Published by ClearlyRated - 02/27/18

Staffing Advantage Report: 4 Key Trends and Opportunities for Staffing Firms in 2018

Last week, Eric Gregg (Founder and CEO here at ClearlyRated) and Kyle Braun (President of the Staffing and Recruiting Group at Careerbuilder) hosted a webinar covering key findings from this year’s Staffing Advantage Report – a joint industry study that asks today’s hiring managers, job seekers, and staffing employees about what they identify as key issues and impactful trends in the staffing industry – “Position your Staffing Firm for Success in 2018.”

In the webinar, titled “Position your Staffing Firm for Success in 2018,” Eric and Kyle shed light on leading trends and performance benchmarks for the staffing industry with the goal of helping staffing firms to be more effective and productive in 2018.

Below are 4 takeaways that were shared on the webinar. Want to skip the recap and watch the full webinar? The amazing team at CareerBuilder has made the recording available to you for FREE. Click here to get started.

1.Talent satisfaction should be a top priority for your firm

While staffing industry benchmarks for talent satisfaction have remained steady since 2016, 34% (more than 1 in 3) of placed candidates say their satisfaction with their staffing or recruiting firm has declined during the past year. Compare that to just the 12% of candidates who say they are more satisfied this year than last, and you begin to see that the industry is at risk of trending in the wrong direction.

What’s more, categorized comments from survey candidates suggest that expectations are increasing faster than staffing firms are investing in service improvements. What was once considered “great” service is not only expected, but also not entirely remarkable.

2. It’s time to leverage technology (or suffer the consequences)

I’ll spare you the “tortoise and hare” reference made in the webinar and simply say this: if you settle for ‘following suit’ when it comes to investing in technology (the tortoise approach), you will fall behind the competition. Your strategic opportunity in 2018 is to make small investments and grow your firm’s capabilities over time; but you must take advantage of it today.

Look toward technologies that create efficiencies in firm processes. Systems that automate manual processes create more time for recruiters and account managers to create exponential value for clients and candidates (think about all the benefits that require a human touch like adding context to interactions, building relationships, and being available for problem solving and issue resolution). Plus, growing the number of placements a single account manager can make (or the candidate pipeline generated by a single recruiter) will inevitably help grow the bottom line.

But investing is just the first step – you’ll also need to ensure a smooth rollout and adoption across the firm to fully leverage what modern-age technologies have to offer. CareerBuilder’s Kyle Braun shares these 3 recommendations for successfully rolling out a new technology platform in your firm:

    • Create a well-defined rollout plan to set expectations and address obstacles early.
    • Provide in-depth user training and strategic resources to ensure success from day 1.
    • Assign a single person ownership of driving adoption of the new technology at your firm. Simple accountability can go a long way towards creating shared acceptance and, potentially, advocacy of your new tool.

3. Think beyond the traditional employment paradigm for greater market share

Candidates are considering temporary positions now more than ever. By expanding what classifies as “employment” and working with clients to support non-traditional candidates – your firm has a unique opportunity to capture a relatively uncontested share of the market.

If you’re ready to explore the depths of the temporary employment opportunity, a great place to start is with those placements that don’t require a 9-to-5 work day or physical office presence. Find ways to utilize your existing recruiting engine to broaden the talent pool and vet for temporary or remote work.

4. Prospects want to trust you – but they don’t

Trust in modern society is at a historical low. And the same holds true in the staffing industry. Regardless of how much time and energy your firm places on creating a remarkable client or candidate experience, your buyers want “proof” before signing on the dotted line.

The chart below demonstrates the top resources clients utilize when searching for a staffing service provider. As you can see, the top 4 resources (referrals, online presence, past experiences, and firm reputation) are underwritten by the experiences that others report having with your firm – not how your sales or marketing materials portray you.

And while referrals continue their reign as the top resource used during the buying process, they still aren’t enough to abate the lack of trust from your prospects. 88% of clients who receive a referral take another step to vet your firm before reaching out to discuss a partnership.

Bottom line: most of the people you’re selling to (both clients and candidates) have likely had a mediocre experience with a competitor. While that might seem like an easy opportunity to differentiate, this dynamic actually puts your firm at a “reputation disadvantage.” The best way to reach buyers (and differentiate your firm) early in the process is to demonstrate your service quality promise and practice through collective community proof points (think ratings or testimonials from clients and candidates).

Ready to improve in 2018?

ClearlyRated works with staffing and recruiting firms across North America to measure client satisfaction, differentiate on service quality, and build online reputation. Visit or contact our team to learn more!

Want to watch the webinar? The amazing team at CareerBuilder has made the content available for FREE. Simply click here to get started.

All facts and figures are sourced from the 2017 Staffing Advantage Report – an annual industry study conducted by ClearlyRated and CareerBuilder.

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