Last week I posted about how important it is for staffing companies to invest in technology. Referencing Barry Asin’s 18 Predictions of What the Staffing Industry Will Look Like in 2018, I highlighted specific predictions where tech investments will be key driving factors. At the end of the post I specifically pointed out what I thought to be Barry’s most important prediction:
Technology choices and effective adoption practices will be critical to the success of staffing firms in 2018 like never before.
The important aspect of this statement I’m referring to is “Technology choices and effective adoption practices.” Deciding to invest in technology is one thing. Making the right investment is another.
Even you don’t know a lot about technology – ask yourself these things about your current tech infrastructure.
- Do you feel restricted by it?
- Do seemingly simple tasks take forever to get done?
- Are you constantly being told by your IT/Dev team “we can’t do that?”
- Are the costs to support it increasing while you feel the value is decreasing?
- When’s the last time you built something innovative? Or even just proactive instead of simply ‘fixing’ something?
If you don’t like the answers you gave to these questions then it’s time to re-evaluate the technology infrastructure of your staffing firm. (Death threats from staffing company IT departments coming to me in 3, 2,…)
Many staffing companies built up their technology infrastructure in the mid to late 90s with Microsoft (.Net) or ColdFusion platforms, hired experts in these systems and grew from there. Now that these infrastructures are established and institutionalized, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to even consider making an investment to switch to new technology platforms, software applications and tools. I get that. However, you have to realize that by continuing with these older, harder to maintain, platforms, and workforce resources with outdated skill sets, you’re already making an investment every day. A costly investment that is losing value as these platforms continue to lose adoption, support, get harder to scale, and become more expensive to maintain and manage as time goes on. Name another situation where you would continue to invest in something with decreasing value like this.
I’ve been in staffing long enough to see three up swings and two down cycles. Here’s what I noticed during these times. When the down cycle starts, staffing companies start cutting staff, reducing costs and just try to survive. Naturally. When the upswing comes back, they go back to business as usual, performing like they did before the down cycle. This is a major mistake.
If you haven’t noticed, the upswing is back. This time, instead of going back to how you’ve always done things – get strategic. Make investments. Make strategic, smart investments in technology. Do it now while you can and watch your business grow even more during this up swing. Better yet, when the next down cycle comes (because it will), you won’t be hit as hard and you’ll do more than just survive.
In the last couple of years, we’ve (Staffing Robot) helped more staffing companies realize success rebuilding entire staffing software products and back end systems from the ground up, as opposed to modifying existing, outdated systems because it was actually faster, less expensive and a better long term strategy for our clients. We’ve helped staffing firms do everything from streamline their back end systems to build light weight, singularly focused applications on top of other overgrown, outdated systems.
All this is to simply say don’t be afraid to make a switch in your platforms or feel like you’re held hostage to your IT department (apparently I’m not here to make friends).
In summary, keep these two things in mind:
1- If you’re staffing company is going to succeed tomorrow it has to invest in technology today.
2- Your choice of technology is just as critical as your decision to invest in technology. Even if you don’t know a lot about technology, if your gut tells you your current tech infrastructure is too costly, too hard to modify and constantly increasing in maintenance costs, then you should consider alternative solutions. Alternatives might not be as costly or difficult to manage as you think, and certainly not as costly as your current state of operations.
Again, more than websites, mobile websites, branding and marketing services, we can help with systems architecture design, data integrations and conversions, platform recommendations and even software application development. If you need help, advice or just want to talk, contact us and let’s start a conversation.