How to Streamline your Industrial Staffing Process in a Shifting Talent Landscape?
Once seen as a process of filling open positions or meeting short-term hiring needs, industrial staffing has now become a part of crucial boardroom discussions. Business leaders today urge hiring managers to look beyond the immediate business needs, rethink staffing strategies from the perspective of building relationships, and employ specialized firms to bring in skilled and quality candidates.
As the talent landscape shifts, even industrial staffing firms are experiencing a watershed moment. Extremely skilled and gifted candidates are now being found outside traditional talent clusters, gig workers are entering the mainstream, work preferences of the on-demand workforce are changing, and technological disruption is hitting hard. All this and more are pushing staffing agencies to adopt a well-crafted staffing process to adequately and efficiently operate in a candidate and client market.
Before we dig into that process, let’s talk about industrial staffing and how it differs from general staffing –
Unlike general staffing, industrial staffing firms offer business leaders a tailored approach to meet unique workforce requirements in sectors like construction, engineering, manufacturing, and so on. Industrial staffing firms typically deal with extreme and sometimes even unexpected talent shortages primarily because of the nature of the jobs. Most offer long-term contractual employment opportunities. Staffing industry analysts have ranked industrial staffing as one of the most significant and high-growth segments.
- By following a structured approach or a well-crafted strategy, staffing agencies save a lot of time and resources while filling vacant positions promptly
- An organized staffing process definitely leads to better hiring decisions. E.g., it establishes a standardized framework for evaluating candidates based on their skills, qualifications, and fit with the organization's culture
- The chances of a positive candidate experience shoot up when candidates know what to expect at each step of their hiring process. And positive experiences enhance the agency’s reputation and attract high-quality talent
- A systematic staffing process also enables organizations to identify potential candidates for future roles and develop a pipeline of talent
- Having a process in place allows rapid staffing and quick replacement. For instance, if the staffing agency has maintained a database of pre-screened candidates readily available for immediate placements, they can swiftly provide replacements, minimizing disruptions to the client's operations.
Now that you know what industrial staffing is and the advantages of having a standard process, let’s examine some of the critical steps involved in the process and why they are essential for a successful business outcome.
The Essential Steps to Streamlining Your Industrial Staffing Process
From Client Consultation to Long-Term Partnerships – what are the key steps for effective staffing?
Step 1: Start with client consultation. Understand your client’s need in terms of talent and skills, what resources and capabilities they currently have, and where the gaps are. This kind of clarity is crucial. It allows a staffing agency to have an aerial view of the business and formulate a plan of action accordingly.
Step 2: Once you gather enough information on client requirements, design a strategic roadmap. But here’s a word of caution – every client will be different, so avoid operating on a one-size-fits-all strategy. E.g., if your client is looking for a specific skill set, then screen candidates based on that. If your client is looking for extensive experience, then search candidates accordingly. Focus on your client’s end objective and whether your staffing model meets that.
Step 3: After you have a strategic roadmap, start with the recruitment and selection process. Encourage potential candidates to apply. Most industrial staffing firms have an excellent understanding of the local talent. They know where to look precisely. Candidates often stick to one staffing agency if they have a positive experience in their last assignment. Once you have a pool of qualified candidates –
- Begin with preliminary screening
- Explain to them the role and employer expectations
- Conduct a holistic evaluation (cognitive & technical) and also assess them on expertise, and knowledge required for the job
- Review their background and career history
- Reference check (if needed), and
- Select the most skilled and desirable employee to fill the vacancy. (Base your final selection on the client's preferences and feedback.)
P.S. If you have read our last blog, we have elaborated upon how understanding candidate aspirations has become one of the keys to a positive staffing experience. Today, staffing firms are striving to become career partners instead of just playing their part as recruitment agencies. They are helping candidates become future team members rather than be temp hires.
Step 4: Once the candidate is selected, it is your responsibility to ensure a smooth transition for the candidate. Facilitate the on-boarding and orientation process - this may involve completing the necessary paperwork, verifying employment eligibility, conducting background checks if required, and explaining company policies and procedures.
Step 5: Your responsibility doesn’t end with on-boarding. Stay connected with the candidate and the client to iron out any wrinkles in the placement process. Make sure to communicate regularly and provide ongoing support as needed. Remember that the role of communication and responsiveness in the entire staffing process has grown immensely. Most candidates and clients prefer proactive communication as it brings transparency and clarity and helps to establish a long-term partnership.
Industrial staffing is not just about putting a great process together. It's much more, especially if you want to achieve the desired business outcome. For a 100% result-worthy outcome –
- Focus on Alignment – Alignment goes deeper than just putting people in specific roles. It is about fitting the talent into the overall environment of the client company. As an industrial staffing firm, if you want good results, integrate your staffing process with the client's vision, mission, and overall objective. Invest time in understanding what your client does and communicating that effectively to the potential hire.
- Establish a Worker Landscape – Gone are those days when a hefty package, a startling year-end bonus, and some paid leaves were used to attract workers. With millennials and Gen Z entering the workforce, the worker landscape has changed. It’s become imperative to understand – why a quality talent would choose your client or what a potential hire is looking for. Amid talent shortage and intense competition, if you lose focus on these areas, chances are you won’t be able to hire or retain that talent. So, here the role of an industrial staffing framework is instrumental. The more a staffing firm thoroughly evaluates and matches the requirements on both sides, the more impactful the result will be.
- Hire for Potential – Staffing has become more complex than ever. The reasons are multiple. A lot of factors have come into play when hiring a candidate. With the advent of technology, new jobs have emerged, and new roles have been created, yet skill gaps exist everywhere. In a situation like this, expand your horizon to deliver maximum output. Hire for potential, not just experience. Look for qualities like learning agility, adaptability, and resilience. Place less emphasis on academic degrees, certifications, and experience.
- Make Sure Your Staffing Strategy Includes Behavioural Evaluation – One of the surefire ways to hire suitable people is by including behavioral interviewing in your best practices. This technique is an excellent indicator of how a candidate would perform in a particular situation and offers a comprehensive view of a person. The behavioral interview includes situational questions, e.g.,
Describe a stressful work situation you’ve experienced. How did you perform despite the stress? What are your coping skills?
The answer to the above question will give you an insight into how a candidate addressed a certain situation or handled a specific assignment. It will tell you what they will likely do in a similar situation. These questions also give a clear picture of how a candidate views himself.
- Upgrade Yourself – Upgrade yourself if you are looking to gain an edge and stay ahead of your competitors. Think of strategies that can help you stand out.
The staffing and recruitment industry has evolved significantly, but the last few years have called for massive transformation. Thanks to the pandemic, the already fragmented labor market has further worsened, the demand for skills has increased, and a record number of workers have quit during the Great Resignation, leaving companies in deep waters. This has impacted the industrial staffing agencies too. They have been forced to adopt new strategies to hire quality talent.
Many firms have shifted their entire focus to understanding who their best recruits could be and creatively breaking the market norms to attract them. Some of them are hunting local markets to get the best talent onboard. But it is essential to understand that you can never be 100% covered in staffing and recruitment. The maximum you can do is minimize the risk of failure by establishing a practical framework or an effective approach in place.
If you are a client looking to implement staffing strategies that may help you differentiate yourself, or a candidate looking for a job, or a role in which you can thrive, we are just a click away.