things that need to be made to witness many emerging leaders creating a huge impact through their immense knowledge, talent, and expertise.


Firstly, we need more women in the C-level positions. No one can deny the fact that companies with women leaders perform better. The staffing companies need to be more empathetic and concerned about the challenges faced by the female employees and also maintain a balanced male-female employee ratio.


Secondly, the staffing companies should focus more on what skills women employees bring to the table to promote growth rather than concerning how many years of experience they have. Focusing on academic qualification and years of experience will not support in thriving through this competition. But, paying attention to the skills, they have to offer and the final output they generate surely will.


Thirdly, staffing companies need to train and coach female employees so they can excel in C-level positions and are capable enough to grow further in their roles. The staffing world is moving forward to complete digitalization. So, it’s crucial for the women in staffing to develop the required technical skills and stay relevant. 


Staffing companies need to offer the right environment, soft-skill training, and technical learning sessions, wherein they can learn the required practical skills to manage higher-level positions competently.


Lastly, leadership should be measurable. Whatever efforts women staffing professionals make, they should be well recognized and measured to help them grow better and contribute to the industry further.


Thank you, Beatriz, for your valuable time and insights.


About Beatriz Robles:


Beatriz Robles is KAM Director at ManpowerGroup México. She has been part of the staffing industry since 1996. She is a spokesman of the company on topics such as employment, diversity, gender equity, among others. She is an active mentor at the American Chamber Executive Program for Women and a member of the Youth Build Mexico Board. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

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