Despite steady success over the past half a decade, the staffing industry isn’t immune to its own challenges.

Australian recruitment organisations have enjoyed 2.2 per cent annual growth in the past five years, but the most recent findings expect that upward trajectory to temper as numerous issues crop up, IBIS World reported.

58 per cent of staffing organisations take one to four months to fill a role.

The key to remaining competitive in 2018 doesn’t come down to placing a greater number of candidates; companies that help personnel adapt to the challenges in a bid to help their recruiters become more efficient will ultimately gain the upper hand.

LinkedIn recently released its 2017 Global Staffing Trends research, which identified what organisations felt were key concerns moving forward. Here’s how you can overcome them.

Strive for better workflow automation

Problem: Roughly 44 per cent of respondents on average took one to two months to fill a role; around 14 per cent required three to four months.

Time is of the essence in every industry, but perhaps even more so in staffing. Extended periods where listings go unfilled can lead to stagnating revenue and even loss of contracts – especially given that almost 40 per cent of the participants in the LinkedIn study reported they could find and hire suitable candidates in under one month.

Organisations that choose to speed up their internal process by cutting corners will likely find themselves in more trouble than they first were. Patrick Barnett, a background and legal investigator, told CBS News that an estimated 35 per cent of CVs contain some form of falsified or exaggerated professional history.

Solution: Leverage a variety of applications to increase recruiter productivity and efficiency.

This sounds easier said than done, but best-in-class recruitment software often incorporates a variety of intuitive features that simply make life easier for your team. Rather than rewriting descriptions for openings or digging through old files to find one to update, personnel can simply open up their repository of job templates and select the right one.

Intuitive technology can help recruiters quickly find their perfect candidate.Intuitive technology can help recruiters quickly find their perfect candidate.

Similarly, candidate searches can be saved to allow agents to quickly find their top picks, while preferences and exclusions based on certain criteria can be set to reduce the amount of time spent vetting applicants. Streamlining routine workflow is key to improving time-to-fill.

Expand job sourcing in the digital era

Problem: Competition for talent was identified as the top challenge by 58 per cent of staffing organisations.

This was listed as the No. 1 issue among all applicants and considering the market leans towards candidate-driven, it’s easy to see why. While elite applicants may be difficult to land for open positions, that doesn’t mean there aren’t high quality professionals still looking for new opportunities.

The key challenge here isn’t actually availability, but rather sourcing. Staffing organisations that continue to use traditional channels to post job descriptions will find their talent pools shrinking, and in doing so create a false depiction as to exactly how challenging the market is.

There isn’t a lack of talent; there’s a need for better sourcing diversity.

Solution: Give recruiters more tools to work with.

Posting manually to LinkedIn or a couple of other job boards and corresponding with applicants through sporadic emails and phone calls isn’t the best strategy any longer. Recruiters must be able to quickly post to pre-defined channels that cater to the demographics of the candidate they’re looking for. Broadbean, for instance, is one application that gives your team members the ability to send a listing to a variety of social media outlets and job boards in an instant.

We live in a mobile world, so there’s no reason communication should be limited to email. Give your staffing agents the option of connecting with candidates through SMS; this saves time on both sides when only a short reminder is needed.

Deftly manoeuvre financial constraint

Problem: A combined 68 per cent listed business development (38 per cent) and limited budget (30 per cent) as their top challenges.

No business has an endless supply of resources to propel its growth; the smart organisations integrate innovative technologies that can affect multiple areas of the business. There are a host of applications on the market right now, but if they don’t connect to each other then they’re only providing value to specific departments, rather than helping the company as a whole succeed.

Solution: Incorporate a programme that improves multiple areas of the enterprise.

It’s counter-intuitive to have separate applications for key functions like payroll software, time sheet tracking or applicant management. Integrating a digital platform that connects all of these mission-critical tasks can greatly enhance workplace productivity and efficiency. Ideally, you should be able to pay 15,000 people at the click of a button, without having to manually transfer data.

Improve your digital presence

Well planned self-service portals can improve branding.

Problem: Roughly 82 per cent of respondents see the added value of investing in their company’s brand, but on average just 10 per cent of the budget is allocated for this.

Branding may not always be at the top of staffing organisations’ to-do lists, but an overwhelming majority of corporate leaders understand that it can help bring in more business. The challenge here isn’t the creativity or legwork involved, but rather approaching it with limited resources.

Solution: Overhaul the self-service portal.

Just like payroll software and time sheet tracking, paying for a standalone self-service portal can cost more than it should – and it may not even yield the desired results. Yet providing a seamless and simple experience for your clients, consultants and candidates to easily obtain the information they’re looking for can speak volumes about your business. Look for a platform that can connect various areas of operations with the self-service portal to provide true value, rather than just giving your career page a digital face lift.

Give your staffing organisation the upperhand in 2018.Give your staffing organisation the upper hand in 2018.

Get ahead of competition in 2018

It’s not enough to have an understanding of the challenges your organisation and its rivals will face in the new year; act now to solve these issues before they figure out how so your company can gain a clear advantage.

Roughly four in every five respondents to the LinkedIn study expect to see a rise in the volume of candidates placed in 2018, and they also plan on making sure their recruiters have the tools they need to handle the new environment. Learn how your staffing organisation can gain the upper hand in the industry by contacting a FastTrack representative today.

Experience FastTrack 360 today.Experience FastTrack 360 today.