77% of staffing firms have implemented a digital transformation strategy
According to Bullhorn’s Global Recruitment Insights and Data (GRID) 2023 Industry Trends Report, firms with the highest revenue gains were twice as likely to have digitized their data as those with the greatest revenue losses and nearly twice as likely to use automation heavily. While 77% of staffing firms have begun implementing a digital transformation strategy, many are still in the early stages. Only 30% said they use self-service technologies such as chatbots to streamline operations and engage candidates, and only 17% heavily leverage automation throughout their business.
More than two-thirds (68%) of global recruitment firms reported an increase in revenue last year, and a similar number (67%) expect to improve performance again in 2023.
Winning new business becomes the top priority
For the first time in six years, staffing firms cite winning new clients (40%) as this year’s top priority, most likely due to continued economic uncertainty and intensifying competition. The second biggest priority is digital transformation (34%), followed closely by candidate acquisition (33%).
Despite feeling optimistic about their business growth prospects, global recruitment firms continue to face client-related challenges. The most pressing is an increase in job requisitions that are too specialized or demanding (according to 22% of respondents), followed by a reduction in overall job requisitions (17%), and a lack of communication from clients (15%).
Engaging existing talent leads to higher revenue gains
Candidate acquisition remains a challenge: 56% cite the talent shortage as a top challenge in 2023, an increase from last year. However, firms that followed certain best practices in engaging candidates were 30% or more likely to report revenue gains in 2022. These best practices include engaging with passive candidates in the firm’s database, soliciting referrals from candidates, and using candidates’ preferred methods of communication, among others.
The two practices most correlated with success were redeploying candidates and database utilization. The firms that lined up the highest proportion of workers for new roles before the end of their assignments and those that most frequently filled a position with a candidate already in their database were twice as likely to report revenue gains last year and 50% more likely to expect gains in 2023. However, fewer than 10% of firms use automation to redeploy candidates.
Gretchen Keefner, SVP, Global Enterprise Business at Bullhorn, comments: “This year’s survey highlights a clear relationship between business performance and technology adoption. This makes a compelling case for firms to invest more in digital transformation to future-proof their businesses, despite economic challenges and uncertainty in the jobs market.”
“Acquiring new clients has once again become the top priority for recruitment firms, and it’s still crucial for firms to focus on delivering a more modern, personalized, and connected candidate experience because the talent market remains tight. Firms that use technology to increase their efficiency and provide a streamlined experience will set themselves apart from the competition.”
Read the full report here.