Case study March 2019 17 Winning formula AEM meets the winner of the Best Leadership of an Association at the Association Excellence Awards 2018 nn Swain is an extraordinary leader. Nineteen years after conceptualising and founding APSCo, the Association now employs 26 permanent staff, turns over £6m per annum and represents an industry valued at over £18bn. Swain's energy and determination are legendary - a 'powerhouse', highly inclusive of her team and members alike, commanding respect, liking and engagement at all levels. With many 'firsts' under her belt - Swain is a serial innovator, solving challenges with effective solutions. Her work has brought together industry heads, broader associations as well as government in order to secure winning outcomes. Her impact has been far-reaching making a real difference to how the industry is perceived and recognised today. About APSCo Today, APSCo (The Association of Professional Staffing Companies), is the UK’s only association devoted solely to the professional staffing sectors, renowned for its strategic value in sourcing rare talent and providing labour market flexibility. Representing an industry that drives market value estimated at over £18bn across permanent and flexible roles within the UK’s economy, APSCo plays a vital role representing member’ interests. Now with operations in UK, Germany, Singapore and Australia, the association takes a collaborative approach, driving the highest standards of sector professionalism, sharing industry knowledge, publishing monthly market trends and market winning insights (providing industry voice), as well as providing effective and relevant support to members across the legislative agenda, operations and training. APSCo under Ann Swain Not many people have the creativity and vision to recognise a gap in the market, create an association to fill that gap and take it to become the leading body representing its members’ interests with over 1,000 members worldwide. Swain has done just that…. After reaching the top of her profession in recruitment and management consultancy, Ann founded APSCo (The Association of Professional Staffing Companies) in 1999. Her vision was to form a member association that would give all firms involved in the recruitment of professional talent – that shared a common passion for excellence – a trusted badge of quality that would deliver the specialist support and distinctive voice that members needed to be successful and gain competitive edge. Nineteen years later, Swain’s vision has not only been realised - it has exceeded all expectation. APSCo is a thriving, pro- active association with 800 members in the UK which has further developed across three continents to enjoy membership of over 1,000 world-wide – the only recruitment association to have broken through the global barrier. APSCo members are all recruitment firms who excel and promise best practice across all professional staffing sectors, working with hiring businesses in the recruitment of professional placements and flexible assignments. Feedback through its member satisfaction survey shows an enviable 94% satisfaction level reflecting the hands-on approach that Swain and APSCo are renowned for. APSCo has a highly motivated team of 26 permanent employees, as well as Sector Specialist Groups representing individual needs across different skill paths and talent placements. The APSCo Representative Committee sits close to Government and associated Select Committees and Advisory Boards, provide vital insights and lobby for action and guidelines that maintain the standards of recruitment and represent members’ best interest. An experienced research team delivers APSCo Market Intelligence, providing valuable monthly market trends reports alongside market winning insights, annual reports and regional markets, which all deliver valued information to members. Swain has become one of the most respected voices in the professional staffing industry. A ‘powerhouse’ and ‘innovator’ with extraordinary energy, who commands respect and liking both within APSCo and across APSCo’s external stakeholders, Ann is a charismatic and vibrant leader who has vision, forethought and a determination to succeed. Problems are simply “challenges to be overcome” as far as Ann is concerned, and are tackled in the same way that she approaches her role - with empathy, listening to other viewpoints and responding with a pragmatic, fair solution. Far from being a mere figurehead, Swain is hands on, high touch and 100% visible as a leader.