2022 SIA Executive Forum Lessons

The Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) Executive Forum is a popular event within the staffing industry. Here, industry experts discuss current trends and strategies that companies are using. Although this is a 3-day event, Compass’s marketing agency, Haley Marketing was able to condense everything into a webinar. Here are a few of the takeaways that we want to highlight for you.

Industry Trends

The Talent Crisis

Since the US went into a pandemic lockdown, the labor force participation is at 62.2%, which is equivalent to levels from 1977. In the past 2 years, 4.2 million people left the workforce, creating the surge in the Great Resignation, a 31% resignation increase in 2020. At the same time, the Great Retirement resulted in a 19.3% increase in 2021. Lots of people are leaving their jobs, and while companies need to fill in those gaps, job availability is significantly higher than candidates. The difference between job openings and available talent is by a staggering 4.7 million open jobs.

Flexible Work

Work from home flexibility goes without saying in being one of the biggest factors that is driving the staffing industry. 62% of internal staff voted that remote work is very important, compared to 39% back in 2016. Staffing firms especially are expecting to see 10x the number of remote jobs for contract workers, from 2% jumping to 20% in 2022. Overall, 48% of workers want to go remote full-time. This factor is a big opportunity that can make or break a company, especially when it comes to employee retention.

Digital Transformation

While COVID-19 forced us to accelerate our digital transition, the staffing industry was ahead of the curve. Vendor Management Systems (VMS) was the last digital transformation and accounts for 85% of purchases by large companies. There are still other transitions that are on the horizon. Barry Asin, the President of SIA, anticipates the next major disruption will be the use of talent platforms (i.e. self-service staffing), and talent acquisition technology that can help with advertising and sourcing automations, as well as candidate engagement. In return, this can give recruiters more time to focus on serving candidates.


Emotional Fitness

Emotional fitness is the skill to cultivating a supportive relationship with yourself (including your thoughts and feelings). Nataly Kogan, the CEO of Happier Inc., explains how to take care of yourself before you can effectively take care of your teammates. One of the most important factors among successful teams is psychological safety, where teams are more transparent about their feelings in the workplace. Leaders wear what she calls an “emotional whiteboard” that everyone sees, and emotional IQ is key here. Emotions and human energy are contagious, making the manager/direct report relationship that can be impacted the most. Practicing emotional fitness includes checking in with yourself, and incorporating breaks to practice gratitude and meditation.

Practice makes Perfect

Humans are naturally wired to anticipate negative thoughts and feelings, and unlearning this is difficult. Leaders need to stay transparent about their feelings, especially when times get stressful. If team members can pick up on that negative energy, and they don’t understand why their leader feels this way, they automatically begin to assume worst-case scenarios. In meetings, even starting off with saying how you’re feeling can automatically put others at ease. Practicing gratitude and mindfulness is also key to navigating internal negative thoughts and feelings. Scheduling time to take these intentional breaks can help you understand your negative feelings and make you less stressed.

Staffing Strategies & Best Practices

Automation is Key

The staffing industry does have a number of repetitive processes, especially when it comes to advertising, sourcing and scheduling interviews. Because they take up a significant amount of time when done manually, recruiters can lose high-quality candidates very quickly. If automation tools are used effectively, recruiters can reach candidates faster and more effectively. Communication and engagement needs to stay consistent because candidates are holding all the cards; 76% of candidates have at least two other offers at hand, including the offer you’re giving them!

Tech Implementation

Process change and tool implementations sound easy, but can be messy if done incorrectly. Internal team members will question why new tools are coming in if they think their current processes work well already, so the intention needs to be very clear. The first step to a successful implementation is to develop roll-out strategies that focus on why the new tool is coming in instead of the what. The recommended start would be discussing it with C-suite executives, then down to the VP’s, managers, and then down to individual teams. Defining communications and intentions of why the tool is implemented will help companies to align with the various personas, and help discuss risks or pushback.



If you’re interested in seeing the full webinar with the associated presentation deck, take a look here.

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