How Our Staffing World 2022 Trip Will Make Your Next Hire Easier
The economy is at an interesting juncture. Hiring cooled down in October and there have been massive losses at companies like Amazon and Microsoft. Now, IT layoffs, both proposed and ongoing at tech companies like Meta and Twitter, are causing further economic uncertainty and prompting candidates to look for recession proof jobs. In general, the business leaders are moving with caution, working to hedge their bets in the short-term, even if it hinders their long-term strategy.
Yet organizations willing to respond to hidden opportunities and see the current wave of layoffs as their chance to secure top talent can overtake their competition and thrive. As we see it, the right IT consulting staffing partner can help capitalize on these market conditions, but only if equipped with winning strategies.
So, we asked ourselves: How can we help the organizations who trust us to hire more qualified people spark their growth? Part of the answer was getting out in the world and learning from the competition. So, members of the w3r Consulting team took a trip to Las Vegas to gather game-changing tactics at ASA Staffing World 2022.
Over the course of a whirlwind 36-hour trip, we listened to thought leaders, engaged with our peers, and networked with vendors to find any competitive edge we could bring back to our business and our clients. Here’s what we learned.
High Energy in Las Vegas
The sheer number of participants this year was mindboggling. Maybe it had to do with the chance to visit Nevada, but if you look at the videos and images from the event, you’ll get a good sense that not everyone spent their entire time on the casino floor. This was a dedicated gathering to discuss the workforce challenges facing the United States and the world, in addition to pinpointing the solutions necessary to fill the millions of vacant positions.
Outside of that, we took the level of energy (Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s keynote hyped up the crowd) and the fact that industry leaders were willing to spend money on the trip as a positive indicator for the overall health of the staffing industry. Staffing Industry Analysts projects that the industry will grow by 14% by the end of 2022, and when the staffing and recruiting sector is profiting, there’s a clear appetite for workforce growth across other industries.
In point of fact, panelists said that companies are only seeing 5.8 applicants on average for each job out there. That translates to an approximately 3:1 job position to job seeker ratio, which confirms what we’ve experienced. In fact, one of the panelists at Staffing World was speaking from a global perspective and reinforced that organizations in other countries are seeing similar issues. For anyone hiring right now, it’s good to put an actual number to their struggles, even if it’s generic to the market, because it can translate to substantive tactics you and your staffing partner can incorporate when you engage with talent.
Doing All You Can with Your One Shot
The shortage of people per position is already resulting in a battle of wits among organizations to see who can engage with professionals in the most persuasive way. We’re already at a point where we acknowledge and communicate to our clients that we need to dangle every little carrot we have at our disposal to keep high-quality candidates interested and locked into their hiring process.
Throughout the conference, we heard industry leaders reinforce that you only have one good opportunity to put your best foot forward, selling the organization’s benefits and value to their life and career. Even when we’ve made that connection, our experience has shown that IT talent will continue to look and entertain other options from competitors. Candidates know the market still favors them and ongoing engagement is the only way to prevent those losses.
Mastering All the Tools Available
Leaders at Staffing World emphasized how technology is now integral to the way staffing companies set themselves and their clients apart. Any company that is one-dimensional in the way they approach potential workforce is going to find themselves outclassed and outbid. You must incorporate multiple mechanisms and channels to properly engage with professionals who are sifting through messages from all angles.
In a panel with Suky Sodhi, an award-winning staffing industry coach and trainer, she walked us through ways to maximize LinkedIn networking. LinkedIn is the most powerful social media platform and tool right now. People get bombarded by sales pitches in their inbox, but any recruiter can elevate themselves through what they post and who they’re targeting. It’s a perfect platform to gain the attention of professionals.
Reengaging and Reskilling Top Performers
There’s also an emphasis on candidate reengagement aka reusing existing top performers for submittals rather than needlessly scouring the talent pool. If there is an IT consultant who has a proven track record with w3r Consulting, we want to present those people, once they’ve completed their contracts, to other client companies. It’s a win/win/win situation for everyone.
Upskilling is another strategy that more organizations need to consider. For specific technical skillsets, the market of available talent is negligible. If you refuse to budget on certain criteria, you still might burn time, energy, and effort searching for a purple squirrel who doesn’t exist.
For example: if a candidate is only missing the top two skillsets, why don’t we invest in and train them if you already like that person? On one of our internal morning calls, we talked about a candidate who was great, but he was missing only one of the tools that the client really wanted. Instead of passing on that candidate, I suggested our recruiters ask the client: Why not work with us to invest or train them for a couple of weeks? If they are willing, they can save themselves hassle.
Trusting the Right Partner
One of the sessions, entitled Straight Talk with Staffing CEOs, highlighted the fact that because there are so many jobs, more organizations are engaging multiple staffing firms to increase their odds of finding someone fast. On the surface, this practice is understandable. There’s pressure on organizational leaders to show they are working to address broader hiring challenges with any means possible. The truth is that working with more staffing companies doesn’t equate to more candidates.
Megan Hoef, Fulfillment Director at w3r Consulting, related a recent example, “Within a week of Staffing World, we had a candidate who has been contacted by four different vendors for the same position. Even then, the company still might have one shot to make an effective argument. So, we ask ourselves: What we are doing differently? How can we get that person to stay with us? Thanks to Staffing World 2022, I walked away with some really good information.”