[Podcast] Industry Spotlight | Maurice Fuller – Founder, StaffingTec – Staffing & Recruitment Technology Trends

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Show notes

Join Kortney Harmon and Maurice Fuller for a conversation about staffing and recruiting technology trends and tips. In this episode, you’ll hear Maurice Fuller, the talent industry’s go-to CTO and CEO of StaffingTec, talk about the trends he’s seeing the the  staffing and recruiting space, technologies to keep an eye on, and the ways to get the most out of your tech stack.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The importance of having a strong foundation prior to tech implementation
  • Future staffing and recruiting trends and technologies to keep an eye on
  • Tips for getting the most out of your technologies

Download the Top 12 Staffing and Recruiting Technology Trends poster here.

Transcription

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

It’s just having clean data within your ATS. You can’t run automation successfully unless your data is clean. So it’s important that we have great processes to support clean data, and then ultimately having automations that run to ensure that data hygiene within our system.

Kortney Harmon, host:

I love that. Data in is data out. It’s such an integral part of our process. Hi, I’m Kortney Harmon, Staffing and Recruiting Industry Principal at Crelate. This is the Full Desk Experiences Industry Spotlight Series, where we are talking with the top leaders and influencers who are shaping the talent industry. In this series, we’ll be shining a light on popular trends, the latest news, and the stories that lead the groundwork for their success.

On today’s episode, we’re going to be talking with Maurice Fuller. Maurice is the Founder of StaffingTec, and he really serves as a fractional CTO to the staffing industry and is widely recognized as a leading staffing technology expert. Maurice has worked with staffing firms to modernize and optimize tech stacks, as well as select and build the best ATS systems and staffing platforms for those businesses. He has more than 25 years of experience in the staffing industry and has been leading staffing technology initiatives for more than two decades. Maurice, thank you so much for joining us.

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

Thank you so much for having me on the show. I really appreciate it.

Kortney Harmon, host:

I am very excited for today’s conversation. Now as we dive into today’s conversation, I want to level set for our audience. We really talk a ton on this show about how to be critical or how it’s critical to lay down that clear foundational, deliberate process for firms and agencies before they go pursue scale and efficiencies through things like AI and automation. And that’s a major part of staffing firms for the future. It’s where we’re going, but today we’re going to indulge a little bit in looking towards the possible future in staffing technologies, really get the juices flowing.

Now some of these might not be a main focus or endorsed from Crelate’s position today, but if you are a staffing operations leader, you should certainly have both an eye on the present and the future of our industry. And that really starts around choosing a platform, a point solution to build an overall tech stack around, and in turn that’s going to support where you want your business to be in the future. So let’s dive in. Maurice, I can’t wait. I know I’ve gotten the privilege to learn about you from our previous conversations, but can you elaborate a little bit more about you and what your company does for our listeners?

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

Sure. Well just to get to your original point about basics, I completely agree. I think being brilliant at the basics is the foundation for success in the staffing industry. And we’ll talk about that throughout this discussion. But what I focus on with my clients is building high performance tech stacks to enable my clients to grow faster and operate more efficiently. At the end of the day, a staffing firm or recruiting business, it’s a business. We have shareholders and it’s about making money. So today the driver of success more and more is technology. So how do we take best advantage of technology to operate our businesses more successfully? And so, the technology and the tech stacks are fundamental to our operations and that’s where I work with dozens of clients to optimize their technology, lay the foundation for growth and building roadmaps that will continuously improve the capabilities of their technology, so they can operate more competitively and deliver greater value to their stakeholders.

Kortney Harmon, host:

I love that. And that’s such an integral part of where our industry is going. So Maurice, I know you originally started out as a recruiter and really have been in the staffing space for over two decades. Can you tell me what drew you to staffing technology arena and why you’re so passionate about it? Why is this your jam?

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

It’s a really interesting story. I started off as a recruiter and I did that for a number of years and I absolutely loved it. I love matching people to jobs and helping people with their careers. And what happened is, I switched to another company and was working as a recruiter there, and I noticed a lot of things that they could improve upon. And so, I built a list that might have had 40, 50 items on it and I casually brought it up to my manager and went through the entire list. And next thing I knew, two months later they had promoted me into a management job and said, “Okay, now we want you to do all these things.” So I then spent probably the next two years just working off that list and improving that business and we started to see tremendous growth as a result of these investments that we were making.

But what happened as time went on, we had selected an ATS system and the company essentially went out of business. And so, very gradually month after month, what you could see is that our effectiveness was beginning to wane. We were losing placements, we were missing out on candidates that were right there in front of us. So at one point I made a commitment that we were going to really invest significantly in our technology to gain competitive advantages over our competition. And that was really the turnaround point. And so, I brought that to my management team, said, “Hey, here’s a plan for investing in technology.” And it involved a lot of custom software development and commercial software development that we brought together. And so, systematically month after month, year after where we made these investments and it was amazing. It was just amazing to have an idea for a piece of staffing technology or capabilities, implement the technology and then see recruiters become more successful, make more placements, and then that led to more revenue and that led to accelerating growth.

So we were able to grow that company from $35 to $150 million of revenue in seven years. So it was not just the technology, we had great leadership, we had great people on our team, we had fantastic processes, but that combination of all the right things in place led to tremendous growth. So once you’ve experienced that feeling of having great technology and enabling recruiters and sales execs and everyone within organization to operate faster and better and more efficiently, and you see how that impacts the top line growth of the company and the success that you achieve from that, you become hooked on that feeling and you want to keep experiencing that over and over and over. So that’s really what led me to where I am today, focusing 100% of my time on staffing technology, which I’ve been doing now for many years.

Kortney Harmon, host:

I love that. That’s amazing. And I think none of us get into recruiting, because that’s what we want to be when we grow up, of course. But I feel that same piece, not in the technology space, but just in the idea of helping people grow and be more efficient. So I totally can relate to that and how that just is truly a passion of yours. So it sounds like they were really lucky to have you, and wow, what growth in seven years. So I love that you’re copy pasting and repeating this process with other organizations to help them be successful. That’s truly amazing.

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

Thank you.

Kortney Harmon, host:

Now in your experience in helping staffing and people in the staffing industry, what are some things that you maybe have seen firms get wrong with implementing technology? What is something that maybe stands out to you to say words of wisdom this is learned from this experience?

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

Yeah, that’s a really interesting question, because it starts way before we actually start implementing the technology. It starts at the moment we start thinking about the technology and we haven’t even signed the deal with the vendor yet. So we are looking at solutions to a problem and we are looking at our options for addressing that, technological options, process improvement. Maybe there’s people involved, but let’s say we settle in on a particular piece of technology. Before we even sign with a vendor, we want to really do our due diligence in terms of thinking about the financial impact that this technology is likely to have. How much return are we expecting from this? How are we going to measure the returns? How are we going to measure the operational efficiencies that we gain? What kind of operational efficiencies are we expecting? Let’s think about ways that this could go sideways and what kind of contingency plans are we going to put in place to ensure that we can navigate through this.

Having a strategic plan for ensuring the success of the implementation. So all of those things are thought about and work through before we agree to take on a new technology and sign the contract. Then, when we get to the implementation stage, we’re fully prepared. We know what we’re getting ourselves into, and then having the right people in place to implement and lead the implementation is critical. The change management process is super important to get that right to ensure adoption of the technology. Once we’ve gone live, we want to continuously improve it and not just let it operate on its own, but really stay focused on it. And the last thing I would say is, sometimes we give up a little bit too soon. I’ve seen it where there’s expectations that you can just plug in a piece of technology like a Lego block and it will instantly generate returns.

But sometimes it takes time, the stack of technology we use to run our businesses is a little bit like a high performance racing car. There’s a lot of fine tuning that has to go on all the time to operate at peak performance. And so, sometimes we just have to be patient and work through the problems and commit to improving the product so that we can get the rate of return that we were expecting from that. So I would say number one, due diligence upfront, and number two, having the right leaders in place to implement change management, a commitment to continuously improve, and then just being patient and working through the tough problems.

Kortney Harmon, host:

I love that. I love being able to set that foundational platform first. Having the clear expectations, super key in any of our processes in our industry. But I love that you’re like, “Give it time.” Some people, we go to the next shiny object, there’s the next technology out there. Oftentimes we don’t get enough information or metrics around the technologies we’re trying to implement and we’re just onto the next thing. And in reality, what did we do? Did we spin our wheels for the last six months, three years, whatever that might look like, going to the next thing when the problem really wasn’t the technology to begin with. Maybe it was we didn’t do that foundational building blocks in the beginning.

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

Exactly. So there’s a lot of thinking that has to go upfront to make sure it’s very clear to us why we’re doing this and what the road ahead looks like, and just set expectations correctly with all the stakeholders involved. So you want to minimize surprises along the way.

Kortney Harmon, host:

I love that. This is where my brain’s going. So follow with me for a second. We have leaders that are in this industry and we’re talking about technology. Do you see firms maybe assessing technology too frequently or not frequently enough? I know that seems like a random question, but sometimes they think that technology’s the answer, let’s go to something else. But then there’s those people that they’re change adverse, they don’t like the idea of change. Do you see one group or another or do you see it dispersed evenly in our industry?

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

I see everything you can constantly imagine, from companies that are extremely aggressive with technology to companies that are very hesitant to. On the opposite side, I actually have run across companies that are proud of the fact that they are lagging in their technology. So it’s a continuum, and I think it really starts with the leadership of the company. It really starts at the top. Are we committed to technological advancements? Are we committed to improving our operations? And it trickles down from there. So at a minimum, at the highest level, there needs to be buy-in to modernizing systems and technology. And then people at the C level or the level below that are skilled and deeply vested in these areas of improvement. So yeah, it’s all over the map.

Kortney Harmon, host:

I love that. Thank you. I appreciate that. Sorry, that was where my brain went.

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

Sure.

Kortney Harmon, host:

Onto our next question. Looking at the economy where things are going right now, how do you think this shifting market conditions are really going to affect our staffing industry? Do you have any insights or thoughts on that? Maybe just an opinion?

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

Yeah, sure. So nobody really knows where the economy is going. And if I knew where the economy is going, I probably wouldn’t be in this role. I’d be doing a different job altogether. But I personally have been through three downturns, and each time it’s had a significant impact on the firms that I’ve been a part of when our clients catch a cold, staffing recruiting firms catch pneumonia. But the good news is that it’s a short experience and there is light at the end of the tunnel. And I would say that this decade, there’s going to be a massive shortage of people for jobs in the United States. So while there might be a downturn right now, and while some of the larger technology firms might be letting go of recruiters, this is a brief episode, I fully expect that we’ll recover from this and there’ll be tremendous demand for recruiters.

So I have a few ideas on how to think about this. If you’re currently running a staffing or recruiting firm, this might be a good time to pick up on some great recruiters to bring into your organization. And also, this is also a really good time to bring your entire house in order, things are slowing down right now. You’ve got time to think about technology and you have time to think about improvement. So take advantage of this time before we go to the next wave of growth, which inevitably will happen. If you are a recruiter between jobs, this might be a good time to think about starting your own recruiting agency. I can’t tell you how many staffing firms that are huge today. Were started during recessionary times by people that were laid off from their previous jobs. So this is a fantastic time to start a staffing and recruiting agency, because many hiring managers actually have time to talk to you now.

They’re not being called upon by zillions of recruiters. So I think if you’re a IT recruiter and you’re having a hard time finding a job, I’ve read articles about people who have sent out hundreds of applications, consider moving to another segment. There are areas of recruiting that are in massive demand. For example, healthcare recruiting, there’s so much demand right now for talent in that area. So you don’t have to always just swim in one lane as far as what you do as a recruiter. There’s all kinds of opportunities to take advantage of your talent.

Kortney Harmon, host:

I love that. Situations like this and times like this really create opportunity for those that are interested in moving and shifting. You really almost have to be fluid just like any business owner. I love that you said, really setting up now’s a good time to look at technology. Now’s the time to get your house in order, because you have time to do that. And as you said, this too shall change. It is an ebb and flow in our industry and it’s just where we’re putting our focus at this point in time. So I love those words of wisdom.

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

Thank you.

Kortney Harmon, host:

In our last conversation, we really talked a lot about your sweet spot. It’s the idea, we talked about future trends. What do you think the top three trends in staffing firms are going to be or what they need to pay attention to in 2023?

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

There’s just so many trends that are happening, but I want to just zero in on the most important trends. And if I had to pick three, I would say automation, digital marketing, and then your overall staffing platform, which is the ATS that you’re running, and then the technologies that surround that to amplify the effectiveness of your ATS and your overall staffing operation. So let’s just start with automation first. Oftentimes within staffing, we think about automation as being platform like sense, or an automation platform that’s connected to the ATS itself. But there’s really many forms of automation that we should be considering. So for example, Zapier is a tool for connecting different systems together. And there’s a lot of streamlining that we can achieve by connecting different systems together with Zaps. There are new programming environments that are emerging. They’re referred to as low and no-code programming tools, where we can program systems, essentially without really knowing how to program algorithmically.

So the bigger staffing firms in the world, the Kelly’s for example, they have all kinds of initiatives to take advantage of people within their companies who are so-called citizen developers, who are developing automations within their business. And you have other tools like robotic process automation tools, like UiPath and even onboarding tools for streamlining onboarding automation. So I’m saying all of this because I want people to think outside of just sense automations or automation that occurs within your ATS, there are many, many other forms of automation that you should think about for your business. And then number two, digital marketing. This has become so important to the success of your business and it starts with your website, but it’s also the way that you engage with your customers. It’s the way that you engage with your candidates. And so, having really good digital marketing capabilities in-house is imperative.

If you don’t have this within your business, you should acquire this by working with a marketing firm or multiple firms that can assist you with this. And then number three, I would say your staffing platform, the combination of technologies that you use to deliver services and to operate your business is critical. And here, I want to highlight the importance of having really robust APIs. So the core of your business is your ATS system, and the APIs need to be robust and secure in order to support many integrations, wide ranging integrations with different providers of technology to expand the capabilities of your business. And not all APIs for different ATS systems are created equally. Just because someone says they have an API, doesn’t mean you necessarily have the kind of access to it that you want or that your marketplace partners have access to those APIs, and all the capabilities that you need over time to expand the growth of your business. So that’s a really critical capability that you want to consider when you’re looking at different ATS systems and as you’re building out your entire staffing platform.

Kortney Harmon, host:

Thank you for hitting on the APIs. That was definitely one of my questions as well. As you were just talking, something came to my mind and where my brain was thinking. We talk about these future trends and where things are going, but as we talk about technology, do you feel that organizations’ technologies are really going to start defining culture? Most people really think of culture as ping pong tables, napping pods, after work events. But with the shift in the remote environment, I really see tech stacks helping define a new definition of what culture is technically. What are your thoughts on that?

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

I think that’s a really interesting question is, how does the technology that we use within the business define the culture? And let’s go back to that question you had earlier about companies that are more laggards with technology and the companies that are more forward. The environment of those companies is very different. And so, if I’m a recruiter and have a lot of different choices for where I’m going to go to work, I am likely to want to go to work for the company where they are committed to technology and where I can step into it and take advantage of technology that’s going to enable me to be more successful.

So we are used to using a lot of technology in our personal life. We expect to see that level of technology within our business as well. And when we have to take a step backwards in our business, I think that can feel frustrating. So I think that yes, workplaces are very much defined by the technology and the commitment to technology, and I think that you can also hire caliber people into your organization when you have a great technology platform that they can do work from.

Kortney Harmon, host:

Absolutely. It’s only going to continue their success and their growth as an individual, as well as your organization that you’re speaking to. So thanks for that, Maurice.

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

Sure.

Kortney Harmon, host:

When we talk about these staffing firms, how do they stay on top of all of these trends? There’s so many of them, it’s the shiny object. How does a firm stay abreast of all the trends that are going on? Do you have any insights to that?

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

Sure. I have a few suggestions on that. So I would say number one, when vendors call on you, take their calls, take their meetings, watch the demos, and learn and attend trade shows. You can learn a lot by the sessions that are put on by talking to vendors at trade shows. Talk to your peers about what they’re doing and what’s working for them. Read white papers, read material that’s presented on the internet. Keep up with not just technology trends within our industry, but keep up with trends that are happening in other industries as well. What’s happening in the banking industry, what’s happening in manufacturing. A lot of those trends make their way into the staffing industry in one way or another. Or if you don’t want to keep up with all of those trends, just hire someone like me that spends all of their time keeping up with staffing technology trends to advise you on what decisions to make.

Kortney Harmon, host:

You got the easy button, and then you have the option to keep up with it yourself, right? I love it.

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

Exactly.

Kortney Harmon, host:

I love that. As we’ve been talking a lot about ATS platforms, obviously that’s what we do, but outside of these technologies, what are two or three technologies every staffing firm has to have beyond their ATS?

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

I’m a super strong believer in getting the basics right. We want to have the basic technology super robust and solid before we move on to the more advanced technologies and the more shiny objects, so to speak. So fundamentally, it starts with the AST. The ATS is the single most important technology decision that you will make. And getting that right is imperative. Once we’ve selected the best AST for our business, then let’s look at other technologies that are fundamental to our business, like the phone system, having a great phone system to communicate with our candidates and our clients is super, super important. And then texting is fundamental now as well. And ideally, our voice communications and our texting is converged on the same line. Other tools that are fundamental are tools like Calendly for scheduling meetings. So once we have the basic suite of technologies, then let’s look at our website.

Having a great website is very important. It’s key to our brand, it’s key to the way we go to market. It’s what our candidates see, our clients see. So we want to have a great website that reflects who we are. And then we can move on to things like automation tools, which I mentioned is probably the single most important technology trend today. Having a good automation tool or taking advantage of the automation capabilities that are already built into your ATS is super important. Having reporting tools and BI tools, taking advantage of those tools to manage and run your business is very important. And then last but not least, and I’m not sure you can call this a technology, it’s just having clean data within your ATS. You can’t run automation successfully unless your data is clean. So it’s important that we have great processes to support clean data, and then ultimately having automations that run to ensure that data hygiene within our system.

Kortney Harmon, host:

I love that data in is data out. It’s such an integral part of our process. Now, you touched on some of the pieces of my next question, but how could staffing leaders best use their ATSs and CRMs? You talked about texting, you talked about reporting, you talked about automations, and we talked about clean data. Is there anything else that you could, best words of advice of how they can best use their ATS and CRMs?

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

Yeah, I would say first and foremost, actually use your ATS.

Kortney Harmon, host:

No spreadsheets?

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

Yeah. Actually, I talked to a company not too long ago and they said they were using, let’s call it Acme ATS system. And then when I was doing discovery with them, I found out that they were actually only using it 5% of the time, and that 95% of the time their entire business was run on this gigantic spreadsheet. So I think we have an ATS for a reason, and it can really help make a difference in the operations of our business. So number one, use your ATS. And then number two, use it to its full capacity. And that means really getting to know that that product. The ATSs are becoming so comprehensive now, when you think about something like Microsoft Word or Excel, we’re really only using a tiny fraction of those products, but there’s so much capability there that’s not being used.

So dig into your ATS and get to know it really well and all of its capabilities. And then also, keep up with all the improvements that are going into it. Today more than ever, ATS vendors are adding features and capabilities at an incredibly furious pace. And so, we want to know what is the roadmap for the capabilities that are coming along. And then once they’re released, let’s take advantage of these capabilities right away. So I often recommend to my clients, have a meeting, either regular cadence to think about continuous improvement within your business and maintain a backlog of ideas. You can’t implement everything all at once, but keep track of all the ideas that you have, and then prioritize how you’re going to implement those ideas. So those are my three ideas for taking full advantage of your ATS.

Kortney Harmon, host:

I love that. Thank you. It gives me heart palpitations whenever I hear people say, “Oh, we only use the ATS for this.” It’s like, “Oh no. How are you getting your holistic view of your business?” I feel that. Now you spoke many times even today about the importance of automating some of those more time consuming processes within staffing. For firms just starting out with automations, what are some of the first processes that they could possibly automate? It’s our buzzword now. It’s what people could think about, but oftentimes we get in and we’re like, “Oh my gosh, we need to automate all of these things. We need to be all these places at all of these times.” Where could they maybe start more manageable pieces to get their head around, where do they start with automation?

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

I think it’s important to recognize that automation is a journey and there’s just really no end. From this point forward for the rest of your career in staffing and recruiting, you will be automating more and more and more facets of the business. If you think about the biggest staffing firms in the world today, they’re currently running, let’s say 500 or more automations or bots. And by the year 2030, I think the typical staffing recruiting firm will easily be at that level where they’re running 500 or more bots. So when you think about it, how do you get to 500 bots or automations today? That’s seven years from now. When you work through the math, that means you’re going to have to be doing about 75 automations per year. That’s about one and a half automations a week to get to 500. Now maybe you start at one and maybe over time that accelerates, but it’s a commitment.

And when I work with clients and do strategy sessions, we’ll quickly come up with 50, 100, 150 different ideas for automating, but you can’t do all of those at once. We just don’t have the bandwidth to do that. So we want to build the expertise within our business to be able to prioritize automations. And so, we want to look at that from a lot of different points of view. What kind of time savings are we likely to realize? What’s the financial impact? What’s the strategic value? How is this going to positively impact our clients? How will this impact our ability to source candidates more efficiently? How will this support us on the retention side? Will this enable us to retain employees longer and improve revenue streams that way? So there’s a lot of considerations that go into prioritizing. So if you have ideas for 150 different automations, I know it takes time, but somehow we have to prioritize them and figure out what’s the first one we’re going to do, the second one, the third one, and build a backlog of ideas.

So I would say, as far as the first automation, I think just going back to basics, for example, acknowledging the receipt of a resume from a candidate, quickly acknowledging it and saying, “Hey, thank you so much for submitting your resume. Here are the next steps, here’s what’s going to happen next.” And then it goes from there. The other thing, I think there’s just a lot of automation that’s built in within the ATS systems itself. So what are those capabilities? So doing an inventory of opportunities to take advantage of build-in automations without having to go to programmatic automations and enabling those capabilities first, before you start developing custom automations, I think can go a long ways.

Kortney Harmon, host:

I love that. Sitting down to at least understand your process, go through the candidate journey, put yourself in those shoes, when would you want to touch? Those seem more manageable. Absolutely. Things that they can pick off easy and they could make a world of difference.

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

Yeah.

Kortney Harmon, host:

I love that.

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

I would add to that, over time, we want to think about the experience that we’re delivering to our candidates. If we’re on the other end, I am presenting my resume to a particular staffing firm. What does that feel like every point of the way, the phone communications, the emails, the text messages, and the messages themselves? And how does that tie into your branding for your business? So it’s really an extension of your business. The other great thing about automation is, it builds predictability into the delivery of your business. So right now, we depend so heavily on human beings to deliver services in a specific way to uphold the value of our brand, but with automation, that helps support consistent delivery and elevates the delivery of our services.

Kortney Harmon, host:

I always hear this from candidates in the recruiting process itself, the number one complaint is recruiters. In business development, people call too frequently, until they get your business. And once they get your business or get you hooked, they never call you again. So it’s too much communication or not enough communication. And automation sounds like the easy way to make sure it’s consistent and deliberate. So I love that.

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

Exactly.

Kortney Harmon, host:

Do you think that there’s any part of our process, the business process that you don’t think should be automated? We talk about sales recruiting, it’s truly sometimes the human element that establishes key accounts or key relationships. Is there anything in the future that you say, “I don’t think this should ever be automated?” Any thoughts?

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

That’s a really interesting question, because there are some aspects of staffing recruiting that will certainly never be automated, ever. When we change jobs, when we are thinking about our career and our career trajectory, there’s a lot of stressful moments along the way. It’s stressful to pick up and move to a new city or to move to a new opportunity. And so, we need human beings to help guide us through that process. And we’re far from a point where AI or robots can help guide us through that process. And so, we candidates need a lot of handholding to make the right decisions and to optimize their careers. So as recruiters, we’re under so much pressure right now to find candidates and to qualify candidates and to keep up with all the data entry that’s required as part of our jobs. We just don’t spend enough time with our candidates.

And so, if we can have AI and automations and technology take over more of the lower values of transactional aspects of our job and elevate us to be able to work at higher levels where we can be more strategic and provide more consulting essentially to our candidates, we can bring so much more value. I think there’s going to be a time where we’re going to be able to do a better job of optimize our careers, because we’re going to have better guidance along the way through, whether it’s recruiters or career advisors or AI advisors, and that combination of that continuously advising us. If you think about the highest paid people on the planet, those are often entertainers and sports athletes. All of those people have agents. So I think that over time, more and more professionals will actually have agents that will help them optimize their careers along the way. So I think that there’s just tremendous opportunity for recruiters to bring so much value on the human side to helping people with their careers.

Kortney Harmon, host:

I love that. I love that version as thinking of a recruiter as an agent. It’s your agent, it’s your next journey, it’s your consultant. I love that terminology. That’s great. Maurice, you did compile a wonderful list of upcoming staffing technology trends for the next three to five years. I know this is maybe a little at last minute, but do you think you could give us a quick, mini rundown of what that entire list is? I know we covered a few of them here today. Do you think you could go through that whole list?

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

Sure. So we’ve covered some of these ideas already, but certainly automation and what we call hyper automation is the single most important technology trend today. This industry is becoming super, super automated and it’s speeding up everything that we’re doing. It’s making us more efficient and it’s helping us deliver better services. So number one is hyper automation. Number two, thinking about the experience, the overall experience from our client’s point of view, from our employees point of view, both our internal HQ employees, but our field employees, and then our candidates. I think that is so hugely important is, what can we be doing to provide a world-class experience? And automation is key to enabling that great experience. Applied AI. AI has been around for a long time, but what’s really interesting is, I’m starting to see really interesting, real meaningful improvements in results from AI today.

I’m seeing demos of products that are utilizing AI, and it’s not just that they’re saying they have AI or there’s a little piece of AI, or they say they have AI and it’s really automation. It’s real AI that’s doing really interesting work to deliver results that couldn’t really be delivered previously. So we’re going to see AI very gradually this decade take a more and more prominent role in helping us get our jobs done. And then, we touched on this a little bit earlier, your question about culture and companies that are highly digital versus not so digital. And the digital workplace is, I think, a really important trend. And investing in technology that’s used internally for running our business and how we work together as a team to deliver results, is really key. Another one is just data. And there’s so many elements of this.

It’s the business analytics, the BI that’s attached to that. But what I’m seeing, which is really interesting, is that some of the really leading edge staffing firms are taking advantage of data in very, very interesting ways to reach out to candidates and to engage with them, not just based on what might have been in their resumes, but also in terms of how they engaged with them through chatbots, for example, what kinds of things did they say, how they were qualified, how they answered specific questions. And so, we’re going to see more and more value that’s being derived from the data and more and more technology that’s used to extract value from the data that’s contained, essentially within our ATS system. We touched on another one earlier before, which is digital marketing, which is just fundamental to the success of our businesses. Chatbots or conversational systems are becoming hugely important.

They’re not for every staffing firm. I’m not saying every staffing firm should have a chatbot, but it’s entirely possible over time, we’re going to have multiple forms of chatbots that are supporting our businesses. And so, at the right time, you should be thinking about how to incorporate that into your business. I would also say, we talked about staffing platforms earlier, and these systems that we’re building, these integrated systems of technologies to deliver our services is something to pay attention to. And I would add one more, which is basic cybersecurity. Staffing firms are particularly at risk of cyber attacks, and we have so much information, personal information, social security numbers, and other forms of information that we just don’t want to have released out into the wild. So it’s like an insurance policy, it’s a cost that we have to incur if we want to be in this business, is to really protect our data well, and we don’t want to be victims of cyber attacks. So I would say, those are some of the highlights that I would want to call out, are those trends.

Kortney Harmon, host:

We appreciate your insights. I know this is something… In the past, you’ve done a poster for that. Is that something that maybe we could share in our show notes for any listeners if they want to revisit this?

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

Yeah, we’ll make that available. That would be great. I appreciate that very much.

Kortney Harmon, host:

I love that. And I think everyone would love to dive more into your insights. So Maurice, thank you. Any last words of wisdom for leaders in the talent business industry in general as they start their new adventure for their upcoming year? Any last words of advice that maybe we didn’t cover today?

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

We covered a lot of ground. Again, it’s people, process, technology, accountability. Those are the core pillars of any successful business. And I think that you need to get all of those right and balanced, but more and more that technology piece, that pillar is becoming super important and that connects then, to these other pillars within the organization. So if you historically haven’t paid that much attention to technology, I think it’s imperative to really spend a little bit more time getting familiar with the trends and thinking about ways to take better advantage of that. Your business will definitely benefit from those investments.

Kortney Harmon, host:

Maurice, thank you so much for joining us today. This was truly fantastic and I hope we can do this again in the future. My wheels are turning already of all the conversation that we had today, so thank you so much.

Maurice Fuller, Founder of StaffingTec:

Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.

Kortney Harmon, host:

Absolutely. Now for our audience, Maurice gave us a lot of key information to show us what good looks like when assessing our tech stack, as well as talking about trends for the future. As you’re having conversations and leading your teams into next year with new technologies, be sure to have the deliberate, established, foundational processes before your firms and agencies are sprinting to scale. Staffing and recruiting operation leaders, you should certainly have an eye both on the present and the future, but that process starts by choosing that platform, that point solution to build your overall tech stack around, and it’s only going to strengthen your organization, streamline where your organization wants to be in the future.

Please keep an eye out for our next Industry Spotlight releasing in January. Where we’ll sit down, have a conversation with Jennifer Meyer, Senior VP and General Manager at Govig & Associates to talk about her journey to success and the operational excellence that she leads at Govig. Thank you so much for joining the Industry Spotlight. I’m Kortney Harmon with Crelate. Thanks for joining us for this episode of Industry Spotlight, a new series from The Full Desk Experience. New episodes will be dropping monthly. Be sure you’re subscribe to our podcast, so you can catch the next Industry Spotlight episode and all episodes of The Full Desk Experience, here or wherever you listen.

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