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How to Keep your Staffing Operations Running During and After a Crisis

Posted by
Alexandra Kane
July 27, 2023

The last 4+ months have provided a heck of a learning curve for most of us, haven’t they? The world turned upside down, seemingly overnight, and as individuals and business leaders, we’ve had to pivot, acclimate, learn and simultaneously take a huge, deep breath to get through this time. A newfound penchant for agility and flexibility has become the norm, as businesses across all sectors have had to adjust in order to survive.

The staffing industry is no stranger to pivots and adjustments. We got through the Great Recession, and we’ll get through this, too. 

But while we know that there will be light at the end of the tunnel, we’re not quite there yet. Many businesses continue to struggle, and there’s no telling how long economic fallout stemming from this pandemic will last. 

We’ve heard from many clients over the past several months who are either holding their heads steadily above water or who are even thriving during this challenging time. And the common themes among those who are doing well right now have proven themselves to be strong advice not only for getting through the current crisis, but continuing to thrive in the “new normal” that comes out of it. 

Understanding and applying these lessons to your firm can help you keep your operations running now, and once we get to the other side of this pandemic:

Maximize contributions from remote workers.

This trend was already on the upswing pre-COVID, but has proven its mettle and staying power as we get through this crisis. Teams are not only surviving but thriving working entirely remotely. While many organizations will return at least some of their team to the office in the near future, it’s highly likely that remote employees will remain fixtures in any team. 

Chances are you’ve been placing candidates out of your local market for some time now and have used some of the empowering technology that enables seamless contributions from remote workers. Since March, you’ve been implementing that technology internally, and have likely ironed out some of the kinks in your processes to enable them to flow more smoothly with a virtual team. 

In other words, we’re past the opening laps and we’re now hitting our stride when it comes to remote workers. Productivity is likely up considerably than it was in the early days of coronavirus, and your team is humming along without missing a beat. 

Not sure if your team is optimized for long-term remote work? Make sure that your team has the right technology and processes in place to remotely onboard clients and candidates seamlessly. Both groups were more forgiving early in the pandemic, but now expect you to bring your ‘A’ game. You may have quickly scrambled to find some video technology for interviewing and feedback, but now’s the time to make sure you have the best and latest technology. See just how to design these optimized experiences for remote candidates and employees in one of our most popular webinars.

Going beyond video, make sure you’re maximized for one-on-ones and regular check-ins with candidates, contractors, prospects and clients (HINT: You can accomplish much of this with a single platform.)

Not sure if the technology you’re currently using is up to par? Ask your team. Encourage candid feedback. Then, take action to step up your technology investment to ensure everyone is armed with what they need to be successful. 

Research shows that over half of employees want to work remotely after we’ve gotten past this pandemic. And since you now know how well your team can work remotely, why wouldn’t you want to keep your employees happier?

Prioritize candidate and contractor experience. 

Whether you’re dealing with fewer reqs or you’re struggling to fill high-demand roles, the “rules” of candidate and contractor experience and engagement that were established pre-COVID remain as important today. In fact, in many ways they are even more important.

Everyone’s stressed. We’re going through an incredibly difficult time! Candidates and contractors are dealing with the same stresses we’re all dealing with, plus the added stress of economic uncertainty and in some cases, potential risk of going to work and contracting COVID-19. 

Now imagine dealing with all that stress, and then being treated like a number or a commodity by a recruiter. 

To say it would leave a bad taste in your mouth is an understatement. In fact, a poor candidate or contractor experience now could have some serious long-term ramifications. In the most difficult crisis of our lifetimes, people will remember how they were treated or how they felt. Your staffing firm definitely wants to be on the right side of history in that department. 

If your staffing firm was among the industry movement toward a candidate-centric experience, the advice here is pretty simple -- don’t drop the ball on the processes and technology you were leveraging pre-COVID. Consider adding more communications to include resources, comfort and reassurance during these challenging times.

If you hadn’t yet devised and implemented a strong candidate and contractor experience strategy, it’s not too late. Here at Sense, our platform empowers your recruiters to create more personalized, positive candidate and contractor experiences while simultaneously freeing them to spend more time on the one-to-one communications that are so critical to a positive candidate experience. Our Customer Success Managers (CSMs) are staffing industry experts who will help you devise and implement a strategy that improves your candidate and contractor experiences while improving productivity and decreasing stress for your recruiters. It’s a win/win!

Go all-in on digital transformation.

I’ve touched upon this throughout this post, but it bears mentioning separately -- the staffing industry was pushed toward digital transformation in an unprecedented way when the pandemic started.

From Zoom to Slack and so many other tools, many staffing firms upgraded their tech stack in a hurry to enable their teams to contribute and stay productive while working from home. Here at Sense, our clients have leaned on our platform even more to communicate with candidates, prospects, clients and even internal employees. Now that these technologies have become part of your daily processes and routines, it’s important that you fully leverage them in order to maximize your ROI and keep things humming. 

Kickstarting digital transformation in a hurry due to a pandemic isn’t exactly the ideal way to go about it, but here we are. Now that you’re here, though, and you’ve worked through initial roadblocks and hiccups to get things running smoothly, it’s time to think past this pandemic to see how your current tech stack can be fully leveraged moving forward, and what new pieces can help you achieve even more. 

Embracing digital transformation is ordinarily a massive undertaking. It causes you to take a fresh look at processes and procedures, and identify how you can improve or refine. We actually published a guide to digital transformation here on the Sense blog and another one over with our partners at Bullhorn (before everything turned upside down, but the advice rings true). 

The right staffing technology can help you get through this crisis.

Sense is led by staffing industry veterans, and our technology was built specifically for staffing firms. We understand the challenges you’re facing, and we are here to help you come out on the other side of this pandemic. To learn more about our platform and how it can help your staffing firm, schedule a demo with our team today

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