How to Evolve Your Strategy to Succeed With Talent Engagement Today

In my previous piece here on The Staffing Stream, I examined the evolving notion of “candidate engagement” and how staffing firms must evolve as well in order to succeed in 2023 and beyond. 

Data from our 2023 State of Staffing survey shows that 96% of staffing firms expect to grow this year while citing “productivity” as a major challenge and “candidate dropoff” as a top-three performance metric. So while there is plenty of optimism, there is a sense of urgency as well. Although layoff headlines have dominated to start the year, 88% of HR decision makers in a recent Jobvite study believe that recruiting in 2023 will be as challenging or even more challenging than in 2022.

Now what? 

You must evolve your talent engagement strategy to meet candidate expectations while simultaneously helping your team work more efficiently and productively. Here is what data from our 900+ customers shows is helping today’s most successful staffing firms: 

24/7 candidate engagement. Playing phone, text or email tag is a massive productivity suck that can prove extremely costly. As I mentioned in part one of this series, candidates today are applying to 12 jobs at once. If you’re not getting back to them quickly, they’re moving onto whoever engages the fastest. 

In other words, your recruiters need to be available 24/7. Which is… impossible. Technically. Today’s most sophisticated chatbot technology essentially acts as another member of your recruiting team. 

Today’s most powerful AI chatbots can suggest specific jobs that are a fit for candidate preferences, prescreen candidates and even — together with scheduling capabilities — seamlessly schedule meetings directly on your recruiter calendars. That means a candidate could apply for your nursing role at 1 am while your recruiters are sleeping and be prescreened and scheduled for an interview at 1 pm the next day. No back and forth, no delays. Better experiences.

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Better-fit jobs. Our job seeker study also found that better job matching is a massive opportunity for recruiters. After “faster response times from recruiters” (see above!), “better job matching based on my skills and available positions” came in at No. 2 when asked what companies can do to make the job search/application experience better. 

It’s impossible for every recruiter to know the exact skills, desires and background of every candidate in your database and every open req. Today’s most powerful AI can seamlessly match candidates to the most relevant jobs. 

Connect candidates with these better-fit jobs via chatbot, automated emails to your database (an excellent way to re-engage dormant candidates) and to improve redeployment rates by automatically sending to consultants nearing the end of their assignments. Tying it back to the importance of productivity noted at the beginning of this piece, all of this can happen without adding to the workload of your recruiters. 

Career counseling. Going back to our survey of 1,000 job seekers, “opportunities for career advancement and upskilling” was a top-two non-negotiable for respondents. Talent is on edge. Their LinkedIn feeds and televisions are bombarding them with layoff news seemingly every day. It’s logical, then, for professionals to prefer employers who will provide them with career advancement and upskilling opportunities that will provide extra career marketability and stability down the road.

Staffing firms uniquely offer a variety of career advancement and upskilling experiences and opportunities that cannot be provided by a single full-time employer. Aside from the value in filling that req, though, providing better experiences for talent by offering these clear paths and opportunities can dramatically impact redeployment rates and referrals. 

And by using automation and AI to streamline engagement and taking on other repeatable, administrative tasks, recruiters are free to have more powerful conversations about career paths and upskilling.


Today’s most successful staffing firms are combining technology and strategy to reach their goals. To both meet the needs and expectations of talent while operating more lean and efficiently and hitting growth goals requires a measured approach. The most forward-thinking and successful staffing firms today are deploying cutting-edge staffing technologies to do just that.

Pankaj Jindal

Pankaj Jindal
Pankaj Jindal is co-founder of Sense, a talent engagement platform designed specifically for the staffing industry.

Pankaj Jindal

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