Back to Blog What Trends are Staffing Professionals Most Excited About for 2019? by Bob McHugh on March 18th, 2019 The staffing industry is moving fast. Goodbye fax machines, hello machine learning. And firms that want to succeed need to leverage all the tools available to deliver the best candidate and client experience possible. But which trends are passing fads? And where should you invest your resources to make changes that can actually better your business? To find out, we asked over 2000 staffing and recruiting professionals to share the industry trends they’re following closely. Many of the responses revolve around technological developments like AI and automation. Others were most interested in the changes to the workforce and labor models. And some respondents are most interested in new methods for engaging with candidates and clients. Discover the top staffing trends at the new Global Recruitment Insights and Data (GRID) site, or read on for a breakdown of some of the most common replies. What’s the most interesting staffing trend you’re following and would like to learn more about? Automation No one likes wasting hours on time-consuming manual tasks, so it’s no surprise that staffing professionals are excited about automation. What are staffing professionals most interested in automating? Basically everything. Many respondents mentioned they wanted to “automate all manual recruitment processes” while several others zoned in on specific pain-points, like SMS Texting, job postings, candidate sourcing, and candidate placements. The good news is that staffing professionals are already able to automate many manual processes with applicant tracking systems. Automation can make a significant impact on your VMS business, too. Despite this, 60 percent of firms still submit candidates into their VMS manually. AI Staffing pros are excited about AI, but there’s little consensus on how to best harness its power. While firms are still trying to figure out the best way to leverage AI to improve candidate and client satisfaction and bolster productivity, they can agree that it will have an impact: respondents chose AI more than any other subject. Generally, staffing professionals are high on AI: 55 percent of respondents say it will have a positive impact on candidates and clients. That said, there’s still a lot of mystery surrounding AI. Respondents only rate their current understanding of A.I. and machine learning at a five out of ten. Artificial intelligence is leveraging things like bots, intelligent assistants, natural language processing, machine learning, and predictive analytics to inform business decisions. It is the cornerstone of what we often refer to as “digital transformation.” — Vinda Souza, Vice President of Marketing Communications, Bullhorn Chatbots Chatbots, an offshoot of AI, still sees a relatively low adoption rate by staffing firms. But judging by this year’s respondents, its place in the conversation has advanced considerably. It’s likely that this is connected to an ever-increasing focus on the candidate experience. Chatbots can enable staffing firms to respond to candidate concerns immediately and free up recruiter time in the process. Texting While AI adoption may be a goal of the future, texting is having its moment now. It’s the fastest growing recruiting communication channel. When it comes to open rates and response rates, texting can’t be topped. People on average take 90 minutes to respond to an email, they take closer to 90 seconds to respond to a text. Another reason staffing pros are high on texting is its use as a communication tool with Millennials. Staffing pros overwhelmingly picked Millennials as the most difficult generation to reach and engage, and texting is the preferred method of communication amount that generation. Even regardless of generation, candidates increasingly cite texting as their preferred communication method. The staffing industry is full of opportunity, and firms that combine innovative approaches with innovative tools are in a great position to have an incredible 2019. Learn about some more exciting staffing trends for 2019 here. Interested in learning more about the challenges, opportunities, and ideas that will shape the staffing industry in the year ahead? There’s so much more waiting for you at the Global Recruitment Insights and Data (GRID) site, like key findings and spotlights on top trends, as well as resources designed to help you be a trendsetter, like social shareables and powerpoint slides.