Staffing has always been a fast-paced industry. Nowhere is this more true than in the continual stream of technology innovations that empower staffing firms to reach new heights — or, at the very least, to keep up with the competition.

And while many individuals choose a career in the staffing industry because of their skills and passion for interacting with people, it is equally true that today’s recruiters and account managers are relying more and more on cutting-edge technology in their applicant tracking systems and customer relationship management software in order to maximize their productivity.

This article shares selected highlights from SIA’s recently published “Staffing Front Office Software Landscape” report. The 117-page report was written in part to help staffing executives better understand what technology resources exist and how they are evolving. The report identifies 102 software vendors in the market and provides particularly in-depth reporting on 30 vendors that were willing to provide detailed information about their software and business. The 30 profiled vendors range from larger organizations such as Bullhorn, AkkenCloud, Ceipal and Avionté to smaller, more niche vendors.

Level Setting

Overall, staffing firms appear to be reasonably pleased with their front-office software, according to SIA’s 2022 Staffing Company Survey. As shown in the accompanying graph, 82% of staffing firms gave a rating of five or higher on a 10-point scale in terms of the likelihood that they would recommend their technology to others; 45% gave a rating of eight or higher. In other words, the vast majority of staffing firms appear reasonably satisfied, although it can be inferred that those that gave a rating between five and seven (39% of staffing firms) have some degree of unmet need or unresolved pain point.

How likely are you to recommend your front-office software to a friend or colleague?

In another sign of satisfaction, the Staffing Company Survey also found that a net 25% of small staffing firms planned to expand their use of front-office software in 2022, and a net 37% of large staffing firms planned to do the same.

Trends to Watch For

While a comprehensive discussion of software trends is beyond the scope of this article, we do highlight the following findings gleaned from SIA’s “Front Office Software Landscape” report:

  • Vendors have been delivering a steady stream of feature enhancements, often leveraging powerful new technology innovations. Forty percent of vendors include artificial intelligence (AI) as part of their core offerings, often related to searching and matching processes.
  • Improvements in user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are a key focus to enhance convenience and drive user adoption by candidates, clients and internal staff. Enhancements have been driven both by technology improvements as well as a robust collection of user feedback. In a digital world, a quality user experience is critical to remaining competitive.
  • Customizable dashboards are playing a key role in tracking performance metrics not only for staffing firm executives but increasingly for frontline recruiters and account managers to stay on top of tasks and prioritize their activities.
  • The pandemic accelerated the creation and adoption of technology for video interviewing, skills testing, background checking and document management and sign-off. These technologies are becoming embedded within front-office software either directly or through third-party integrations.

Lastly, vendors have been focused on delivering automation that relieves recruiters and account managers from formerly manual tasks such as job posting, interview scheduling, credential checking and various text and email communications.

With so many technology advancements available, staffing executives have many great opportunities to enhance their internal operations. Nevertheless, in order to take advantage of these new capabilities, staffing executives will need to invest time in understanding new features, executing the rollout of new processes and overseeing the change management necessary to drive internal staff adoption.

Seize the Day

In the same way that the staffing industry is a diverse set of firms of varying size, location and niche focus, there is a remarkably diverse set of staffing software vendors that vary in their scope of offerings, technology approach, design and integration partnerships. It all adds up to a rich selection of options and opportunities for staffing firms to craft their technology strategy.

Staffing executives will be wise to regularly invest the time and resources necessary to map out their technology strategy and tactics, keeping in mind such factors as their market niche, their target clients and talent, their competition, and their internal company culture. With proper planning, a well-aligned technology strategy can unlock and multiply the potential and efforts of their internal staff.