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2023 marked the first time in three years that the number of staffing firms with revenue growth decreased, as reported by Bullhorn’s Global Recruitment Insights and Data (GRID) 2024 Industry Trends Report. However, 17% of the 1,400+ staffing and recruitment professionals who participated in Bullhorn’s latest survey were able to increase their revenue growth by more than 10% last year. What helped them get ahead in a challenging year? 

Many of these high performers can credit their early adoption of innovative technologies: 

  • More than half (55%) of participating firms started experimenting with AI last year, and these firms were 31% more likely to report revenue gains than firms that hadn’t yet tested AI. 
  • Firms that experienced revenue growth were 2.4 times more likely to use automation and 23% more likely to have automated new lead engagement. 
  • Top performers used technology to speed up the recruitment process, which helped them place candidates in less than 20 days and improve their conversion rates. 

Looking ahead, surveyed firms ranked economic and future growth uncertainty (60%) and competition from online freelance/gig platforms (40%, up from 12% in 2022) as their top challenges for 2024. However, their outlook was generally optimistic — roughly two-thirds of firms believe the economy will improve this year and their revenue will increase. For 44% of respondents, winning new business is the top priority for the year, closely followed by digital transformation, candidate acquisition, and improving client relationships. 

For a more comprehensive analysis of the staffing and recruitment industry, see Bullhorn’s full report