Nothing could have prepared your staffing firm for 2020, but happily, that isn’t the case as we head into the second half of 2021. Bullhorn polled hundreds of staffing professionals before the start of 2020 and again during the COVID-19 crisis to learn about the industry’s outlooks, objectives, problems, and staffing patterns. Are your goals and difficulties in line with those of your colleagues? Are there any areas where you can set yourself apart from the competition or where you need to improve?
Here are some personnel trends to consider for 2021 as you make decisions regarding your company’s future:
Professionals in the field of staffing and recruiting are hopeful about the future.
Staffing firms had a difficult year in 2020, with layoffs and business closures, but respondents are generally hopeful about 2021. In the Survey, the majority of respondents predicted that the economy and business performance will improve in the second half of 2020.
While the staffing industry as a whole has struggled throughout the pandemic, a full 30% of respondents stated company performance has increased or remained the same since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis compared to Q2 of 2019.
Even when you take into account that many businesses have weathered the storm, there is no correlation between current business performance and future forecasts. For example, respondents at staffing firms that saw their performance improve and those that suffered a decline of more than 30% agreed on when the economy would revive – slightly more than half predicted it will happen in the last six months of 2020.
The bottom line is that employment firms are expecting big things in 2021, so don’t expect competition to ease up anytime soon. Invest intelligently to provide the finest possible experience to applicants and clients; your competitors will undoubtedly do likewise.
Clients are the most important thing to us.
The employment market has always been about relationships, but this year the emphasis has switched on which partnerships firms value. Candidate acquisition was a top priority in 2020, as it was in 2019 and 2018. This was mostly (but not entirely) due to talent scarcity, which is the ultimate difficulty for staffing agencies.
However, since the unemployment rate bounced from record lows to record highs throughout COVID-19, a talent shortage is no longer the issue it was at the start of the year. Instead, as businesses battle to acquire new clients and retain existing clients in a changing market, client relationships (the number-two goal coming into 2020) are now firmly the top priority for organizations.
That isn’t to argue that candidates aren’t important. Since the COVID-19 crisis, firms’ second-most essential priority has remained enhancing candidate engagement and experience, ahead of other important priorities such as managing cash flow. Finally, in this environment and any other, focusing on connections is still a winning business strategy.
DEI is a business requirement.
The staffing business, like the rest of the workforce, has always experienced issues relating to DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion), and 2021 will be no different. According to one Data survey, only 28% of companies have a person of color in any leadership position (and of those, only 5 percent are women of color). Furthermore, although accounting for nearly double the number of workforce practitioners, only 16 percent of all leaders in the business are persons of color (30 percent).
In 2020 and 2021, one thing that has changed is the global attention on inequality and inequity. As a result, staffing and recruiting firms are taking steps to address the industry’s DEI concerns. One thing to remember is that adopting DEI into the workplace is not only the correct thing to do; it is also good for business. Two-thirds of staffing experts believe that diverse companies are more effective than their homologs.
Work from home is here to stay.
Many agencies functioned remotely before COVID-19, but it wasn’t common practice in the industry. The epidemic, of course, requires distant recruiting and the use of remote technology: since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, 91% of staffing professionals have adopted (or increased their use of) video interviewing or video conferencing solutions.
However, don’t expect remote employment or technology to disappear once the epidemic is no longer a requirement. Most staffing professionals, on the other hand, believe that the surge in remote jobs and remote recruiting will be permanent after COVID-19. Most of the positions we used to recruit for were office-based, but that is no longer the case. Even those in charge of large teams work from home.
COVID-19 could hasten the introduction of automation and artificial intelligence, particularly in work environments where people are in close contact.
Businesses have traditionally regulated costs and reduced uncertainty during recessions by embracing automation and revamping work processes, both of which diminish the share of positions comprising primarily regular tasks. By June 2020, China’s robots production had surpassed pre-pandemic levels.
To minimize workplace density and cope with surges in demand, many organizations implemented automation and AI in warehouses, grocery shops, call centers, and manufacturing plants. The association between high scores on physical proximity and automation use cases is a common feature of these automation use cases, and our research suggests that work environments with high levels of human engagement are likely to see the fastest adoption of automation and AI.
The mix of jobs may vary, with low-wage occupations seeing limited growth.
COVID-19-accelerated trends may result in more changes in the mix of jobs within economies than we anticipated before the pandemic.
We discovered that following the pandemic, a significantly different mix of jobs may develop in each of the eight economies. We predict the pandemic to have the most negative impact on workers in foodservice and customer sales and service roles, as well as less-skilled office support roles, compared to our pre-COVID-19 estimates. Although the expansion of e-commerce and the delivery economy may result in more jobs in warehousing and transportation, these gains are unlikely to compensate for the loss of many low-wage positions.
For example, in the United States, customer service and food service occupations may decline by 4.3 million, but transportation jobs may increase by over 800,000. Healthcare and STEM vocations may see higher demand than before the pandemic, reflecting increased concern to health as populations age and incomes rise, as well as growing demand for professionals who can invent, implement, and maintain new technology.
Productivity vs. Remote Work
10,000 employees polled by the University of Chicago’s Becker Friedman Institute for Economics stated they were equally as productive working from home as they were in the office.
In fact, 30 percent of those polled said that working from home made them more productive and engaged.
From the middle of March to the middle of September 2020, the same survey team determined that commute time was decreased by 62.4 million hours per day, resulting in a total time savings of over 9 billion hours.
Before the pandemic, net employment losses were concentrated in middle-wage manufacturing and some office work, owing to automation, while low- and high-wage jobs grew. Almost all low-wage people who lost their jobs could shift into other low-wage jobs, such as retail or home healthcare. We now expect that practically all growth in labor demand will occur in high-wage jobs due to the pandemic’s impact on low-wage jobs. To avoid job loss, Low-wage workers are expected to transition to higher-wage jobs that can only be acquired with different skills.
Pragna solutions has been an active recruiter before and amidst different stages of the pandemic. There has been subsequent increase of remote job post since 2019. In fact, most companies are promising permanent remote jobs. Therefore, it won’t be wrong to infer that remote job is the irreversible reality that will exist even after the pandemic ceases. Similarly, remote recruiting has adapted to the transformation. Pragna solution provides AI enabled recruitment solution so that our clients can harness the power of job board even if it is for remote jobs.