StaffingTec Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2021

Today we are excited to announce the top staffing technology trends that will be strategic for staffing firms in the 2021-2024 timeframe. Staffing leaders should consider how these trends will impact their underlying competitive position and update their business operations and delivery models accordingly. Staffing technology leaders should factor these trends into their roadmaps or risk losing competitive advantages to faster-moving competitors.

Staffing firms are rapidly transforming into technology businesses. With accelerating technological change, staffing firms can deliver better and faster staffing services on a lower cost basis. The trend toward greater automation and scale efficiencies will continue to alter the underlying economics and financial returns of staffing firms. It’s imperative that staffing leaders adopt new technology at faster rates than in the past.

As we enter the final stretch of the pandemic, the market for labor will tighten. The most automated staffing firms, with great digital marketing and offering the best mobile experiences, will grow faster and increase market share.

THE TOP 10 STAFFING TECHNOLOGY TRENDS FOR 2021 ARE:

TREND NO. 1: MOBILE-FIRST StaffING

Candidates, employees, and customers now run their lives from their mobile devices. Native mobile staffing apps are transforming the staffing process – particularly in the light industrial, office, clerical and some healthcare segments. In fact, mobile apps are accelerating staffing processes, raising customer satisfaction, and lowering operating costs. Many staffing firms that have deployed mobile apps are realizing breakthrough results – filling more orders faster and with fewer humans involved in the process. Customers and candidates want the staffing experience to be as quick and easy as taking a ride on Lyft or Uber.

TREND NO. 2: CONVERSATIONAL SYSTEMS

Conversational systems – with text or voice – allow staffing firms to accelerate the staffing process by engaging candidates at scale on a 24×7 basis. The best applications within staffing include sourcing and qualifying candidates, scheduling, customer service, B2E and employee care. Chatbots are elevating the role of the recruiter by taking over lower value, transactional activities while raising candidate and employee satisfaction. Staffing firms will deploy conversational system solutions to support multiple use cases, including candidate sourcing, field employee support and client engagement.

Human recruiters will be increasingly replaced by virtual recruiters who connect with candidates and carry out complete conversations by phone, video and/or SMS to qualify them for contingent opportunities. Once a candidate has been qualified with a conversational system, they can be automatically presented to clients.

TREND NO. 3: SMARTER AI AND MACHINE LEARNING

Artificial intelligence (AI) is delivering increasing value in all areas of staffing, producing cost savings and higher velocity operations. As a result, AI adoption is accelerating across the staffing landscape as the industry invests in digital workplace initiatives. All cloud staffing apps will include AI by mid-decade. Similarly, 85% of interactions with candidates, employees and customers will be powered through AI by 2025. Many staffing operations will be performed by AI within a decade. AI will increasingly make instant decisions that are currently made by humans such as screening candidates and matching job reqs to candidates. This shift will also help support field and internal employees by answering questions quickly and without the expense of humans.

TREND NO. 4: DIGITAL MARKETING

Staffing firms are building strong digital marketing capabilities to succeed in today’s tight labor market. They are developing integrated digital marketing programs and technology stacks that drive candidate flows, inbound sales leads, better engagement and brand loyalty. Since the pandemic began, most candidates are engaging with staffing firms using mobile devices. Staffing websites and career pages must be optimized for mobile-first experiences.

TREND NO. 5: DATA Explosion

Data is the new gold at the center of staffing businesses. The amount of data that staffing firms have access to and will utilize will increase dramatically this decade. Staffing firms that master their data will secure unmatched competitive advantages. They need a data and analytics-centric mindset and effective business intelligence solutions to produce actionable insights. Modern data management technologies are giving staffing firms new competitive advantages – for example mining candidate databases for better candidates. Staffing firms will increasingly combine multiple databases to automate sales and recruiting processes. In addition, they will use external databases to enrich their primary systems of record. Data management, governance, security, maintenance and analytics across clouds combined with AI/ML and robotic process automation will become increasingly important areas of investment.

TREND NO. 6: 5G

Every advancement in mobile connectivity (2G, 3G, 4G and now 5G) has unlocked significant new mobile use cases. 5G promises fiber optic-like speeds, which will increasingly untether users from physical locations. The trend toward mobile-first staffing will accelerate as 5G becomes widely available. 5G will enable rich, highly immersive UX, AR/VR, and real-time communications along with improved work-anywhere experiences. 5G will further blur the line between physical and virtual environments and the need for people to conduct business in person. Video calls, video interviewing, and AR for candidate recruiting will be greatly enhanced with 5G.

TREND NO. 7: HyperAUTOMATION

The 2020’s will be the decade when the staffing industry becomes highly automated. Manual staffing processes will be replaced by algorithms in the cloud. The transition toward algorithm-driven staffing is being enabled by robotic process automation (RPA). With RPA, staffing firms can rely on bots to do the mundane work, increasing productivity, speed and quality of delivered services.

Modern RPA tools make it straightforward to automate routine staffing activities and deliver consistent, and repeatable services. By 2030, the typical mid-sized staffing firm will have 1000 bots deployed throughout their business. Bots will be increasingly designed by end users to streamline and simplify their jobs. Bots will handle countless hours of repetitive and routine tasks resulting in higher overall employee happiness.

TREND NO. 8: DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT

Digital transformation is about reinventing staffing organizations with modern digital technology. The pace of change has accelerated the development of digital capabilities for staffing and recruiting. These extended digital capabilities increasingly automate workflows that were previously performed by humans – such as candidate submittals or reference checking – and are resulting in higher value services and more consistent and faster operations

TREND NO. 9: AUTONOMOUS STAFFING

Enabled by mobile apps and RPA, staffing firms are increasingly filling positions with minimal or no human involvement. AI and automation are progressing at such a rapid pace that a third of all contingent positions are expected to be filled autonomously by 2030. While recruiters may initially be involved in sourcing and qualifying candidates, subsequent placements are completed through automation. The benchmark for autonomous staffing will be services like Uber, which fill orders for drivers within seconds without recruiter involvement.

TREND NO. 10: RemoTE-first OPERATIONS

The pandemic has demonstrated that many staffing firms can substantially reduce their real estate footprint through a remote-first, work-anywhere operational model. The staffing firm exists in the cloud and staffing operations can be accessed and delivered from anywhere.

With employees working on the go with ‘anywhere’ office environments, staffing firms must deliver a high-performance, remote-first work experience for their employees. With the rise of the remote-first workforce, staffing firms must invest in collaboration and communications technology along with access security, analytics and automation to protect sensitive information.