Forward together: How staffing leaders are navigating the industry in 2024

Forward together: How staffing leaders are navigating the industry in 2024

Smarter, faster, stronger. The businesses that will succeed in today’s challenging market are those that innovate and find new ways to help the industry move forward together.

But what does moving forward together look like in practice? From embarking on a digital transformation project, or exploring a new offering or workflow, there are countless ways to find new opportunities and avenues for growth.

To highlight real-world strategies that staffing firms are putting into practice, we sat down with Brian Salkowski, Chief Experience Officer at Impellam Group, Leticia McAlexander, Vice President, Global Enterprise Applications & Enterprise Data at Allegis Group, Kathryn Krueger, Chief Operating Officer at DeWinter Group, and Brandon Simmons, EVP – Technology & Operations, DeWinter Group during Engage Boston 2024.

Check out what they had to say about finding new ways forward, working across organizations, and building a competitive edge – or take a look at key takeaways from their sessions in our Engage Content Hub.

Following the numbers

When choosing where to focus your digital transformation efforts and grow your business, our panelists advocated following a data-driven approach. When Salkowski and his organization consider building out a new service line or expanding an offering, they evaluate market intelligence to see where there may be opportunities for their business. “If I look at the recruitment marketplace and where it was 20 years ago, relative to today or even 10 years ago, the amount of advancement and progress is night and day,” he said. “If we’re not proactively assessing the marketplace and our business, we very much risk being left behind.”

Looking internally can also help guide your path. For McAlexander and her team, following the data led to a realization about a crucial gap they needed to address: “What we began to see as we looked at the data was that we were missing a focus on talent experience,” she said. “We were missing the voice of the talent, and we were leaving a lot of money on the table as a result.”

When experimenting with a new offering, model, or workflow, evaluate your success with performance indicators. “We have conditions of satisfaction,” Salkowski said. “Do we see cycle time improving? Are we seeing improvement in our level of effort? Are we earning a return, and does that return meet our conversion expectations? That’s the starting point.”

“It really has been a journey about data,” McAlexander added.

Learning from your network

The best ideas might come from the most unexpected places. Our panelists work to foster relationships with stakeholders throughout the recruitment process to better understand where they need to grow. “I’m a big believer in voice of customer, voice of employees, voice of suppliers,” Salkowski said. “This is where we really learn. Is there a gap in the marketplace? By staying close to our customers and actively leaning in and listening, that’s typically where we get our best ideas.”

“We realized these old initiatives were leaving out the user experience, whether it was an internal user or an external user,” McAlexander said. “So we started to do this outside-in thinking, bringing to the table the personas that were never represented in conversations up until now, which was our talent and the client.”

When working with stakeholders, learning should be a two-way street. Krueger and Simmons felt like they were able to call Bullhorn and Marketplace partners with concerns, questions, and commendations at any time, and worked collaboratively across organizations to develop a roadmap that was realistic and helped them achieve their goals. “We utilized partners and relationships to help them understand what we were looking for as a business, and to get the visibility to data that we needed,” said Simmons.

Adopting new tech requires constant internal communication as well. DeWinter Group had an internal technology specialist to advocate for the needed changes to their tech stack, as well as leaders to guide their decision-making from a business perspective, allowing for all perspectives to be considered. “Throughout the process, we really learned a lot about how to bring teams along, how to communicate, and how to make people feel like they’re part of the decision,” Krueger said.

“Our best ideas don’t come from the corporate office,” Salkowski said. “They come from the field because those individuals are close to the customer. Those individuals are living the process and working with the technology on a day-to-day basis.”

Finding your differentiator

Though a tough macroeconomic climate presents its obvious challenges, it also comes with opportunities. Finding a competitive difference is one. “If you have the right product, the right team, and the right service, it provides an opportunity to lean in and capture market share, Salkowski said. “So expand clients and service lines when others are in retreat mode.”

McAlexander put it plainly: “What has served you in the past, and what has gotten you here, is not going to get you to growth in the next ten years.” For Allegis Group, that meant doubling down on creating an incredible talent experience with the help of the Bullhorn Talent Platform.

“Technology is going to be the differentiator for a lot of staffing firms,” said Krueger. After their transition to Bullhorn One and the integration of their front and back office, Krueger noticed an increase in efficiency, greater visibility, and a more sophisticated ability to report on various aspects of the business.

Regardless of your chosen solution, now is the time to look beyond what you’ve done in the past and find new ways forward. As Krueger said, “We all need to ask, ‘How are we going to use technology to differentiate and help our clients have a better experience, our candidates have a better experience, and our internal employees have a better experience?’”

Learn more about how your firm can partner with Bullhorn by moving Forward together.

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