Leveraging technology and automation is one of the biggest challenges for staffing firms in the U.S., according to Bullhorn’s 2018 North American Recruitment Trends Report. Challenges with technology fall just below skill shortages and pricing pressures.
Still, 57% of staffing firm employees say they plan to spend more on tech, and 80% say it could help their business. It’s true — implementing new technology will improve staffing firm business goals and accelerate placements and productivity. However, these positive results are only possible when new tech is rolled out with team members’ needs in mind.
Without careful attention, frequent well-meaning technology changes leave staffing firm employees confused, frustrated, and ultimately burnt out. Here’s how you can prevent constant tech changes from derailing your staffing firm:
Update the oldies but goodies
New and flashy staffing firm tools are enticing. But they’re not always what’s best for your employees or business needs. Look to your current tools and processes to see how simple updates can change how the tech works for your teams.
Assess metrics such as ROI of increased or decreased conversion and placement rates over time. Where has current tech proven useful, and where is it falling short? If it’s more helpful than not, look for premium level upgrades that resolve ROI pitfalls.
For example, if you’re not reaching the optimum number of candidates on a monthly basis, can you upgrade to reach more candidates in less time? When possible, this form of tech change is cost-effective and prevents your team from needing to completely relearn a new system.
Enhance already working processes
Don’t try new tech just for the sake of keeping up with trends. If your team is successful with specific procedures, their sourcing, screening, and placement strategies don’t require a complete overhaul.
Break their processes into smaller pieces to review tech needs. Find tools that align with the practices they’re comfortable with to enhance their staffing strengths.
If your employees excel at screening, you know they have a tried-and-true workflow. Leave their methodology intact. Instead, research which tools will add to those processes. If they’re quickly screening top candidates but then need help making placements, find tools focused specifically on this one need.
Chat through structured changes
No staffing firm employee wants to hear, “Surprise! We’re turning your entire workflow on its head because it’ll improve your overall placements and productivity.”
Of course, your intentions are good. However, surprise changes to personal processes and workflows are never good ones. Create a tech roll-out timeline to ease employees into changes. Note training days, time for trials, and how employees can quickly and easily reach tech support before the update is at full-throttle.
During this time, collect feedback from employees:
- Do they need more time to learn the tool?
- What do they still dislike about the tool?
- What resources do they need to be fully successful with the new tools?
Give new tech a test
Before sending all outdated tools to the technology dumpster, give new tech a trial period. Jumping in headfirst with changes will result in disrupted processes and disgruntled employees.
Reach out to select employees from various departments to try out new tools for a set number of weeks. Collect feedback and data from each person before committing to a large-scale transition.
Do not move forward with a major transition if, after the trial, employees don’t:
- Understand the purpose and benefits of the new tech
- Adapt to the tech
- See how the tech will improve future processes
Create a clear backup plan
No matter how simple and beneficial a new tool looks, it’s best to still have a backup plan. A number of variables out of your control could leave your team more stressed than ever within weeks or months after implementation.
Be empathetic to every team member’s unique personalities and work preferences. Some employees are naturally more resistant to change. If they’re successfully placing candidates and have satisfied customers without the new tech, allow them to continue as they are.
Give your team tech alternatives, should the new tool fail to meet performance, productivity, and satisfaction needs after a reasonable amount of time.