By Julie Kramer
Finding and keeping dedicated workers has always been a big challenge for the staffing industry. It’s the nature of the beast. But in the wake of the Great Resignation, it has become an increasingly pressing problem—and a double-edged sword.
For staffing companies, the Great Resignation represents a Great Opportunity, too, as employers in other industries turn to staffing firms to fill gaps in their shrinking ranks.
Plus, given the influx of unemployed workers, there’s a rare opportunity to recruit experienced resignees who seek temporary gigs while they ponder their next career move.
But how do you attract—let alone retain—these workers during the Great Resignation? Start by thinking like they do—i.e., like your prime candidates. What do they want? What can you most easily give them? For starters, consider these five can’t-fail ways to up your recruiting game.
5 Ways Staffing Firms Can Recruit During the Great Resignation
- Enhance the Job Application Experience
You’ve only got one shot to make a first impression. Your candidates’ experience during the initial application process will affect just how far they’re willing to go.
For example, how long does it take for a candidate to complete your online job application? Is the process mobile friendly? Is it frustration-free? One Glassdoor study found that nearly 60% of job hunters applied for positions by smartphone—and that lower-wage workers did so at higher rates. However, that same study also found that mobile job seekers were less than half as likely to fully complete an online application and took 80% longer to do so. In fact, the researchers determined that a mobile-friendly application process can increase the number of job applicants by more than 11%.
On top of that, most (77%) job seekers say they’ve been “ghosted” by prospective employers, according to an Indeed survey. which isn’t the best strategy in a tough market to fill positions.
In other words, streamline your application process and don’t ignore candidates, and more people will follow it all the way through.
- Become an Employer of Choice
Your company undoubtedly makes a concerted effort to attract and please clients. Do you do the same for employees? Try to identify what qualities draw your best candidates and workers to you, and then amplify that messaging across your website, social media presence, job posts, etc. One recent study found that 73% of millennials found their latest position via social media.
Admittedly, it’s challenging to promote employee engagement and create a vibrant company culture when you manage a geographically distributed workforce. But by putting extra effort into internal communications, seeking opportunities to build camaraderie—and even offering hard-to-find benefits like on-demand pay—your people will be happy to work for you and to keep on working for you.
- Emphasize Employee Recognition
Obviously, hourly workers in the staffing industry care deeply about their compensation—but that’s not all. Research indicates that employees universally crave job recognition and are motivated by strength-based feedback.
So make sure you have compelling recognition programs in place. Even modest rewards—gift cards, paid time off, etc.—can mean a lot. In addition, train your field managers to provide positive performance feedback to their team. Remember, personal recognition just might make the difference between whether a worker returns for another assignment or decides to move on.
- Beef Up Your Employee Referral Program
Referral programs are highly effective in many aspects of business, and recruiting is no exception. In fact, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), candidates who are referred have higher conversion rates, enjoy a longer tenure and make higher-quality hires—all while lowering recruiting costs.
How do you thank your employees who bring you new candidates—and are there ways to make your referral program more enticing?
Keep in mind, by nurturing your workers and enhancing their on-the-job experience, you’re not only more likely to keep them on your team, but also will increase the odds of getting a great referral as well.
- Upgrade Your Applicant Tracking Software
When you’re engaged in continuous, high-volume talent acquisition, a powerful recruiting and applicant tracking system isn’t optional. You need great applicant tracking software (ATS) on your side.
For example, does your current software allow you to post on multiple job boards and social sites simultaneously? Does it allow you to sort and classify candidates quickly? Will it send an automatic acknowledgement when a candidate submits a completed job application?
It should—otherwise your talent acquisition and HR staff are spending too much time on routine manual tasks instead of more important work that will help you achieve your business objectives.
Give Your Staffing Firm Every Recruiting Edge
There’s no denying that the Great Resignation is intensifying hiring challenges across nearly every industry, but it also offers a great opportunity, especially for the staffing industry.
At this moment, staffing firms that are open to tweaking the way they do business—from their work processes and benefits to their HR technologies—will be in the best position to seize the moment. Give the people you want what they want most, and you’ll all come out ahead.