The basic working model of the staffing industry and even its management software have a unique advantage in the current crisis. They both have great flexibility! They work equally as well across many industries and markets.
Re-opening the full economy will probably take more time than we might suppose but being up to date on what is happening now, as well as what is being forecast, can certainly help. It may indicate the direction in which your energies will be more profitably directed.
With mandatory shutdowns, Covid-19 has hit most everything hard, but even so, construction, warehousing, distribution, and others, have been doing well. If yours is a company focusing on the staffing of “special events”, your core business has probably been devastated. You are not alone.
But here, the basic working model of the staffing company is helpful. Its skill-sets of selling and managing contracts for temp workers and making permanent placements can still be utilized depending on the industry targeted. Not in “special events” for now, but when you look at staffing studies, industry forecasts including those in newspapers and magazines, alternative opportunities present themselves.
One example might be a June 8th 2020 article in Forbes online magazine, titled “The $600 Federal Unemployment Boost Is Set to End July 31. Here’s What Happens Next” .
Although the article does not really tell you what actually happens “next” but what may happen “next”, depending on whether or not Congress extends the $600 boost. But it is nonetheless good information for people in the staffing industry to have.
In this particular case, for example, if the “boost” is not extended there will be millions of people looking for work either full or part time,now and next month because they cannot live on basic unemployment insurance alone (avg $385/wk).
This could help recruiters looking for full-time placements for jobs which have previously been difficult to fill because of talent scarcity. Many companies will be willing to bring new people on now and get them up to speed for the future. This crisis will end!
This can also increase the pool of job applicants which can be an immediate and longer term benefit for your company (see Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) Blog article “Covid-19 Rebound: Prepare for when the floodgate of applicants is unleashed”
Millions more will also be looking to supplement their basic unemployment benefits with part-time temporary work.
Regular Unemployment Insurance rules usually allow for additional income to be earned without “penalty” but this is often unreasonably limited at about 30% of the basic benefit amount (avg. UC benefit $385 wk X 30% = $115.50). This means that a person with only unemployment insurance could only make an additional $115 before he (or she) would need to pay back (dollar for dollar) for everything they earned beyond $115 a week.
Perhaps this could be increased, especially during the next year, to 100% of the basic benefit giving a combined average weekly income of $770. Not quite as good as the $600 boost plus regular unemployment (385 + $600 = $985) but it keeps the incentive for working stronger and the economy more productive. It would not add any additional cost to the government, and In fact, would add to the government’s income tax revenue.
Useful information is also available for members of national and regional staffing associations also benefit from Association research, including important surveys of what is happening in different industry segments. They also provide industry forecasts that can be especially useful in planning.
Although much of this research has a limited distribution to association membership and therefore cannot be used here, much can be learned by simply doing some Google searches. This will turn up many ideas and even the research results from those same national staffing associations.
For example if you search the phrase “Staffing Industry News” you will find a June 12, 2020 news item from Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) with the headline “Nearly half of Hiring Managers Plan To Use More Freelancers Because of Covid-19”
The information is especially useful because it lets you know what nearly half of hiring managers are looking for. 58% were hiring freelance writers, 46% for freelance marketing people, 58% for creative work and design, 51% for web, mobile, and software development, etc.
If you need people to contract this work and do not have them in your files, you can find thousands of them on those cloud-based gig economy platforms like UpWprk, Fiverr,Freelancer. There are others but these are three of the largest and the best (in my opinion).
I have written more on traditional staffing companies using these platforms in a recent blog article titled “Increasing Staffing Company Profits with the Gig Economy”
Another example, if you want to get a handle on where new clients might come from during the next 6-12 months, see who is hiring right now. Kiplinger came out with a list on May 20, 2020 of 37 companies who had plans to hire more than a million employees right now and in the immediate future despite and/or because of Covid-19. 37 Major U.S. Companies Hiring Now to Meet Coronavirus Demand.
Because the internet can yield tons of information, try to keep your searches limited. You can start “wide” then keep drilling down.
The idea in all of this is for staffing companies, whose main area of focus has been in hard hit. Markets like hospitality, conventions, entertainment venues, etc and whose owners and managers may be looking to use the basic staffing business model in new markets. The resulting diversity can be extremely helpful as the economy continues to “open up”.
As you sign new clients in new markets, an obvious but serious caution should be not to neglect your core business. Keep those relationships close! One strategy in this regard might be to survey your client base for gig projects that they may want to get accomplished while things are slow; market research, web, mobile and app development, SEO writing projects (web content and blog writing), etc..
There is staffing work out there even with companies who are closed or whose operations have been greatly reduced because of Covid. The current decline will certainly end and every business needs to prepare for it. It is a good time to get special projects completed.
If you are able, now might be a good time to buy out a competitor or another staffing company that would be a good fit for your own. I have also written on this important topic recently in a blog article titled “Buying a Staffing Company – 15 topics to Consider”.
In any case, there are opportunities out there and the basic working model, software, and skills of a staffing company can fit several industries. We have a great structural flexibility.
So, we can do some basic research to find new opportunities, develop a realistic plan, and work it. The benefits will ensure not only current survival but also a better and more competitive situation when this current crisis has ended. Good luck and stay safe!