Four Steps Proven to Bring in New Business

New client acquisition is the lifeblood of any business, but especially so for growing staffing and recruiting companies.

Research has shown that a 10% customer attrition rate is typical for most companies; most of that at no fault of the company. Over a ten year period, a company can stand to lose their entire client base if they choose to do nothing about it.

Considering that new client acquisition is such a critical component to the health of a business, what are some of the things you can do to insure that the pipeline of new clients continues to flow? Generally speaking, every company should utilize a combination of active and passive methods in generating new clients. Passive methods involve things like marketing and advertising that direct traffic to you. Unfortunately, passive efforts take time to generate results so there should always be an active component to your efforts at generating new business. This is where your sales team comes into play.

Here are some of the strategies and tactics that were effective for me in bringing new clients on board for the staffing and recruiting services we offered.

First, you need to be patient.

Taking the long view is critical when it comes to bringing new clients especially in staffing. Hiring managers get calls from account reps all day long so it’s going to take a while to get traction. Typically it took me 6-8 months to bring a client on from first contact. If you have an integrated marketing strategy, you may be able to shorten that time frame up a bit. In order to maximize your chances for success, you need to have a consistent strategy that incorporates both active and passive efforts. Here’s a great place to set up ticklers in your staffing and recruiting software to stay in touch.

Second, don’t be afraid to use “spies.”

Sun Tzu in the Art of War noted that what separated ordinary people from extraordinary people was the ability to cultivate information from their adversaries through the use of spies. Sun Tzu observed that if you were able to gain information about your adversaries’ motives, strategies, and tactics you held an advantage you could exploit. In staffing, your “spies” are the competitions’ working temps and consultants. Build strong relationships with them and they can often give you insights into new initiatives and projects. Being armed with the right candidate at the right time positions you to bring a new client into the fold before your competition is even aware of a role opening up.

Third, be asymmetrical in your approach to cold calling.

Every lesser competitor of yours is trying to work a 9-5 schedule. What you should do is concentrate your call blocks on “off” hours. I had the most success in getting my hiring managers on the phone from 7-8:15 am and after 5:30. If you can discipline yourself to call your key targets during those times, you should have excellent success in moving the ball forward and breaking accounts.

Lastly, take a marketers’ approach to your business.

What this means is that you have to think of multiple ways to get your name in front of a potential customer. You should be managing an active target list of at least 20 accounts and you should be reaching out to them consistently every 2-4 weeks. The all hands on deck approach works well here. Ideally, if you can combine marketing, with your calls, emails, and networking events, you should have a high degree of success.

When it comes to new client acquisition, there is a wealth of information out there on what your approach should be. Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works. I consistently used these steps and it helped me bring on 19 clients in 27 months. An effective strategy paired with solid tactics and tools is a winning formula for success.


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Reserve your seat to attend a special AdaptSuite Sales Studio Webinar on December 4th at 2:00 PM EST


Improve staffing and recruiting efforts with key metrics tracked by recruiting software

Regardless of what industry you are in, you most likely understand that business is largely a numbers game. Numbers are everywhere, from tracking successes and failures to improving process operations and analyzing customer data. With all of these facts and figures running around, it would be foolhardy to think that the staffing and recruiting industry is no less a numbers game.

Now, with staffing and recruiting agencies that focus more on providing a consultative service rather than simply just access to a mass talent pool, the numbers become more critical. Successful staffing firms are tracking staffing metrics to understand a wide range of factors. The adoption of recruiting software has allowed recruiting professionals to gain access to necessary metrics faster than ever. Metrics allow staffing agencies to justify costs, show return on investments, predict hiring trends and even the potential success of certain candidates over others.

In the staffing industry, it’s hard to find anything more worth the recruiting software investment than hiring metrics. However, for the average staffing professional, it may be hard to truly understand where all these figures are coming from, how they are derived and what they mean.

Why should a staffing and recruiting firm use metrics?
Metrics in the staffing and recruiting industry can lead to a wide range of benefits. One of the greatest benefits is the advancement of the relationship between a recruiter and the hiring manager. Metrics and their proper application enable recruiters and hiring managers to align their objectives. In addition, figures allow for a staffing agency to prove credibility to current and potential clients. According to Qualigence International, recruiters are better able to display their understanding of an industry and whether they have appropriately achieved goals and objectives. With the help of recruiting software, a recruiter can enhance his or her ability to be actionable and effective in his or her role. Recruiting software and metrics allow an agency to generate internal benchmarks to better create performance standards and drive recruitment.

Three time periods most metrics cover in the staffing and recruiting industry
Understanding metrics begins at discovering what is being measured. According to, there are three time periods that metrics should cover so that staffing professionals get the most out of the numbers.

1) Historical metrics. Too often when a staffing company is talking about metrics, it is focusing on historical metrics. According to Dr. John Sullivan at, relying solely on historical metrics is a recipe for disaster. These metrics measure the events and data accrued in the last year and should not be used for real-time decision making because everything they tell a staffing professional has already occurred. These metrics are better used for trend analysis.

2) Real-time metrics. This type of metric allows a staffing professional to see what is going on as it is happening. This is helpful but could also cause potential problems. According to Sullivan, because real-time metrics occur for the most recent month or quarter, the figures could give a skewed glimpse of how the agency is performing. It’s best to remain aware, make slight adjustments and possibly look over how any changes in the economy or processes could be impacting the results.

3) Predictive metrics. Sullivan told, that although predictive metrics are very rarely used in the staffing industry, these figures could be the most important of all. By using these figures, a staffing agency may be able to determine what challenges it could face in the future or whether an opportunity is on the horizon. Staffing and recruiting professionals seeking to work proactively versus reactively should consider the merits of using predictive metrics in decision making.

Key staffing and recruiting metrics to track

1) Number of positions filled. This figure tracks the number of candidate applications accepted for a position by a client during a fiscal year. This number falls under the historical metrics category and often helps recruiting professionals determine employee turnover and total costs spent annually on new workers. A recruiting software system put in place can help track this process easily and help professionals determine how best to improve performance.

2) Retention. Depending on the staffing and recruiting organization you are working for and what part of the industry it services, it could be important to track employee retention for replacements. How long are workers placed at agencies staying? This is of course less applicable to recruiters who are providing professionals who work in contract positions with a set end date. However, if retention is a figure being used by your firm, make sure that it also includes voluntary versus involuntary talent turnover for workers on assignment that takes the month, quarter and year into account. In addition, measure average overall time of employment, average number of talent on site, and whether the number of onsite talent appreciates over time.

3) Position vacancy rates. Staffing and recruiting professionals are often used to find a worker for a position faster and cheaper than an in-house human resource office. This means that every day a position is left unfilled an agency may be losing future orders from the client. Vacancies impact corporate revenue for a staffing and recruiting firm as well as the client. As a result, it’s imperative to find a person for the position in a timely manner and to ensure that the average vacancy time is not lengthy. reported that it is a good idea to consider creating a standard vacancy rate so that recruiters have goals and benchmarks to measure their performance against.

At the end of the day staffing and recruiting professionals know that he/she who gets there first (with the right candidate/employee) – wins. Wisely using the reports and metrics possible through an advanced staffing and recruiting software system plays a crucial role in understanding and running operations that are consistently first.

Staffing Insights: Jon Osborne, VP of Research, Staffing Industry Analysts, on Key Staffing and Recruiting Trends

The staffing and recruiting industry seems to get hotter with each passing day. New reports and changing hiring trends show staffing and recruiting professionals servicing nearly every industry. From the rising percentage of contingent labor to businesses preparing for the Affordable Care Act, to increased automation and improved usage of recruiting software and staffing software, the staffing and recruiting industry is rapidly adapting to changing market dynamics in order to succeed.

Jon Osborne, Vice President of Research & Editorial at Staffing Industry Analysts, sat down with us recently to talk about current trends and the future of the industry. At Staffing Industry Analysts, Osborne leads a team of research analysts who create thoughtful insight into the staffing industry and provide access to market research. Let’s see what he has to say about key trends impacting the staffing and recruiting industry, and how recruiting and staffing software fits with key trends.

What’s a key trend impacting the staffing industry?
“Within the last several months, the proportion of jobs that are part time has spiked enormously. So far, 77 percent of jobs created this year were part time and that’s what making all the news. However, when we look at that [figure] over a longer period of time, while it’s still elevated, it’s hardly as impressive,” said Osborne. “More broadly, we have the lowest ratio of full-time employment as a percent of population since 1983, at about 47 percent, and the low-point then was only temporary. We’ve been at the 47 percent level for a few years now, since 2010, and I don’t know another period that it has been like that for as long.  All this may affect the types of assignments requested by buyers and generally is indicative of continued weakness in the job market.”

What are the benefits of a contingent labor force for businesses? 
Contingent labor provides flexibility to a business so that it may scale up or down as needed. This flexibility allows the company to make effective changes to the size of its labor force depending on the strength of the economy and market demands for its products and/or services. In fact, there are trend watchers who predict that by 2020, 40 percent of the U.S. population will be  acting as free agents.

“This last recession was a bit of a learning experience for a lot of companies,” said Osborne. “If a buyer had a significant portion of contingent labor then they were well able to absorb the shock of the economic downturn. Organizations that typically only employ full-time, salaried workers found it much more difficult to adjust as necessary and had to turn to layoffs. This is very disruptive to your labor force and to cut, for example, 5 percent of staff is demoralizing and also results in high outplacement costs. Having a small layer of contingent workers, even 5 to 10 percent, allows a business to protect its permanent layer of workers. Contingent workers don’t have an expectation of long-term employment. As a result, no one [in this employment situation] bets the farm on a contingent job and so there’s much less damage to morale if the economy takes a downturn and cuts to contingent staff have to occur.”

“The number of contingent workers is growing, we have been surveying larger companies since 2005 and we are seeing that organizations are continuing to grow the number of contingent staff. When we first started tracking [the percentage of contingent staff, it] was around 10 percent and now it is 16 percent and expected to grow to 18 percent by next year.”

What are the benefits of the contingent labor trend for workers?
The growing percentage of contingent jobs being offered is not only beneficial for businesses. Workers in industries that fall under the professional sector, like finance, healthcare and tech, are demonstrating that the trend is providing a number of benefits.

“On the worker side, there is a demand in professional work for flexibility and also for higher wages. People who work on a contingent basis in IT or healthcare are typically doing it for lifestyle reasons. You can make $80 an hour for a few months and then live in Bali for a few months, and pick up another gig when you’re ready,” said Osborne.

Obviously, the perks of the contingent trend are felt by more in-demand professions. Fields that require expert understanding of niche practices like those in the technology and healthcare sectors are providing professionals with access to more competitive advantages. Osborne went on to provide us with an example of careers with high and low demand and how the contingent labor trend is impacting employment in those fields.

“Occupational therapists have a very low unemployment rate. Employers are having such a difficult time finding quality workers for this field that staffing firms are tracking them from the moment they get accepted into a training program—before they’ve even taken a class; the wages for this job are high and the occupational therapist is able to set the terms. They choose when to work and employers pay more per hour,” said Osborne. “On the other end, clerical and office workers experience a more ‘try before you buy’ situation as companies like to hire temp workers to see if they are a good overall fit for the position. It’s hard to tell in an interview if the person is right for the job. So a three- to- six month contract provides a period of time to test the person’s fit.”

Why hire a staffing firm?
It’s not uncommon to hear detractors ask “what’s the point?” or “why do you need to hire them?” in reference to staffing firms. People often pose the question of whether it would be cheaper to handle hiring internally. However, despite these questions, there are many sound reasons and benefits to hiring a staffing or recruiting agency, such as access to leading recruiting and staffing software, to fill one or more positions in a company, especially contract or contingent employment positions, according to Osborne.

“Have you ever bought a sandwich? That’s just outsourcing a meal. [Staffing] is no different – it’s outsourcing at its finest,” he said. “As consumers, we outsource almost everything. We don’t build our own car or our own house. With staffing agencies, companies are turning toward a specialist who has mastered employment, turned it into a science and has been trained for the job – making the entire employment process faster and cheaper.”

Lead Management – is your CRM System up to Scratch?

LeadManBlog for HR Zone from Toby Conibear, Business Development Director, Bond International Software:

Recruitment companies use CRM systems as an integral part of their business process. Used effectively, a CRM can increase efficiency and improve the way in which they interact with both candidates and customers. Yet agencies are not currently exploiting this technology to its true potential. CRM systems can and should offer much more than simply managing candidate and client relationships: there is huge potential to proactively drive sales activity.

In a challenging and competitive market, it is vital that recruiters value the importance of leads and the associated revenue potential. Recruitment businesses should be gathering and tracking leads and commercially valuable information in order to be successful. Currently, many recruitment companies use manual spreadsheets to track leads, if they are tracked at all! A good CRM system, however, will provide functionality with which to not just input but also track and manage leads, linking the lead and commercial information to all the other valuable CRM information.

By default, when any recruiter places a candidate in a role, it will almost certainly leave that candidate’s previous job open. It’s not rocket science but by making a call to the business owner who’s just lost an employee, a recruiter shows initiative and maximises the chance of filling the role left behind. In addition, candidates often mention an interview they have at another company, flagging another potential vacancy that could be filled. But although a recruiter may create a lead or be informed of an opening, it is not necessarily their responsibility to follow it up.

This is where a lead management system comes in: by logging this information in a CRM, the system will automatically alert the relevant person whose job it is to develop that business. And in order to encourage employees to share this intelligence and create a culture of lead generation, it is essential to provide an easy mechanism with which to do so.

This insight also gives business development a sensible steer by delivering the right commercial information in an effective way, meaning recruiters can target the most productive people to call. The key is to ensure that the right person knows who to contact and by monitoring leads in this way, recruitment companies ensure that they are steering their business development in a commercial direction.

This intelligent technology can also be set to monitor clients’ websites and alert the recruiter if a vacancy is advertised. As every recruiter knows, time is of the essence and this technology gives that crucial edge over other agencies still reliant on the client updating new vacancy information.

By fully utilising the functionality that advanced CRM systems offer, a recruiter’s life is made much easier. Not only does it take the pain out of lead management but CRM systems proactively present opportunities that may otherwise be missed, generating more revenue. This information is already being captured within the business – so why not use it to steal a march on the competition?

Federated Search? Or does the Search Continue? – Recruitment

MagnifyingGlassBlog for Global Recruiter by Toby Conibear, Business Development Director, Bond International Software:

Recruiters rely on multiple sources to find candidates to fill roles – from a variety of job boards to social media such as LinkedIn as well as the resident CRM / Applicant Tracking System (ATS). For the modern day recruiter, multiple sources of data are a necessity if you are going to remain competitive.

Recruitment is a naturally busy world; after all, time is money. Therefore surely there must be an easier way to be able to pull all candidate information from one single source and match it to the role in question without trawling through multiple jobsites, social media and relying on outdated processes?

Federated search offers recruiters the ability to search multiple sources of data from a single tool, speeding up workflow and creating new efficiencies. Federated search means that the recruiter has the ability to see all of the candidate’s information compared across multiple sources, as well as potentially being able to compare internal candidates already on the resident CRM/ATS system to those which are flagged through specific job boards, LinkedIn, etc.

This concept of federated search is a good one. Historically recruiters would rely upon the database alone for candidates; now via the search method, candidates can be sourced from multiple sources, saving the recruiter time, but does it work? Or should recruiters look at trying to cast their nets wider in terms of sourcing data and finding better matches?

While federated search goes some way in order to present the recruiter with vital information, there is an opinion that this search method is still not as good as individually searching the various sources and that the insight gained by doing this is far superior. There is also the additional task of moving the candidate’s details into the system if it isn’t in there already – a process which can be time consuming and can sometimes duplicate data.

However, in such a fast paced industry where information is vital the availability of a database which offers a single search and result can make the difference in generating or not generating revenue.

Every recruiter is always looking for the ‘next best thing’ to help with candidate matching,and while that will not change, the tools that help them to do this will continue to evolve. What delivers the greatest competitive advantage? Superior search and match capability is likely to become a prerequisite, and one which recruiters should keep at the forefront of their minds.

The Global Recruiter

Staffing Insights: Industry Consultant Amy Bingham on Staffing and Recruiting Trends Driving Business Decisions

The latest numbers are in and everyone is talking: The use of contingent labor is growing in force and workers and their employers are becoming increasingly comfortable with the change. This trend is causing more businesses than ever to invest in the services of staffing professionals equipped with the most advanced recruiting software.

We have Amy Bingham, managing partner and staffing industry consultant for Bingham Consulting Professionals, LLC, speaking with us today about the recent developments in the sector.

The increasing trend of contingent labor
News reports celebrating the increase in hiring are common. However, unlike in previous decades when the nation was recovering from an economic slip, the positions being created are not necessarily permanent, salaried work. Reuters reported that three out of four of the nearly 1 million hires made in 2013 were for part-time positions. This number represents a great opportunity to ensure that recruiters are as efficient as possible with the right recruiting software.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of adults employed part-time was 8.2 million in July 2013. While part-time and contingent labor are different, the increases in both categories indicate a growing trend toward greater employment flexibility in the marketplace.

“I think that one trend [in the staffing industry] is the increased use of contingent labor. The increased adoption of contingent labor services by employers is the result of skittish hiring due to the economy. This has resulted in a sluggish jobs picture, unemployment rates that remain stubbornly high and consumer confidence levels that are up one month and down the next,” said Bingham. “The adoption of the ACA is also increasing costs associated with hiring. All of these factors weigh heavily on employers and when they have the option to shift those costs to staffing agencies they do so, which has boded well for the industry in the past few years.”

Bingham continued on to say that “the staffing industry remains strong, but it is moderating. Most of the national firms have announced their revenue increases over the prior year are down in the low single digits. There is some leveling off, but that is to be expected relative to the wave the industry has been riding for the past few years.”

The adoption of managed services impacts the recruiting industry 
The increased use of contingent labor is not the only trend Bingham sees impacting the staffing industry. According to her observations, the widespread use of management services is also changing how business is conducted and the staying power of the staffing industry.

“Another trend impacting the industry is the widespread adoption of managed services and vendor management services, which continues to exert downward pressure on industry margins,” Bingham said. “I think that employers will continue to rely on the staffing industry to manage their labor costs. [It could be more cost-effective], for example, for a company to break one full-time position into two part-time jobs. I believe businesses will look to creative solutions to manage rising labor costs.”

Generational reactions differ on the switch
Like many things regarding the workplace, the different generations will have mismatched opinions and reactions to the growing presence of contingent labor.

“We will likely see more work being parsed out in contract type positions and project roles, and an increase overall in part-time employment. For an employee that is accustomed to holding a full-time job, it could be challenging to adjust to the evolution to more part-time work,” said Bingham. “I think that generally, Gen Y is not skittish, they are typically very confident and they look to work as a series of experiences. Instead of expecting to hold one full-time job for 20 years – they are much more open and will embrace the changes associated with an increasingly contingent workforce. Aging baby boomers who are looking for more flexibility will embrace this type of work as well. Gen X could be challenged as this group is in the throes of raising families and therefore will be more inclined to seek the stability of full-time employment.”

Changes in the marketplace impact staffing firms
All of the trends previously mentioned are impacting staffing professionals, but mostly on the reactionary front toward employment. However, in the recruiting world, agencies are also changing processes by increasing consolidation. One of the best ways to consolidate is utilizing the right recruiting software.

“I think we are going to continue to see more consolidation among staffing firms and more short-lists of preferred suppliers within their customer base which will increase competition,” Bingham told us. “In the next few years, we will likely see margin compression in professional staffing sectors that haven’t experienced this to the same extent the commercial staffing sector has. We are already seeing this in healthcare, and in industries like accounting, finance and IT. As a result, staffing firms will have to get smarter about how they deliver their services, using technology for virtual delivery models so that they can drive down their costs and reduce delivery costs.”

She continued on to say that “within staffing organizations, more staff training will be required as the market continues to change and the way they talk to buyers of staffing services requires adjustments to effectively take their message to market.”

The importance of selling the staffing service
As employers continue to tighten their figurative belts, it’s important for staffing agencies to perfect sales and operations tactics to gain clients and prove to customers the value of the service. By implementing the right recruiting software, staffing agencies are able to create value to pass onto their customers.

“The staffing industry understands first-hand how the employment landscape is changing, and it is more expensive to employ people today than in the past,” said Bingham. “[It’s therefore important to] craft the right message on a sales campaign and package that message correctly. Staffing firms will need to package their value propositions and take the company message to market in a way that resonates with employers.”

The recession taught many businesses how to make do with less and how to increase efficiency. As a result, it is the job of a staffing agency to prove how services can reduce operational expenses in the long term and show a return on investment.

“A staffing firm can be a significant enabler of workforce management for employers – even more so today,” Bingham said.

Four Tips for Staffing and Recruiting Sales Team Success

Sales Teams benefit with Bond Staffing Software

How do you go about developing a high-performance sales team?

It’s a challenge that many team leads in staffing face on a regular basis. One solution to this issue is handled at the organizational level with seminars or workshops that produce short term results but may not deliver meaningful long-term change. What is often missed is the powerful long-term impact of a strong coaching culture.

The performance impacts of coaching are a well-researched topic across a number of functional areas. Studies have shown that a strong internal coaching culture will increase employee satisfaction, performance, and retention. Given all of the benefits, it’s surprising that many staffing and recruiting firms don’t spend more time coaching their sales teams.

So what can you do to create a strong coaching culture and in turn improve your teams’ performance? It’s easier than you think:

First, you need to have a PHD.

No, it’s not what you think. By PHD, I mean you need to have ‘pig-headed-discipline’. Whatever path or system you put into place, you need to have the discipline at the management level to remain consistent and follow through. There is nothing worse than getting your team fired up about a new initiative only to forget about it two weeks later.

Second, focus on the numbers.

Any coaching effort in the sales context has to focus on the internal metrics. Your sales metrics will provide the foundation for the discussion. Having that foundation allows you to have a conversation about how you can help your team reach their individual and team goals. That’s what a good coach does; they help put their team in a position to succeed.

Third, be careful with contests.

Often, we think that the best way to boost performance is to have a sales contest. There is a lot of evidence that creating a contest-driven culture actually diminishes teamwork and in the long run won’t improve aggregate performance. As contests that focus on individual results can often lead to conflicts, set up contests that encourage team goals and rewards.

Fourth, be opportunistic.

Don’t think in terms of once-a-week meetings. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to coach and lead every day. Your efforts to create a coaching culture should be both a planned and spontaneous exercise.

These are just four of the things that have been successful for me. There are tons of other ideas and approaches that could work for you. The key thing to remember is to be consistent and use an “all-hands-on- deck” approach. Make sure to incorporate both planned and unplanned methods and certainly leverage your staffing and recruiting software technology to help deliver the message and the metrics. What’s worked for you?


Bond’s new AdaptSuite Sales Studio can help your sales team perform better by helping them plan and execute winning sales strategies faster and easier!

RESERVE your seat to attend a special AdaptSuite Sales Studio Webinar on December 4th at 2:00 PM EST


Government Shutdown and the Impact on Workforce Screening

This is a guest blog post by Vice President of Business Development at Credential Check Corporation, Dawn Standerwick. You can connnect with Dawn on LinkedIn

The Federal government is shutting down today. Many companies are wondering how this will affect them and their workforce screening programs.

The biggest impact we foresee will be upon companies utilizing E-Verify. E-Verify has officially ground to a halt. The majority of other background screening services should not be impacted.


During the time that E-Verify is unavailable, employers will not be able to access their E-Verify account. This will also impact companies who utilize E-Verify through a designated agent (background screening company and other 3rd party solution provider). Perhaps one of the biggest impacts is that employees will not be able to resolve Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs).

As a result, the ‘three-day rule’ for E-Verify cases is suspended for cases affected by the shutdown. USCIS will provide additional guidance once this federal office is reopened.

Employers may not take any adverse action against an employee because of an E-Verify interim case status, including while the employee’s case is in an extended interim case status due to a federal government shutdown.

  • The time period during which employees may resolve TNCs will be extended. Days the federal government is closed will not count towards the eight federal government workdays the employee has to go to SSA or contact DHS. We will provide additional time once we reopen.
  • Federal contractors complying with the federal contractor rule, please contact your contracting officer to inquire about extending deadlines.

Employers should note that this will NOT affect the Form I-9 requirement— employers must still complete the Form I-9 no later than the third business day after an employee starts work for pay.

In addition to the below E-Verify functions, E-Verify Customer Support will also be unavailable.

  • Enroll any company in E-Verify
  • Verify employment eligibility
  • View or take action on any case
  • Add, delete or edit any User ID
  • Reset passwords
  • Edit your company information
  • Terminate an account
  • Run reports

Aside from E-Verify, many regulatory offices will be closed, suspending their current activities. The highly anticipated look into the role background checks played in the Navy Yard tragedy by that was to take place today by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will be postponed.

We will continue to monitor this situation and keep our clients apprised of any changes.

If your organization has any questions or concerns about how the government shutdown will affect you, please contact our offices at (888) 689.2000 or email us at

Staffing Insights: Mike Cleland, Staffing Industry Operations Consultant, on “Driving Excellence” Via Recruiting Software

The staffing industry is quickly adapting to meet the changing needs of modern businesses by altering operations and increasing the use of modern technologies like recruiting software. As employment trends continue to impact the recruiting sector, professionals experienced in staffing will find that learning to maneuver and meet clients’ needs in the evolving marketplace may require different things than in years past.

Mike Cleland, founder of Charted Path LLC, and author of the book titled, “Behind the Wheel: Driving Excellence in Staffing Operations,” recently sat down to talk with us about the changing state of the staffing industry and how having the latest recruiting software really makes a difference.

Greater adoption of contingent labor
While it’s no surprise to staffing professionals that there has been increased reliance on contingent labor than in past years, it is important to note that not every industry is using these forces in the same way or frequency. Professional services like IT and healthcare are using contingent labor in a much different way than clerical or administrative services.

“I think the [greater adoption of contingent labor] is impacting different segments in different ways. In the IT staffing area I do think that more consultative staffing companies will be providing greater and greater value as the labor market continues to tighten. In contrast, high volume transactional staffing firms may struggle as the readily available talent pool continues to shrink,” said Cleland. “This is certainly anecdotal, but from an IT perspective, from what I’ve heard, there is more work coming back from offshore companies. If that is the case then there will be more projects and more project-based jobs that have a beginning and an end. Contingent workers will be the answer to this employment situation if that is going on.”

As the labor market continues to shift and the adoption of contingent and part-time labor increases, staffing firms will have to alter behaviors and offer even greater services at affordable rates. To take advantage of this shift, utilizing the right staffing and recruiting software will allow recruiters to stay competitive. According to Cleland, the open talent pool is creating a much more competitive market for recruiters.

“For high-demand talent as the labor market tightens the staffing firms who have recruiters with more traditional networking and sourcing skill will have a greater and greater competitive edge. Tools like LinkedIn are accelerating this trend back to referral-based recruiting because research and selection is being driven by a network of talent,” he said. “On the lower skilled temp sector side of the business, managing an inventory of reliable temp resources is critical and proving to be a greater and greater challenge. Firms that are disciplined in building and managing their candidate inventory will prove to find themselves with greater competitive advantage if the labor market tightens.”

Demand for staffing services expected to increase
With the adoption of contingent labor increasing, the services of staffing and recruiting professionals will play a larger role in employment. Contingent labor offers greater flexibility to both businesses and workers, which is boosting its popularity. To handle this surge in popularity, the right staffing and recruiting software will allow professionals to operate with efficiency in the face of increased demand.

“I think that the contingent trend is going to become more and more important part of the labor pool, which means that staffing has a very strong future, but firms have to continue to improve their people and processes to remain competitive. Either way the demand is not going anywhere but up,” Cleland said. “The underlying uncertainty [of the economy] and labor costs means that not a lot of firms want to hire permanent talent.  In addition, the ACA may also be playing its part in spurring on the use of contingent labor even with the delay of the employer mandate. However, for high demand labor, part of the trend toward contingent labor is driven by the talent who simply prefers contract based work. A lot of those high demand workers prefer project-based work because it tends to accelerate skill set development and provides greater control over their career path.”

Opinion on contingent labor trend differs between generations
Not every generation is on board collectively with the switch to contingent labor. Older generations that grew up with the idea of stable, long-term employment view work in a different manner than younger generations. With younger workers adapting and more companies becoming comfortable with contingent labor, the tides of change are upon the market. Having staffing and recruiting software that allows you to adapt to generational workers allows you to place the right workers in the right position.

“Companies are becoming more comfortable with contingent labor and the culture associated with using this type of labor. It has also become a more acceptable way to procure talent and a more acceptable way to work. This is partially due to the changing generations. Generation X, the people who are moving into or in current management positions have very different expectations of what it means to work for a company,” said Cleland. “As a Gen X, we don’t mind moving from company to company and most people from this generation show a certain amount of movement on their resumes. Statistics show that how many people change careers, not even jobs, during their lifetime has grown and this is very different than what it was 40/50 years ago.”

According to a study by Future Workplace titled, “Multiple Generations @ Work,” 91 percent of Millennials, defined as those being born between 1977 and 1997 (which also includes Gen Y for the purpose of this article), expect to stay in a job for less than three years. This means that the average Millennial will have between 15 to 20 jobs during the course of his or her working life. Another study from social researcher Mark McCrindle claims that those of this generation will change careers five times.

“Gen Y is even more comfortable with this approach to work than Gen X. For Gen Y, jobs are more about an interest and enjoyment than stability. There is no thinking that you’re going to be with a company for 20 years and employers understand this now and they know people are not going to be with a company for long. As a result, businesses are more focused on procuring talent and retaining the right employees because employees are more than likely open to looking for other jobs,” said Cleland. “For the younger generations a job is more about the work. What is being done and is it challenging and interesting [is important to millennial workers and they often believe that if] you ever get bored it is time to move on. This is a very different mentality than baby boomers who have a completely different expectation on work and are more apt to stay with a company for the long haul.”