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SIA 2023 ExecForum Recap: Three Notable Takeaways

Last week, our team joined some of the staffing industry’s foremost leaders and innovators in Miami for Staffing Industry Analysts 2023 Executive Forum (“SIA ExecForum”). Each year, this event allows us to come together to share ideas and generally keep in touch with the trends that are up and coming in staffing. In our recap, we share a few key trends Barry Asin (President of SIA) shared during the opening keynote, “The Next Generation of Staffing.

39% of agencies with platforms see themselves becoming platform only in five years

As Barry Asin shared in his opening keynote address, approximately 39% of staffing agencies that are currently using a staffing platform anticipate becoming platform-only in the next five years. Platforms have helped agencies scale without increasing headcount, streamline workflows and increase efficiencies. In fact, it was also shared that agencies with a platform model have grown 5x more compared to a traditional staffing agency.

The industry is evolving rapidly, with technology playing an increasingly critical role in the process. Staffing platforms are transforming the staffing industry at a fundamental level, from the way candidates find shifts and the types of jobs performed by recruiters to the way that clients interact with agencies. 

We’re now seeing new roles appear for recruiters alongside the restructuring of agency business models to better align with the demands of the modern workforce. Features like the client portal are allowing clients to make data-driven decisions by providing transparency into candidates, jobs and payroll. This new experience helps to improve the overall experience by fostering a more collaborative and productive relationship between candidate, agency and client. 

As staffing platforms continue to evolve and disrupt the industry, we can expect to see even more innovative changes in the way that agencies function and communicate with both candidates and clients alike.

Inflation making fixed bill rate model for staffing agencies untenable

Despite what is happening in a lot of other industries, inflation has actually shown to have had a  mildly positive impact on staffing revenue. According to Barry Asin, this is likely due to many agencies having a built-in markup relationship with their clients, meaning that their bill rates automatically increase as the price of goods and services in the economy goes up. Because of this, inflation hasn’t been an entirely negative experience for staffing firms.

However, agencies that operate under a fixed bill rate model can find these times more difficult. Fixed bill rates can make it more challenging to maintain profitability and attract the right candidates when wages and other expenses are increasing. It’s important for staffing agencies to consider the potential impact of inflation when setting their bill rates to ensure the sustainability of their business in the long run.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will fundamentally change the role of recruiters

ChatGPT generated a lot of buzz and excitement during the conference and generated a lot of conversation about the rise of AI and the impact of staffing platforms. A transformation of recruitment processes is expected in the near future. According to recent statistics from Staffing Industry Analysts, 43% of front office vendors have some form of AI capability, with an additional 10% planning to incorporate AI into their processes in the near future.

Back in 2017, we shared our thoughts in an article on how we predicted that AI-powered sourcing, search, screening and matching will lead to significant improvements in job post optimization and candidate screening. We believed that AI would have a profound impact on analyzing candidate fit, interviewing and even resume writing, driving increased efficiency and effectiveness for agencies. At this conference, we saw that our predictions were accurate as we’re beginning to see real-world application of these technologies and their ability to take the staffing industry by storm.

ActivateStaff team members attended Staffing Industry Analysts’ 2023 Executive Forum North America conference. Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) is the global advisor on staffing and workforce solutions. The company’s proprietary research covers all categories of employed and non-employed work including temporary staffing, independent contracting and other types of contingent labor. For more information on SIA, please visit the SIA website.

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