Where to Invest Your Technology Dollars
Technology may be one of the greatest growth accelerators for a staffing business. In today’s increasingly digital world, there are literally hundreds of options available. In an incredibly challenging labor market with so many employers competing for talent, technology that delivers a game-changing candidate experience might be a smart choice. To create efficiencies in your business and implement technology that would allow you to scale for growth would point to an investment in more foundational enterprise technology systems. These could address critical operational functions in the front, middle or back office. To help you determine direction in the earliest stages of your exploration of options, there are a number of basic questions you need to answer before moving forward.
Investing in an Exceptional Candidate Experience
Finding good people is the number one challenge for CEOs and for staffing firms. Millions of jobs go unfilled month after month. At the same time, a rising number of the employed have made the decision to quit one job for another. With so many workers on the move, investing in a candidate experience that makes it easy and convenient for job seekers to connect with a potential employer makes a lot of sense. Introducing innovative technology to enable a mobile process, supported by a conversational bot, could be a game-changer for a staffing agency.
Attracting and retaining candidates requires more than a great candidate experience, however. It is the first step in the employment journey. If you are not prepared to follow through with what are quickly becoming nonnegotiable expectations for today’s workforce, you may quickly get candidates in the door who will just as quickly exit if they are not satisfied with what they find once they are on your payroll.
It is important to understand that technology is an enabler. It cannot replace traditional contributors to a great candidate – and employee — experience. For example:
- Do you offer competitive pay and benefits?
- Is your culture welcoming and engaging?
- Is your workforce diverse, equitable and inclusive?
- Do you provide the training and career development opportunities employees want?
There are dozens and dozens of apps available on the market to differentiate the candidate experience, so the key question to ask is whether the technology you are considering offers the flexibility to deliver on current expectations as well as allow for plug-and-play additions as expectations change. If not, you might want to consider building a customized solution that meets your exact needs today and tomorrow.
Setting the Stage to Scale for Growth & Operational Excellence
Everyone in the staffing industry knows that no matter how good you are at talent sourcing and recruiting, your ability to engage and retain the talent you invested in is a much more critical determinant of success. We know that employee engagement can be a key contributor to productivity and profitability. When employees believe in your mission and values, they are more likely to be engaged. Job satisfaction is more basic. It relates to more elemental factors, such as pay and benefits, workplace amenities, safety, and the tools, equipment and systems needed to do the job. In the staffing industry, the number one priority is pay. If employees don’t get paid, it may be game over.
That is why the systems that underlay basic business operations and connect front office to back are so crucial. Candidates don’t care how time records connect to payroll; they just want to know that however it happens, they get paid accurately and on time. If they don’t, everything else in the business can come to a standstill as everyone turns their focus to getting out the payroll by whatever means possible. Although not as visible externally, all the other steps in the pay-bill process are equally critical to your ability to operate your business efficiently and profitably, to say nothing of your prospects to scale your business for growth.
Should Your Focus Be External or Internal?
If you don’t have the ability to attract the right candidates to fill client orders, it may not matter how efficient your back office is. If your operational systems cannot support current business operations, let alone expansion, you will be unable to take advantage of market opportunities. How can you focus on candidate experience if basic processes and systems are duct-taped? Is there a way to move forward on both tracks simultaneously? There may be.
Start with Your ATS
There is no question that the ATS is the workhorse of the staffing industry. Initially developed more for candidate records sanity than anything else, it has evolved into a potentially powerful repository for your talent assets, as well as a means to build relationships with good candidates. Today, it can do far more, providing end-to-end system capabilities. It can help you:
- Manage and accelerate the customer and candidate lifecycle
- Source, engage and place the right candidates in the shortest possible time
- Bridge the gap between the front office and back-office payroll and accounting systems, with centralized visibility, speed and control
Where to Next?
Knowing that the right ATS can establish the foundation for improving your talent pipeline as well as upgrading your operational capabilities, you can move forward with the serious business of researching buy or build options. You will want to get recommendations, check supplier experience and results, review demos, and dive into the features and functionality of alternative solutions. There is no shortage of options available to you. New solutions and apps seem to hit the market every week. So let the search begin. Here’s a good place to start: “The future of ATS solutions isn’t buy…” It’s a new eBook that offers insight into this mission-critical decision about the most important technology investment a staffing firm can make.
If you have any questions, we’d love to provide answers that can help you in your exploration. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.