How Mobile Technology is Changing the Staffing and Recruiting Industry

The world of mobile technology has taken off, which is impacting a wide variety of industries.

how-mobile-technology-is-changing-the-staffing-and-recruiting-industry_897_521258_0_14089939_500-150x150According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 91 percent of adults own a cell phone, 56 percent of Americans own a smartphone and 34 percent own a tablet computer. Another 26 percent of American adults own an e-reader. It’s easy to say that mobile technology is taking off, but how is this change impacting the staffing and recruiting industry?

Introduction of mobile-ready technology solutions

More staffing and recruiting firms are beginning to support the inclusion of mobile-ready recruiting software and practices in everyday ways. The faux pas of keeping a cell phone out during a meeting or on a desk has been erased in many work environments. According to a 2012 survey from CareerXroads titled, “The Evolving World of Mobile Recruiting,” more than half (about 54 percent) of staffing companies are now providing or subsidizing their recruiters and hiring managers’ mobile phones as an important business expense. In addition, nearly four in five (79 percent) of recruiting companies are conducting mobile-related staffing practices to better connect with job seekers – prospects and candidates. That’s up from 68 percent in the first CareerXroads mobile recruiting survey conducted in December 2011.

Other recruiting software technologies are becoming mobile accessible to better promote efficient practices. Staffing and recruiting software is now being made to promote greater usability with an intuitive web-browser interface which is mobile accessible. Staffing professionals can target the recruiting software solutions they want to access with a few finger swipes and a click of a button on a smartphone or tablet for streamlined production. Increase productivity and boost success with a variety of mobile-ready tools that are designed with a staffing professional’s responsibilities in mind.

Making job posts accessible to mobile users

Staffing and recruiting professionals are hardly blind to the growing mobile trend, which is why more and more jobs are being posted online on mobile-friendly sites and applications. Developers are creating mobile applications that make it easy for users to search and apply for jobs from their smartphones or tablets.

“Job searching is very ‘transactional,” said Vasu Nagalingam, senior product director for Consumer at Monster. “Job seekers typically visit job boards at frequent intervals for new jobs. The mobile-savvy audience is discovering their mobile phone to be the perfect channel for this type of behavior. Supporting these changes is critical to maintaining a healthy candidate pipeline.”

Nagalingam went on to say that the next generation of workers will find the ability to apply for jobs or research potential positions right from their mobile devices especially appealing.

“The emerging workforce is a popular group of mobile Internet users,” he said. “Employers who want to target this emergent workforce should review their recruitment plans and incorporate mobile recruitment strategies to increase their recruiting efficiency.”

Mobile recruiting is changing everything about the way staffing professionals find and research qualified candidates for positions. Candidates can fill out portfolio questions, take personality questionnaires for preemptive testing and provide sample work right from their mobile devices. Smartphones and tablets even allow for recruiters to use video conferencing and recorded interviews to be embedded in staffing software and recruiting software personnel databases for later review. Recruiting software and technology is continuing to advance and change the way recruiters handle day-to-day tasks; a professional needs to stay mindful of this, while remembering key drivers behind the industry – strategic and personable staffing that achieves results.

Part-time hiring increases

Staffing and recruiting professionals who are examining the job market may want to consider the various factors impacting the nation’s economy before becoming disheartened.

There has been a lot of news lately about the negative or lackluster jobs report that was released just last week. Yet, it’s important to consider the various conditions that are slowing the hiring market. After all, simply paying attention to the symptoms and ignoring the causes will hardly allow a staffing professional to remain ahead of the curve, invest in proper systems like staffing software and recruiting software and stay aware of the factors that could impact their job.

Part-time work increases

Many people are unaware that businesses are hiring at a robust rate. Unfortunately, 75 percent of the nearly 1 million hires made this year are for part-time jobs and many of these jobs are low paying, reported NBS News. This lack of robust hiring often makes workers question whether the market will ever recover or if this is the new market they will have to traverse to find work.

Industries that traditionally pay their workers less or rely on part-time employees, like retail and food services, are driving most of the hiring. Some employers, regardless of industry, believe that the reliance on part-time workers is the new trend because it offers greater flexibility. If the economy picks up, then employers are able to increase the number of full-time workers on the payroll. However, if the economy remains sluggish, then keeping a staff comprised of mostly part-time workers will decrease operational costs.

“Us and other people are hiring part-time because we don’t know what the costs are going to be to hire full-time,” said Steven Raz, founder of Cornerstone Search Group, a staffing firm in Parsippany, New Jersey, according to the news source. “We are being cautious.”

One of the major operational costs that has employers concerned is healthcare. The Affordable Healthcare Act has many employers waiting to see what costs are going to be added to their budgets before hiring anymore employees. Many staffing firms serving a wide range of industries have seen this trend. Raz told NBC News that his company started seeing a rise in the number of part-time positions it was filling in late 2012. Over the past year, his firm has seen an increase between 10 and 15 percent in a year-over-year comparison.

“They have put some of the full-time positions on hold and are hiring part-time employees so they won’t have to pay out the benefits,” said Client Staffing Solutions’ Darin Hovendick, according to the news source. “There is so much uncertainty. It’s really tough to design a budget when you don’t know the final cost involved.”

Employers use caution in hiring

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people working part-time involuntarily – because their hours were cut or they can’t find full-time jobs – is 7.9 million. That is an increase of 75 percent from 4.5 million in August of 2007. Employers are cautious about increasing the number of full-time workers they have on staff. Recent research suggests that by creatively using a combination of full-time and part-time staff, a business can thrive and even the part-time workers may be able to succeed. The difference between successful part-time worker implementation and an unhappy staff is the creation of flexible scheduling that allows for the hours on the clock to work within a person’s other jobs. The Daily Beast reported that capacity is still required to conduct business, which is why many offices are relying on a patchwork of part-time workers.

“As organizations and companies reduce the hours of part-time workers, they still have to replace the capacity, so they go out and hire additional part-time workers,” said Philip Noftsinger, president of CBIZ Payroll in Roanoke, Virginia, which manages payroll for more than 5,000 small businesses, according to NBC News.

Employers who have been focused on supporting employee financial health, yet are not hiring full-time workers, are often using creative scheduling to allow individuals the ability to hold second jobs. After all, it’s difficult to support a family on a single part-time paycheck.

“The difference between 30 and 40 hours can be the difference between being able to make ends meet month-to-month,” Heidi Shierholz, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, told the news source. “That contributes to reduced living standards for American families and translates into having less income to spend on goods and services, which holds back the economy.”

Weak economy hinders hiring

Many employers report that when the nation’s economy returns to pre-recession levels they will increase hiring and switch back to a greater full-time staff, according to The Daily Beast. But until that happens, staffing professionals will be increasingly working to fill part-time or contract work roles. To manage the different scheduling and placement of part-time workers, the right recruiting software will need to be utilized while uncertainty remains.

Business owners like Jason Holstine, who owns a building supply store in Baltimore, Maryland, are reluctant to take on full-time staff when the economy is so uncertain.

“We are still working in an environment that is very hard to forecast the near future and remains very cash-constrained,” said Holstine, according to the news source. “We were always nimble, but we had to become more reactive. Using part-timers gives us more flexibility.”

Employers learned during the recession that those companies with lean operations were the ones that were better able to withstand the perils of a weak economy. By creating a workforce comprised of part-time workers, companies are better able to increase and decrease staff numbers depending on their needs during a given quarter. A nimble staffing and recruiting software solution will allow recruiters to adjust to client needs.

“Private employers are either able to make more money with fewer employees or have been able to make more money without hiring additional employees,” said Sageworks analyst Libby Bierman. “The lesson learned for businesses during the recession was to have lean operations.”

Weak Jobs Report Not the End of the World for Motivated Staffing and Recruiting Professionals

For motivated staffing and recruiting professionals, a weak job market may make the hiring and candidate sourcing process a bit more bumpy, but hardly impossible.

Those professionals who are outfitted with the latest in efficient staffing software and recruiting software solutions will be able to leverage traditional skills and digital tools to locate and promote the best candidates for clients.

After three weeks, the federal government’s shutdown finally ended. Now, reports and data that were stalled due to furloughed employees and decreased operations are out. The latest jobs report from the U.S. Department of Labor paints a less than stellar picture of the current economy. However, market experts believe that all this should turn around now that the confusion and worries revolving around the threat of a government shutdown dissipate.

Employment numbers still moving forward

According to September’s jobs report, which was delayed two weeks because of the government shutdown, total nonfarm employment increased by 148,000 for the month and the unemployment rate remained relatively unchanged at 7.2 percent. The industries with the greatest growth for the month of September were construction, wholesale trade, and transportation and warehousing.

Despite grumblings about disappointing employment growth by many, it’s important to note that jobs are being added each month. This is positive news, while the number of jobs available is not growing by leaps and bounds, it is still moving in a positive direction. The unemployment rate may have changed little in a month-over-month comparison, but it has decreased 0.4 percentage points since June of this year.

Most of the disappointment from the jobs report seems to stem from greater expectations, as economists surveyed by Bloomberg News believed that 180,000 jobs would have been added during September.

“The employment report released this morning showed that the economic recovery continued its moderate pace during September,” said Robert Murphy, associate professor of economics, Boston College, according to ABC News. “Of course, the latest report is based on data from before the government shutdown and debt-crisis brinkmanship, and so to gauge any possible fallout from those events we must await the October numbers.”

Sectors with the greatest increases in employment included construction, which added 20,000 jobs, wholesale trade, which rose by 16,000 and transportation and warehousing, which added 23,000 jobs during the month of September, according to the jobs report. Both the civilian labor force participation rate, at 63.2 percent, and the employment-population ratio at 58.6 percent, were unchanged in September. Over the course of the year, the labor force participation rate has declined by 0.4 percentage points, while the employment-population ratio has changed very little overall.

Employment in professional and business services also improved. The jobs report shows that positions that fit within this sector rose by 32,000 in September. This is a slight decrease from its average monthly growth of 52,000 over the previous 12 months.

Lindsey Piegza, chief economist for Sterne Agee, believes that the delayed release date of the jobs report makes the information a lot less meaningful, reported ABC News.

“Of course, an outsized decline will almost certainly be blamed on the government shutdown, but the jobs market has been losing steam since the start of the year, well before the government shutdown was even being considered,” Piegza said.

Jobs data may impact feds stimulus

The weakness seen in the September hiring figures and the complications from the federal government shutdown are expected to further delay the Federal Reserve’s decision to adjust the stimulus programs, reported The New York Times.

“The labor market lost, rather than gained, momentum over the summer, leaving us with less than a desirable cushion just as the government was shuttered in response to political shenanigans,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial, according to the news source.

The Fed has been attempting to stimulate the economy the past few years with a variety of tactics. The New York Times reported that most of the fiscal policies have had little positive effect, which is why the agency was waiting for a positive jobs report.

“The Fed’s core criteria to change policy is clear evidence of a sustained improvement in the labor market outlook,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, wrote in a note to clients, according to the news source. “Such evidence will not be available this year because the shutdown depressed employment in October and then probably caused a corresponding bounce back in November.”

What does this mean for staffing and recruiting professionals?

With the pace of employment growth in September slower than the average rate experienced over the course of the previous year, which was 185,000 jobs per month, staffing and recruiting professionals may find themselves being inundated with resumes from workers and clients looking to use contract employees or temps to fill roles. The job market has hardly demonstrated stability, yet the slight and steady growth does provide some hope. Recruiting professionals must use this time to demonstrate to clients that they understand the market pressures and can use creative staffing solutions to meet needs. Recruiters may find themselves working hard to demonstrate the operational efficiency of their services and how professional staffing solutions are cost effective than in-house hiring.

By leveraging the use of staffing and recruiting software with traditional industry skills, a staffing professional will be better able to demonstrate to clients that he or she is the answer to many hiring problems. As the federal government works to create new stimulus programs and increase jobs with its tools, staffing professionals can boost the economy as well by promoting the use of creative staffing solutions to meet clients’ needs. After all, happy clients that are showing positive growth will require more workers in the future.