Leading through economic uncertainty: Innovate despite uncertainty

economic uncertainty

This is the second part of a three-part blog series. Check out part one and part two.

In this year’s GRID Industry Trends Report, three times as many agencies cited economic uncertainty as a challenge in 2023 compared to 2022. Concerns about the economy are rising, but now isn’t the time to slow down.

Harvard Business Review conducted a study of 4,700 companies before, during, and after a recession and found that those that succeeded in the wake of a slowdown kept their foot on the gas and innovated despite adversity. To talk about how firms can focus – or re-focus – on innovation in an uncertain climate. Bullhorn’s Joe Wertz sat down with three of the staffing industry’s top consultants, Lauren Jones, Founder of Leap Consulting Solutions, Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec, and Tom Erb, President at Tallann Resources.

To hear about the many forms of innovation, from new tools to new processes, read our recap below, or check out a recording of their conversation.

Looking to the future

“If your market is in a slowdown, your competitors are slowing down even more,” said Erb. Those firms that continue to innovate even amid uncertainty will be well-positioned to gain an edge over their competitors and capture market share. “We need to be hitting the gas right now,” Erb added.

“The future of the staffing industry is going to be built around innovation,” added Fuller. He noted that the challenge is finding areas in which to innovate. A good place to start is to find where innovation will significantly improve your business operations – that is, by looking at the Metrics That Matter. “It’s amazing, the ideas we can tease out of the people within organizations,” Fuller added. It’s just a matter of taking these ideas and implementing the best ones to meaningfully make an impact on your business KPIs.

Innovation in practice

Innovation takes many different shapes and forms, including learning about new technology that may have a large role to play in the future, like generative AI. Erb said he’s still learning about emerging AI tools and determining how they might integrate with what he and his clients do. “To me, that’s the way to look at innovation.”

Innovation doesn’t necessarily mean that your firm needs to be on the cutting edge of technology. It can look like finding new ways to optimize your processes. “Realigning your process with the existing technology you have is still innovating,” said Jones. “Creating a streamlined, frictionless experience is innovation in and of itself.” 

Innovation can also look like taking advantage of features within your existing technology that you’ve left unused. Jones pointed specifically to the leads and opportunities features within Bullhorn. “There is so much rich functionality to create great funnels and scale your sales organization,” she said, “so at a time like this, you have a huge amount of opportunity to optimize and innovate.”

Ultimately, times of adversity are chances to differentiate your business. Now is the time to press on, optimize, connect, and innovate to emerge from economic uncertainty more successfully than ever before.


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