How the work of staffing agencies changes with Covid-19

Staffing Agency | 16.04.2020

In this period of worldwide lockdown, recruitment companies and employment agencies are under great stress. If some sectors (e.g. retail) are completely stopped, others (food, pharmaceutical and medical, above all) are in a phase of very high demand.

The branches of temporary agency workers are forced to remodel their work, not only in the management of activities and employees remotely (smart working), but also in the ability to meet huge demand.

Which problems arise?

The staffing market is sufficiently used to managing production peaks but not with these volumes and above all not outside of its branches.
In a dynamic sector – such as that of recruitment and temporary work – it’s not enough to own a company laptop and telephone to be effective, it is necessary to turn the full production cycle into a totally digitalized way.
Last but not least, some tools that might seem supportive at the current time, will actually help to create a gap due to their inefficiencies in the long term.
Let’s take an example: recruiting via e-mail may seem functional at the moment, but where will all these candidates end up? Will they ever be stored in a CV database? Will they be available for our colleagues? There are many questions, and every time the answer is not supported by a strategic plan, the consequence will be loss of effectiveness and efficiency of the processes, which will cause a loss of money and margins for staffing agencies.
It is something that we cannot afford right now!

So, what to do?

The current situation must be considered as an opportunity to test how much our society is digitized, how many of the digital transformation strategies have actually been implemented and how many still need to be integrated as soon as possible.

Let’s try to define 5 main elements essential for a correct smart working strategy (today imposed, and tomorrow potentially available as a flexibility tool):

1. Working with cloud software

Using recruiting tools such as e-mail and Excel sheets is no longer enough, but are needed staffing agencies software accessible anywhere and from any device to maintain high productivity and team collaboration.

2. Tracking and sharing of information

We need solutions focused on the flow of information: their communication, monitoring, usability and sharing. We can no longer think that the information is automatically available for consultation (as it could be done on the desks of consultants and recruiters), a common work area is needed.

3. Multiposting

The candidate is the real asset of each staffing agency; poor management of profiles leads to a direct loss of assets. If the collection of CVs is not centralized, the recruiters will find themselves repeating the same job over and over again, investing time and resources in a non-optimized process.

4. Testing and Assessment

Native platforms (or connected via API) support the testing and assessment phase of the candidates. At a time when physical contact is inevitably lacking, it is necessary to have all the available tools capable of filling this gap and maintaining a general balance. Otherwise our sensitivity risks being compromised.

5. Video interviews

At this moment the possibility of being able to make video interviews (automated and in real-time) is no longer a benefit but a necessity; even in this case, however, we risk losing information if the systems are not integrated. Let’s take an example: platforms like Skype can be very effective for chatting and updating with our colleagues, but not very functional to do video interviews. The reason? If our HR colleague, after a few weeks, needs to pick up the profile dossier again, he will not have the right info available (except for some notes taken during the interview) and will have to repeat the profile evaluation, with consequent waste of time and money.
A similar thought can be made on the proposition activities of the candidates and for all sales actions.

The emergency forced us to reflect on which could be the best way to work from now on. Once the emergency will be over, we will find ourselves moving to a different world and this will entail the adoption of new approaches and new tools that allow us to work in a more agile, flexible and digital way.