2020 has been quite the year for the staffing and recruiting industry. From the uncertainty of widespread layoffs and economic turmoil to the quick rebounds of a truly optimistic industry, this year has been one for the books. Through it all, the recruitment world has shown incredible resilience and adaptability - so hats off to you! With this whirlwind year drawing to a close in just a few weeks, it is now time to prepare for a new set of challenges and trends as we embark into brand new territory: 2021.
An increasingly competitive industry combined with a workforce whose needs have drastically changed means agencies need to take extra steps to ensure their businesses stand out and thrive.
Here are four foolproof tips to make your staffing agency stand out in the new year.
Stay on Top of 2021 Hiring Trends
A constantly changing landscape requires its key players to change with it. Agencies that are willing to adapt to trends, rather than resist them, are more likely to come out on top.
For example, temporary job openings have increased by record amounts in 2020, as a result of the shifting professional climate and ambiguity in terms of long-term employment.
More than 30% of companies that traditionally hired full-time, permanent employees pivoted to hiring contract workers as a cost-saving measure, and many staffing agencies took note then adapted this shift as much as possible. The trends that 2021 will bring are still a prediction, but it is helpful to stay abreast of those that are taking shape in order to stay a step ahead.
A constantly changing landscape requires its key players to change with it.
It’s important to find a niche market and appeal to it really, really well - but sometimes, branching out into new territory by observing patterns in the talent pool can mean a world of difference. Walking the line between accommodating industry trends and staying true to your company’s mission can be a difficult one but staying flexible and open to exploring other potential routes of success is a tactical move.
Listen to Job Seekers & Adapt to their Needs
Job seekers were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic just as much as employers. Months of touch-and-go have reshaped what candidates are looking for in an employment opportunity, and even what they are looking for during the job search process.
Understanding exactly who your candidate base is, how they have changed over the past year, and how they may continue to change in the future is extremely valuable. We’ve said it before and we will say it again: candidate experience is more important than ever!
The candidate experience has never been so subject to change yet crucial to grasp, and figuring out exactly what it is that your candidates need won’t happen overnight. However, agencies that are able to listen to what their potential partners are looking for are likely to retain business loyalty, serving their customers better than ever.
Based on recent employment trends, here are some of the features that candidates may be looking for in 2021 hiring situation:
- Open, honest and timely communication from their hiring partners (in anxiety-riddled times, this applies more so than ever)
- Workplaces that value diversity, culture and equity (this has come to the forefront in a major way)
- Companies with clearly defined missions and values - and adhering to them (with most employees working remotely, it’s imperative that each individual is aligned with the business’ goals)
Invest in Marketing
The way that professionals are looking for partnerships is always changing, but online searching has been a constant for some time, and will continue through to 2021. Both job seekers and employers do a great deal of their research online, so investing in digital marketing to communicate to potential partners who you are and what you have to offer is non-negotiable. During the height of the pandemic this past summer, average company spending on marketing reached an all-time high, illustrating the importance of this asset.
It is not a new concept by any means, but connecting and collaborating on a professional level through social media, written content and careful SEO has truly become one of the best ways to increase your visibility. It is an effective way to show off the special personality of your company and to carve out a unique segment for yourself in a sea of sameness.
Also, according to recent research, more than 80% of millennials and nearly 70% of Gen-Xers, two of the largest workplace demographics, start their job search on Google. Getting your staffing agency onto the front page of search results through unique content will inevitably increase your chances of interaction, and that is exactly what our marketing division, TopTalent Communications, did for two of their accounts recently.
Focus on the Long Term
Clearly identifying your goals and following through with them is a benchmark for the success and reputability of your firm. However, this year has taught us that anything and everything can - and will - happen. What matters even more is having processes and plans in place that can help mitigate crises and periods of insecurity as effectively as possible.
In 2021, both job seekers and employers will likely be looking for partnerships with agencies that have taken the time to address these issues and have some sort of plan of attack in place, that will disrupt business as little as possible. Everyone will be fairly cautious going into the new year, so covering all potential bases and presenting your agency as one that is ready for anything could make all the difference.
Also, when it comes to building and maintaining your customer base, focusing on fostering existing relationships is just as important as acquiring new customers. The uneven nature of 2020 has made us ominously wary to brace for the worst, and so acquiring new customers may not always be easy. If 2021 follows suit, it may be more strategic to focus on customer retention rather than acquisition.
Adopting new recruitment technology is another way for your agency to stay a cut above the rest - Mindscope’s industry leading applicant tracking system and recruiting CRM can help you do that and more. You can start your 7-day free trial with Mindscope today by clicking here.