Staffing: Optimism in the Face of Obstacles

zoom team meeting

Never is one day the same as the other.  That statement couldn’t be more true than in the staffing industry.  It seems that with each passing day there are new curveballs brought on by the pandemic.  But it’s not all gloom and doom. Remember the words John Adams spoke, “Every problem is an opportunity in disguise,” and apply it to some silver linings over the past one and a half years.

The impact of the pandemic on the staffing industry is robust, both in terms of the short and long-term impact, no doubt, with a prolonged period of disruption and uncertainty still to come, but we’ve seen a strong rebound. In mid-August, the ASA Index reported that staffing jobs increased 32.1% year-over-year and the increase of workforce flexibility, like telecommuting, means there is more talent available for each open job position.

Companies must use the learnings, both good and bad, from the current pandemic and apply them to their future. There are ways to give employees more choices, which improves engagement, while also helping the bottom line.  The way we work will be forever changed and companies must adapt or be left behind.

Ensuring your company is taking advantage of advanced workforce management (WFM) and human capital management (HCM) technology is critical to keep delivering on your customer’s needs and employees viewing your staffing agencies as THEIR employer of choice.

So, let’s focus on 5 critical pieces related to evolving challenges and their related opportunities:

1. Optimize employee engagement

  • Challenge:
    • With so many job openings and a limited candidate pool, employees have a lot of options, making it hard to retain top talent
  • Opportunity: 
    • Use AI for scheduling employees to their favorite days of the week and times of the day based on history and direct feedback from each employee.  Respecting employee preferences goes a long way in developing positive engagement and sustained retention

2. Employee safety

  • Challenge:
    • Keeping employees safe is becoming increasingly difficult, especially as some workers move between jobs and locations frequently
  • Opportunity:
    • Empower your employees and increase employee safety through health check-ins/attestations and contact tracing
    • Your WFM solution can offer your employees simple ways to check-in safely with attestation tools like questionnaires, as well as updates on any facility/office contaminations through email and timeclocks

3. Control costs 

  • Challenge
    • Employee absence is often unpredictable and hard to manage, and oftentimes agencies are responsible for managing hours worked against a client contract
    • It is extra difficult to track employee time off with more employees working remotely and shifting mandatory sick and paid time off rules due to COVID-19
  • Opportunity
    • The right WFM tools can give you the insight you need to lower costs and maintain productivity

4. Equitable employee scheduling and overtime management

  • Challenge:
    • Equitable overtime is a challenge, as you don’t want to be seen as picking favorites and staffing the right person at the right time is complicated
  • Opportunity:
    • WFM tools can help you accurately align labor scheduling to demand, ensuring optimal labor coverage for each shift, every day, which helps your people achieve greater work-life balance while increasing engagement and limiting turnover
    • Set a cap on OT hours – an overtime cap will improve employees’ productivity by limiting worker fatigue, which reduces the likelihood of them being late or absent. Meanwhile, an overtime-cap policy still allows employees to pick up extra hours, preserving employee satisfaction

5. Remain compliant

  • Challenge:
    • Before the pandemic, compliance was already a moving target, with different rules and regulations depending on the state, client, union, type of work, and current political climate. Factor in all the remote work, where folks are living in one region of the US or world and “clocking in” digitally from a completely different area code, and the challenge increases exponentially.  In fact, a recent McKinsey study estimates that there are four to five times more remote work now than before the pandemic
  • Opportunity: 
    • Utilize WFM software to leverage real-time employee compliance data to better manage compliance across your organization no matter where your employees live and work
    • Keep pace with ever-changing Department of Labor and other government and industry regulations through software that does this work for you



UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group) for Staffing makes it easy to attract and retain best-fit employees and manage them more cost-effectively, so you can allocate labor to demand more accurately to help optimize labor costs, improve employee engagement and productivity, manage compliance, and drive stronger bottom-line results. Accelerate your organization’s digital transformation with a truly connected global workforce experience — moving beyond traditional definitions of HCM and WFM to look further and combine transformative technology with deeper workforce capabilities.

Join us September 28-30 at Staffing World 2021 and stop by our booth (#908) to win some in-booth giveaways and have a friendly chat about a few of our staffing customer success stories including MarketSource, Allegis, and CoWorx.