Back to BlogAsk a Staffing Leader—5 Questions with April Pish by Bob McHugh on May 23rd, 2017 In today’s age, it’s not too difficult to find advice on any subject. Advice you can trust from a qualified expert in the subject?—now that’s a tall order. That’s why we’re thrilled to introduce our new series: Ask A Staffing Leader. We’ve assembled a group of the staffing industry’s most prominent thought leaders and experts, and picked their brain on some of the most pressing issues facing staffing firms in 2017. Check out the first in the series here.Today’s expert—April Pish, President of Update, Inc. Staffing firms cited the talent shortage as the number one challenge in the 2017 staffing and recruiting trends report. How does the talent shortage impact the way staffing firms should approach candidate engagement? What steps can staffing firms take to win candidates for difficult-to-place positions?Immerse yourself in your industry and do everything you can to build genuine relationships that are not controlled by email. To be different, you need to care about your candidates’ future career moves. It’s easy for a candidate to know the difference between a recruiter who is only interested in a placement and a recruiter who wants to help a candidate advance in his/her career.Staffing firms should be constantly engaged with their candidates. Great recruiters reach out to candidates before there is a need. By doing that, they have the makings of long-lasting relationships. Staffing firms should care about their candidates beyond the job order. Immerse yourself in your industry and do everything you can to build genuine relationships that are not controlled by email. April Pish Update, Inc.What is stopping most staffing firms from becoming more efficient? What actions should they take to correct this? Staffing firms become less efficient when they fail to innovate and fail to take risks. What worked 10 years ago will not work today. In addition, efficiency is impacted when a company allows people to work in silos.The best way to improve efficiency is having every employee understand what your business goals are on a daily, monthly and yearly basis.Allow everyone to have a place at the table regardless of their position. Give employees the opportunity to express their ideas and truly listen to them. The firms with a one-size-fits-all mentality and unwillingness to adapt new technology will slowly fade away as more innovative staffing firms enter the competitive landscape.What’s a common misconception about winning new business? What are staffing firms overlooking in their current approach to winning business? A common misconception about winning new business is that it’s all about price. Another misconception is that winning new business is over once you receive your first job order. Client trust is built and earned over time. You should be constantly looking for ways to help your clients.Why should a client trust you from day one? What are you providing that your competitor is not? If you cannot think of a differentiator then how are you unique and why should a client give you their business? Client trust is built and earned over time. You should be constantly looking for ways to help your clients. April Pish Update, Inc.What will be the greatest challenge staffing firms face in the next five years? What will be key to overcoming this challenge?The greatest challenge staffing firms will face in the next five years is the increased reliance on computers for creating relationships. The computer will not create genuine relationships. We depend too much on electronic devices to connect each other. A computer may be able to sort experience, keywords, candidate location, and more, but it cannot look into an individual’s eyes and provide that candidate with a unique experience. In my opinion, those staffing firms that rely predominantly on the computer to fill jobs (especially difficult-to-fill jobs) will struggle with placements. Knowing and caring about your candidate base will help build relationships that will last longer than the challenges we may face in the next 5 years. Staffing firms that rely predominantly on the computer to fill jobs (especially difficult-to-fill jobs) will struggle with placements. April Pish Update, Inc.How can staffing leaders be innovative in the current landscape? What examples of innovation in staffing have you seen?Staffing leaders can be innovative by taking risks and thinking about their individual industry and what is missing. I have seen how applicant tracking systems have streamlined workflow and have organized staffing firms allowing them to be more efficient. In addition, thanks to the Cloud, you can run a company with little to no paper. Computer systems now allow every aspect of the business to connect. This creates a seamless experience for the user and improves the candidate and client experience by making information available with the touch of a button. Staffing leaders can be innovative by taking risks and thinking about their individual industry and what is missing. April Pish Update, Inc.Want more great insights from April Pish and other staffing leaders? Check out the new ebook, Staffing Speaks Out: Global Recruiting Leaders Share Their Best Candidate Engagement Advice.