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Top Staffing Trends for 2021

Posted by
Pankaj Jindal
November 16, 2021

This year has been, well... challenging. The Covid-19 pandemic has dominated our work lives, forced us to reprioritize, and spurred a digital transformation that’s changed our industry entirely. The future of staffing involves a strategic, nuanced blend between leveraging the latest technology and infusing more humanism into your work than ever before. With remote work reshaping the way we collaborate and communicate, it’s increasingly essential to adapt to new ways of engaging talent, while uncovering more efficient ways to run your business. Simply put, we’ve got to get even better at our jobs and spend less money doing it. (Easy to say, harder to do!) 

Though the next year is full of uncertainty in many ways, there are some things we know to be true. The staffing industry is evolving (fast!) and technology has staked its claim as an essential tool for your business. So, let’s talk about the biggest trends we expect to influence the staffing world in 2021: next generation automation, remote work, and a growing emphasis on employer brand. 

Next Generation Automation

At this point, automation is table stakes. Leading staffing firms have already implemented automated processes across key areas of their business to improve efficiency, grow productivity, and provide a better experience for both candidates and clients. What’s happening now is an evolution of that technology, creating a fully-integrated engagement engine across the talent lifecycle — all fueled by automation. 

Next generation automation goes beyond triggered emails and SMS to provide a cohesive, polished experience. One aspect of this next gen tech stack? A conversational AI assistant, a.k.a chatbots. Recruiting chatbots are on the clock 24/7 to collect data, screen candidates, and have personalized conversations.

These automated tools leverage a complex combination of language processing systems and patterns — powered by artificial intelligence — to provide a remarkably human experience. Chatbot ROI comes in the form of recruiter productivity, better data in your ATS, more personalized candidate engagement, and increased placements. 

These sophisticated tech-powered solutions are constantly evolving and providing new ways to connect (via platforms like Sense). And with the most advanced automation tools at their fingertips, your teams can feel empowered to focus on the most important revenue-generating activities — read: the human stuff. 

Remote work is here to stay. 

Yes, we’ll admit... we’re all a little Zoom-ed out. But whether you’re loving WFH life or itching to get back into the office, the truth is that remote work isn’t going anywhere. That might manifest in some roles going entirely virtual, while other companies might choose to open their office to smaller percentages of their workforce. With many organizations having to restructure their teams and rethink their budget, overhead costs like pricey office space are likely to be on the chopping block.

For staffing firms, that means you’ll need to get comfortable with all that goes along with remote hiring. Do you have a go-to video conferencing software yet? Are your recruiters trained in video interview best practices? Virtual recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding can be tricky, but it’s essential that you get those processes dialed in and up-to-par. Your candidate experience depends on it. 

Remote work also demands that we stay agile and leverage mobile to stay in touch. With workers at home instead of the office, it’s even more critical that you have platforms (and a plan) in place to communicate regularly and effectively. Consistent, triggered emails and SMS can help you keep tabs on how contractors are feeling and ensure they’re staying engaged. It will also keep your clients in the loop, so you can stay ahead of issues that might arise. Work from home has its own unique challenges (wifi bandwidth, anyone?!), but the staffing firms that win will be the ones who make remote work their competitive advantage. 

Your employer brand is everything. 

We’ve talked a lot about employer brand on our blog, but as we head into a new era of staffing, this sometimes fuzzy but always critical aspect of your business is more important than ever. 

Your employer brand is everything that makes you stand out to potential candidates, from your company values to the application process to the way you communicate on social media. In today’s staffing landscape, it’s essential to build a compelling employer brand through consistent, positive experiences across touchpoints. Be intentional about the messaging you use for social media, emails, your website, blog, events, and interviews — they all contribute to the way candidates and clients perceive your brand and impact whether people choose to work with you. And in the competitive market that we expect to carry over into 2021, your reputation matters. 

Keep in mind, there’s not one hard-and-fast metric that will tell you when your employer brand is crushing it. But there are clues. Keep an eye on metrics like redeployment rate, candidate attrition, referrals and NPS — if they’re headed in the right direction, your employer brand is working for you. 

Looking for a partner to tackle these challenges with you? Let’s chat. Our team of experts will walk you through what to expect in 2021 and how our platform can help you stay ahead of staffing trends.

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