ASA Staffing World 2021 Session Recap: Bringing the Talent Back to the Workforce

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At ASA Staffing World 2021, thousands of staffing professionals gathered in Colorado to discuss emerging trends in the industry, how technology can transform an organization’s workflow, and how to combat the ever-present talent shortage. For more information about ASA Staffing World 2021, click here

As a Corporate Partner at Staffing World, Bullhorn team members got a chance to network with attendees, discuss ways to optimize the staffing process and listen in on sessions throughout the conference. 

Below, we’ve summarized key insight shared during the ASA Staffing World breakout session, Where Are They? Bringing the Talent Back to the Workforce, featuring Julie Olson Huffman, CEO of Career Innovator, Reena Gupta, CEO and Founder of Mom Relaunch, Kathy Hardy, VP and Officer at Kelly Discover, and Sonu Ratra, Founder and President of Akraya Inc.

On looking at the talent shortage differently:

“I think we need to change the perspective from finding talent to nurturing talent. Once you do that, you will never say there is a shortage of talent. We need to change our mindset. I don’t believe there’s a shortage of talent. You need to be able to nurture them. Look at people beyond resumes, and you will have employees who are happy, healthy, and loyal to you.” – Reena Gupta, CEO and Founder of Mom Relaunch

On helping talent find the right opportunities:

“What I’m most proud of is building our Women Back to Work program. Companies are looking for exceptional talent. Why is doing good good for your business? We’re leading an evacuation of women out of Afghanistan. Everything we do to give back to the community has come back to us one million times over. When we founded Women Back to Work, it was pro-bono. What started as a free program has helped us build our brand. There is talent; it’s just a matter of finding it and using creative ways to find this talent. It can be positive for our businesses.” – Sonu Ratra, Founder and President of Akraya Inc.

“80% of people who went to college and are on the Autism spectrum remain unemployed. We have degreed people who are completely unemployed because they cannot get past the interview, but they represent extremely loyal employees. So, we changed the interview for them. Once we started interviewing them differently and asking different questions, we started to get people through. There’s no reason that how we interview should keep people who want to belong and are gifted from joining the workforce.” – Kathy Hardy, VP and Officer at Kelly Discover

“We created a four-step process where candidates get job skills and the confidence that they lost. We’ve launched 70+ women so far, all in IT. We looked into transferable skills and the skills motherhood teaches. One of my favorite success stories was working with someone who had never worked, and we got them relaunched as an engineer. I was shocked and happily surprised. Those types of stores are what inspires me.” – Reena Gupta, CEO and Founder of Mom Relaunch

On identifying soft skills during the interview process:

“I’ve been using an assessment, essentially a tool that will help the candidate realize they have superpowers that they aren’t aware that they have. How do they talk about those superpowers? We give the hiring managers suggested questions to ask our candidates.” – Kathy Hardy, VP and Officer at Kelly Discover

“Our focus is only one thing: how do you get that experience? That experience brings a lot of soft skills, including confidence. When they have that life experience, they don’t have to think.” – Reena Gupta, CEO and Founder of Mom Relaunch

On interviewing overlooked groups:

“We’ve been doing a lot of educating on how to interview people on the spectrum or people following an alternative path. Don’t ask open-ended questions and give the questions a few days beforehand so they can refer to something. A video interview is easier than an in-person meeting for these individuals, and sometimes not using video is even easier. It doesn’t take that much to educate yourself on overlooked groups. It’s not that hard to make that interview more comfortable if you educate yourself on things that throw them for a loop.” – Kathy Hardy, VP and Officer at Kelly Discover



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