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Our world changed significantly on Sept. 11, 2011. The attacks on that date had such a dramatic impact, we simply refer to it as 9/11. Fast forward to Covid-19 pandemic. It, too, had a dramatic impact, not only on the United States, but the entire world.
From Digital Evolution to Revolution
Prior to March 2020, the adoption of technology had been following the normal cycle with innovators and early adopters leading the way and late adopters lagging behind. But the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic changed all of that. The swift and sudden changes forced on the industry turned the slow and steady evolution into a digital revolution.
Do We Know Our Why?
The problem with this revolution is that technologies and automation are being adopted with little to no planning. And that’s what many staffing firms are beginning to experience. They’ve implemented automation tools that are too complex and difficult to understand. This is simply a result of jumping into the fray without truly understanding the why. Simon Sinek, and business consultant, reminds us that we must always “Start With Why.” So how should today’s staffing firm go about introducing technology solutions into their organization? Here are seven factors to consider.
1. Be strategic. Adopting technology should not be driven by trying to “keep up with the Joneses.” Just because a competitor has a chatbot is not reason enough for you to add one. The process needs to start with clear thinking and planning. First, identify what your expectation is of the outcome that the resource will deliver. Then, work backward from there to identify and confirm the right automation solution for that particular need.
2. Have a champion. Once you have identified the strategy driving your technology plans, you need to identify someone who will lead the process of identifying, selecting, and implementing the s olution. They are knowledgeable of the strategy, have the skills necessary to lead the project, can bring people together from different functional areas or departments, and are passionate about making sure the solution is the right one.
3. Clean up your database. Many of the technology solutions that have been developed for the staffing industry integrate with the client and/or candidate database. The fact that such a critical source of business information is incomplete or corrupted is a problem all by itself, but when you couple it with the introduction of automation, the problem is immediately compounded.
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4. Does the solution fit the problem? Just because all you have is a hammer doesn’t mean that everything must be a nail. The right tool is necessary for the right outcome. Making sure that the (right) problem has been identified and then sourcing a technology solution that addresses that problem is critical.
5. Get everyone involved. Keeping the automation project in the hands of one person is risky. Everyone in the organization should be involved in the project, or at the very least, kept informed of key developments and milestones. Quite often, a task force is formed that works with the champion to help keep everyone informed and involved. Adopting new technology should not be kept a secret.
6. Do your 比特币交易所官网homework. The automation highway is littered with solutions providers that want you to buy their software. Like any industry, some are better than others and have a reputation for delivering a quality product at a competitive price. Make sure you do your research and find out about all potential suppliers.
7. Use its full potential. I can’t tell you how many conversations I have had with staffing leaders who complain about how they are not fully utilizing their ATS or some other technology solution they have acquired and implemented. Making sure you are gaining all of the benefits of the automation you already have before adding more is a discipline that will put you head and shoulders above the majority of your competitors.
A Final Word
Technology, when used correctly and to its full potential, can boost a staffing firm’s efficiency while driving productivity. This will drive a robust bottom line, but even more importantly, will provide tangible benefits to the client and candidate – and that should be the real driving force behind automation.
Let’s face it, being a busy leader at any level requires the ability to move quickly from one task to the next. Sometimes, at the end of the day, when we have been booked back-to-back with meetings, calls and zooms, all our hard work may become just a blur. In fact, when a leader has multiple days working at this pace, he/she may not even realize that they may be shortchanging people in each interaction, perhaps not giving them their full attention in each key conversation, even when weighing in on key decisions.
When leaders are not “present” in key meetings, when we are preoccupied or too rushed, we increase the odds of misunderstanding key messages. Critical pieces of information may be left out of conversations or worse still, we may not even be presented with the information because we appear too rushed or absorbed in other matters. Consider how your stakeholders feel on the receiving end of this hectic interaction if this happens too frequently. Especially during busy times, self-awareness is critical. Because we all know, relationships require work and making a deeper connection with key employees and stakeholders needs both time and a commitment to two-way communication-during all situations, even a hectic one.
In times like this, it is good to take some time at the end of each day to assess:
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Taking time to reflect at the end of busy days can help us quickly reset and readjust for the next day and if needed, reach out to anyone we may have shortchanged.
There are many ways to help you with remaining present. Here are some ideas:
Put some of these practices into motion and you will see the difference immediately in how both you and other people feel at the end of the day. Being fully present is the best gift you can give yourself and your team as a leader.
Speak to anybody looking to hire for new staff and they will likely bring up ‘The Great Resignation’. This phrase refers to the huge number of workers giving their two weeks notice after riding out the storms of the pandemic, creating unprecedented demand for staff and a hard-to-hire environment. Compared to last year — when layoffs were widespread, unemployment skyrocketed, and finding employment was challenging – the jobs market has flipped on its head. Here are additional changes we’ve seen:
Hybrid workplaces. Reopening is underway in cities like New York and companies are beginning to set their formal office plans. While few stated early on that remote work would be permanent, others announced a goal for a full return to office. The majority are opting for a mix of the two — signaling that the future of the office is likely hybrid.
The next 12 months will be crucial in understanding what will be anything but a one-size-fits-all approach to hybrid working. Companies will have to think about details such as how to effectively operate with workers across time zones, if and how to adjust pay to compensate for different costs of living, how to onboard and train remotely, as well as the new role of the office itself.
Shift in opportunities. We’ve also seen a shake-up in the distribution of opportunities. Early on, we saw significant hiring within the logistics and warehousing industry — likely fueled by growing e-commerce and increase in online deliveries. Adzuna’s data reveals jobs in this sector have grown 296% compared to pre-pandemic levels.
The pandemic also caused ultra-low interest rates, driving a surge in the real estate industry as well as labor and trade professionals indirectly through 比特币交易所官网home improvements. These jobs boomed 110% compared to January 2020.
At the other end of the spectrum, airlines, salons, bars and restaurant job opportunities were initially curtailed by pandemic restrictions, but are now recovering. Hospitality and catering jobs are flooding back and businesses are struggling to fill these roles. We’ve seen the restaurant industry respond with creative ways to compete for talent, including pay raises and sign-on bonuses – a trend that has spread across other industries struggling to hire.
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Demand for work perks. As the labor market shifted in favor of job seekers, workers started demanding more. Buzzy office perks like free food or laundry services became less appealing, replaced by a greater focus on health and well-being.
We’ve seen increased support for employees dealing with childcare or other caring needs. This was evident when schools closed and people were mandated to work remotely, with research showing 50 million Americans, one-third of the working population, has a child under 14 in their household.
We’re also seeing signing bonuses of up to $5,000, state-led perks, and pay raises offered to entice employees back to work. Currently, there are 54,400 openings offering signing bonuses to new staff, as employers search for ways to fight for top talent.
Hot demand for digital skills. Digital skills are in particular demand. Many tech stocks surged over the last year, and our data showed a relative resilience in some of the big tech cities such as San Jose,
Austin and Seattle. Compared to other white-collar sectors like financial services and consulting, the tech industry saw a faster recovery and continues to hire at pace.
Digital skills are also in-demand in other sectors, including healthcare, retail and sales. The need for experts in fields like digital marketing, social media, data science and cyber security has multiplied.
No need for formal education. The combination of shifting skill needs and high demand for candidates has propelled another positive change: Companies are paying more attention to skills over formal education. Adzuna’s data reveals there are more than 2.4 million vacancies open to those without a college degree as employers consider talent from beyond traditional recruitment pipelines.
We expect employers to continue pushing upskilling and reskilling workers to widen their talent pool.
A look ahead. This is a very different labor market than 14 months ago. We’re seeing a major flip where job seekers are in the driver’s seat once again which is setting flexible working, better support, and a focus on skills in motion.
speaking out, with many companies ramping up their support for diversity and inclusion within their organizations. Businesses play a role in driving equality. It’s not only the right thing to do; it’s also good for business, in terms of profitability, increased innovation and broader talent pools. Moreover, racism has cost the US economy $16 trillion in 20 years, according to a study by Citigroup.
While many companies have focused their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts on their full-time employees, they may be missing mark if they don’t also extend inclusion initiatives to their contingent workforce. That’s because, for many companies, temp workers, contractors and consultants make up as much as 50% of their workforce.
It’s time to meet the moment: If your DE&I initiatives focus only on full-time employees, this is an amazing opportunity for you to bring your employees together to advance inclusion across your entire workforce, including contingent workers.
When I began this journey two years ago, launching Consciously Unbiased at CWS Summit and highlighting the need to go beyond diversity spend to diversity hiring, I was humbled by the response. It’s time to collectively make that a reality.
As enterprise leaders, especially those in HR and procurement, you have the power to lead the change for creating diversity and inclusion roadmaps that will materially have a big impact on your organization – and, in turn, on our society.
This is not one-size-fits-all; each company has a unique culture and set of needs. Here are some ideas for getting started.
Start from the top down. Your leadership needs to get behind the mission to make it successful, so focus on the competitive advantage for greater buy in. The U.S. will be a “minority” white by 2045, according to Census projections. If you’re not prioritizing DE&I across your entire workforce, your company will be less competitive than those that make it a big focus.
Stories matter. It’s important to connect the heart and mind in order to build the empathy needed to create change. An important step is highlighting the stories of employees and allies in your organization who are building belonging to help inspire others to do the same. You might encourage your marketing and HR departments to collaborate on ways to amplify the stories of your employees through internal communications, social media and in town halls.
Tie DE&I goals to compensation. If diversity is a goal, then treat it just like any other business goal and tie it to managers’ and leaders’ compensation and bonus structure. Track the metrics that matter, such as hiring and retention of diverse talent, pathways to advancement and closing pay gaps.
Change doesn’t happen overnight, but with a commitment to making steps, both big and small, you can help build belonging for your entire workforce. Doing so can have an impact on your company, and on our society. I believe there is a place for both profit and purpose in the business world.
Gamification is a recent phenomenon that helps to turn often dull or tedious tasks into games by using mechanics that engage the user. It doesn’t mean that work becomes an actual game, but having a system based on a reward system can help engage employees and make them more motivated. To make work increasingly fun, add gamification to your workplace today.
How Gamification Works: Mechanics
When you got your first job, the concept of getting your paycheck was exciting. You immediately thought about the freedom that money afforded you. Then, you received your next paycheck, then another, until you stopped getting excited about your earnings. Unless you get a promotion or increase your wage, your brain won’t respond after receiving the same stimulus constantly.
For gamification to work, the rewards have to increase in intensity after a task becomes a habit, which is why video games are so compelling. When you level up, you receive skills, better stats, and access to better equipment or more locations. So, how do you mimic that in real life?
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In his book Loyalty 3.0: How to Revolutionize Customer and Employee Engagement with Big Data and Gamification, gamification pioneer Rajat Paharia explains the 10 key mechanics for gamification to work. Businesses can use employee engagement technology, like Nectar, to complete the following tasks and chart progress with digital rewards, peer-to-peer recognition, and challenges.
For years, game designers have known how data can drive user interaction, which is what gamification is at its core. It doesn’t mean employees will start playing on their phones or become distracted; the objective is to increase performance and productivity through data.
Benefits and Implementation
Here are some of the reasons you should consider gamification — and how to go about it.
Benefits of gamification. One of the biggest advantages of using gamification is it removes the fear of favoritism. With appropriate engagement software, employees can see how they stack up against their co-works and see how rewards are given out. Gamification makes work more enjoyable, as it removes this stress and also gives employees a goal to strive toward. With real-time feedback, employees understand how to meet their targets and why they aren’t succeeding.
Industries suited for gamification. Any industry that uses easily measured outputs can benefit from gamification. For example, a business that sources candidates for recruitment could simulate a potential hires work environment on the computer to weed out unqualified potentials quickly.
Also, training can become more fun with the use of quizzes to reinforce policies and company culture. Company culture in all sectors can also grow if employees are given goals and rewards.
Implementing gamification. The following steps should help all industries implement gamification in their companies:
Some industries don’t require a technological solution to gamification. For example, recruitment staff, like HR, could set up table-top games that encourage trainees to fight through a zombie apocalypse. As they get further in the training process, they kill more “zombies” and earn more points that could transfer over to other games within the office space.
women accounted for all of them. A large number of them, 1.8 million, haven’t returned, often because they were working in industries hard-hit by the virus or because they sacrificed their careers (at least temporarily), to care for children who were back 比特币交易所官网home because of shuttered schools or daycares.
Now the task is to bring as many women back to work as possible, not just for the sake of the women whose lives were affected, but also because women benefit employers and the economy by providing a broader talent pool, greater diversity and improved collaboration, among other advantages. Here are some strategies companies can employ to help make that happen.
Better child care. One obvious thing companies can do to attract women back to the workplace is to provide better child care options, a process which starts by engaging employees to find out what they need.
Once you ask for input, address your staff’s current needs. Is it possible to provide on-site child care? If not, think about partnering with one or two local daycares as you would a gym, market, or clinic, to see if you can offer discounts as an employee perk.
Also, consider allowing employees to set aside a portion of their paycheck into a special fund that can only be used for child care. This money, called employee-assisted dependent care, isn’t taxed and can offer an attractive option for working mothers. Programs like offering time off for 比特币交易所官网homeschooling and mental health days also may be helpful.
Flexibility. Even with the number of jobs lost during the pandemic, it could have been worse without remote work options that allowed women the flexibility to manage their work and child-care responsibilities from 比特币交易所官网home.
But flexibility, and working from 比特币交易所官网home specifically, can come at a cost: It can put pressure on women to ignore boundaries between work and 比特币交易所官网home life. Employees who worked from 比特币交易所官网home during the pandemic worked longer hours as a whole, which can lead to burnout.
To maintain boundaries while increasing flexibility, it’s important to make certain periods “out of bounds” for work communications. Don’t equate flexibility with an expectation that employees be available 24/7. If flexibility means less time to deal with 比特币交易所官网home responsibilities or simply recharge, you’re defeating the purpose.
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Financial incentives. Stabilizing the workforce is not just about attracting employees but also about keeping them. Frequent turnover can leave employers with a wasted investment in hiring and onboarding.
Employees will also be more likely to leave — and less apt to come on board in the first place — if you expect them to work part-time in order to avoid paying benefits. Women are unlikely to be interested in a job that doesn’t provide them with paid time off or health care.
Other financial incentives can include offering a 401(k) with employer contribution for retirement. Employees may also appreciate advice for the long term, like building their credit, which can help them ensure they have what it takes to weather a future crisis or make a major purchase, like a car or 比特币交易所官网home.
Partnerships & training. One way employers can help bring women back into the workforce is by partnering with staffing agencies to broaden their pool of applicants. Staffing agencies are attractive to prospective employees and employers because they match the right workers with the right position, increasing the chance of a successful hire.
It also helps to provide training for in-demand jobs. There’s a growing realization that new employees won’t have all the skills they need at the time of hiring. This isn’t realistic in an age where the number of skills required to do a single job is increasing by 10% year-over-year. Executives now see versatility and the ability to take on new roles as keys to success.
Women face major challenges in returning to the workforce, and it’s to everyone’s advantage that they overcome them. By providing child care options, greater flexibility, financial incentives, and avenues to re-engagement, employers can help equip women workers to succeed.
National Association of Business Economists recently updated their estimates for a bullish 6.7% GDP growth in 2021, with a forecast for employment to return to pre-pandemic levels by early 2022.
As we look to this recovery, staffing firms will be on the frontline, helping find skilled talent and labor and matching them with the right jobs in a changed world of work. With those shifts in mind, here are the top trends we are seeing now that will have a significant impact on the growth and evolution of our industry.
Workforce automation and AI will continue to expand throughout staffing and recruiting. Leveraging automation to reduce the administrative burden on recruiters, allowing them to focus on revenue generation, has been a priority for many years. There are a number of good providers in the market that offer single-point solutions to tackle various stages of the administrative/communication process. Now, however, we’re beginning to see an evolution from these single-point solutions to all-encompassing platforms that fully integrate with an organization’s core systems. This makes it possible for end users to manage and access applications and technologies that enhance and streamline processes, all from one centralized location instead of having to switch from application to application.
AI is a term that is thrown around often. People used to visualize it as a bot that popped up on a website to ask how it could help. However, today’s AI is increasingly offering a path for a more hands-off, candidate-centric process that ultimately creates excellent candidate and client experiences. It doesn’t replace recruiters but instead ensures that their interactions with candidates are meaningful and timely, meeting the candidates where they are. AI-enabled bots leverage natural language processing (NLP) to assist in moving candidates through more touch points to effectively route them to the appropriate recruiter. These bots can take candidates seamlessly into third-party apps to complete skills assessments and video interviews and to schedule live interviews via calendar apps. AI helps drive a seamless and very positive candidate and client experience by eliminating the black hole and moving conversations to next steps, facilitating faster time to hire and providing a direct impact to the bottom line.
AI also offers a direct path to a more streamlined process for those candidates who are less interested in building a relationship with the recruiter and more interested in the job opportunities. Progressive staffing firms are using AI to give candidates the option of moving through much of the recruiting process in an automated manner and introducing recruiter interaction at strategic points in the process where it is needed. The point is to provide the candidate a continuous journey and for AI to present and facilitate what is needed at the right place and time.
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Remote work and hybrid models are having a major impact on staffing and recruiting. The shift to remote and hybrid work models is here to stay. It’s changing the game and opening up opportunities for employers and candidates. The old mentality — “If you’re not at your desk, you’re not working” — has shifted drastically.
New opportunities are abundant. In the past, typically only IT professionals could work remotely on a large scale. Now, however, roles in accounting, finance, marketing, and customer service are increasingly open to remote work outside of gig platforms because of the tech transformation traditional organizations have undergone over the past year. With new flexibility in terms of where they are able to live, talent — especially the top 10-20% of talent — can work for organizations that previously would have been off the radar geographically. This means that staffing firms can reach out to candidates they never would have before in expanded geographies and demographics, which is incredibly valuable, as it exponentially expands talent pools. However, it also means staffing firms must be savvier with sourcing and recruiting resources and the ways in which they attract and interact with their talent community.
For roles that require employees to be physically present to work, such as light industrial, skilled trades, hospitality and food service, we’re seeing the war for talent reaching new heights. For example, organizations increasingly are offering skilled trade workers additional benefits, upskilling opportunities and in some cases even relocation assistance, something that was practically unheard of even a year ago.
The need for talent is real and the winners will be the ones who are able to best marry people, processes and technology to provide experiences that translate into satisfaction for candidates and clients.
The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are far-reaching, from how we communicate with friends and family to how and where we work. In 2020, when employees were struggling to maintain job security, no one would have imagined that a year later it would be a job seeker’s market and employees would be leaving their current positions in droves.
According to the Labor Department, the share of United States workers who left their jobs in April was 2.7%, the highest level since at least 2000. And if they haven’t left their jobs yet, they’re planning to, according to a recent study by Prudential Financial, which found that one-quarter of workers say they plan to look for a role with a different employer soon.
Turnover isn’t cheap, either. Estimates vary, but conservatively, replacing an employee can cost a business one-half to two times their annual salary. The smart play for businesses is to invest in both current and prospective employees in order to ensure retention and stand out amongst competitors.
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Successful Organizations Focus on What Employees Need
Investment is about more than just money. While salary requirements will usually drive contract negotiations, the perks and benefits are turning out to be just as important for the diverse workforce of today. Benefits packages now go beyond the staples of health insurance and 401k plans to include investments in employees’ short- and long-term futures.
Here are a few ways that successful companies are utilizing benefits to invest in their most valuable assets — their human capital:
More than two-thirds of small businesses reported they are currently having a hard time finding qualified workers. Raises and promotions help retain talent, but they aren’t the only way to think long-term. In a job seeker’s market, finding ways to attract new talent is the only way to keep an innovative, talented team. The ways that businesses show up for their employees will continue to change as cultural priorities shift, but the philosophy that will stick around is one that involves investing in people.
Cyber security is something that needs to be integrated into every process today, including when it comes to recruitment. With the number of attacks on individuals and businesses continuing to increase it’s essential that any cyber security recruitment strategy goes beyond a traditional, office-based environment and includes the remote-working world in which we operate in today. These are some of the key factors to bear in mind when designing and implementing an effective strategy.
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An effective cyber security recruitment strategy will ensure defenses remain strong and the business is protected while supporting effective hiring too.
Amid the pandemic, many companies that did not previously have remote workers suddenly did — and some of those employees may be in states where the company did not previously have a physical presence. Additionally, many companies have since decided to allow their workers to remain remote, and many employees have opted to relocate to other regions, further establishing physical presence for those employers. Thus, the pandemic has created a potential tax liability for many staffing firms.
How? It’s called nexus, which occurs when a business has some kind of connection to a state. All states have a different definition of nexus, but most consider a “physical presence” or “economic connection” creates nexus. Physical presence can mean a number of things, including having an office, employee, warehouse, or storing inventory. Economic nexus comes into play when a company has a certain dollar amount in sales or a certain number of transactions in a state.
Prior to the 2018 US Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc., states could only enforce a tax collection on businesses that had a physical presence such as a brick-and-mortar location. As established by Wayfair, though, an economic presence creates sales tax nexus as well.
Now, more than 40 states have expanded nexus to include a sales tax obligation based on a certain level of economic activity within the state, including sales revenue, transaction volume, or a combination of both. Like many sales tax laws, economic nexus criteria vary by state and by the type of tax.
Wayfair has impacted all industries; professional service companies are no exception. A service company will need to understand the taxability of the services and location of the customers to make sure there are no unexpected state tax assessments.
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Sales Tax Implications
Stay at 比特币交易所官网home orders brought a significant decline in sales tax revenue in many states. While the re-opening of businesses will lead to some growth in sales tax revenue, many states are likely to propose new tax legislation or broaden an existing tax to increase revenue.
States that impose an economic nexus threshold as a result of the Wayfair case may pass legislation that would lower the sales amounts. Tennessee, for example, lowered its economic threshold from $500,000 to $100,000. Other states may follow.
Due to Covid-19, states are likely to increase audits, change tax rates or bases, or enact entirely new taxes to increase revenues. Businesses need to monitor the sales tax arena and make sure they follow the new regulations when enacted.
Because of the pandemic, a great number of employees are working remotely. In general, an employee working in a state creates nexus for the employer for income, franchise and sales/use tax. Some states have issued guidance providing relief from nexus and taxation related to temporarily working within the state’s borders in connection with the pandemic. If a state has not issued relief, the company may be subject to various taxes due to the remote worker. According to the Tax Advisor, “Sellers of business and professional services are now presented with a significantly altered sales tax world, and failure to monitor nexus and taxability developments can lead to potentially significant sales tax exposure.”
There are states who have issued specific guidance on whether telecommuting employees temporarily working in a state due to the impact of Covid-19 creates sales and use tax nexus for an employer who does not operate in that state.