INFOGRAPHIC: What Challenges Will 2015 Bring to Your Staffing Firm

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ChessAs the new year approaches, the talent acquisition industry — along with pretty much every other industry in the world — is gearing up for the changes, trends, and obstacles of 2015. To help the staffing companies prepare, analytics firm InsightSquared and ATS purveyors Bullhorn teamed up for a new infographic that explores what they’ve found to be the top three challenges staffing firms will face in 2015.

The full infographic is available at the bottom of this post, but first I’d like to offer commentary from Randy DeHaan, head of the staffing and recruiting division at InsightSquared, who answered a few of my questions via email. The three challenges staffing firms will face in 2015 are projected to be expanding and diversifying their client bases; growing, training, and managing their sales teams; and finding and recruiting qualified candidates. Can you say a bit more about each challenge and why staffing firms will likely face these three in particular?

Randy DeHaan: What jumped out at us was the overwhelming consensus about the challenges that staffing firms expect to face in 2015. Over 75 percent of respondents named the same three challenges in their answer to an open response question. Though they are all slightly different, these challenges are all common obstacles of firms that expect to grow.

Expanding and diversifying client bases is a consistent challenge for businesses that know they need more channels for growth. Avoiding concentration of revenue sources helps ensure that opportunity for growth isn’t limited to a small pool of clients.

Sometimes internal positions are the toughest vacancies to fill. Business leaders absolutely lose sleep trying to figure out how to grow the team, support the existing producers, and codify a repeatable process at the same time.

Of course neither of the other challenges are important if you can’t find top talent. The industry is growing, but the talent pool isn’t necessarily growing at the same rate. Firms know they need to find a sustainable source of candidates.

RC: Is there anything firms can do to prepare themselves for these challenges today?

RDH: Create a structured, trackable, repeatable sales process that can be implemented today. Our study showed that 100 percent of respondents expect theirs firms to stay stable or grow next year, which means the firms that are actually going to grow are the ones that are planning today. Oftentimes, businesses review their results and set objectives in the new year, but top firms don’t wait. They proactively plan to overcome these challenges so they hit the ground running in January.

RC: Are there any other challenges that companies should prepare to face — challenges that may not have surfaced in this survey?

RDH: Yes. Another challenge is differentiation. The staffing and recruiting industry is a crowded space. Firms that are going to gain a competitive advantage in 2015 are the ones that add science to the art of sales and recruiting. Some firms take pride in their ability to build lasting relationships; others focus on processing incredible volumes. Somewhere in the middle is the firm that gets the best of both worlds by showing clients quantifiably how efficient and successful they are. The ability to demonstrate this is difficult, but it is the key to differentiation. With savvier clients and increased competition, this is the only way to overcome the obstacles and achieve scalable growth.

Courtesy of Bullhorn and InsightSquared

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Matthew Kosinski is the former managing editor of