Remember Zubaz pants? How about jelly shoes? Those ‘80s fads have come and gone. But here’s a trend that’s not going anywhere – a high demand for skilled employees and contingent workers. The U.S. economy remains strong, with the most recent reports indicating a national unemployment rate of a low 5.5 percent. Recruiting sales teams can be of value to companies looking to hire qualified employees, particularly if they know about industry developments.
Here are five crucial staffing industry trends that will affect staffing agencies’ sales teams this year.
1. Intensifying competition requires recruiting ahead. SIA reports that the value of contingent work is now more than $800 billion. Those billions of dollars spent on staffing mean that competition is fierce in the industry. Salespeople who want to stand out need to improve their agility in a landscape where multiple agencies are recruiting top talent and selling to thriving companies.
Scott Wintrip, president of The Wintrip Consulting Group, says that recruiting salespeople who are the most responsive to client needs will stand out amid the competition. “Agencies must recruit ahead, not behind, manufacturing the talent before it is needed. Buyers must be enrolled in a smarter process that allows them to acquire talent today, not tomorrow. Anything that causes delays, including resume submissions and interviews, must be eliminated and replaced with processes and guarantees that create a more nimble and responsive approach.”
2. Clients seek collaboration, not just resumes. Lori Williams, sales management consultant, says that another top staffing industry trend this year is to focus on improving connections with potential clients. Clients want to work with staffing agencies that provide them with added value and help them succeed.
“Collaboration is the new buzzword used in everything. Buyers want you to work with them in the process,” says Williams. “Educate them. Provide them with options and alternatives. Act more as their tour guide.”
3. Sales teams must focus on speeding delivery. Staffing salespeople must move extremely quickly to be of value to clients. In a growing economy, companies that need staffing help, need it immediately.
“By far, the key trend is eliminating waste and speeding up delivery,” says Wintrip. “Hiring managers typically need that empty seat filled yesterday, yet they often wait until tomorrow or a series of tomorrows before that happens. It is this very gap between yesterday and tomorrow that holds one of the greatest opportunities for sales teams in our business.”
4. Ditch the status quo and work innovatively. Selling innovatively means more than having the latest gadget or smartphone. Yes, you should utilize mobile capabilities to help you sell quickly and be responsive. For example, when a recruitment salesperson is meeting with a client who just had an IT professional quit, mobile access to CRM software allows him to access his ATS and email top candidates quickly and efficiently. But in addition to utilizing mobile, use your imagination and anticipate ways to help clients with staffing needs.
“Look for innovation – constantly!” says Williams. “If you’ve been doing it one way forever, how are you changing and improving in the eyes of your clients?”
“We live in an on demand, iTunes oriented, download-it-now society,” says Wintrip. “To solve the needs of yesterday requires that staffing and recruitment vendors start acting today more like Netflix, Uber, and GrubHub. The alternative, perpetuating the status quo, will only further erode the already tenuous repetition of the industry.”
5. Demand for quality, niche talent. The salespeople who will continue to win are the ones who are responsive and speedy – but also have top talent available for clients.
“Keep doing that next right thing,” says Wintrip. “This includes reducing effort, eliminating waste, and being the most responsive provider who provides quality talent on demand. Achieving this requires better focus, improved execution, and a nimble response.”
The strong economy and demand for contingent workers creates an extremely competitive industry. However, by staying on top of the latest staffing industry trends, you can put yourself in position to succeed despite competition. Staffing industry trends to keep in mind include recruiting ahead, collaborating, being innovative, speeding delivery and providing quality, niche talent. Sales teams who can use these trends to their advantage will be well positioned to win in the long-term – not like those forgotten ‘80s fingerless gloves.
See more tips for sales team success by reading the whitepaper, “What Recruiting Salespeople Can Learn from Annoying Coworkers.”