This year in staffing and the economy as a whole has been full of surprises. For instance, we’ve experienced healthcare reform, the Sequestrian Act and a government shutdown and all this has created for an unpredictable economic landscape. Some companies have flourished while others have been in a draw down mode because they don’t know what to plan for. One example of this is companies holding off on hiring and what form to hire in because they didn’t know how prospective hiring plans would affect their healthcare expenses as well as other peripheral costs that come with the rolling out of healthcare changes.
How has this affected staffing? This has caused many firms to lose traction with companies they could count on year in and year out as hiring staples and this has caused staffing entities to stretch their bandwidth and try to find companies that are willing to hire in 2013. This is a good thing because it forces staffing firms to expand their normal client base and has made many sales professionals to become more creative and think outside of the box and actually take on the role of Account Executives as opposed to order takers. This has also caused staffing firms to re-evaluate companies that they have had long standing relationships with and view the effort they’ve previously invested with firms that are becoming more conservative versus up and coming businesses that are forging ahead with hiring strategy regardless of what lies in front of them.
For staffing, this is turning a potential negative into a positive. Staffing is essentially about connecting with people and if this state of uncertainty has caused people to make more calls, create more visits and create a larger portfolio of companies, then how can this be viewed as a negative? Since established relationships tend to be more valuable than newer ones, what is the best approach to take into 2014? Staffing firms have to take what has transpired over the last 12-15 months and reaffirm old relationships in the hopes that coffers will become looser and bolster new relationships in the hope that 2013’s new customer will become a reliable client in the coming year. With this panoramic change that’s occurred regarding customers this year, staffing firms must also be introspective and evaluate what is currently working and processes or costs that have become ineffective or obsolete. This varies according to each type of staffing firm and the type of staffing companies provide.
What has worked for the last several years may have become outdated and you now delete as a cost saving measure or look at other strategies to put both money and time into. Because staffing is and always has been about evolution and innovation, these methods and others are going to have to be implemented stay competitive in the upcoming future.