Crain Diversifies with Staffing Industry Analysts

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Last week, Crain Communications Inc. purchased Staffing Industry Analysts Inc., a 19-year-old research, analysis and publishing company serving contingent work force staffing companies and their clients. The Jordan, Edmiston Group Inc. represented Staffing Industry Analysts and acted as its exclusive financial advisor. Terms of the transaction were not revealed.

As a wholly owned property of Crain Communications, Staffing Industry Analysts retains its offices in Los Altos, Cal., and its current employees, including its top executive Ron Mester. Crain Communications also publishes BtoB and Media Business.

Mester explained that Staffing Industry Analysts has three revenue streams, declining to reveal their respective percentages of total sales.

One is membership that gives users access to exclusive industry data, including research, trends, analysis, benchmarking, tools, templates and other intellectual capital. Staffing companies pay annual fees based on their revenue that range from $1,000 to $30,000. The companies that use contingent labor pay $15,000 for a single member or $30,000 for companywide access.

Another revenue source is Staffing Industry Analysts’ conferences, which bring in sponsorship and registration fees. Registrations, for example, range from $1,000 to $2,000 per person. In 2008, the company produced three conferences; it is planning four in 2009.

The third source is advertising. Staffing Industry Analysts publishes two monthly magazines called Staffing Industry Review for staffing company executives and Contingent Workforce Strategies, published nine times a year for human resources, procurement or IT executives responsible for contingent, contract or temporary help.

"Crain has no intention for us to convert into a traditional media company," Mester said, "but we can learn a lot from the other Crain businesses in terms of doing a better job with print and electronic advertising."

Todd Johnson,VP-publisher of Crain’s Workforce Management, pointed out that the new sibling company has some subject matter and audience overlap with his group. "We both serve human resources people, but there is a broader group involved in staffing, such as procurement," he noted. "There’s an opportunity to build up [Staffing Industry Analysts magazine] Web sites. Workforce Management’s Web site is very good at drawing an audience. That’s an expertise SIA would quickly be able to tap into."

Meanwhile, Staffing Industry Analysts may be able to help Workforce Management grow in other areas, such as events, because of their expertise, Johnson said. Similarly, Workforce Management could learn from the newly acquired company’s business model for getting paid for research and data.

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