The staffing and recruiting industry is the blood line for any workforce. In the past, companies that sought the services of staffing agencies have had a difficult time in finding the right group to serve their needs. With leaps in modern technology and the rise of social media, the staffing and recruiting industry had been able to implement effective strategies to reach their human resource and company goals.

Recently, LinkedIn released its annual Global Staffing Trends report for 2017. It is based on 2,000 manager-level and above, search and staffing recruitment professionals from 35 countries. Some of the highlights of the report state that companies’ overall growth, the competitive search for top talent and doing more with less is a top priority. Here are some key points:

Positive Growth in Staffing

Recruitment agencies are working harder to maintain and maximize their growth. With 68% of staffing firms expecting to increase this year, 79% of staffing firms also expect to see an increase in candidates placed.

There is now a widespread reduction in time to place, with 83% of staffing firms reporting that the average is now less than two months. 

So, the mood is positive even amongst political uncertainty (Brexit in the UK, Trump administration in USA, etc) where staffing firms are refining their own processes and using technology to improve efficiency. 

Branding and Social Media Increased Growth

Social media is becoming the most cost effective way to build a company’s brand. Measuring the brand’s promotion and growth is through social networking based career websites like LinkedIn coming out on top (74%), third party website or online job boards (55%) ahead of Facebook (36%) and Twitter (18%). Referencing this with the current breakdown of recruiting budgets, we see that social media is delivering significant ROI for its low cost to set up and maintain.

82% of the top staffing firms agree that investing in brand generates new business, but only 10% of their budget goes to it. Measurement of the brand was reported as: traffic to career website (45%); response to emails/InMails (43%); social media engagement (35%); the number of social media followers (27%); and survey data on potential candidates’ perceptions (21%).

Investment in New Technology and Tools

Although recruiters are still focused on traditional methods such as business development, there is a noticeable desire for cost effective technology which makes candidate sourcing faster and more efficient. If recruitment agencies had an unlimited budget for 2017, the investment would be allocated to increasing the agencies brand through more business development (49%), better candidate sourcing tools (34%), and new technology/recruitment software (30%).

IT and engineering roles are the top two priorities to place for clients

Client demand for IT and engineering candidates is so much that recruitment firms have to start thinking more about how to recruit from these talent pools. One tactic would be to target them with highly customized content relevant to them.

Major Challenges

The top challenges leaders say their teams face include competition for talent (58%), business development (38%); limited budget (30%); small recruiting team (25%) and poor communication with hiring managers (20%).

On measuring success, staffing firms are focusing on metrics that have a lasting impact on the business, which are client retention and how many candidates are placed every year.

Future Outlook

Even though staffing firms budgets are growing, so are the client demands and the expected number of placements. To boost their competitive edge the survey suggests that  staffing firms will be using more social and professional networks to generate new business (55%); recruiting more diverse candidates (30%), innovative interviewing tools (29%); candidate relationship management tools (29%); and using big data (28%).

It’s clear that we will see great growth in the staffing and recruitment industry. There is a tremendous amount of potential for companies to improve still and use all the resources they have to get the best candidates for the right job.

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