I often talk about the “relentless pace of work” in the staffing industry. For people who do not work in the staffing world it is hard to envisage an environment like ours, so I thought I would try to explain why the pace is what it is.
1. There is a never ending demand for resources from our clients (if it dries up then you are out of business) so the “in-box” is always full and a constant stream of new items arrive there.
2. The “backlog” of business in the staffing industry is short, between three and six months is fairly typical. So in order to stay in business we need to keep that constant flow on orders.
3. We are in the people business and there are an endless number of reasons why there needs to be communication with those people. It could be billing issues, performance issues, contract issues or it might just be career discussions, market discussions etc. So our recruiters and sales people are constantly on the phones talking with clients and candidates.
4. If you walk through a staffing company there will be a constant buzz as the phones ring, people calling on the phone and the endless keyboarding noise!
5. Staffing companies get many thousands of resumes a month submitted primarily electronically these days, but these are all people looking for work and wanting to talk with someone. Those are the people who apply, and might not have the skills to meet our job needs but they need to be screened and processed.
6. For each order our recruiters might call 20 or 30 potentially qualified candidates, to explore their availability in addition to their match with the opportunity and their level of interest. This is the case whether we win the business or not … and even if we win the contract might be just for a few hours work or it could be a juicy one year contract.
7. Our database contains tens of thousands of resumes of technology resources and for it to be as efficient as we need it to be we have to keep on top of those candidates, know when they are going to be available and have their latest resumes on hand.
8. We also need to continually refresh our database, ensuring that we have the candidates to meet our client’s future needs … so that when they are needed we can find them.
9. When we actually make a match we have to negotiate with the candidate, agree on a rate, terms and conditions of a contract, execute a contract and prepare the candidate for their first day. We need to get paperwork completed by the client and depending upon the client we may have security checks, credit checks and educational verification to complete.
10. We are constantly completing reference checks ensuring that our candidates presented to clients are coming with good credentials from previous jobs.
11. On the sales side we are developing new accounts, managing existing accounts and ensuring our delivery team is doing just that … delivering.
The day to day pace of a staffing company is relentless because if you slow down this month the affect will be felt two months from now and to rejuvenate the orders is just “that much harder”. There is no let up in the routine and with skills shortages and approaching labor shortages it is only getting crazier!
Despite, (and for some, because of), the hard work there are many, many reasons why people love to be in the staffing industry and that is a blog for another day. Enough to say that this is a very busy world!