This article was originally published on October 16, 2020 in Recruiting Daily. Find the original publication here.
Over the next several months, my workforce will start transitioning back to the office. The operations team is observing every one of the CDC’s guidelines to ensure every employee feels safe. And yet, as we take these precautions, the message is clear: the era of “after COVID” has begun.
What this means for business is unclear. Stocks performed well throughout the summer, but experts are now predicting the “real recession” is underway. Hiring is less than half of what we thought it would be by now, and there aren’t clear signs that things will improve.
Faced with this outlook, it’s difficult to know how businesses can prepare for our new “after COVID” era. What will cutting costs look like? How can such an overcrowded industry compete for so few job reqs? But if I had to take a guess, I’d suggest:
1. Use your ATS as a business management tool. Every staffing firm has an ATS, and most also have business management platforms as well. Well, an easy way to cut costs is to use your ATS as a business management tool. With such advanced tech, ATS’s can easily be repurposed like this. Most include built-in CRMs and SMS integrations. Now is the right time to take advantage of these advancements and consolidate resources.
2. Take advantage of remote work. Remote work was an option before COVID hit, but it certainly wasn’t mainstream. Most companies still insisted that their employees report to an office, which meant potential candidates were limited by geography. But now, 82% of business leaders are planning to continue remote work, even after the pandemic. That means businesses can access the best talent literally anywhere. Geography is no longer a barrier.
3. Leverage your current workforce. When recruiters had to adapt to new work environments overnight, some responded well and some didn’t. Talk to your managers and see which recruiters and sales reps excelled in this period of transition. Then, give those employees the resources they need for success. Data from TechServe Alliance shows that high-performing recruiters and salespeople yield a 6x higher profit than their low-performing counterparts. That means identifying these performers, and letting them work, is key to your profitability.
4. Minimize your basic costs. Every company has two basic expenses: its employees’ salaries and its software. Most firms have already made cuts to their workforce. But another option may be re-evaluating your ATS. A recent third-party industry survey ranked the current ATS marketplace, pointing out which systems were best for cost savings (and which weren’t). In such uncertain times, it’s always best to be conservative, and cutting back on ATS subscription fees is a good place to start.
We can only hope that the economy will recover quickly from this pandemic—that hiring will go up and our industry will resume its normal pace. But in the meantime, staffing firms have to face the reality that things may be difficult for the foreseeable future. And they have to prepare accordingly.