By Rich Thomas – Chief Operating Officer, Pyramid Consulting, Inc.
These are strange times for the staffing industry. On one side, the nation is dealing with issues like the Great Resignation and talent shortages, while on the other, technology workers are losing jobs amid recession fears. Since the staffing industry serves as the bridge between employees and employers, its role has become even more crucial in these unprecedented times.
Let’s look at trends that will dominate the staffing industry in 2023.
The recent shift in employee preferences and increasing demand for favorable working cultures have forced companies to evolve. From maximizing technology integration and data utilization to shifting focus on candidate relationship management, here are some key trends employers should look forward to for the upcoming year.
1. Hybrid work culture will stay
While the hybrid working culture was in practice in the past, it experienced a massive boom following the Covid-19 pandemic. Though it was initially difficult for all parties to adjust to hybrid working, employees have found their rhythm. For instance, flexible working (working from home) has become one of the primary requirements for job seekers today. About 85% of the recruiters believe that hybrid working culture is here to stay. In fact, many organizations have lined up remote working as a strategy to attract top talents in 2023.
2. DE&I to gain more prominence
Recent unfortunate events concerning racism, inequality, discrimination, and injustice fueled society, and now the latter demands a change. To support the cause, companies have made DE&I a prominent aspect of their recruiting strategies and aim to acquire talent from all communities. Numerous studies back that a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce performs better on financial and productivity fronts. As per Forbes, 80% of professionals ranked diversity hiring as the recruiting industry’s most important trend in 2022, and it will continue to be this year.
3. Corporate reputation will matter to the job seeker
Your company’s reputation will precede your offered salary. About 86% of job seekers conduct comprehensive research on brand and reputation before applying for a vacancy. Offering a higher salary than your counterparts will not matter more than your corporate reputation. For instance, 75% of the applicants in the US will not take up a job in your organization if it has a bad reputation in the market. Thus, ensure to work on your brand management and reputation simultaneously.
4. Focus on employee satisfaction and retention
The Great Resignation made it clear to the world that employees leave if they do not feel comfortable in your organization. It enforced the focus on employee satisfaction and retention. In fact, many companies survived the great resignation because they managed to keep their employees happy and satisfied. In 2023, the trend will continue and companies will need to strengthen the employee-employer relationship.
5. Data to drive innovation
The staffing industry is gradually embracing data and technology to evolve and ease operations. Firms now access, process, and convert data into quantifiable information to make informed decisions that align with their goals and objectives. For instance, many staffing firms use applicant tracking systems (ATS) and other software to ease their recruiting processes. Things may go to the next level in 2023 as companies will use data to drive innovation.
6. AI (Artificial Intelligence) in recruitment
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a growing technology that has paved the way in the staffing industry and will continue to do so next year. A survey by Gartner claims that while only 17% of the companies used AI tools in 2019, the number will increase to 30% by the end of 2022. Moreover, there is a high chance that automation will become key in the human resource field.
We can also see increased utilization of AI tools like chatbots in staffing and other recruitment processes next year. For instance, chatbots have become integral to modern-day organizations as they improve operations and increase reach. They are becoming increasingly intelligent and facilitate business processes to boost the efficiency quotient on all major fronts. Besides, chatbot acceptance will continue to accelerate in the coming years, especially with the end user getting accustomed to this AI-powered tech.
7. Candidate Relationship Management
Candidate relationship management (CRM) is an HR practice that goes a long way in building and sustaining healthy relationships with employees. Over the past few years, CRM has become one of the top trends in the recruitment industry as it solves many modern-day talent-related issues. With the next year becoming focused on employee satisfaction and retention, CRM will play a crucial role.
The shifts in the staffing and recruiting landscapes change things for both employers and employees. After all, staffing is a two-way process that caters to the needs of two parties – the clients (employers) and the consultants (employees). This year, while employers will make employee-centric decisions, employees will play a crucial role in improving the existing workforce. Moreover, it will be a total skill game from now onwards.
Let us have a look at some of the trends concerning employees.
1. Referrals to drive new hiring
Hiring through referrals is not only a great way to limit cost per hire, but the referred employees tend to stay longer in your organization. Thus, most companies hire 20 to 40% of their employee workforce through referrals. Given the unpredictable economic situation, hiring through employee referral programs may increase next year. A thing of mutual benefit – the practice will provide rewards for the referring employees and cost savings for the organization.
2. Power skills to dominate in recruiting
The boom of remote working has increased the need for employees with power skills. But what exactly are power skills?
Power skills refer to the set of skills that are crucial for a dynamic or ever-changing working environment. These include communication, innovation, creativity, leadership, work ethic, collaboration, adaptability, emotional intelligence, etc.
While some may argue these skills are soft skills, one should note that things are changing fast when it concerns valuing skill sets. The current work environment is fast and dynamic and demands that employees work in a state of constant adjustments and change.
3. Candidate experience
Candidate experience will govern hiring in 2023. Evaluating candidate experience allows the recruiters to understand more about the job seeker’s attitude and behavior during the process. Moreover, it motivates the candidate to refer other potential candidates. For instance, a positive recruitment experience can motivate about 97% of employees to provide referrals.
While the challenges of 2021 and 2022 will reflect in the outcomes of 2023, this year may mark the beginning of many new initiatives. Staffing firms will continue to play their role of easing the burden on employers (and employees) during uncertain times by connecting the right talent to the right opportunity at the right place!
Rich is the COO at Pyramid Consulting and manages IT staffing sales, delivery, and operations. He has over 20 years of industry experience and has demonstrated success leading local, regional, and national operations. He is a metrics-driven, accountability-focused operations leader with expertise in developing effective marketing strategies, strategic selling techniques, and increasing revenue and gross profit in intensely competitive environments. He is customer-focused and attracts, recruits, and builds high-performing sales, recruiting, and operations teams for industry-leading professional staffing and solutions companies. He evaluates client business agendas and customizes solutions to establish credibility and trust.