The staffing industry is vital to modern business, connecting job seekers with employers and helping companies find the talent they need to succeed. However, like many industries, staffing has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and other ongoing economic and technological changes.
To better understand the state of the staffing industry in 2023, we spoke with Giridhar Akkineni, the CEO of AkkenCloud, a leading staffing and recruiting software provider. With over two decades of experience in the staffing industry, Akkineni has a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing recruiters, employers, and job seekers today.
In this article, I will explore Akkineni’s insights on the current state of the staffing industry, including the impact of the pandemic, the shift towards a more candidate-centric approach, and the role of technology in recruiting and hiring. We will also look to the industry’s future and discuss the trends and developments shaping its evolution in the coming years.
The Shift Towards a More Candidate-Centric Approach
One of the most significant trends that Akkineni has observed in recent years is the shift towards a more candidate-centric approach. Employers realize that job seekers have more power than ever. In addition, with the rise of social media and other online platforms, candidates have more information and resources than ever before.
“In the past, employers held most of the power when it came to hiring, but now the tables have turned,” Akkineni explains. “Candidates are being more selective about their roles, and employers must work harder to attract and retain top talent.”
Employers prioritizing employee well-being and offering a positive work environment are likelier to attract and retain the best candidates. This includes flexible work arrangements, opportunities for growth and development, and a strong company culture. Employers must also be transparent about their company culture and the expectations they have for their employees.
“Job seekers want to work for companies that align with their values and offer a clear path for career progression,” Akkineni says. “Employers who can demonstrate their commitment to employee well-being and development will be the ones who attract and retain the best talent.”
The Importance of Technology in the Staffing Industry
Another trend that Akkineni has observed is the increasing importance of technology in the staffing industry. Technology is changing the way we work in many industries, and staffing is no exception. Advancements in AI, automation, and other technologies are making it easier for recruiters to find and screen candidates and for employers to manage their workforce.
“Technology is transforming the staffing industry in many ways, from how we source and screen candidates to how we manage and pay our workforce,” Akkineni explains. “These advancements are making staffing more efficient and cost-effective, and ultimately improving the experience for candidates and clients alike.”
One of the most significant technological advancements in staffing in recent years has been the rise of applicant tracking systems (ATS). An ATS software application enables the electronic handling of recruitment needs. It streamlines the hiring process, from job postings to resume screening and interview scheduling.
“An ATS can save recruiters a lot of time and effort, enabling them to focus on other aspects of their job, such as building relationships with candidates and clients,” Akkineni says. “It also helps ensure that the best candidates don’t slip through the cracks and are considered for job openings.”
While technology can help streamline processes and improve efficiency, it is essential to remember that staffing is a people business. The relationships between recruiters, employers, and job seekers drive success in this industry.
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Staffing
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the staffing industry, accelerating many of the trends we already saw. Remote work has become more common, and employers must adapt to a more distributed workforce.
“The pandemic has forced us to think outside the box and find new ways to connect with candidates and clients,” Akkineni explains. “Many of the changes we’ve made, such as virtual job fairs and video interviews, will likely remain even after the pandemic subsides.”
The pandemic has also highlighted the importance of contingency planning in the staffing industry.
Contingency planning has always been a crucial aspect of staffing, but the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted its importance like never before. Employers must plan how to manage their workforce during unexpected disruptions, such as a global pandemic, natural disaster, or economic recession.
“Contingency planning is all about being prepared for the unexpected,” Akkineni says. “Employers need to plan how they will manage their workforce if something unexpected happens, whether it’s a pandemic, a natural disaster, or a sudden economic downturn.”
Employers with contingency plans in place before the pandemic were better able to weather the storm and keep their businesses running smoothly. This included having a remote work policy (tips here), ensuring that employees had the necessary technology and resources to work from home, and having a clear communication plan to keep employees informed and up-to-date, says Entrepreneur.
“The pandemic has shown us that the staffing industry needs to be agile and adaptable,” Akkineni says. “We need to be able to respond quickly to changing circumstances and have contingency plans in place for any eventuality.”
The Future of the Staffing Industry
Looking to the future, Akkineni sees many exciting opportunities for the staffing industry. As technology continues to evolve, recruiters and employers will have even more tools at their disposal to find and manage top talent. At the same time, the shift towards a more candidate-centric approach will continue to drive innovation and change in the industry.
“I believe that the staffing industry will continue to evolve and adapt to meet the changing needs of the job market,” Akkineni says. “We will see more emphasis on candidate experience and the use of technology to streamline processes and improve efficiency.”
At the same time, Akkineni emphasizes the importance of staying true to the human side of staffing. “While technology is an important part of our industry, it is the relationships between recruiters, employers, and job seekers that drive success,” he says. “We need to remember that at the end of the day, staffing is a people business.”
The staffing industry is a dynamic and ever-changing field, and staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments is essential for success. Giridhar Akkineni, the CEO of AkkenCloud, has shared his insights on the industry’s current state in 2023, highlighting the shift towards a more candidate-centric approach, the importance of technology, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on staffing.
As we look to the future, it is clear that the staffing industry will continue to evolve and adapt to meet the changing needs of the job market. Employers who prioritize employee well-being, embrace technology, and have contingency plans in place for unexpected disruptions will be the ones who thrive in this rapidly changing industry.
At the same time, it is essential to remember that staffing is ultimately a people business, and success in this industry depends on building strong relationships between recruiters, employers, and job seekers. As the industry continues to evolve, we must remain faithful to this human side of staffing and prioritize the well-being and success of all those involved.