I know “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” but I can’t help myself. I got so many amazing takeaways from Staffing World 2019. This is my 3rd time attending Staffing World, and this might have been the best one yet. (Well done, American Staffing Association!)
I was blown away by the keynote from Becky Frankiewicz, President of ManpowerGroup North America. Her time at PepsiCo has given her an interesting viewpoint on the changes happening in the staffing industry. Namely, the blurring lines between being an employee and being a consumer. As demand (job opportunities) continues to rise at historical rates, and supply (talent) stays the same, our industry must be consumer-focused in order to find talent where they are, how they want to be found, and on their terms. This is something we know to be true, and the success of the Shiftgig platform increasingly proves this. So obviously, I found myself nodding along throughout her presentation.
I felt like Frankiewicz’s keynote set the tone for the entire event. If I had to describe the overarching theme of Staffing World 2019, it would be “Now, now, now!” The demand for immediacy is a common thread throughout my three favorite takeaways from Becky’s talk and the conference holistically.
1 . Consumerization of Workers
It was bound to happen. If you’re anything like me, you can’t imagine waiting 5-7 business days for a package to arrive on your doorstep anymore. But it’s not just online shopping habits that are affected by this demand for instant gratification. The idea of waiting for a recruiter to call us back for days or weeks about a possible job opportunity is becoming foreign. Workers are demanding immediacy and flexibility; finding jobs on-demand, working when they want, and making their own schedules.
If your agency isn’t enabling workers to find and claim work on their mobile phones at the touch of a button, you’re quickly falling behind the curve. The expectations they have as a consumer are becoming the expectations they have of their employers as well.
2. Digital Intimacy
Frankiewicz brought up another interesting phenomenon that is playing a part in blurred consumer/employee behavior: digital intimacy. The more hyper-connected we get, the higher our expectation is for a personalized, customized experience through the digital channel of our choice. We’ve been seeing this trend at Shiftgig for quite some time.
Workers want the power to browse and claim work, to build their own schedules, and provide feedback that impacts their future job searches on the platform. Human touch can’t ever be fully digitized, nor should it be, which is why a staffing experience is unique every time. We must leverage technology for as far and as intimate of an experience that we’re able to create. Put simply, this is good and modern business practice, but this does not negate the importance of the human experience.
Recruiters love the ability to make a one-on-one meaningful connection with the people they’re working with, be it with clients or with workers. It is truly the soul of brand differentiation for staffing agencies. Technology doesn’t take away from this. It actually helps enhance it. This gives you the time and bandwidth to give immediate attention to people who need your support and to grow relationships with your clients. Self-service automates the simpler tasks that significantly impact an agency’s top and bottom line.
3. Where I Am is Where I Work
This was another top theme in the keynote. I’d like to take that one step further and note that the first step in this must be, “where I am is where I find work”. Technology is continuing to drive the democratization of location. Regardless of where I am in the world at any given moment, I want to be able to find all the opportunities that are available to me on my mobile device.
We know that talent acquisition is top of mind for all of us as we face historically low unemployment rates. Investing in your digital staffing presence will allow your agency to access thousands of workers at once as they look for opportunities on their mobile devices.
Overall, I walked away from Staffing World feeling more energized about the direction of our industry. It’s inspiring to see how quickly agencies are willing and wanting to morph to this new world of work that is consumer-focused and digitally driven. I believe an agency’s resolve to modernize staffing will validate the decades spent building their organizations and relationships. Being replaced by the likes of UberWorks will not be the outcome.
I couldn’t be more excited to be part of Shiftgig as we continue to help agencies usher in this next generation of consumer-driven staffing. Particularly, with technology that many say was, and still is, a pioneer in this revolution. While we patiently wait for Staffing World 2020, we’d love to connect and learn about your agency’s plans for becoming more worker-empowered and digitally-driven.
If you’re ready to start meeting the “now, now, now!” expectations of your workforce, we’d love to talk about your goals and see how we can help.