Staffing Firms Continue to Accelerate Digital Transformation Strategy for the Second Year In a Row

Bullhorn’s Annual Staffing Trends Findings Also Reveal that Candidate Acquisition Dominates Agenda for Year Ahead

BOSTON—March 3, 2022 —The last year saw a dramatic rise in the number of staffing businesses employing a digital transformation strategy, according to Bullhorn’s 2022 Global Recruitment Insights and Data (GRID), a survey of more than 4,000 recruitment professionals. Eighty-four percent of global recruitment firms now have a digital transformation strategy in place, compared to 43 percent a year ago. Digital transformation adoption has more than tripled since 2019 when just 25 percent of firms reported the presence of a digital transformation strategy.

Matt Fischer, President and COO at Bullhorn, says: “The leading staffing and recruiting firms today are focused on digital transformation to unlock new levels of productivity and truly transform the way they interact with their talent and clients. With the candidate experience at a premium, firms are leveraging automation and self-service to create talent journeys that match modern expectations and put more people to work.”

Other Key GRID 2022 Findings:

The industry rebounded in a major way in 2021

2020 was a historically challenging year for recruitment agencies, with 2 out of 5 agencies reporting year-over-year revenue losses. For most agencies, 2021 represented a tremendous rebound. Three out of five respondents reported revenue gains in 2021 and just 1 out of 7 reported year-over-year losses.

Firms specializing in IT/Technical clients and firms that reported multiple verticals reported the strongest performance in 2021, with 68 percent of respondents in each group reporting a YoY increase in revenue. Light Industrial firms were on the other end of the spectrum with just 50% of respondents reporting YoY revenue gains from 2020.

Candidates dominate the agenda in 2022

The talent shortage is once again the top challenge for firms in 2022. Firms cited candidate acquisition as the top priority for the year, with digital transformation and improving the candidate experience rounding out the top three. For the first time in the history of the trends report, winning new clients is not a top-three priority for staffing firms.

Covid-19’s impact is still felt

COVID-19, last year’s top challenge is still the number-two challenge for staffing firms in 2022. Firms cited it as a contributing factor to the talent shortage as well as the top obstacle to providing an incredible candidate experience. It does not dampen their revenue outlook for 2022 however; two-thirds of respondents expect revenue to increase in 2022.


To read more about Bullhorn’s Global Recruitment Insights and Data research, visit the GRID results.

About Bullhorn

Bullhorn is the global leader in software for the staffing industry. More than 10,000 companies rely on Bullhorn’s cloud-based platform to power their staffing processes from start to finish. Headquartered in Boston, with offices around the world, Bullhorn is founder-led and employs more than 1,300 people globally.


Media contact:

Bob McHugh

Senior Manager, Global Content and Research


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