09 Feb 3 Staffing Industry Trends You Should Be Thinking About at SIA
We’re excited to be heading out to sunny San Diego early next week for the 2017 Staffing Industry Analyst Executive Forum. This year’s theme is “Dare to Lead,” with the goal of equipping staffing leaders with the insight, ideas and inspiration they need to succeed in an evolving market. The staffing industry is constantly facing a barrage of challenges amidst shifting regulations, trends and expectations. But with challenges comes opportunity. We look forward to learning more about the opportunities facing today’s staffing leaders as we partner with them to stay on top of their competition.
Because we work closely with our staffing clients – and have our own experiences working in the industry – we’re already tuned into many of today’s staffing market trends. SIA’s most recent staffing report shows a 10% increase in year-over-year staffing revenue, with 15% of firms observing increased bill rates. In addition to this momentum, the following three areas of interest are top of mind as we head off to the SIA Executive Forum. Here’s a quick overview of our thoughts.
The Growing Trend of Offshore Recruiting
Outsourcing various functions of your business is not a new practice; many of us use outsourced vendors for payroll, email hosting and other back office functions. But there is a growing trend towards outsourcing recruitment-related tasks, such as sourcing and screening, specifically through offshore models. The major benefit of this business model is the significant cost-effectiveness of leveraging offshore labor markets. Furthermore, by releasing in-house recruiters from some of the more tedious tasks of their job, there’s the simultaneous increase of their bandwidth and productivity. Offshore recruitment is particularly helpful if you have an active VMS model that needs the support of high volume recruiting.
But some staffing firms are wary of this trend. These are the firms for whom relationships are their core differentiator. They know the backgrounds and experiences and career goals of every consultant they place, and worry that offshoring their recruitment process would risk their integrity. However, for companies that have embraced the offshoring model, many have found it to be an attractive, profitable option, using it to complement their relationship-based business.
We’re interested to see how this trend plays out for the staffing industry. Our instincts tell us that offshore recruiting models will begin to gain more momentum as an increasing number of organizations turn to VMS. However, there’s certainly still room for relationship-based staffing. The question is, how should staffing firms balance these two business models? Furthermore, how should staffing firms utilize offshore recruiting effectively? Should this model focus on just sourcing or the full recruitment process? How do leaders measure the results and evaluate their recruiters? And at what point will it be considered a successful venture?
There are two sessions at the SIA Executive Forum which will address this topic. Check them out:
Tuesday at 1:30pm: “Shedding Inefficiencies & Freeing Up Your Time: Best Practices in Outsourcing”
Thursday at 10:30am: “Making Offshore Recruiting Programs a Success”
Background Screening Lawsuits Target Staffing Firms
Another huge challenge facing staffing leaders in today’s market is increasingly complex compliance and regulatory concern. From ACA to FLSA and so much more, firms need to be prepared for shifting rules and increased enforcement of existing labor laws. More than that, there has been a massive trend of FCRA lawsuits against staffing companies, attacking their candidate background screening practices.
Because staffing companies screen such a large pool of candidates, they are ripe targets for attorneys seeking large settlements. And it’s all too easy for staffing firms to violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act. There are very specific rules for conducting background checks on candidates, including authorization documents, clear and exclusive disclosure documents, pre-adverse action letters, adverse action letters, summary of rights, and more. Mistakes happen when recruiters inform candidates about adverse decisions before a formal letter is sent, and many companies have made the error of combining disclosure and authorization forms instead of keeping them separate. These mistakes may seem simple in nature, but the associated FCRA lawsuits are a big deal, because the penalties are large enough to put a small to mid-sized company in the red.
This topic will definitely come up at the SIA Executive Forum, and we’re curious to learn more about how staffing firms can mitigate this risk. Check out the easyBackgrounds session on Tuesday at 3pm: “The Rising Swell of Lawsuits in Background Screening.”
The Evolution of Staffing Tools and Technologies
Technology is evolving at an unprecedented rate, impacting all industries, especially in staffing. The days of Rolodexes and newspaper ads are long gone, leaving recruiters and salespeople alike to build their books of business through online networking, inbound marketing and innovative staffing software. There’s also the growing importance of verified sales intelligence and predictive analytics. More than just a verified list of contacts, you should be gathering data on complex org charts, technical environments, online behavior, and more. The more you know about a contact and their company, the more foundation you have for building a solid foundation.
There has also been a recent shift in the technologies recruiters are using to source, screen and recruit the best candidates. The best practices and benefits of video interviewing, for example, has been a hot topic. Additionally, though job boards are nothing new, the best practices for using them effectively are changing in response to developments in social media and predictive analytics.
We’re pretty passionate about innovative tools, and we’re seeing a lot make their way into the staffing space. We’re excited to see what new technologies are introduced at the SIA Executive Forum and how staffing firms will choose to use them to their advantage. Definitely make time for the following sessions:
Tuesday at Breakfast: “Top 5 Trends on the Horizon: Navigating the Complexity and Focusing on Key Developments within People, Process, and Technology”
Tuesday at 1:30pm: “Best Practices in the Use of Job Boards and Social Media”
Tuesday at 4:15pm: “Text Today, Gone Tomorrow”
Wednesday at 2pm: “Probing the Human Cloud Interviews”
Wednesday at 2pm: “Looking for More Efficiency in Your Hiring? Meet Predictive Analytics for Job Ads”
Will You Be at the SIA Executive Forum?
These are just three of the hundreds of trends, issues and challenges that will be on everyone’s mind at next week’s conference. Will you be there? We can’t wait to see you.
Come visit us at Kiosk T6 to chat about your digital brand awareness and marketing challenges.
Kevin O’Brien is a Co-Founder and Partner at echogravity. Kevin’s credentials include being a top recruiter for a international Big 8 consulting firm, top business development rep for a global consulting and staffing firm, and consulting with over 100 companies across North America.