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Top 3 Staffing Industry Trends That Are Shaping 2023

Posted by
Nupura Ughade
May 26, 2023

The staffing industry is navigating economic uncertainty and talent shortages, while also contending with technology workers losing their jobs amid recession fears. As a crucial link between employers and employees, the role of the staffing industry has never been more important.

We surveyed 450+ staffing leaders from over a dozen verticals to get insights and perspectives straight from the source and understand how the staffing industry is tackling 2023.

And despite the negative headlines, staffing leaders remain optimistic about the future — 96% of leaders expect their staffing firms to grow in 2023. But they also acknowledge that focusing on the right priorities to maximize output is critical right now.

Here's a snapshot of the most important insights from the research, including recruiting trends, sales challenges, and future opportunities:

Top staffing trends to watch out for

Let's zero in on the top three findings from our 2023 State of Staffing report:

1. 71% of staffing leaders say ‘Increasing recruiter productivity’ is the #1 goal 

In our 2021 research, recruiter productivity dominated the results and remains at the top of everyone's lists for 2023. This year, 48% of staffing leaders cited 'increasing recruiter efficiency' as one of the biggest challenges they are currently tackling. So, why haven't staffing firms reached their productivity goals in the past two years?

It is easy to get stuck in the processes that you’ve established over the years. But in talking with staffing firms every day, and especially our customers, we’re finding that you can integrate productivity increases into existing processes without causing massive disruption.

Your tech stack should be a powerful tool to improve productivity while creating better experiences for your recruiters and candidates. But the prevalence of one-off point solutions has, for some, created a bloated tech stack that makes recruiters less efficient.

A single, robust, talent engagement platform offers the functionality your staffing firm needs to maximize productivity and ROI while saving time.

2. ‘Long sales cycle’ (56%) and ‘Difficulty differentiating’ (35%) are the top 2 staffing sales challenges for 2023

With long sales cycles, it’s important to stay top of mind. Yet, many sales teams tend to prioritize adding new prospects at the top of the sales funnel and closing deals instead of focusing on moving prospects down that funnel.

Differentiation is another challenge. When every staffing firm touts its “great service” and “exceptional talent,” it can be difficult-to-impossible for your prospects to determine who is truly the best potential fit for a strategic staffing partner.

If your sales team is creating unique, memorable experiences and adding value before someone is even a client, you automatically rise to the top of the pack.

This is another area where staffing firms are starting to leverage automation successfully. Leverage automation to derive marketing and sales insights, so you can deliver custom-crafted content relevant to your target prospects.

3. Staffing firms continue to prioritize automation to enhance efficiency and productivity

This isn’t surprising at all! Back in our 2021 survey, we saw higher numbers of staffing firms that were just beginning to invest in automation and AI. Two years later, we’re still seeing staffing firms beginning to invest in these technologies; however, the trend is more toward maximizing the staffing tech investment.

In particular, we’re seeing many staffing firms who previously invested in one-off point solutions and are looking to, instead, leverage a single talent engagement platform that brings the most critical and impactful AI and automation tools including messaging, chatbots, scheduling, referrals, and job matching.

What’s next?

The industry has its eyes on the economy and has made some changes across the board over the past two years. To lead a staffing org through this change, staffing leaders must factor that:

  • Automation is now table stakes
  • Technology provides the key pathway to enhancing productivity while creating better experiences for your recruiters and candidates.

The right technology and the right data (and taking action on that data) are critical to maximizing resources and hitting growth goals in 2023 and beyond. Download our 2023 State of Staffing Report and discover what these trends mean for the future of staffing.

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