The Future of the Staffing Industry is Now

August 9, 2022
By Nate Barber

Five years ago, would you ever have imagined working in the staffing industry you’re in today? What about five years from now? Where will your agency be as the industry goes through increasingly transformational changes? 

There’s been a lot of talk in staffing about where the industry is headed. And while some of the most recent developments and shifting priorities can tell you a lot about the future of staffing, the firms to watch aren’t wasting any time. The most forward-thinking staffing firms are implementing strategies around data, technology, and marketing that are shaping the industry because the future of the staffing industry is now.  

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Lead Generation, Data Management, and Automation 

In the old staffing model, staffing firms spent astronomical amounts of time and money on top-of-funnel lead generation for clients and candidates. But staffing firms of the future realize that without a strategy for turning those leads into an active community, the true potential of those investments remains locked up in mismanaged databases.  

But with tools like Bullhorn Automation and Sense, with their data management and marketing automation capacity, staffing firms are discovering they’re sitting on a gold mine of talent. Finally, all those leads can be leveraged—working smarter, not harder—as agencies are beginning to organize and use their wealth of data.  

The Adoption Curve 

Even as staffing firms begin to adopt these new business processes, we are still very early in the adoption curve. This is even true for most top, $100 million plus companies. 

A common theme we heard at Bullhorn Engage from large staffing firms was, “We feel like we are 60% of the way there but aren’t really sure how to get to 90%.”  

The firms committed to becoming the leading staffing firms of the future are investing heavily and looking for strategic partners to help them beat the adoption curve and take market share. 

De-Silo Your Marketing Strategy 

Just as the concept of how to leverage technology may seem hard to imagine for some staffing leaders, many are having similar difficulty understanding the need to de-silo the different departments in their agency. Many still have their marketing, technology, and operations teams working independently, with little to no visibility of what other teams are doing. 

But there’s an increased push to integrate these teams with more common goals such as how to: 

  • Combine efforts across departments rather than working separately (and possibly, counterintuitively) to meet actual business goals instead of just department goals 
  • Provide career growth opportunities for high performers by making their jobs more efficient, making them more money and the company more margin 
  • Better use technology to help the recruiting and sales teams create community with their active and inactive leads 
  • Strategically apply marketing to deliver the right message at the right time to the right people 

What Can We Learn from Theme Parks? 

What makes Disney World the largest destination in the world? The experience. 

At any theme park, you’ll find rides and other attractions, like roller coasters, toy stores and restaurants. These are good on their own. But what Disney does better than any theme park in the world is leverage its ability to create unique experiences for visitors. 

If a staffing firm is only concentrated on technology, they are likely to create a tech stack identical to or similar to their competitors. Just because you use Bullhorn Connect, Automation, Onboarding, and Analytics doesn’t mean that you are setting yourself apart in the marketplace. It means you have the foundation to create great experiences and have given your firm the opportunity to create communities. How you leverage these tools through strategy, data management, and marketing will ultimately set you apart from your competition. 

Is your team buying tech to keep up or are you using it to create unique experiences for your candidates? 

Solving the Reactivation and Redeployment Issue 

Redeployment has been hovering at around 5% in the staffing industry for many years. Why is it so difficult for so many agencies to reactivate and redeploy the talent with whom they’ve already worked? 

Annually, the industry spends upwards of $60 billion on its lead generation and top-of-funnel activities to attract new candidates. Every year, an estimated $23+ billion of that investment is lost through an inability to retain (or redeploy) that talent.  

5% redeployment is too low. The path to increasing 5% redeployment to 10% and upwards is to turn your database into an active community through modern digital marketing techniques and automated, connected recruiting. 

Performance Marketing and Your Measurement Strategy 

The concept of performance marketing is not new to other industries, but the terminology is new to the staffing industry. Performance marketing is the strategic process of not just “doing marketing” but rather, marketing that is tied to the company’s business goals and can be quantified to a measurable ROI. For performance marketing to be measurable, your organization must be in alignment with how success is measured. 

Someone in your marketing department might measure success by the open rate of a recent email campaign or the number of impressions a social post received. But the CEO—whose measure of success will likely be financial—will want to know how an email’s open rate affects its bottom line.  

If you don’t have a measurement strategy that is aligned company wide, you’ll have difficulty realizing what efforts are helping you grow your business and what efforts are a waste of time and money. A well-defined measurement strategy will help you get alignment throughout your business.  

Trusted Industry Partnerships 

Staffing firms of the future are looking for business solutions, not just marketing, and rightly so. They’re looking to shift their focus to: 

  • Delivering excellent client and candidate experiences 
  • Driving measurable business outcomes through cross-functional efficiency 
  • De-siloing their tech, ops, and marketing teams 
  • Creating and executing a companywide, strategically prioritized roadmap and implementing it 

There are a lot of you out there who already have these ideas on your radar but aren’t sure how to execute. You know there’s a better approach to drive business results through your entire organization, from marketing to operations to technology and everywhere in between. Maybe you’re looking for a trusted partner who can help you shape the future of your staffing company and set the bar for the industry. We can help. Contact us to find out how. 

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