Moving forward together: Highlights from Engage Boston 2024

Moving forward together: Highlights from Engage Boston 2024

Over the course of two days in sunny Boston, 1,000 staffing pros, 48 Marketplace partners, and 60 speakers came together at Engage Boston 2024 to discuss the latest developments in staffing technology, the future of the industry, and ideas for how we can move forward together.

Read on for highlights and best practices shared at the event that you can put into practice today.

Winning new business and strengthening relationships

As our GRID 2024 Industry Trends Report confirmed, it’s all about winning new business this year. But how can firms turn challenges into opportunities and differentiate themselves from the competition? 

At this year’s Engage, leaders from staffing firms of all sizes and Bullhorn product experts shared tangible ways to pair technology with strategy to find and nurture client relationships.

Zelda Savage, Enterprise CSM for Bullhorn Analytics at Bullhorn, explained why you should focus less on ROI of client accounts and more on ROE: 

“Focusing on return on effort (ROE) can lead to a return on investment and enables you to move the needle without extra effort.”

Chris Choe, Vice President of Transformation at ZRG Partners, discussed why they made the transition to Bullhorn for Salesforce as a way to better serve their clients:

“We needed solutions to help accommodate our growth. What was holding us back was our tech strategy, so we went on a journey looking at different vendors to figure out the right approach. We landed on Bullhorn for Salesforce so we could leverage the Salesforce backbone and their marketplace. The embedded knowledge of Bullhorn made it an easy answer.”

Brian Salkowski, Chief Experience Officer at Impellam Group, explained why keeping up with the latest in technology advancements enables his firm to explore new business offerings and get ahead of the competition:

“As a business, we always need to iterate. Looking at the recruitment marketplace in the last 10 years, the amount of advancement in service offerings is night and day. If we’re not proactively assessing the marketplace and our business, we risk getting left behind.”

Providing an incredible talent experience

From tight talent pools and changing candidate expectations to fewer job orders and slowing demand, staffing firms are dealing with one of the most challenging markets in recent memory.

Speakers at Engage Boston shared best practices for delighting talent in innovative ways and making the most of candidate databases. These included using automation to help recruiters focus on relationships and streamlining the talent lifecycle.

Catherine Pearson, EVP and General Manager for Fastaff and Springboard, shared how a compliance strategy rooted in technology improves the candidate experience:

“It’s the work behind the work. Compliance isn’t a one-time event. It’s ongoing during the lifecycle of the candidate at each placement. Once you set that up and leverage automations and the Bullhorn talent platform, your candidates will get the right documents with the right information, and recruiters will have confidence in the process.” 

Patty Comer, Co-founder and Principal Partner of AccruePartners, explained why commitment and curiosity are key when working with automation and analytics:

“You have to be committed to wanting to advance how you work when you decide to engage automation and analytics. Be curious. Explore the technology options available and leverage experts at your vendors.” 

Leticia McAlexander, Vice President, Global Enterprise Applications & Enterprise Data at Allegis Group, emphasized the importance of meeting candidates where they are during the hiring process:

“We were able to show that we were leaving money on the table when candidates were dropping out of the process because they were not able to use their mobile phone, or there was no single sign-on, or there was a bad experience.”

Making the most of your tech stack to increase efficiency

A successful staffing firm is built on a foundation of internal alignment and a solid tech strategy. At Engage Boston 2024, we explored how firms are empowering their teams with technology, doubling down on data, and finding ways to move forward together.

Darrell Hunt, VP – North American Analytics at Manpower Group, shared why trust in your firm’s data is the key to unlocking its value:

“To give folks trust in the content you have, it’s all about creating value from insights. Insights turn value into action. You need to put the information in front of your stakeholders at the right time, and the more they use it, the more they start to trust that.”

Genine Wilson, President, Travel Nurse and Allied at Ingenovis, discussed key things to keep in mind as you build your data strategy:

“Don’t design your data strategy for the C-Suite first and the actual users last. Ask ‘What do you need,’ not ‘What do we think you need.’ If you don’t have transparency from the beginning, you will constantly be selling it to your teams.

Kathryn Krueger, Chief Operating Officer at DeWinter Group, shared the benefits of being an early adopter of new technology:

“If you are an early adopter, you have the growing pains, but you also get a direct line to provide feedback. We built strong relationships and have great partners within Bullhorn and many of the Marketplace partners we work with. The biggest impact has been the end-to-end visibility. Front office to back office in one interface is huge!”

Will Hayes, COO at IDR, illustrated why partnering with your technology vendors is key to success with AI:

“There is risk with AI, but the reward far outweighs it. Work with your vendors who are using AI. They are using and understanding AI at a level we often aren’t. They won’t make AI decisions for you, but they will educate you and inform you. There is a learning curve, just like any tool, but this is a technology that isn’t going anywhere. The faster you start educating yourselves and your team, the more competitive you’re going to be.”


Thank you to all of the attendees, speakers, and sponsors who made Engage Boston an incredible and unforgettable experience. We can’t wait to see you next year at Engage 2025!


Stay tuned for more recaps, videos, and insights from Engage Boston 2024!

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