Takeaways from SIA Executive Forum 2018

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TimeSaved’s CEO recently had the opportunity to gather among staffing agency execs at the SIA Executive Forum in Miami to learn about where our industry is headed in the coming years.

This year’s themes included branding, retention, engagement, technology and, in general, how to be #futureforward. Here are some nuggets of knowledge we’ve taken away that will help equip staffing agencies going into 2018 and beyond.

It’s all about the chatbots

Staffing agencies are increasingly digitizing, utilizing chatbots, artificial intelligence and new technologies to supercharge the race for talent.

  • Graig Paglieri, President of Randstad Technologies & Engineering, says they plan to use chatbots to increase their fill rates from 35 to 40%.
  • Manpower’s Stacey Force says the company has seen an 80% increase in meeting scheduling efficiency because of chatbots.
  • Phillip Noe, CIO at Adecco, says that using chatbots for talent prescreening increases applicants and decreases drop off.

Engagement = authentic and transparent communication

In such a competitive time in staffing, candidate engagement and candidate retention has never been more important.

In a session on recruiting, retention and redeployment, Manpower’s Kelly Sudsbury reminded us that, from a candidate perspective, the value of an interaction often goes beyond just getting the job. Are they happy in an interaction, regardless of the outcome? Did they learn something, did they feel valued?

Feeling valued often comes down to feeling heard, which means following up to address issues and opportunities. Staffing agencies need to prioritize authentic, transparent communication if they want to keep candidates engaged.

It’s time to rethink how we nurture candidates

The perceived candidate shortage in staffing all comes down to increased competition. So it’s time to rethink how we engage with them. How do we provide them the tools they need to not only succeed in a single job, but to move forward in their careers?

Some forward-thinking agencies have programs that upskill workers based on their future goals. During the onboarding process they inquire not only about a candidate’s current skill set, but also what they are hoping to learn. This ultimately helps workers feel valued and like they are a part of something, reducing their incentive to quit and increasing their performance.

Execution is power

In his keynote address, Jason Jennings made the observation that when information was scarce, knowledge was power. But, with the democratization of information, this is no longer true. Now, execution is power.

Recruiting trends are easier to track than ever before. Now it’s up to staffing agencies to understand the best ways they can execute to capitalize on those trends.

So what does this execution look like?

Some things to consider: an increased focus on staffing agency branding to stand out from the competition; streamlined mobile-first communication to leverage the growing contingent workforce; and the adoption of intuitive technology focused on a great candidate experience to increase retention and redeployment.

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