Two weeks ago marked the return of the American Staffing Association’s Staffing World conference. It may have looked different this year since it was all virtual, but what remained the same was the overwhelming amount of knowledge shared within the industry. As a proud sponsor of Staffing World this year, we wanted to take a moment to discuss what we considered to be the top three topics on everyone’s mind. Here are the 3 main takeaways from Staffing World 2020:
1. COVID-19’s Impact On Recruitment
It should be of no surprise that the pandemic was top of mind this year. Reminders of the COVID-19 pandemic were seemingly everywhere especially as attendees navigated through a virtual coffeehouse with their very Sims-like avatars. It was inescapable but empowering to see that despite it all, we could still connect with the larger Staffing Industry.
Many of the individual sessions were also centered around navigating this new work world we’ve suddenly found ourselves thrust into. From building specific skills to strategies on cultivating a purposeful workforce, the pandemic remained a constant source of equal parts anxiety and inspiration throughout Staffing World 2020.
2. Remote Work
Another arm of the post-pandemic discussion was the rise of the remote workforce. From a data perspective, it’s clear that remote work is here to stay. Earlier this year, those that were able were suddenly forced to work from their home offices overnight and it seems as though many American employees have grown accustomed to this new lifestyle. So, being able to pivot your recruitment strategy to make sure you’re reaching these new remote candidates has become mission-critical going into 2021.
The rise of remote work led to the rise of remote work discussions amongst staffing professionals and made it into everyone’s “trends to follow” list. One session titled, 5 Trends That Will Outlast Covid-19 and Accelerate Your 2021 Recovery noted that companies going forward will need to include far more flexibility perks in order to stay competitive especially with the younger workforce. As younger generations age into “office life”, there’s an expectation of flexible hours and location any companies looking to rebuild will need to strongly consider this.
3. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Third, and perhaps the most important takeaway, were the countless sessions centered around diversity, equity, and inclusion. Next to COVID-19, Diversity was one of the most discussed topics at Staffing World 2020, and with good reason. The civil unrest within the summer months of this year gave rise to these larger conversations on how the staffing industry can improve the way they engage with, target, and communicate with candidates that fit into diverse communities.
The beauty of diversity is the brilliance of its shine and the vastness of its umbrella. We all fit into one bucket or another. But that’s also what makes it so difficult for staffing professionals to navigate. So, the staffing industry now has a new challenge to tackle: sincerity. Navigating this terrain requires sincerity and transparency from all parties if we are to transform the industry and the entire workforce as well. Staffing professionals must answer this clarion call with a fierce loyalty to the idea that we all bring something to the table and that offering can take many forms. Knowing your client’s needs as well as the needs of a candidate and being honest to all sides is just one of many ways forward. The others will be uncovered as we continue to work toward this new goal.
This year has become a reckoning for many and these main takeaways reflect that. We hope that next year’s Staffing World 2020 will bring about equally insightful and industry changing conversations.