In the staffing industry, we are always looking for ways to stay ahead of the curve and keep our business competitive. Staying on top of the latest trends in the workplace and in the industry can be challenging in the ever-changing recruitment landscape. The key is to be able to recognize, embrace, and adapt to change so you can create an environment in which the team and the business can thrive. Additionally, it’s important for the company’s leadership to have a clear vision that team members can support and help execute.
Here are 4 trends currently taking place in the staffing industry that I believe will continue into 2023 and beyond:
1-The Hybrid Office Is Here to Stay
Home-office flexibility was one of the most popular trends even before the pandemic. Now, with so many people working remotely, it’s here to stay. Hybrid offices are becoming the new norm.
This approach can take the form of employees working from home a few days a week, businesses offering both on-site and remote positions, or giving team members the flexibility to plan their schedules to address both work and personal needs on a regular basis. A recent study by Mental Health American revealed that remote and flexible work schedules help reduce work-related stress by lessening or eliminating the daily commute, work interruptions, and office politics, and by providing a more comfortable and personalized work environment.
Businesses that recognize the holistic benefits of a hybrid office set-up will attract top talent from around the country or even the world, not just from their local area. From the employee’s perspective, the ability to better balance work and home life will go a long way to increase their overall job satisfaction.
2-Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Will Continue to Be a Game-Changer
It’s important for business owners to prioritize creating a diverse and inclusive environment for their team members and clients or customers. With all the talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion it may seem that the issue has been adequately addressed. But the fact is, we have a long way to go to create workplaces that foster open dialogue, collaboration, and growth among all team members. A 2020 survey by McKinsey & Company found that growth was slow globally in the areas of gender and ethnic diversity in the workplace.
In my case, as someone who emigrated to the U.S. as a child, I’ve seen first-hand the difference it makes in the lives of my team members to see diverse leadership at the head of our company. Additionally, the RightWorks leadership team is 75% women. The result is that by making DEI a part of our company DNA, we are in a strong position to continue to attract team members who mirror the world around us. The benefits are clear; gender and cultural representation across all levels of our organization has resulted in increased creativity, better decision making, and greater professional growth of our team members because no matter their background, they can envision themselves in positions of leadership.
It’s also important to understand that increasingly, job seekers – particularly the Millennial and Gen Z cohort – are looking to work in a setting that fosters and embraces people from all walks of life. This is due to two factors. First, they want to feel respected, acknowledged, and assured that their ideas and contributions are being taken into consideration. Second, they are not interested in being a part of a team that allows their peers to feel excluded. In fact, according to a recent study by McKinsey & Company, 39% of those surveyed declined a position because they perceived the organization to lack an inclusive environment.
3-Data Will Drive Workplace Innovation
The ability to access and apply quantifiable information to drive decisions will be more valuable than ever in the staffing industry. To remain competitive, staffing firms must embrace data and technology in their day-to-day operations. This shift is already underway, as many staffing firms use applicant tracking systems (ATS) and other software to manage their recruitment processes.
Additionally, it’s important to check in on your company’s progress when it comes to both employee and client or customer satisfaction. By fielding a simple survey 2-3 times per year you can understand what’s working in your business and what needs to be changed. Consider probing team members on questions such as: “How would you rate the company’s progress in creating a diverse environment?”; “Are you getting the information you need to make informed decisions that consider all perspectives?” and “What are the areas we could improve upon to successfully support a diverse and inclusive culture?”
While data will drive workplace innovation, data alone is not enough to make informed decisions. Staffing firm leaders will also need to create and maintain an open dialogue with their clients and team members to assess and effectively address any key issues.
4-Employee Satisfaction and Retention
In the staffing industry, employee satisfaction and retention have always been challenging, but not impossible. Even with the recent phenomenon of the “Great Resignation,” many businesses are thriving when it comes to keeping their team members happy and growing with their places of employment. This will continue in the year to come.
At RightWorks, we’ve found that employee retention starts before the team members have even been hired – at the interview stage. By fostering an open and honest dialogue from the very start, we’re better able to tap into a potential employee’s mindset and motivations. It also gives us a chance to share openly about our company culture and what we’re looking for in our newest team member.
By starting the employer-employee relationship in this way, we’re laying the foundation for an ongoing bond built on trust and open communication that will help us grow together for the long term. Afterall, people want to work for companies they care about, and who they know will care about them.
In short, within the staffing landscape, as in any other industry, change is inevitable. As we move into 2023 and beyond, staffing firms must be prepared for these trends to take hold. By staying ahead of the curve and being proactive about these changes, staffing firms can ensure they remain competitive and continue to thrive in the years to come.