What a year we’ve all had!

The Staffing and Recruiting industry has definitely gone through its ups and downs, but nonetheless, the industry has provided career opportunities for over 16 million employees each year.

As we know all too well, the staffing and recruiting trade also comes with many challenges. Succeeding in staffing takes hard work, endless energy, and a willingness to overcome the frequent obstacles hurdled at the industry.

Between shifting regulations, economic fluctuations, and ever-evolving technological advancements, change seems to be the only constant. 2020 was arguably the most challenging year as the economy came to a screeching halt due to global pandemic lockdowns, returning to work became a political and public health issue, and the unemployed talent pool had many reasons to remain at home rather than seeking work.

As many of you know and have experienced, staffing firms were forced to pivot every aspect of their businesses to keep up with the ever-changing times. Now that we’re in 2021, let’s take a look at the challenges faced in 2020 so we can best prepare for this new year.

*The information below was brought to us by The 2020 Staffing and Recruiting Challenges Report from Avionté and was built based on a survey of more than 1,200 staffing professionals from various locations and verticals to uncover precisely the challenges they are facing in their businesses today.

This report will unveil what staffing professionals are struggling with most and what they foresee as major opportunities as we enter 2021.

1. Finding Talent

46% of survey respondents cited finding qualified talent as their number one challenge in 2020. Discovering qualified talent to fill open positions has continuously been the central obstacle of staffing firms over the last five years, due in large part to very low unemployment rates. It seems counterintuitive that firms continue to struggle with recruiting quality talent when the unemployment rate has changed so drastically since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. With many Americans out of work, it seems surprising that the issue persists. However, with factors such as health concerns, new workplace safety protocols, school and childcare issues, and enhanced government unemployment benefits, the unemployment pool remains difficult to recruit.

2. Streamlining & Driving Efficiency

Over 1,200 staffing professionals, 26% of responders indicated that streamlining and driving efficiencies was their biggest challenge. Manual or outdated technologies continue to plague staffing and recruiting organizations, costing precious time and resources. Streamlining and optimizing processes was even more challenging this year when firms and employers were faced with sudden changes, such as moving to remote work or new workplace protocols. Luckily, at Chameleon, we have our internal data division team that helped us remain organized as well as efficient throughout the year. If you’re interested in learning how to optimize your processes, feel free to reach out to [email protected] for more information. We understand that many organizations were forced to reimagine processes and adopt new technology in a rapid way, often causing disruptions and frustration, which is why we’re here to help resolve these issues!

3. Acquiring New Business

It is no surprise that acquiring new business was noted as a top challenge for 2020. Staffing firms’ businesses are struggling, and many are hiring less. Hiring freezes made client acquisition especially difficult within Chameleon’s staffing division. Many respondents expressed concern over acquiring new business into 2021 due to the uncertainty around the timeline of the pandemic and the full re-opening of many businesses. Additionally, many firms may be looking to source new positions internally. But, don’t be discouraged! Now is not the time to stop selling. Instead, leverage your CRM to reach out to your existing contacts and assess their needs. Use communication tools like video meetings and text messaging to connect with contacts in safe and easy ways – these have proven to be very effective for us at Chameleon!

4. Adopting New Technologies

In 2020, 8% of firms cited adopting new technology as their primary obstacle. During the global pandemic, many firms find themselves relying on technology more than ever before. Many organizations were forced to adopt technology quickly in order to survive and thrive in our new, socially distanced world. This is where Chameleon BI can help you! We believe that every business decision should be empowered by data. Our goal is to ensure that we extract action-oriented value from your data while also providing predictive analytics, operational and management reporting, and powerful visualizations. We want to provide you with a single view of your business so that you can monitor the health of your business through interactive reports and reliable data. While adopting technologies during an already hectic year may seem overwhelming, adapting processes and moving operations virtual is more important than ever, which is why our reporting solution will come in handy. Use the momentum you have established in transitioning to virtual work to propel your team onto even more technology tools that fuel growth such as Chameleon’s BI reporting solution. Now, more than ever, is the time to turn to technology to assist you with your processes.

Though 2020 was filled with uncertainty and hardship, there is a consensus in the industry that the worst is behind us. As part of Avionté’s survey, they also asked responders to look ahead into 2021 and share their greatest opportunities for growth in the coming year.

Almost 39% of participants mentioned streamlining operations and driving efficiency as their predicted method of growth for 2021. This implies that many firms see more benefit in optimizing their processes and working more efficiently with their current resources than expanding into new verticals or locations. However, 35% of responders mentioned they would like to diversify into new verticals to grow their businesses and offerings and 19% said their biggest growth opportunity was in organic geographic expansion.

Regardless of how firms believe they will grow their businesses in the years ahead, it seems that most believe growth is achievable and are leaning on technology to help them get there. Whether it’s video interviewing, paperless mobile onboarding, or automated communication and text messaging, adopting technology tools are more relevant than ever. The firms who adopt technologies and adapt processes heading in to 2021 will create a seamless talent and customer experience and set themselves up for success.