Change is constant and the staffing industry certainly holds no exception. How we manage the hiring process — from top to bottom — has shifted dramatically in recent years, but many of the fundamental rules still remain. It’s all about finding the right talent at the right time, place and price. It seems simple, yet there is no elegant formula. Mostly, temporary staffing relies on the grunt work of middlemen. But the efficiency with which employees are staffed is constantly improving, and those companies that fail to adapt may begin to wonder who “moved their cheese.”
Culture Shift in Hiring
In the past, staffing firms and departments managed talent in very different ways than we do today. What used to be a paper and pen, pick up the phone and beat the streets process is now far more streamlined and effective — when the right tools are in place, that is.
What separates good staffing firms from great ones is ultimately how easy they can make the hiring process for their clients. Each company has its own secrets, but one pattern is clear: the Internet continues to change how we do our jobs. Only those businesses that adopt and integrate the right tactics will survive in the competitive world.
Take the travel industry as an example. What once was the task of travel agencies — helping customers to find the best deals to get from point A to point B — is now automated by online systems that show real-time pricing options. The consumer completes purchasing directly with airlines in many cases, but there are also services like Kayak and Travelocity that aggregate a variety of prices and options for consumers. The leaders in the industry are those that tailor technology to their customers’ needs.
New Tools Shake Up Old Ways
We now have a broad range of tools available for managing billing and staffing projects, but not all tools are created equal. Some big names include Elance and Odesk, but many smaller entrants are shaking things up as well.
The big companies have a lot of the standard features like billing and records management. These have become a staple in the industry, helping us to keep payments flowing and staff positioned properly.
But some innovators like NextCrew, which is providing online staffing tools to staffing firms, are hitting the market with some creative tools. Two features that are unique include instant job matching and self-managed staff profiles. These tools are likely to become standards in the marketplace in upcoming years.
Instant job matching used to be something we could only dream about. When companies request temporary labor, we get busy with phone calls and emails to prospective staffers. In other words, it’s still a fairly manual process. But with services like NextCrew, a job is posted and everyone who meets the criteria is immediately notified. In many cases, positions get filled with qualified candidates in minutes with little to no involvement from the staffing agency, a relatively hands-off, stress-free method.
The other key factor is presentability. Especially with temporary work, first impressions make all the difference. With self-managed staffing profiles, prospective employees can maintain their own profiles and manage content, much like a social media site. Not only does that lift a burden off of staffing firms, but also it enables them to see their employees as more than just names on a page.
The Change Is Here…
The management of clients and employees is rapidly changing. The advent of online-based services has made staffing sleek and simplified, but new tools are constantly surfacing. How your firm implements these tools will determine where it lands in this industry. Be prepared, because the cheese is moving and it’s not going to stop anytime soon.