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If you work in the staffing industry, you may be feeling a little pessimistic (or at least uncertain) right now. We still haven’t fully recovered from the pandemic, talent is in short supply, wages are up and some say a recession is right around the corner.

But we’re heading into a new year, and it’s time to shake off that doom and gloom and plan for the future. There’s plenty of reason to be optimistic. In fact, at our recent day-long educational event, SMART IDEAS Summit 2, Staffing Industry Analysts President Barry Asin talked about how staffing firms can create breakthrough growth — even amid multiple changes and challenges facing the modern staffing industry. Here are a few takeaways from Barry’s presentation (which you can watch here), along with other tips from our summit your staffing firm can use to grow and succeed.

Talent is in short supply. One of the challenges staffing professionals frequently bring up is the talent shortage. Job seekers are holding all the cards right now. It’s driving up wages and tightening competition. It’s also driving positive change for staffing firms and employers willing learn, adapt and find ways to improve recruiting, engagement and redeployment.

Sharpen your hiring process. When the talent market is tight, your hiring process must be, too. The best candidates are most likely interviewing with multiple companies. Keep your application simple, get them in for an interview quickly, stay in communication and decide on the hire. If you don’t act promptly, the decision will be made for you — when they accept another offer.

Embrace workplace productivity. Remote work has been increasing for decades. The pandemic accelerated that growth, and now a work-from-home option is a deal breaker for many candidates, especially in IT and professional positions. One advantage for recruiters — both internal recruiters and those in the staffing industry — is that geographic limitations are virtually gone. They can recruit candidates from anywhere, including overseas. The problem is often less a lack of talent and more the talent and the job not being in the same place. Remote work resolves this issue.

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Streamline and automate. Technology can streamline the repetitive parts of recruiting. Automation makes it easier to stay in touch with candidates through the hiring process or reach out to former applicants when a new job they may be interested in becomes available. Technology can streamline processes for staffing firms, maximizing productivity, lowering costs and engaging talent faster.

Prepare for anything. What more can staffing firms do to succeed in today’s industry, economy and recruiting environment? Get ready for anything! No matter what the pundits will tell you, it’s nearly impossible to tell what’s going to happen — if there will be a recession or not. If there is, how long will it last?

What should you do? A few tips. Choose not to participate in a recession. Don’t “hunker down” or pull back. Business will always need to get done. If companies are afraid to hire, the low commitment of temporary staffing might be just the right fit.

Many staffing companies will lie low to ride it out. They’ll cut their staff to the bone or reach out to employers less often because “no one is hiring.” They’ll see marketing as an expense rather than a revenue generator and slash their marketing budget. As a result, employers, job seekers and the community think they’ve gone out of business because they seem to have disappeared.

Instead, it’s time to be more proactive — especially when others are not. Reach out to clients and prospects more frequently. Be a resource for them. Even if they don’t need to hire now, you’ll be a resource for them when they are ready to ramp up again. Continue to recruit actively. The more people you see, the better your chances of identifying top candidates.


For more about how you can prepare your staffing firm for whatever may come, check out the on-demand presentations and download the slides from the Smart Ideas Summit 2.