The staffing industry is a heavily saturated and deeply competitive field. Even more so since COVID. SIA estimates that there were 3,000 healthcare agencies in the United States before the pandemic. Now there are closer to 4,000.
This competition has been fueling rapid change, and it can be hard to stay on top of all this growth and know when to make changes within your organization to stay ahead. ActivateStaff sat down with two inspirational clients, Pluto Healthcare and Lead Health, to discuss what their high-growth agency is doing differently that enables their success (originally published on the “TimeSaved” blog).
Lesson #1: Understand the strengths and weaknesses of your company
This may be the most painfully obvious fact, but hear us out. Knowing what your company is good at and where it could use some improvement is something that needs to be constantly reevaluated. Questioning what you’re doing is the foundation for growth. Pluto Healthcare, a company founded in 2019, has shown a massive growth from $0 to $40 million in two years alone. Their CEO, Sean Barber, said it best when talking about decision-making: “If you’re not aware of everything that’s happening you miss the little nuances and the little changes and the little tweaks… because the industry is evolving at an extremely rapid pace.”
Lesson #2: Stay on top of industry trends from the POV of all sides – the team, client and candidate
The staffing industry is all about people. The people within the staffing organization, their clients looking for talent, and the candidates seeking work. That also means that how people work and what tools they require to adapt will also change. Lead Health, one of SIA’s top 5 fastest growing agencies in 2021, attributed their growth in part to providing their candidates more transparency in job communication. In order to meet the needs of this change, the decision to implement an open line of communication from various platforms was made to stay competitive and fuel the continued growth of their staffing agency.
Lesson #3: Remember the power of forward-thinking
One of the quickest ways to fall behind is by not allowing your business and strategy to evolve with time. Doing nothing while waiting for the perfect solution can set your company behind and cause you to lose market share to competitors that weren’t afraid of innovation. “A good decision made today is better than the best possible decision made next year,” Sean Barber said. Continuously looking ahead and considering the future with an open mind is a powerful tool to stay in the lead.
Lesson #4: Don’t get comfortable
A deep commitment to the processes and tools that are currently in use at staffing firms is very common, particularly for companies that have been around for a longer period of time. For both Pluto Healthcare and Lead Health, learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable was part of the process. Every mistake made is an opportunity to learn and stay ahead of the rapidly changing industry. Sean Barber emphasizes that it’s important to do what you can to keep up with changes: “I want to make a decision I feel good about quickly so that we can start not being behind where other people are as quickly as we can.”
Lesson #5: Accept technology (and particularly, mobile technology) is here to stay
Just think about it like this: how many times a day do you go into your own phone to communicate with work or friends? The need for on-demand staffing technology has grown exponentially and is an essential part of the continued success of staffing agencies. Providing candidates with the ability to self select shifts, communicate on-demand and increase their visibility into time and pay is a crucial part of staying ahead. For Pluto Healthcare and Lead Health, implementing mobile technology was a no-brainer. As Kyle Morey-Leber stated most adeptly, “It’s the future! The [on-demand staffing] platform is crucial.”
It’s important to never stop looking into the future to consider how to pivot with the shifts and not fall behind. As both these companies have shown, they will be continually improving their strategies. You need to be prepared to do the same to stay ahead of the competition.