The staffing industry has changed dramatically and permanently for businesses. So how do you reconcile years of hard-earned staffing experience with appropriate behavior for the current, challenging landscape? Here are the new rules of engagement that allow you to hone your relationship-building skills for the new world of work plus a checklist of the new technology solutions to best adapt to it.
The recruitment landscape has changed dramatically in the last several months, and it will continue to do so. Keep an eye on the pulse of the industry, solicit feedback, and act accordingly.
Communicate consistently with your candidates, clients, and team. In an increasingly unstable time, no one wants surprises.
Establish a clear messaging framework for your team to avoid costly blunders. Communication that may have once been appropriate can come off as tone-deaf or opportunistic now.
Adapt to the new landscape by optimizing your processes. Leveraging cloud technology is essential, but don’t sleep on the importance of automation and other technology that enables you to be more productive.
The circumstances of your candidates, clients, and team have changed. Form a plan for addressing changing roles and client and candidate demands.
Changing Candidate Situations
The talent shortage has been the number one challenge for staffing pros six years in a row and heading into the year, unemployment was historically low. Both those trends have since flipped. Many of the candidates in your database are in a different situation than they were months ago. Consistent communication is the only way to find out.
The shift in candidate and client demand has made reskilling more important than ever. Learn how you can reskill willing candidates for new roles in our reskilling hub.
Candidate Engagement in the Modern Era
While there’s more incentive than ever to engage with candidates through technology instead of in person, candidates have actually preferred these mediums for years—texting is the number one preference for candidates.
"During difficult times, it’s crucial to reach out and check-in. A phone call, email, text, or even a handwritten note lets someone know you are thinking of them. Share an inspirational quote, a blog, or an article to let a candidate know you are available to assist and that you genuinely care. Thoughtful behavior is always well-received and appreciated."
SVP of Talent Engagement and Culture, Staffmark
"Social media has been a great way to initiate conversations with new and plausible candidates throughout the screening process since we are so connected."
Regional Director of Operations, ProLink Staffing
Changing Job Reqs
The only staffing skill segments projected to grow revenue in 2020 are related to healthcare: travel nurse, per diem nurse, and locum tenens.
While all other roles may see a decline in demand, they vary by industry. Be prepared to meet job reqs that will continue to shift in role and volume.
Changing Client Financial Health
As clients increasingly struggle to make payments, it’s a good idea to have a policy for responding to requests for payment relief.
Building Relationships and Retaining Clients
Are you a partner to your clients or simply a service provider? Make your business invaluable through strong relationships and invaluable and context-sensitive counsel.
Providing Additional Services:
As employers entertain hiring freezes or reductions, consider other ways to provide value. Consultation and continuity planning are in-demand services that staffing firms are well-positioned to provide.
"As we partner with heads of strategy and transformation to accelerate pivotal work across increasingly remote workforces, the one thing that remains constant is that important work must go on. The way they access and allocate resources is evolving and their way of thinking about what it means to be an 'employee' is broadening, and they're looking for creative ways to variabilize the fixed costs of traditional employment."
Co-founder and CEO, Catalant
In uncertain times, your staff is relying on you to provide clarity and guidance. A Gallup poll found these were the top staff needs from leadership:
1. A clear plan of action
2. Proper preparation to do their jobs
3. Frequent, honest communication
4. An organization that cares about their well-being
Making Tough Decisions
Staffing leaders have to make tough decisions, especially when it comes to the financial health of your business. For firms that need to reduce staff expenses, should you reduce hours, furlough, or lay off team members? Inform yourself on the benefits and consequences of each.
For most businesses, maintaining the status quo won’t be enough to see success. Increasing your productivity—through leveraging technology and adoption—is one of the best ways to accomplish more with less. Check out these free resources for training your team.
"At Staffing 360 Solutions, the focus is on COMMUNICATION. The Executive Team meets daily at noon to brief on the business happenings. All of the brands and departments are regularly hosting virtual meetings on specific days of the week to create consistency and continuity. We are hosting all-employee town hall calls twice per month. Instead of relying heavily on e-mail communication, we have encouraged more face-to-face dialogue."
COO, Staffing 360 Solutions
"We appreciate all of the support and patience as we work through the unique challenges being presented to us each day. Remember that “FLEX” is in our name so being Flexible right now is critical and we will all come out of this stronger than ever!
We appreciate you!"
While the current landscape has expedited the need for remote communications technology, there are many other compelling reasons to optimize your technology for remote communication. Here are technology solutions to consider for the current landscape and beyond.
Your ATS/CRM is the center of your operations and taking advantage of its most useful features will be key to be productive at home. Here are the ATS/CRM features cited as most important by surveyed Bullhorn customers.
Video interviewing solutions can help you to create opportunities for facetime with candidates, and in some cases, optimize your business development efforts with unique ways to present candidates.
Just because you and your team are working from your respective “home offices,” it doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of your interactions. VoIP solutions like CloudCall can enhance and maintain your communications, no matter where you are.
Look for VoIP solutions with recording and “whisper” features that empower your teams to work together more effectively, from your respective homes. The “whisper” feature is great for call shadowing and training and allows a “supervisor” to share live tips and feedback with the person on the call.
Using a growth analytics platform, you can dig into almost any performance metric to create actionable insights that will make your entire team successful.
These solutions can also motivate your team with leaderboards, gamification, trend graphs, and custom incentives.
Just a fifth of staffing pros report strong technology adoption and working remotely can make team adoption even more difficult. Digital adoption platforms can take those metrics to the next level. Digital adoption experts can provide training and workflow guidance so that recruiters can be effective at all times.
With scattered workplaces, it can be harder to enforce best practices across teams. An automation platform allows you to fill process gaps when you spot them. For example, you may have a great new applicant follow-up process but realize nothing happens to those applicants when the job closes. Well, now you can create that process and launch it in a matter of clicks.
Let your candidates and clients know you’re still dedicated to their success, even though you aren’t in the office. A marketing solution can help you to create more website traffic, build a strong social media strategy and presence, create engaging content, and/or polish your firm’s messaging & identity.
A texting platform puts the power into the hands of the candidate, making your recruiters easier to work with, and positioning your business as approachable and accessible.
The team at Bullhorn is working hard to bring you the most up-to-date content, government guidance, data, and webinars to keep you informed. Explore this page for resources to guide you through this challenging time.