As consumers, we have grown accustomed to data-driven buying opportunities that can be instantly accessed from the palm of our hand. These soaring expectations cross a wide array of goods and services like streaming video, food on demand and even a job at the touch of a button. You can use any of these services with just a few clicks and in less time than it takes to order a coffee. They have compressed processes that once took multiple steps and several people into ones that take minutes and are now self-service.

This is the signup culture and what the modern candidate expects.

Outside forces have been instrumental in driving signup culture, as well. The chaos of 2020 and the demands of a global pandemic revealed how quickly circumstances can change for everyone, and, in that wake, people want as much flexibility as possible.

For staffing companies, the growth of signup culture combined with the unprecedented digital shift of 2020 has changed the job market forever. Agencies that want to keep up need to understand what has changed and how it impacts them. Here are the three main reasons why staffing companies need to embrace signup culture:

Addressing soaring consumer expectations. The conventional wisdom used to be that staffing was for people that couldn’t find full-time employment. Agencies had a captive audience with a seemingly unlimited supply of workers and their processes were tuned for the high-turnover nature of staffing.

But the rapidly changing expectations of the modern worker shines a new light on these practices. Increasingly, people are seeing flexible working arrangements as their preferred employment style and they expect to find work just like they consume goods and services in their personal life.

This means staffing agencies are fighting for people who are capable of making their living from a sea of employment options and, make no mistake, they are “interviewing” you before they even apply. Today a company’s brand is more important than ever before – and the smallest piece of bad press or negative information can cost them the best talent.

Candidates now expect benefits that may have seemed exotic a few years ago, like next-day hiring and same-day pay. Their expectations are a direct result of the forces behind signup culture, including the speed and accessibility of data, products and services from the gig economy and social media.

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Going where the data points us. It’s hard to overstate the point that data has completely transformed recruiting and hiring. Every step of the process is different from how people found jobs in the past, for both companies and their candidates.

Smart HR teams must embrace this emerging paradigm and embrace solutions that help them keep up with these demands. For example, Eightfold.ai uses AI to help organizations research candidates in a similar way to how they research key products and equipment for the business. The concept of talent intelligence may seem foreign in staffing but using data can empower recruiters with increased situational awareness, increased performance and improved customer satisfaction.

These changes are not about de-humanizing the hiring process – instead plugging into data gives recruiters an entirely new understanding of the needs and desires of candidates and job seekers. The growth of same-day pay illustrates this data transformation: companies found that it reduced turnover and was especially important to employees who struggle with the increasing cost of living.

Embracing data and adopting signup culture is vital for companies who want to win the war for talent. As we begin to return to a more typical job environment in 2021 the definition of “Great Place to Work” will be much different.

Where we go from here. Staffing firms that embrace these changes will benefit from a larger digital footprint, a modem employment brand and creative delivery models that attract and retain candidates. This puts them in a good position to compete with the gig players and other staffing agencies who have been testing and tuning these strategies for years.

Embracing these changes includes recruiting the modern candidate in the ways they want to be recruited. By making it as easy to sign up for a job as it is to sign up for a profile on Instagram, companies can find better matches that will bring their talents to a company quickly.