While most people end up in the staffing industry by chance, Joshua Combs knew that it was exactly where he wanted to be because of his passion for serving others. A retired Air National Guardsman, Combs started as a recruiter in staffing right out of college and shifted to contingent workforce management in 2015.

In 2021, he joined Liberty Mutual as senior program manager of its contingent workforce program, which he embarked on a journey to help reshape. He oversaw the strategic alignment of suppliers with specific business areas and completed a vendor optimization initiative to consolidate its supplier pool. These and other changes earned Combs Liberty Mutual’s Talent and Enterprise Services Excellence Award earlier this year. “Liberty does a nice job of recognizing people that are taking risks,” Combs says of the company recognition.

He also put a significant focus on supplier diversity. “The program includes suppliers that range in size from very small, niche staffing firms to very large core staffing firms,” Combs shares.

While being able to source talent nationally is a huge advantage of the program with the surge of remote work during Covid-19, Combs notes that he is focused on continued partnerships with suppliers to further build candidate pools to help the company continue to scale its workforce.

Looking ahead, Combs is eyeing continued experimentation and evolving best-in-class offerings to continue supporting the company through contract offerings.