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Checklist for Getting Ahead of Staffing Demands

Checklist for Getting Ahead of Staffing Demands

It’s a tough time to be in the job market. COVID-19 has shaken consumer confidence, impeded buying power and left many organizations facing imminent reductions in force — all of which can impact hiring practices and staffing demand. While industries like teleworking software, grocery stores, pharmacies and tech support never slowed their hiring, many others are prudently rebuilding their workforce in a slow and controlled manner.

This means many organizations will be looking to hire on a contract or contingent basis to cover high-priority initiatives before seeking full-time headcount. And while the requisitions may not be flooding in yet, there’s plenty that your firm can do now to prepare for the uptick in staffing demand. 

Here’s a checklist designed to help you cover all bases and have a strong foundation for future success. 

  1. Update soft skill guidance

An unfortunate fact is that many of today’s candidates have the skills and experience companies need but find themselves on the market as a result of pandemic-related layoffs. It’s critical that all candidate-facing teams remain sensitive to the uncertain and confidence-eroding circumstances candidates are facing. 

Small acts of kindness and consideration can go a long way to set a candidate’s mind at ease. Beyond the basics of highlighting positive feedback from hiring managers and asking candidates how they feel, gathering feedback on the soft skills of your client-facing teams throughout the process can reveal coaching opportunities. 

  1. Plan to communicate early and often

Keep in mind that many of the recent layoffs that brought this great talent in happened abruptly, and these candidates won’t take kindly to surprises. Regular messages to candidates letting them know where they stand every step of the way can help ease their minds and build trust and confidence with your organization. 

While frontline teams should maintain responsibility for keeping candidates informed, automating some of these touches with technology can make this more manageable. If you’re already leveraging a talent management system, you’re likely already familiar with triggered email communications. But some messages are too timely and critical to be lost in the shuffle of the average email inbox. Forward-thinking firms should consider using SMS and text messaging platforms to deploy these messages at scale.

  1. Make sure your digital environment is ready

The pandemic changed the work environment for almost everyone and the new digital-first world isn’t going away. From making the right first impression with a user-friendly application portal to more curated suggested openings, your digital experience is critical throughout the placement journey. While many firms have an intuitive understanding of the need for digital convenience, many have years of backlogged digital transformation that has yet to be addressed. Now is the time to tackle those projects and ensure your digital channels can scale and deliver to ensure top talent isn’t being deterred by flaws or inefficiencies in your systems. 

  1. Safeguard against employee attrition

Recruiting was an imperfect science before the pandemic, but COVID-19 has made it much harder to be successful. New candidates are streaming in faster than ever, but the positions are just not quite available yet. Account managers and client support teams are stretched thin trying to find opportunities within the existing client base and they are burning out in the process. 

Don’t wait for your annual feedback survey — give employees an easy way to surface issues and ideas as they tackle this new reality. Real-time feedback provides a clearer understanding of big and small moments at work, enabling you to get ahead of your frontline team’s needs before the staffing boom hits and the requisitions start to pile up. 

  1. Know What’s Coming and Train For it

The coming staffing demands may look different than usual. To be effective, recruiters need to know the types of roles that will be in demand and fully understand what skillsets and qualifications those roles require. Far too often candidates may find out they are a bad fit too late in the process, and clients feel their time has been wasted because the recruiter didn’t have a clear understanding of their needs. 

Business services, healthcare and hospitality sectors will continue to see increases in staffing demand, but if you don’t serve or specialize in these industries, another way to forecast demand for your staffing solutions is to go straight to the source — your client roster. Put your market research hat on and send a short, concise survey to your client-base to understand what their needs will be in the coming months so you can proactively train teams to meet them. 

Conclusion

The pandemic changed the demand for talent, candidates’ emotional states and a lot about how companies approach recruiting. By making a few changes now to adjust to this unfamiliar landscape, companies can seek to effectively meet upcoming staffing demands and build enduring candidate and client relationships.

Our experience experts have developed 4 easy-to-implement solutions for staffing services that incorporate forward-looking tactics like video, real-time messaging and crowdsourcing — download the Staffing Solution Overview now to start driving immediate client impact.