Contact US


The Year That Rocked Staffing and Recruiting - Parqa

2021: The Year That Rocked Staffing & Recruiting (And Parqa)

A year ago, large investments and acquisitions in HR Tech began to rock the staffing industry. While impressive in their sum and scope, it was difficult to tell what the transactions actually meant for the industry – unless you were looking closely.

What Parqa saw then, and what the industry would soon confirm: these were early indications that staffing was about to be turned on its head. 

This month, we look back on what can only be described as a crazy year for the staffing industry and for our company. 2021 is ending with waves of viral changes, the effects of which are only gaining momentum and spreading to affect all aspects of the industry.

Industry Trends Driving The Biggest Changes In 2021

Before 2021, there had been a perfect storm brewing in our job markets. And it has been playing out in plain sight:

Long-term labor trends contributing to the employment crisis

These long-term trends collided with more current events creating an employment market plagued by historic lows in workforce labor.

Employment trends and The Great Resignation:

By early 2021, the effects of the pandemic were dragging on, but there were signs that a rebound was soon to come. While optimistic employers were gearing up for recovery, the workforce was in a decidedly different mood. They were already underway with The Great Resignation.

Workers were fed up with an employment market that hadn’t caught up to current events. They were fed up with employers offering the same low wages, low benefits, same inflexible scheduling, and a painfully slow and impersonal recruiting and hiring process which lacked in communication and clarity. 

What The Massive Investments In HR Tech Really Meant

With both employers and job seekers at a seeming impasse, something inevitably had to give. Maybe this is why we saw the investments in HR tech as an indication of that solution. 

As it turned out, the industry was after an exceedingly simple solution: a better candidate experience.

As we saw it, the rapid pivot towards HR tech was a shift towards either automation – whether that was for background checks, workforce management, or candidate workflow – or optimization of the recruiting process, most notably with cutting-edge AI staffing technology

For candidates, this meant the industry was listening and making a big shift towards meeting them where they’re at, by providing them with the on-demand experience they’re used to getting in every other marketplace. 

For staffing agencies, it meant they’d finally have the bandwidth to provide the service and attention job seekers deserved – especially urgent now that job seekers had discovered substantial clout in a candidate-driven job market.

For an industry that has more than enough work keeping their existing pool of candidates engaged, while vetting the flow of new applicants, the shift towards leveraging technology indicated a fundamental change in the belief that any problem in staffing could be solved by hiring new recruiters.

How technology changed staffing and recruiting in 2021

During our time serving the staffing and recruiting industry, we’ve noticed that many agencies, to manage their substantial workloads, would simply hire new recruiters. Meanwhile, those same companies were reluctant to invest in the tech that could optimize and automate the work of their new recruiters at a fraction of the cost. 

In short, many staffing agencies were more willing to spend an incredible sum of capital rather than invest a fraction of the cost and accomplish more work and get better results. 

But then, when it comes to adopting new technologies, the staffing industry has always been behind in its capabilities of digitalization in marketing and technology. We estimate the industry is 5-7 years behind more forward-thinking industries. 

We get it, integrating new software with third-party vendors can be time-consuming, expensive, and fraught with breakdowns. This is especially true when improper implementation upends its ROI by making the tech clunky, robotic, and inefficient.

One reason for this – many agencies were sold HR tech as a one-size-fits-all playbook. But without a content strategy, the canned messaging and stock content was cutting them short of the true purpose of automation: delivering a better, one-on-one candidate experience.

At Parqa, we believe you can’t have great automation without a content strategy. While technology will always be the leader, content is the key. So, we decided, if recruiters don’t have the time or the expertise to build out the tech, strategy, or content, we’d grow our capabilities, and bring the whole package to them instead.

As long-time proponents of HR tech, we were excited and energized by the industry’s shift away from the old, manual recruiting methods. The new possibilities are incredible! Indeed, we believe the tech existing today will, for the next 5-10 years, totally redefine what a staffing firm looks like.

Even now, we’re seeing the “Uberization” of on-demand staffing right here in Red Wing, Minnesota. With the help of workforce management programs, Red Wing shoes is enabling workers to pick up one-off shifts to fill immediate needs in their manufacturing, warehousing, or shipping/distribution divisions. Workers can choose to work a four hour shift with very little training and, even better, without the lengthy and overly inefficient hiring process of the past.

Changes for Parqa in 2021

With the implementation of this new technology being the top priority for the industry, bringing that technology to life was a top priority for Parqa.

As Parqa grew by 13 new employees this year (!), we hired strategically to bring in the specialists who could leverage this tech for our clients. This is especially true for two of our recent foundational hires – Julie Halderson and Toby Hoskins – who bring to Parqa unmatched expertise and passion for data acquisition and making the highly effective automation campaigns of the future a reality for our clients, not years from now, but today.

We made a startling discovery on this path – while the market for job seekers is highly competitive, there is actually no shortage of workers. The workers recruiters are looking for are out there, and they’re responding to better messaging, better timing, better content that’s customized for them, rather than for the business.

Many agencies were beginning to catch on as well. By autumn, when Jared and Kelli attended Staffing World, automation and the candidate experience were dominating almost every conversation and seminar at the conference.

2021 wasn’t all business

We had a lot of fun along the way. Kenzie got married. Jared’s family grew by one, and Chanel’s family is about to get a new arrival soon! We’ve been working hard, but also playing hard as well. We have been so grateful for a year of productivity, growth, and building relationships like we’ve never experienced before.

We’re looking forward to 2022, with thankfulness, gratitude and high expectations – not just for the new landscape of staffing, but for how we can help to make a better world, and a better economy by helping our clients work smarter, not harder.

Here’s to bright horizons, and the opportunity to drive real change for our industry, and to build even more relationships and connections in the future!

Happy 2021 all!

How AI Technology Can Improve Candidate Experience_Parqa

How AI Technology Can Revolutionize The Candidate Experience

We live in an on-demand world. You can order a pizza online and track, almost to the minute, its progress from confirmation to your doorstep. So how is it that we get better communication when ordering a pizza than when we are searching for our next career opportunity?

While applying for a job may be different than ordering dinner, today’s job-seekers are wanting to know why the staffing experience can’t be similar. Candidates are well aware that it is a candidate-driven market, and they’re tired of waiting around for staffing agencies to catch up. 

Good news for the industry: technology is catching up for you. 

To help us better understand how technology is transforming the staffing industry, we called on our partners and tech experts at Staffing Engine.

Staffing Engine and Recruiting Acceleration

Staffing Engine is all about helping staffing agencies move on from the old way of recruiting – a painfully slow, manual process approach – with recruiting acceleration. The key to recruiting acceleration is rapidly evolving artificial intelligence technology. 

At Parqa, we’re big fans of Staffing Engine because their AI is designed to help both sides of the staffing conversation:

  • For job-seekers, that means delivering faster responses with more consistent, relevant communication and, overall, a vastly improved candidate experience.
  • For recruiters, it allows them to become more efficient, as AI allows simple questions to be answered and even filters candidates, saving the recruiter time and busywork they’d normally spend following up on repetitive questions or non-qualified applications.

What’s wrong with staffing “the old way”

Staffing Engine is solving persistent industry problems – to name a few:

  • A transactional recruiting model that treats candidates as a commodity, rather than the VIP.
  • A 9-5 workweek where some applications could go days, or even a week before being answered.
  • A slow and painfully laborious process of email qualification as recruiters sort through mounds of inquiries for the best applicants.
  • Static web forms, instead of an instant AI bot, that actually sounds human and responds with relevant, valuable information. 
  • Phone-tag, or swapping several emails before an interview is even set. 

For an industry that depends on communication, and the subsequent inconsistency of human communication, these advancements are nothing short of revolutionary. 

We were shocked to hear, Staffing Engine found it is actually not uncommon for a recruiter and a candidate to exchange 6 to 8 emails/texts back and forth just to get an interview scheduled! That’s not even mentioning what happens if the candidate sends an email late on a Friday. Chances are, that email is going to languish in the recruiter’s inbox over the weekend, and maybe even Monday as post-weekend meetings and resume qualification can eat up a whole day of productivity.

You get the idea. It’s not unlikely that emails could go four or even five days without a reply, sometimes even longer. And that can be for just one candidate. Imagine trying to scale that workload to the hundreds or thousands. 

It’s not difficult to imagine how many recruiters are strapped beyond capacity but are barely scratching the surface. Even your all-star recruiters who can send hundreds of replies a day are still inevitably seeing candidates or communication fall through the cracks.

The argument could be made that, if only they worked a little harder, they might have better success. Just imagine the glowing reception that advice will get from recruiters who are already working 50 hours a week or more.

We have a better idea. Rather than working harder, recruiters can work smarter. 

The Technology to Deliver “On-Demand Staffing”

It’s about time staffing and recruiting evolved to meet candidates where they’re at, at the pace they’re used to, rather than simply serving the staffing agency. It is an added bonus, however, that AI technology like Staffing Engine’s is able to serve both employers and the job-seeker with a one-to-one, on-demand experience.

Here is what the present and (very near) future of staffing looks like:

  • Visitors to your website are greeted and assisted in real-time, not several days later.
  • Your bot sounds human and helpful.
  • You’ve integrated your FAQ to help your bot help candidates more naturally, and provide more meaningful information.
  • Every communication gets an immediate response. Down from anywhere between a day and a week, that’s an upgrade.
  • AI helps delineate between unqualified and qualified candidates before a recruiter ever sees the resume.
  • Once qualified, candidates have access to the recruiter or recruiting team calendar and can book a meeting in real-time, rather than having to wait for an invite.
  • You’ll be able to track your resume just as you track a purchase on eBay and have additional opportunities presented to you just like Amazon.

Internal Operations Will Never Be The Same

The advancements this technology will make for the candidate experience are undeniable. But The benefits for the staffing agency are equally impressive.

Recruiters will have the benefit of a Chrome extension that gives them real-time notifications. They’ll be able to source candidates, contacts, and jobs directly from their browser while capturing information sourced from the web, directly into Bullhorn.

Recruiters will be able to optimize their internal processes with Slack and Bullhorn notifications, but not in a way that is overwhelming and actually allows for more team collaboration. When a candidate sends a notification, recruiters will be able to click a hyperlink to either initiate a conversation or monitor the candidate’s progress to, if needed, provide real help at any step of the process.

This is an exciting tool for staffing and recruiting, as the internal processes of the recruiter run parallel to the candidate experience. Essentially, this technology is helping recruiters who are buried in communication, while helplessly watching valuable candidates slip through the cracks.

It’s a win/win for today’s candidates who need a more human, on-demand staffing experience and for recruiters, who need to focus on points in the candidate journey that actually require human interaction. 

Sounds Great! But, What Next?

We love Staffing Engine because they’ve developed a product and a process that can help everyone, both staffing agencies and job seekers alike. 

As the digital transformation strategist for many leading staffing firms, of course we champion not only the adoption of this technology but highly encourage staffing agencies who want to live on the cutting edge to go all in.

Parqa is passionate about partnering with the most forward-thinking innovators in the market because together, we have the opportunity to drive long-term impact and change the industry as we know it!

Is your agency currently building out its tech stack? Reach out to Parqa, we can connect you with our partners in a meaningful way that can drive results for your company and provide a legendary candidate experience.

Staffing & Recruiting Behind the Scenes: How To Catapult Your Staffing Firm Through Automation Adoption

Right now, the staffing and recruiting industries are experiencing a “calm before the storm.”

Once employment firms get a taste of automation, the flood gates are going to open. Marketing Automation, while nothing new, has yet to reveal its true potential. For many staffing and recruiting agents, the majority of their daily tasks can all be automated. And not by a clunky robot, but in a way that is both human and engaging.

Imagine hours of busy work, automated at the press of a button! 

This week, Kelli spoke with Toby Hoskins, Parqa’s Director of Marketing Automation and Technology, and Billy Davis, a former recruiter and business intelligence and analyst with staffing firms, who grew with Herefish as a product manager for everything from automation to AI at Bullhorn. 

They made some key discoveries on how to catapult your staffing firm through automation adoption, with some stunning insights exploring the possibilities of MarTech in the staffing and recruiting world, including:

  • The benefits of improving the entire MarTech process for both the candidate journey to the client journey.
  • How automation won’t replace what’s working in your business, but rather, amplifies it.
  • The eminent changes automation has brought to client and candidate expectations (and how slow adopters could get left behind).

We got some bonus content from their conversation as well, specifically regarding change management and how to roll out new tech to your internal teams and get them excited. Also, how your business needs need to drive technology, not the other way around.

Crucial to Delivering A Positive Candidate Experience

Herding “CATS”: How Content is Crucial to Delivering A Positive Candidate Experience

These days, it’s harder than ever for staffing agencies to find enough qualified candidates and it isn’t going to change in the foreseeable future. But there are staffing firms who’ve been getting incredible results by transforming their automation and technology strategy to deliver an exceptional candidate experience.

In a previous blog – our 6 Tips to Elevate the Candidate Experience in Your Marketing Automation Strategy – we touched on the importance of content in automation. We’d like to get a little closer to this topic. Specifically, aligning your automated content with the profile and journey map of your candidates can be the crucial strategy that elevates your business, increases profitability, empowers your recruiters, and keeps your candidates engaged and feeling valued with every touchpoint.

Common Missteps: When Automation Is Spammy

To a novice, marketing automation is clunky and has limited capabilities. As such, automation platforms are primarily used to attempt to drive immediate conversions in these companies. (It is only natural that businesses would want to use the technology to deliver a strong ROI.) But the whole idea of an automated strategy is to raise the whole organization, not just get a quick win.

This is perhaps where automation gets a bad reputation as many beginner campaigns come off as spammy and “all about me” (the agency).

However, automation experts create strategies that leverage data and more detailed candidate profiles within your ATS to create messaging that is impactful. The more segmented your data becomes the more the content can become relevant and, rather than constantly asking for Net Promoter Score (NPS) or referrals, the candidates will have such a great experience with your staffing firm that they’ll provide more relevant information willingly.

The rate by which this need for sophistication has accelerated in just the past two years was evident at ASA’s recent Staffing World conference. At Staffing World, the candidate experience was the dominating topic of conversation and front and center to discussions on strategy for marketing automation. 

It’s not hard to see why. Since the pandemic and the increased shift to a candidate-driven market, job seekers have the upper hand more than ever. This has led to a clear demand for a better experience at every touchpoint of the candidate’s journey.

Content, Automation, and “CATS”

Content that drives an exceptional candidate experience begins with your audience. Your audience is the most important element and they should dictate the content. It should follow the candidate’s skills, interests, and any other details that comprise their Candidate Profile. Additionally, the content should speak to their specific location on their journey map.

At Parqa, we use the “CATS” method to nurture candidates: delivering the right Content to the right Audience at the right Time to create Success. The good news is, you can do this working smarter, not harder.

By aligning the content to the candidate’s profile and their journey, we can automate content that would otherwise have to be sent manually by your recruiters, saving a ton of time and busywork. Overall, we can eliminate the risk of a recruiter not getting back to a candidate, not congratulating a consultant on their first day, or retaining a candidate that is about to “role off” contract.

Aligning Content With The Candidate’s Journey Map

It’s difficult to understate the importance of aligning your content to your candidate’s journey map. You wouldn’t send a “welcome” email or an urgent “redeployment” email to a candidate who is only three months in on a six month contract.  

By connecting the content you’re creating with the different stages of the candidate’s journey you’ll have better success sending relevant, engaging and timely content with a highly successful AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action):

  • Attention – wherein the candidate keeps your firm top of mind no matter where they are in their specific journey, including when they are on contract with you or a competitor.
  • Interest – the candidate receives content that allows them to be in the know without a recruiter reaching out regularly for “scheduled check-ins” just because it’s part of the process.
  • Desire – the candidate shouldn’t know if it is automated or written by a recruiter because either way it makes them feel important and adds value to them.
  • Action – the candidate reaches out if they have needs but the recruiter isn’t burdened by excessive manual reach outs. 

At Parqa, we take AIDA one step further. We suggest campaigns to engage existing candidates in a client’s ATS that fell through the cracks because they didn’t fit snugly in any of the common stages (job-seeking, on contract, etc.) of the candidate journey.

Developing key content for each of these stages in the candidate journey is simple to do, but difficult to do well. It’s even harder to do at a level that creates a great candidate experience. That’s where getting micro with our candidates makes all the difference.

Getting Granular With List Maintenance And User Feedback

Sending relevant content sounds great. But doesn’t it take a ton of time and busy-work to maintain a healthy list? Again, automation to the rescue.

You can maintain a healthy and updated candidate list a couple of ways:

  • By analyzing and reacting to candidate trends and activity in your KPI’s
  • Utilize the data cleansing features in your ATS and CRM platforms
  • By using technology platforms to map relevant fields in resumes so that candidates enter your ATS with information vital to delivering relevant content

There are even some progressive profiling techniques that could be a simple approach to data-cleansing, such as providing options for the candidate to dictate what they receive with a message might go something like:

“We know you exist, we know your time and attention is finite and highly valuable. We’re cleaning our database in order to make our content more relevant, helpful, and engaging. Click three boxes that most accurately align with your interests.”

Time and Resources

Recruiters have an extremely limited amount of time to keep their list engaged and up to date. That’s why marketing automation is so useful. If it’s a repetitive task, automation can take that and make it simple and easy. 

And with access to more data than ever, we can automate that around a scalable and repeatable process with relevant content that delivers the same positive experience at every stage of the candidate journey.

If you want to create a legendary candidate experience with your automation, contact Parqa. We can help align your content with the profile and journey map of your candidates to create an outstanding user experience. Contact us today.

Tips to Elevate the Candidate Experience in Your Marketing Automation Strategy

6 Tips to Elevate the Candidate Experience in Your Marketing Automation Strategy

Your raving fans and most successful placements all seem to have one thing in common: a great experience with their recruiter – from the top of the funnel, all the way down to becoming an alumni advocate for their agency.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the talented candidates who fell through the cracks had the opposite experience. We’ve all heard stories about how recruiters never got back to them or let too much time pass between points of contact. Steps in their job search process were unclear and value was not added by your agency. 

Leveraging marketing automation to create a positive candidate experience is imperative to the future success of your agency.

If you are using automation but are worried it’s not providing your candidates the best experience, read these key tips to creating a legendary candidate experience based on understanding your candidate and delivering killer content.

Balancing Marketing Automation With an Unbeatable Candidate Experience

Anyone can relate with job seekers whose less desirable experiences led them to either give up working with your recruiters, or to look elsewhere for their next career opportunity. 

Staffing and recruiting agencies have heard the feedback from their talent. They’re on board with providing a positive candidate experience and want to know more about creating the positive recruiting experiences that are getting big results in attracting and hiring the industry’s top talent.

At ASA’s Staffing World 2021 Conference, it was the single hottest topic of conversation. While attending the conference, we heard from many attendees about their struggles to create a marketing automation strategy that provides an unbeatable candidate experience.

We called on Parqa’s Toby Hoskins to help us out with this one.

Toby is Parqa’s Director of Technology & Automation. He’s the brilliant mastermind behind the automation workflows that are delivering quantifiable results for our clients. We tapped Toby to help us understand how staffing and recruiting agencies can leverage the key journey impact points of automation to create a better candidate journey. 

Here are some of Toby’s top tips:

1) Develop an Ideal Candidate Profile

Who are you selling to? If you could choose your ideal candidate what would they look like? Think of the candidates you’ve enjoyed working with in the past. Take into consideration everything from their personality to their overall skill set that made such a winning partnership. 

All these details create your ideal candidate profile (ICP). You can develop your ICP a number of ways, either in a multi-hour workshop or as an inclusive part of an overall marketing automation solution.

For staffing and recruiting agencies, developing your ICP on the front end will save you from creating a disjointed candidate experience on the back end. That’s because, without a thorough ICP, you’ll have a difficult time delivering the right message, to the right candidate, at the right time. 

But with a great ICP, you can effectively communicate to a candidate that was just placed with valuable content like, “5 tips for success on your first day as a consultant,” or a consultant that is 15 days from the end of their contract should be sent content such as, “Hot jobs at Company ABC, Apply Now!”

2) Create a user journey workflow that fits in the larger automation program

To some, it may seem that taking the time to create an infographic of your journey workflow could be busywork. But creating a great visual representation of your candidate journey is especially important when your goal is to use automation to create a great candidate experience. 

That’s because mapping out and displaying your journey workflow:

  • Keeps your strategy organized.
  • Gets everyone on your team on the same page.
  • Makes the “why” of your automation strategy more visible.
  • Your content team has a visual reference when writing copy, or preparing visual assets for each of the key journey impact points.
  • Allows internal recruiters who may only see things in their silo, to see the journey as a whole.

One of the most important reasons you’ll want a good visual representation of your journey workflow is creating content that is relevant and timely for your audience. 

3) Create A Focused User Experience

Content is good. But when we put some logic and thought behind our content, it can become great. The best way to create a focused user experience is to write content that speaks to their specific place in your nurturing journey. 

Sending an email that ends with an urgent CTA to contact their recruiter might be useful for a candidate whose current contract is about to expire. But for a mid-contract employee, that same email might seem spammy and annoying because the sender hadn’t taken into consideration their readiness for re-engagement on that level.

Being more thoughtful to how your content will land at the specific point in a candidate journey is the first step in delivering the right content to the right audience at the right time – an essential recipe for success in your automation strategy.

It also supports this next great tip…

4) Let the End-User Dictate What the Campaign is About

A/B testing is a great example of letting the end-user dictate what your campaign is about. If email A gets a lower bounce rate than email B, your end-user is sending you a clear message. We can logically assume email A was more valuable for the end-user because they spent more time reading it’s contents.

This is great news, even if the end-user didn’t click on the CTA button. 

But what if email B had a more aggressive drive to make a conversion? Maybe it was designed to really hit that CTA and motivate the end-user to take action. That’s only natural. As business owners and marketers, we’d prefer to get leads and conversions sooner rather than later. 

But a critical mistake many companies are making with their candidates is a failure to allow them to guide the conversation. Even if that might mean sending an email with a more nurturing CTA – “Check out this blog post,” for example. Or, “Get our salary guide here.”

It can be difficult for a company who is eager for leads and conversions to spend more time and resources nurturing their target audience further down the funnel. But when you let the end-user direct the conversation, ultimately, that will create a much better user experience.

5) Model the Journey After the Business Needs

Many companies have a cart-before-the-horse marketing strategy. They’ve heard of how successful social media can be, and they want that. They’ve heard about how successful blogs can be, and they want in on the action. 

But, instead of “we need to send more emails,” try modeling the journey after the needs of the business. Your business may have several needs. So you might have three or four automation campaigns depending on your end goal. 

But emails are not the end point. The ultimate goal is to drive internal efficiency with a positive candidate experience. Having a hyper focus on the business goal of the marketing automation campaign can help you create emails that can drive towards your ultimate goal.

Just imagine: what if you didn’t have to hire more recruiters because your automation strategy allows your current recruiters to take on 10 more consultants? What if your recruiters don’t have to send 50 emails every day congratulating consultants on their first day at work, or wishing them a happy birthday? What if your recruiters didn’t have to constantly send blogs or articles to keep your pool of candidates engaged?

At Parqa, modeling your candidate journey after your specific needs helps us drive your actual business goals of profitability, ROI, efficiency, and of working with a trusted partner.

6) Set Goals for Accountability, Scalability, and Predictability

Before you measure the results, you’ll need to have set goals for your automation campaign. What do you want to accomplish? How will you accomplish it? What defines success or opportunities?

When you set clear goals, your emails can be more intentional in driving content to meet those goals. More importantly, when those goals aren’t being met, you can change course to get better results.

Additionally, when you create emails that hit those goals, you can use those as a benchmark that, when replicated, we can estimate will get similar or better results. Additionally, creating goals in marketing automation allows you to re-reiterate to continue to see results you are looking for.

It All Begins With A Positive Candidate Experience

Providing a positive candidate experience is important at all times, but it is especially urgent in a candidate-driven market. If you want to attract the best job-seekers, you need a candidate experience that is attentive, timely, relevant, and better than your competitors. 

Parqa can help. Get in touch with Parqa to learn about how you can successfully nurture candidates with great automated marketing. Contact us today.

How To Succeed In The Current Talent Market

Staffing & Recruiting Behind the Scenes: How To Succeed In The Current Talent Market

Staffing and recruiting can be an industry of extremes. HR leaders are often faced with one of two situations: 

  1. Feast – too many applications for few job openings.
  2. Famine – too few applications for an abundance of job openings

These days staffing and recruiting agencies are dealing with a prolonged famine in candidates which is why every recruiter needs to have the right HR tech to win the great talent battle of 2021/2022.

This week, Kelli spoke with Pankaj Jindal, Co-Founder of Sense HQ, to learn how, with the right HR tech, staffing and recruiting agencies can succeed in sourcing, engaging, and acquiring talent during not just a candidate-driven market, but during all the unexpected trends of our employment market.

Check out their conversation for some revealing insights are some highlights to 

  • The difficult paradigm shift to a candidate-driven market
  • The staffing and recruiting industry is getting very consumerized
  • How the pandemic precipitated the need for digital transformation

Why We Need to Re-Focus on Providing the Best Candidate Experience

Staffing & Recruiting Behind the Scenes: Why We Need to Re-Focus on Providing the Best Candidate Experience

One persistent irony in staffing and recruiting: the industry can be so fast-paced, it can be easy to overlook the needs and experience of our most valuable asset: our candidates. Thankfully, many agencies are prioritizing the candidate experience, and not a moment too soon.

To help us explore ways to elevate the candidate experience, Kelli Schutrop spoke with a 30-year veteran of staffing and recruiting and expert on the candidate experience, Andrea Pion. Andrea is a VP of National Client Programs at the highly awarded Davis Companies. Together with Kelli, Andrea discussed the candidate experience – how it’s been historically, the current state of the candidate experience in staffing and recruiting today, and where it’s going. 

Keep an eye out for key mentions for Andrea’s highly recommended reading on the subject: Raving Fans and Find Your Why. Some highlights from their discussion include:

  • 60% of job seekers say looking for a job is the most stressful experience in their life and how Staffing & Recruiting Agents can help.
  • Being in-tune with the needs of job seekers is not only rewarding on an emotional level, but key to building a network of ambassadors in satisfied and devoted candidates.
  • How to maintain a positive candidate experience with the leading tools and technology of the industry.

Staffing World Conference - ASA with Parqa Marketing

Parqa Recap of Staffing World Conference

In 2021, all eyes are on job markets.

Employers are having a terrible time finding and hiring workers. In one of the biggest workforce trends in decades commonly referred to as “The Great Resignation” job seekers are more enticed to transitional roles while they wait and see which way the job market is headed. There are more job openings than candidates with many workers either reluctant to make a move or considering multiple opportunities.

With our economy seemingly hanging in the balance, the drive to bring workers and employers together has never been more urgent. This year’s ASA Staffing World Conference took place during this extraordinary moment in history – as markets everywhere struggle to return to pre-pandemic activity. 

So this year in particular, when our industry is poised to provide perhaps the most consequential solutions for our economy, Staffing World was certain to be an even bigger event than before. As we unpack from our trip (literally and figuratively), we are excited to share some of our key findings and a couple of surprises as well!

A Year Unlike Any Other for Building Relationships

Even though our industry runs on relationships, we are rarely afforded the opportunity to check in with so many of our friends and partners, in-person and at the same time. (What a rush!)

More than just an opportunity to catch up and check-in, we get a direct line to their latest developments. We heard from agencies of all sizes about their most urgent needs and the solutions their clients are looking for. 

We were both surprised and humbled to hear clients recall Parqa’s blog content they found helpful, from marketing automation, speed in staffing, to establishing brand credibility for their agency.

And as a sign of the times, we see how the priorities of staffing and recruiting agencies have shifted to meet the evolving needs of their clients. And with those shifting priorities come a renewed focus on old initiatives, new ways of thinking about persistent problems, and new technologies that are driving the industry.

Here’s what we learned about the most pressing issues in the staffing and recruiting industry today:

Marketing Automation is Key to Staffing and Recruiting

We ended a recent blog on Marketing Automation for staffing and recruiting agencies with this cliffhanger: “Where we see many fall short with marketing automation is when they only focus on their existing mailing lists and ignore the rest of the 99% of the market out there.”

The Vast, Untapped Potential of Marketing Automation

99% is huge if you think about it. We’re already doing so much with marketing automation, for a narrow group of individuals – either existing candidates who are all on contract, or active candidates and clients.

Imagine the potential we have in places like PPC, blogs, websites, webinars, etc.. Virtually any place a possible lead could show action, we could use that to initiate their journey down the funnel. Which brings us to the second most sought-after component to marketing automation:

Marketing Automation and the Human Touch 

Many staffing and recruiting agencies are wanting to go much more macro with their automation messaging. They’re wanting to learn more about proper data segmentation so their content is appropriately targeted.

With new and evolving techniques in data acquisition we are more capable of creating a more human, helpful, and customer-driven conversation and experience. That includes speaking not only to the specific place in a candidate’s lifecycle stage, but with messaging that is much more personal and relevant.

We are firm believers in the power of marketing automation for staffing and recruiting agencies. So naturally we were thrilled to hear there was so much enthusiasm in using the vast amount of data at our disposal to create a more meaningful lead generation and nurture processes in our MA efforts!

Renewed Focus on Diversity and Inclusion

D&I initiatives are nothing new in staffing and recruiting. But every now and then, someone comes along and reframes a conversation in a way that makes you think about it from a whole new perspective. Last week, Dr. Stefanie Johnson did just that.

Dr. Johnson proposed we take a renewed look at stretch assignments. Since employees who’ve been assigned stretch assignments have a unique opportunity to prove themselves, and thus advance. Employers should consider providing stretch assignments to people who are in a minority category since they may not have that opportunity naturally.

Fostering diversity in the workplace also:

  • Brings different ideas and points out more solutions
  • Creates an inclusive work environment
  • Provides a seat at the table for minorities, and the expectation it can be theirs

Dr. Johnson also included – we need to be doing more to advocate for our minority and underrepresented team members. Many workplaces have opportunities available to grow and advance their career. But they shouldn’t just stop there. Make a path and a process for them to take advantage of those opportunities.

For more on Dr. Stefanie Johnson’s unique perspective on how to hire for more diversity and inclusion, check out this recent podcast where she goes into much more detail on the subject.

ASA Staffing World with Kelli and Jared

Building Innovation in Staffing and Recruiting, But How?

Of the many “Aha moments” that seemed to resonate through Staffing World, innovation was at the forefront. There was a lot of great discussion around how companies of all sizes are exploring new ways to encourage innovative ideas from every part of their company, not just leadership.

One of the most pronounced ideas around innovation came from speaker Rita McGrath, during her session: What You Need to Rethink Your Strategy in a Post-Advantage World.

Rita proposed the idea of innovation has shifted from an antiquated notion that a competitive advantage, once established, is enduring. She illustrated how so many companies are getting it wrong by creating their market advantage and then sitting on it.

The most promising innovators, said Rita, are creating new ways to see change coming in their industry and then get ahead of it.

Rita’s session demonstrated how one of the most effective ways to be proactively innovative is by fostering a culture of “little bets” in your company. Little bets could be anything from more creative brainstorms, or encouraging and rewarding employees who propose ideas or solutions that can tackle issues within the company. The thinking is, by being more intentional about seeking new ideas and creative ways of thinking we can more effectively avoid loss of customer engagement by becoming complacent, inwardly focused, and actually stifling innovation.

Speed Talks and Random Thoughts

As with every Staffing World conference, there was a flurry of ideas and thought-provoking sessions, each with takeaways that really got us thinking.

Here were some of our favorites:

Discussion on Identity vs. Role Worth with Brad Freyer

In “Reject That Inner Critic: Silence the Voice of Self-Doubt,” Brad proposed finding our self worth in our identity, not in our roles. Having the right balance between our identity and our role can protect us – failures don’t make the intense impact they could if our whole identity were derived from our work. Balance helps us learn from our mistakes, grow from them, and move on.

To illustrate this, he gave the great example of a boy about to go down a huge ski jump. The boy was stalled in fearful anticipation at the top of the ski slope. But once he gave it a shot, and landed the jump, he raced to the bottom of the hill and said “Just the suspense at the top freaks you out at first. That was so fun!”

One practical step we can take in seeking balance between our identity and our role is to keep a journal every day. Even 7 minutes a day helps to create a more clear picture of the person you want to become. By engaging in more positive self-talk and encouragement we can get out of the “doom loop” of negative beliefs.

Kelli Schutrop and Marketing Innovation

Parqa’s own Kelli Schutrop gave an inspiring talk on “Marketing Automation: The Race to Revenue Generation & Business Efficiency.” Kelli discussed how vital it is to know your audience

So many people implement Marketing Automation strategies, they put together workflows, and content strategies. But if companies never do the legwork of putting together an ideal customer profile, buyer persona, and journey mapping, it would be improbable to really know their audience’s specific pain points.

Kelli asked, are you messaging all your candidates and potential clients in the same pool? Are you sending everybody the same message? Because if you aren’t categorizing your message according to what a specific individual needs to hear, your marketing automation could suffer as being clunky and irrelevant. 

Secondly, Kelli discussed a key strategy to measuring success. We can accomplish this by asking ourselves, what is my overall business goal, what is my objective with marketing automation, and then measuring if our efforts are actually accomplishing those goals. For example, if we want to evaluate the experience of our candidates and increase our candidate lead flow, we can review if the messages being sent and the actions candidates are taking align with those goals.

Rosie Rivel and having courageous conversations

Promoting relationships in any work culture means occasionally having difficult conversations with coworkers and even leadership. Indeed, we should lean into the challenging conversations because they will help us to learn and grow.

Rosie gave us some great advice and practical solutions on how to keep calm during these courageous conversations.

One key takeaway was to remember how sometimes, tempers can rise, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that people are mad at you. It is more likely they’re frustrated with the situation. When we keep that in mind, and work together to get to the other side of the fear or courageous conversion, we can more effectively resolve conflicts and create a much stronger work environment.

Ask questions!

Melissa Byington reminded us to ask all of the questions. We should ask questions as often as we can because receiving feedback is a gift. Her advice to all workers: find a support network at work where it’s safe to ask those questions and embrace uncertainty and change!

Thanks to All Attendees and Participants!

Like every year, being a part of Staffing World is a thrill and an honor. We are so grateful to catch up with partners and friends, and for the opportunity to meet so many new people and encounter groundbreaking and exciting ideas.

This year is an especially consequential year for the staffing and recruiting industry. Given all the obstacles our job market is facing, we are inspired to see staffing and recruiting stepping up to the challenge with a can-do spirit, innovation, and demonstrating how partnerships that work towards a common goal can accomplish almost anything!

If you are a staffing and recruiting agency, and you’d like to hear more about how some of the key takeaways from the Staffing World Conference can grow and transform your company, contact Parqa today!

Digital Marketing and Sales

Digital Marketing and Sales – The Perfect Partnership

Does your staffing and recruiting firm’s online experience accurately reflect your firm’s level of personal service and technical expertise?

Many staffing and recruiting firms have highly talented agents that do amazing work, but their online representation is not consistent with the level of expertise and care delivered by their agents.

So how can you grow your firm’s talent pool and be exceptionally relevant to your clients and candidates without overloading your human resources?

Here are the activation steps your agency can take to align your quality of service with your online presence:

1. Brand Credibility

Are you proud of your website and marketing/sales collateral?

If you aren’t proud of your online presence, your customers are likely not impressed either. Building brand credibility begins with building online content that matches the caliber of your firm’s talent. 

In a recent blog, we described how your website is one of your top-performing employees. Staffing and recruiting firms that invest in building a website that truly defines and expresses their company can make the agents’ jobs much easier and increase business conversions. 

Your sales team is your most valuable resource. Letting your digital marketing channels do more of the heavy lifting allows your sales team to focus on the highest converting activities.

2. Build Online Visibility

Are you getting all the online interactions your firm deserves?

Great content is a waste of time if no one sees it. Your firm wants to scale and your online efforts should be working 24/7 to deliver visibility and digital lead generation for your brand.

Here are three ways to start building your online visibility:

  • Search engine optimization: Make sure your digital content reflects your target audiences’ search intent: use their language rather than corporate jargon. And arm your website with a sound technical SEO strategy that understands how search engines see and serve your web content in search results. Avoid black-hat SEO practices like “stuffing content” with keywords (as opposed to optimizing content) to improve its search ranking.
  • Content Marketing: Without relevant content that is structured with SEO best practices in mind, search engines won’t know what to make of your site, and your website’s search rankings will suffer the consequences. With robust content marketing, you can leverage your website’s content, blogs, and long-form content in one unified approach to being the first and best resource for content your audience values.
  • Social Media Management: Your website could be brimming with great content and compelling stories from your highly talented team. But if you’re not using social media platforms like LinkedIn to broadcast that message, you’re missing out on a key opportunity to demonstrate your brand credibility and increase your online visibility.

3. Lead Generation & Nurture

Is your marketing working to deliver clients & candidates ready to do business with your agents?

By understanding and leveraging key customer data and behavior, you can achieve higher ROI from digital campaigns and nurture activities.

With a customer-focused approach to online communications, you can be more competitive in the industry, get more leads, and become an industry leader.

Does your digital experience communicate how great your agency is?

If your staffing and recruiting firm is already doing legendary work, it’s time to turn your focus to building your online sales team: digital brand credibility, online visibility, and digital lead acquisition and nurture activity.

Is it time to reconcile the quality of your marketing efforts with the high-level expertise of your agents?

Contact Parqa to help your sales team keep their eyes on the prize. Give them the freedom and support they need with an online presence that matches your firm’s level of customer service!

Using Data for Marketing

Dos & Don’ts of Using Data for Marketing for Staffing and Recruiting Firms

Parqa’s new Executive Vice President, Julie Haldorson, is pretty wild about data acquisition. With the powerful potential of data, we’ve seen a key opportunity to unlock more meaningful engagements with clients and candidates. 

But, in a sea of data, how can staffing firms create more value-added marketing solutions and ultimately drive more placements?

This month, Julie is helping us with some ​​thought-provoking insights to the many benefits of data acquisition for staffing firms, and how to:

  • Set up key ATS/CRM tools to glean meaningful data from your visitors
  • Ensure you have the correct data to activate your communication plans
  • Use key data points to engage leads in meaningful ways – all the way down the funnel

Read on for our Q&A with Julie. She’ll help us better understand data acquisition for staffing firms, why it’s important, and how strategically acquired and implemented data can give your firm a critical advantage in the industry.

Q: How can marketing content do a better job attracting potential clients?

As with any conversation, the more relevant the content is to the audience, the better the response.

Too often, marketing content is overly focused on the firm’s goals versus the client’s goals. Instead, the highest performing content focuses on audience needs and surfaces solutions to the specific problems they are experiencing.  

Here is a good example from the “don’t” category of marketing content – focused on the staffing firm, and not the audience:

“Our staffing solutions link you to remote professionals quickly. Contact us today and allow us to start connecting you to qualified applicants.”

The message is not as compelling as it could be. It’s not identifying with or solving any problems for your partners.

Here is a good example from the “do” category of marketing content where the message focuses on the audience:

“Keep projects on track with interim talent. If you need strategic staffing solutions, contact us to start simplifying your hiring today.”

At Parqa we suggest designing experiments to test content marketing. The results are always illuminating and, as always, we invite you to contact us to discover more for yourself.

Why do we rely so much on testing? Because the best content strategy uses data implementation to always improve. Create experiments that test the impact of a piece of content then:

  • Analyze the results
  • Duplicate positive results
  • Change course on those campaigns with less favorable results (adjusting copy, design, etc.)
  • Repeat! 

Q: What should data acquisition systems on staffing websites ask of clients and candidates in online forms?

Two rules of thumb to live by when collecting information with your data acquisition systems:

Never ask for more information than you plan to use.

Your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools have lots of valuable information. But what is your strategy for using that data to further your marketing objectives?

Consider the user experience in the design of your data acquisition. Avoid including fields for both phone and email in an online form unless you have a plan to use both in the near term.

Always offer something of equal or greater value in exchange.

Asking for name, email, job title, and hiring position should be met with immediate delivery of real value to the client. Consider your client and candidate interaction. What kind of products and services can you offer in return for this information?

This could be anything from a free and informative ebook or automated email marketing from a recruiter outlining a solution to their known challenge.

Q: How can marketing for staffing firms leverage data to create more value-added marketing solutions to drive business results?

First, deliver more relevant value-add content. Communicating with a job seeker about a potential opportunity is table stakes for talent acquisition. Consider the candidate’s experience, what content do you deliver that is relevant to their:

  • Industry
  • Level of work experience
  • Job hunting in their geography
  • Remote work hacks for interim contracts
  • Salary guides for their specific job title

Segmented content relies on specific data points to determine the interaction design. Your data, whether fact-based or behavior-based, can help you determine not only what content will be more relevant to an individual but when to deliver your next message.

The staffing industry inherently gathers a significant amount of personal and professional data. The good news? This data is likely readily available in your ATS/CRM tool. With a data-informed communication strategy, staffing firms could be uniquely poised to deliver highly valuable and individually relevant content at scale.

Second, deliver content when your audience needs it vs. when you want something. Here you can rely on key data points from your recruitment ATS. This data will help you deliver timely thought leadership materials or professionally relevant tools to candidates at all stages of their journey. 

Staying top-of-mind is a key to brand loyalty, can help you maintain relevance, and significantly increases a candidate’s likelihood of redeploying with your firm.

Q: How can Parqa help staffing firms to create a more positive user experience (UX) and ultimately drive more leads with better data acquisition and implementation?

Your staffing firm likely has incredibly valuable experts on staff. The more time those experts spend converting prospects to placements, the higher the firm’s return on investment for those experts.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an expert marketing team dedicated to finding and nurturing clients and candidates for you? Even better, a marketing agency that can identify and leverage key data points to inform your recruiters when your audience is most likely ready to convert?

Insert Parqa.

Our team of digital marketing experts have worked with some of the biggest brands in North America and pair their knowledge with our leadership’s 50+ years of experience in the staffing industry. Parqa is a marketing agency that understands the long-tail efforts necessary to consistently engage and energize your clients and candidates.

More on data acquisition and marketing for staffing firms

Stay tuned to learn more about the perfect partnership between digital marketing and sales!

Julie’s next blog will examine how many staffing firms have a disconnect between the level of personal service they provide and their customer’s online experience. We’ll unpack how you can dial-in your digital presence, so it is consistent with the level of expertise and care delivered by your team.

To learn more about how a key marketing strategy, informed by valuable data, can transform your staffing or recruiting agency’s lead generation efforts, contact Parqa today!

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 19 20

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from - Youtube
Consent to display content from - Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from - Google
Consent to display content from - Spotify
Sound Cloud
Consent to display content from - Sound
Contact Us