Technology Making Staffing ‘Quicker and Slicker’

The staffing industry once conjured up images of brick and mortar offices stacked with files, physical paychecks and Kelly girls. Today that is no longer the case.

For starters, we at SIA now refer to the industry as the “workforce solutions ecosystem.” Yes, it includes traditional staffing, but human cloud firms, crowdsourcing, AI, chatbots are in the mix as well.

And as more technology develops, the ecosystem’s complexity grows.

Case in point, Uber Technologies Inc. recently announced the formal launch of its Uber Jobs app in Chicago, which pairs workers with industrial staffing jobs. But that’s not all.

Take the human cloud. The B2B “human cloud” portion of the ecosystem — online staffing platforms, crowdsourcing, etc. — grew 22% in 2018 to $7.8 billion, according to an SIA report. Driving this growth is the pace of tech evolution that is lending speed to hiring processes, among other benefits.

An example is an app from Broadstone, a Manchester, UK-based online staffing app provider. The app, which is focused on security and facilities management roles, can provide clients with workers in less than an hour. Clients can either choose the workers online or have the app do the selection for them. Longtime recruitment executive Peter Searle said that in the past, it could take up to three months to place somebody. While the process for placing workers hasn’t changed, “what has happened, the timelines have been shortened,” Searle said. And that is thanks to technology.

London-based Searle, executive chairman at global staffing firm Airswift, recently took on the role of nonexecutive director at Broadstone.

Technology will enable staffing firms in all industries and skills to make the market “quicker and slicker,” Searle said. It will also offer more choice for clients and candidates. The Broadstone app, at its end, offers workers weekly pay (it’s usually monthly pay in the UK), control over their time sheets, rewards for continuing to work on the platform (they can get access to more and higher-paying jobs) and control over their work passport (they don’t need to reapply for different jobs).

Where is all this heading? How does it impact our ecosystem? No one quite knows. But one thing is clear: The pace of technological change is not slowing down any time soon. AI, chatbots and blockchain are now a part of many staffing executives’ lexicon these days.

What new technologies do you see emerging and how will existing ones evolve? I would love to hear your views.

Craig Johnson

Craig Johnson
Craig Johnson is senior editorial director at Staffing Industry Analysts. He can be reached at cjohnson (at) staffingindustry (dot) com.

Craig Johnson

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