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What are you seeing in the industry?

  • 1.  What are you seeing in the industry?

    Posted 11-09-2020 13:53
    Edited by Alison Donato 05-07-2021 11:07

    Hi Everyone!

    It's hard to believe we are in the final months of 2020! This has been a crazy year filled with new challenges and necessary innovative solutions. During this year's virtual Staffing World, I had the opportunity to speak with others about their experiences. This got me thinking and wondering about the state of the staffing industry and the future, so I wrote a post for our blog: Hiring Trends: Remote, Tech, and Being Good Humans.

    I'd love to hear from other ASA Members! What are some of the trends you have identified or experienced?
    For industry suppliers working with staffing firms to provide solutions, what are the common challenges or innovative ideas you have heard from your clients this year?

    I can't wait to hear your thoughts!

    Kristen Harris CSP
    COO • Co-Creator
    Portfolio Creative
    Columbus OH
    (614) 839-4897
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  • 2.  RE: What are you seeing in the industry?

    Posted 11-10-2020 14:17
    Great post Kristen!

    We are seeing every aspect of the industry moving to digital.  From video job descriptions, to conveying culture and company initiatives, to onboard and events.  Remote has left most organizations looking for more affordable and effective ways to communicate virtually and video has been a game changer.  We are also seeing video based virtual events being leverage for career fairs, on-boarding and even candidate screening.  So many organizations are realizing that covid or no covid there are more efficient and effective ways to operate virtually but you can maintain the high touch and data with the right digital partner.  

    Thank you,

    Lindsay Stanton
    Chief Client Officer
    Naperville IL
    (630) 402-0946

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  • 3.  RE: What are you seeing in the industry?

    Posted 11-11-2020 09:04

    Hi Kristen,

    I enjoyed your post, and it echoes many of the trends we have seen as well. When it comes to technology and remote work, I think we have seen "can't" turn into "can" when it comes to adoption. As Lindsay mentioned, organizations seem to realize that the technology they have adopted during these trying times is here to stay - and can actually improve efficiency rather than diminish it. Where many employers originally expected shortcomings and hurdles, they are actually seeing increased productivity. 

    We have heard from clients who are "early adopters" of new technology that their transition has been smoother than those who are typically more hesitant to adopt. Firms who were already leveraging technology to its full capacity and utilizing integrated solutions experienced a more seamless transition to remote work and are thriving in today's environment. For firms who needed to scramble or piecemeal solutions to quickly pivot, this year was much more difficult. I foresee this year serving as a impetus for firms to embrace technology faster and earlier in order to maintain a competitive advantage, even when this pandemic is behind us.

    I also agree with your commentary on the human element among all of this. While we have become increasingly reliant on technology, the successful firms are those who have maintained elements of human connection whenever possible. Whether it be turning on your cameras during a conference call or just showing extra compassion and understanding to those affected more directly by the current situation, maintaining a level of "humanity" within businesses is helping set them apart. It's showing us that technology and humanity can work harmoniously – it does not have to be either/or.

    Rachel Graff
    Digital Content Creator
    Avionte Staffing Software
    Eagan MN
    (651) 556-2121

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  • 4.  RE: What are you seeing in the industry?

    Posted 11-11-2020 10:22
    Edited by Jay Mattern 11-11-2020 10:22
    Great question, Kristen. Anyone who says they have the answer to the challenges that lie ahead for the industry is either a lunatic or a genius (or a little of both)! Given that we are operating in an economic environment that is completely uncharted, it's difficult to know exactly what the trends are as opposed to what is simply an effort to punch through the uncertainties we all face. If it were a normal economic cycle (like the Great Recession of 2008-09), we have history and experience to help shape our decisions. Since it isn't, we can only speculate on what some of the emerging changes may be:

    • Virtual vs. Personal. To what extent has Zoom/Teams/Google Meet taken hold of how we communicate, both internally and with clients, employees and prospects?
    • Remote vs. Brick and Mortar. Will we permanently adopt some level of remote work and eliminate corporate offices and/or branch locations?
    • Digital vs. Human. As Lindsay and Rachel point out, there is a rush towards digital adoption and transformation in the staffing world. Are we permanently moving away from the "human element" as Rachel calls it and becoming technology driven? Will our clients and employees come with us if/when we do?
    • Management vs. Leadership. As we conduct business virtually/remotely, are we losing our grip on organization leadership and in its place adopting a task-oriented management-style of business structure? How will this impact the culture of the organization and how will that, in turn, impact how our company/brand is perceived in the marketplace?
    • Activity vs. Accountability. Similar to the previous point regarding management and leadership, is the new world of work causing the organization to lose sight of accountability (individual, team and company) to be replaced by simply a measure of activity from day-to-day? Does this drive a more short-term view of the organization instead of a focus on the long game?

    These are just some of the primary areas I think we must think about and watch very carefully as we continue to emerge from this COVID economy we are now all fully embedded in. I hope we will adopt some of the best of the new but not at the cost of the traditional which has always proven to guide successful staffing firms.

    Jay Mattern
    TerraFirma Marketing
    South Bend IN
    (574) 213-3855

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  • 5.  RE: What are you seeing in the industry?

    Posted 11-12-2020 14:16
    Edited by Richard Rosner 11-12-2020 14:21

    You took the words right out of my mouth!!!  First off there is not challenges going on-its CHANGE!!! This is a good thing and the industry is changing quickly in front of our eyes!!!

    Virtual is the wave of the Future that is here NOW!!! (Video Resume-Hiring Managers love this method)

    Brick and Mortar office will be fading fast and remote working facilities will be the way to go.

    Recruiting will still have the Human Connection, but we have to capture and engage our audience on a Social Media Platform. The boring job postings on Facebook and Instagram are probably not working anymore!!  You want to relate the candidates with you and by being visual in the virtual world is the way to approach this!!

    I guess I am bit different as for the past 7 months I have been in small towns each week on the streets connecting workers with hiring companies-so I am seeing this first hand of what the candidate and company want-its the same, communication and willing to earn-learn:)!!! 


    Richard Rosner
    Staffing Shark
    Lemont Furnace PA
    (724) 880-6760

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  • 6.  RE: What are you seeing in the industry?

    Posted 11-12-2020 13:46


    So interesting because we just had a guest post regarding sustainable workstyles and those who choose to WFH (work from home) or WFA (work from anywhere.)  We are always going to need permanent and temporary employees to work in the office, manufacturing facilities, warehouses, and thankfully so many other industries - but at the same time there has been a definite uptick in the number of internal staff in our industry who are working from home recruiting, placing and onboarding their associates.   

    "4.3 million people in the USA work from home at least half the time, according to Owl Labs. The pandemic has been first and foremost focused on health but after 8 months of WFH for millions, we could be looking at an American shift in lifestyle. Millennials and Gen Z workers make up 38% of the workforce." 

    Our typical COATS client is mid-sized with each client hiring a couple hundred employees weekly.  As far as trends, clients are continually requesting demos to add remote applications.  We have seen a tremendous increase in our electronic onboarding, mobile online-applications, online job postings, and employee portals.  

    Karen Connor
    VP Business Development
    Virginia Beach VA
    (757) 499-7652

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  • 7.  RE: What are you seeing in the industry?

    Posted 11-12-2020 18:11
    Edited by Lola Lass 11-13-2020 08:26

    I enjoyed your post and reading your blog and found we have much in common in what we learned/experienced at StaffingWorld 2020 and what we see coming in 2021. 

    My team really enjoyed attending Staffing World 2020 and because we were not tempted to do some of the "tourist" things we would normally do when we travel, we were much more disciplined in focusing on what SW2020 had to offer. 

    The MAIN message from multiple sessions: We must embrace the CHANGES taking place as they are here to stay. And those that want to stay ahead of the competition need to go beyond embracing them and RACE TO them. 

    What are some of those KEY CHANGES/TRENDS?  DEI (workplace inclusion); AI (rapidly infiltrating traditional staffing services); REMOTE work life; and the DIGITAL takeover of much of staffing.  During Sessions we heard:

    1. Don't wait until you HAVE to be open to diversity/inclusion - be the ones that LEAD the pack to diversity/inclusion. (one of the sessions had a great little video on DEI)
    2. AI has made its move into our industry and will continue to expand its reach at a rapid pace. Much of the old volume and ASAP temp staffing business (task only driven jobs) are dissolving. This means that as staffing industry leaders we need to already be in the process of building in ways to add more value to the services we offer - do the things that only a human can do. 
    3.  The REMOTE workplace, which was limited in many industries, was thrust upon all of us by COVID and as a result, the resistance to considering it as an option was swept away from employers in a flash. Now that the majority of companies are operating with remote staff, workers are not likely to allow it to be taken away, and employers who didn't "trust" it before now have learned to accept it and are working to maximize its impact on productivity. 
    4. While REMOTE has great benefits to offer both employees and employers, it is not without its CONS. We have been predicting that while we have all enjoyed a break from the rat race of physically moving to and fro, and parents and caregivers have enjoyed the flexibility of shared work and personal space, for many people REMOTE life brings intense isolation, depression, anxiety and detachment and current circumstances could result in an explosion of mental health problems. "Mankind" is not meant to live without the human touch and no virtual platform can or will replace the positive impact of a "hug". As leaders/employers, It is our mission to find the balance needed to move forward successfully with our new blended workplace.
    5. We also enjoyed the session on Socialnomics, a book by Erik Qualman - amazon. His message (taken from his book) shared the importance of understanding the implications of social media on our daily lives, how businesses can tap into the power of social media (how to use it to win and keep clients) and that we need to be intentional about our own digital legacy (and the dangers of not doing so).
    6. Education used to be a process we went through and then we began our careers. Now education has become a significant part of our careers and we will not succeed if we don't embrace constant learning.
    We are hoping to finish 2020 strong and use what we have learned to propel us forward in 2021.

    Lola Lass CSP
    ADEETA Corporate Staffing LLC
    New Orleans LA
    (504) 523-1786

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  • 8.  RE: What are you seeing in the industry?

    Posted 11-13-2020 06:03

    Hello Staffing Professionals, 

    To answer Kristen's question, these are a few of the biggest market trends we're seeing. 

    1. Increase in Video Interviewing: In addition to helping to screen candidates quickly, video interviews make it possible to minimize in-office interviews which (as we all know) has been important during most of this year. Also, many clients want to be sure they're hiring candidates who can communicate clearly, particularly for jobs that require a lot of customer contact. So, they use video interviews to evaluate candidates' verbal communication skills. Finally, many clients are concerned about cheating during interviews. So, they can ask candidates to show a picture ID to confirm their identity. 


    1. Demand For Remote Working Skills: As we all know, many companies had to let employees work from home to keep business operations on track during the lockdown. During that time, they learned there are specific skills and attributes that employees need to work remotely. Since many jobs may remain remote, or semi-remote, there's a demand for pre-employment and skills tests that help clients measure whether candidates have what it takes to be productive if the job in question requires the employee to work remotely all or part of the time. 


    1. Use of Simulations: The best way to evaluate whether an applicant can do a job is to ask them to perform tasks and manage situations they'll encounter daily. Simulations enable clients to replicate their work environment and present candidates with work-related situations so they can see how they'll react on the job. So, they're using them to make better hiring decisions and remove the "guesswork" from their hiring process. 


    1. Demand For Proctoring Solutions: With the increase in remote hiring, clients are looking for ways to prevent cheating on employment tests. As a result, there's a lot of demand for solutions that make it possible to record testing sessions-either by webcam or by tracking keyboard actions, and review them later, or monitor individual and group testing sessions live.  


    What are the rest of you seeing? We're waiting to hear what you think! 

    Adina Miron
    Marketing Manager
    North Chelmsford MA
    (774) 277-9903

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  • 9.  RE: What are you seeing in the industry?

    Posted 11-13-2020 08:20
    Great perspective.

    Jay Mattern
    TerraFirma Marketing
    South Bend IN
    (574) 213-3855

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  • 10.  RE: What are you seeing in the industry?

    Posted 11-13-2020 14:15
    My comment will relate to Finance - so for those reading this who are responsible for the firm's $$, we are seeing a trend with the SBA being more lenient in allowing subordination agreements for those who have loans  (such as the PPP or EIDL) but still want to utilize Payroll Funding/Accounts Receivable financing for cash flow.  They've also been quicker to respond to requests, so this is a positive trend for those Owners who want to use multiple sources for their working capital.

    Sheri Tischer
    Vice President Business Development – Staffing
    TCI Business Capital
    Edina MN
    (952) 656-3400

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  • 11.  RE: What are you seeing in the industry?

    Posted 11-15-2020 19:47
    Thank you for sharing these encouraging words. We're seeing a lot of changes as our company and our clients are adapting to the "next normal" and promoting/supporting work from home is certainly at the forefront of keeping employees safe. 

    We hosted a webinar with expert speakers on remote work 

    And one of our clients shared some excellent resources on succeeding from home

    Another one of our clients shared global perspective on how we can move past COVID-19 and it's impact on business and society

    We are seeing positive signs. Our clients are bringing back furloughed workers and reporting an uptick in business as we prepare for recovery.

    Take care everyone & wash your hands!

    Sylvia Dahlby
    Oceanside, CA
    (760) 941-2800

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  • 12.  RE: What are you seeing in the industry?

    Posted 11-16-2020 11:53
    One of the things I am seeing in the industry for the first time is empathy and flexibility. 2020 has made us all suddenly take notice of the things that are very important to us and that work culture needs to support that. Family needs to come first when it's your 3 yr old interrupting your meeting. You need to step away when the only time slot to do a grocery pickup is the middle of your workday. Calls are pushed back an hour so you and your kids aren't trying overloading your internet with video chatting. 

    Staffing wasn't known for this flexibility and understanding pre-covid. You took a client's call no matter what time of day it was. You filled those orders regardless of how late the client sent you the request. And you took meetings and phone calls on your days off because otherwise things didn't get done.

    I sincerely hope that we have all learned from this. There will be times when your team needs to be away from work. Completely away. And you as a business need to support that, in words and actions. Your processes cannot rely on a recruiter answering their phone 24 hours a day. There should be technology in place in your business to handle orders at all hours if you are going to let your clients do that, for day to day, high volume, repetitive tasks so that things don't fall to pieces when a recruiter is out sick, Or need to help their kids get online. Or just need a break. Save their energy for more important things at work.

    Laura Holterman
    National Account Director
    Chicago IL
    (414) 810-8424

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  • 13.  RE: What are you seeing in the industry?

    Posted 11-16-2020 12:23
    Hi Sylvia,

    Thank you for your thoughts and useful links for additional information.

    We see a variety of things going on in the market-- from a work comp solutions perspective.

    1. For our 95 light / heavy industrial staffing clients we are hearing about the difficulty filling job orders because many workers do not want to take a health risk leaving their homes, and they are willing to live off a subsidized government wage.

    2. For our 34 medical staffing cos, we see that Covid making the selection of clients more discerning because underwriters are much more selective in approving hospitals, nursing homes. ect. Also recruiting certified health workers is a big challenge,

    3.  For our apx. 20 IT staffing clients, where much of the work can be done at their home, they seem least disrupted by Covid and they seem to be doing well over all.

    4.. For our apx. 25 clerical staffing clients, their life has really been turned upside down since many clerical employees can not work in office buildings yet. Some are working from home though.

    I hope this overview of about 150 staffing companies throughout the US gives some context to what staffing cos are experiencing these days.

    Stay well everyone.


    David Schek
    Work Comp Staffing Solutions
    American Staffing Association Member
    ASA  Central 2019 Most Valuable Contributor
    ASA PAC Contributor

    America's Leading Staffing Workers  Compensation Broker With 50 Years Experience. 

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  • 14.  RE: What are you seeing in the industry?

    Posted 11-17-2020 11:27

    What a great post, thanks for starting this off Kristen and to everyone else for adding their thoughts. I would echo everyone's sentiments about the need to move more to digital while maintaining the human connection, how proactive implementation of technology will help staffing firms better compete, and how different industry verticals have been affected so differently that there really is no one-size-fits-all strategy.

    A few months ago my team interviewed a panel of industry veterans so we could really dig into what was happening and see if there were any strategies of success to share. We received a lot of feedback that we think firms will find very helpful, and we're still working on disseminating that. But for now, this is some of what they said:

    Plan now for the next time
    A big part of being able to navigate the current situation effectively came from strategies developed in 2008. Cultivating customer relationships in recession-proof industries and diversifying even within a single vertical like light industrial can help insulate you from economic downturn.

    Flexibility is key
    Time is a luxury many firms don't have right now, so using lessons learned to plan for the "next time" is only part of the strategy. Flexibility in how we respond to fluctuating market demands is and will continue to be key - so look for processes and technology that help you be agile.

    Cultivate better relationships using technology
    Everyone we interviewed underscored the importance of maintaining their client and customer relationships now more than ever. A big part of that is keeping up cadences of communication that at times feel impossible. Putting the right technology in place can help you maintain these relationships.

    Use automation to help avoid burnout
    Recruiters are burnt out. Workers (especially in the healthcare space) are burnout. We should be taking every step possible to automate tasks that can be automated for them.

    Redeployment = profitability
    Finding new talent is time and cost consuming and those are scarce resources right now. If you can focus on improving any one KPI in your firm, make it redeployment. This is the key to profitability and something you should start working towards by improving your candidate and client experience.

    For anyone interested in hearing from the panelists directly, you can watch them discuss remote communication here.

    We'll be releasing more of their advice shortly and would love to share with anyone interested. We'll be releasing it on LinkedIn and via email. Also, feel free to reach out to me directly and I can keep you posted.

    Thank you!

    Jennifer Martin
    Operations Manager

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  • 15.  RE: What are you seeing in the industry?

    Posted 12-01-2020 16:10