AMA -- Real Talk Straight from the Experts


David Francis: All right. It looks like we are live. Fantastic. Welcome back everyone. Great to see you. We've got a glorious crew here today and we're doing an experimental session. We thought this would be really fun. We thought it would be a good way to type some Practical advice and, you know, answer kind of burning questions that folks might have about areas that may not be covered in other areas, other parts of the conference, or might just be specific to your organization.

David Francis: I'll do a quick round of introductions of the folks that we have here on the call. And that'll set some expectations for what we're going to do. My name's David Francis. I am the Vice President of research at Talent Tech Labs. I'm joined today by Sarah Moss, who is a staffing systems expert.

David Francis: David Falwell who is the other co-founder of Staffing Referrals. Before that the growth company had lots of experience around candidate sourcing marketing technology. We have Brian Delle Donne, the co-founder of Talent Tech Labs who was worked inside of many different staffing companies before co-founding TTL and has some insider baseball about what works and what doesn't operate.

David Francis: And Rana Fatima one of our senior analysts at Talent Tech labs who is primarily focused on tele-management technology. So, thank you all for joining me. Joining us ideas for this session is it's an ask me anything. This is inspired from the Reddit forums where folks would go on. And you can just go and ask any question that you want.

David Francis: You can go ahead and grill. And so, the main rule for this session is there really are no rules whatever questions you like to ask, put that into the chat box into the chat box. And we will, we'll answer them as they come through. And so with that, I will pass it off to the audience.

David Francis: To submit questions. 

Brian Delle Donne: Do we have background music? 

David Francis: By beats? I will see 

Sarah Moss: We should've had Colby on here to play the guitar.

David Francis: All right.

Brian Delle Donne: So David, I know that you had a direct message a couple of questions before this conference started. So maybe you want to throw one of those to get the wheelchair. 

David Francis: Sure. So, got a couple of your one what do you see as the most impactful kind of emerging tech staffing companies can use Brian, you wanna grab that.

Brian Delle Donne: Wow. That's a huge one though, because there's so, so many you have 

David Folwell: You have to pick one just one. 

Brian Delle Donne: Yeah. Well, I'll tell you what, I'll tell you what I had. I had a panel earlier in the day with CEOs and of small staffing companies and you know, the question there was, Hey, all the big companies can afford all this tech that's in the market for small companies.

Brian Delle Donne: And you know, actually the truth is that there's a lot of things that smaller companies can apply. And I think that they've all recognized in this particular market that candidate engagement is really critical. And so there was there was pretty high. Consensus there that for the smaller companies, ways to apply technology that allowed their recruiters to stay in, better touch with their candidates and even people on billing was a huge win and a pretty easy lift comparatively speaking.

Brian Delle Donne: So tools that we're able to be configured to, into workflows that allowed for a cadence of conversations to happen to help them maybe get to a place where they could be redeployed if they had gone off billing. And so a tool like a tool, like Sense was mentioned more than once.

Brian Delle Donne: And then What's been greatly adopted at the enterprise level candidate, relationship management tools, CRM with C being candidate you know, have been about 70% adopted at the enterprise and staffing companies are not yet there in terms of that level of adoption of candidate relationship management tools.

Brian Delle Donne: And you know, some of the applicant tracking systems say their CRM. But applicant tracking systems do a better job once you click apply. And candidate relationship management are really great platforms for cultivating and nurturing, passive candidates, identifying who might have an interest in one of your jobs.

Brian Delle Donne: Maybe hasn't clicked, apply to someone who might've visited your jobs page, and hasn't picked the job to apply. And once, once those platforms capture any form of identifiable information, they give you the ability. There's a staffing company to go back in and start to cultivate that candidate and try to find things that might be applicable to them.

Brian Delle Donne: And there's more than a couple of instances where staffing companies have actually decided to keep the recruiters in the ATS and to get specialists, maybe sourcing people or marketing people to man, the. So, and a couple made the example of, Hey, dumping out a lot of the older contacts in the ATS and putting it into the CRM and then letting the CRM run campaigns to try and re-engage those folks. So I think those are really impactful for smaller businesses. I know they work for big businesses as well, but I know that a lot of the staffing industry are in fact smaller companies. So hopefully that shed some light on it. 

David Francis: We Kathleen shot a question. If you had to list one thing, that's a must have for a smaller, newer company if they already have a CRM system in place it's a great question. 

Sarah Moss: I have an answer. 

David Francis: Go ahead. 

Sarah Moss: You know, the panel has other answers as well, but to me, the next thing after the CRM system would be an onboarding tool to automate, onboarding and make that as seamless as possible. So that would be my answer is onboarding.

Sarah Moss: Come on panel. Yeah. 

David Francis: Well, I'm going to follow up 

David Folwell: following up on Brian's comment. I think on the automation side of things, having I've managed HubSpot for multiple staffing agencies on the candidate front. And I look at HubSpot as the same as you know, Herefish, Sense. Same concept is just marketing automation.

David Folwell: But tailored towards your candidate and we can't experience and having done that for multiple agencies and also for multiple businesses over my lifetime. I think that having something that keeps you in touch on an ongoing basis and making sure that you're top of mind where the candidate. You have to be very thoughtful with information.

David Folwell: I don't know if I'd put that as the first tool or the one thing, but it's definitely very powerful, and it can be something that drives a lot of engagement and can really be powerful for your company. 

David Francis: Yeah. Oh, go ahead. 

Sarah Moss: Oh, I was just gonna say, you know, the thing I like about. The engagement tools over HubSpot.

Sarah Moss: I'll just say, though, it's texting. And if you're in healthcare staffing, you gotta be texting more than emailing or calling. And so with HubSpot, you need something too. You need a method to text those campaigns as well. So I don't know if HubSpot's going to change that, but I guess we're all on the same page in terms of engagement and campaigns throughout the life cycle.

David Folwell: Yeah. And I think the, I completely agree with you and I've also that there's like, Three different. You have to add it in, you know, it's like you add a sales message into HubSpot integrated, and then you can do it natively, or it feels like, let's say, buying an additional tool. But I completely agree.

David Folwell: Texting is a must. 

David Francis: So texting is definitely a must have. So I was going to say, if it's not embedded in your and you know, whatever CRM that you have right now, make sure that's taken care of. And one of the things we've seen happens on both staffing and corporate sides. I'm not sure which CRM you're using.

David Francis: But it's one of those systems that can be like really high impact or really low impact, depending how you actually leverage it. And so, you know, stage one is you get a CRM and you just get it implemented. And stage two is you start building like actual workflows that are going to start converting candidates.

David Francis: And so, you know, what you might want to do, you know, depending on what you have in place or kind of how far down the road you are with the CRM, maybe do an audit. You see what kind of conversion rates are getting. You see where folks are coming from? And, now, maybe you build out some kind of automations inside of there.

David Francis: And so kind of like candidate journeys basically. Right. And so you can start you know, reworking candidates with that tool, we found that a lot of companies buy a CRM. They use it for like two or three use cases. There's like 20 other use cases that you can do when you're paying lookup, you know, pretty simple.

David Francis: Chuck a change for that. 

Sarah Moss: Go ahead, David, 

David Folwell: Just a second. What you said earlier, Sarah, about HubSpot versus the Sense, Herefish. The one thing I think is important from a staffing agency perspective, most agencies, unless you have a marketing team in place, HubSpot is going to require a lot of resources and a lot of specialty.

David Folwell: You need to have somebody that knows how to do. The journey is to know how to build that. Like, you need to have a dedicated resource or an outsource company that you're working with. Right. Such a great platform. If you don't have that, go find something like your HereFish, Sense where the contents are pre-built out, where you can go live day one and have a lot of those journeys already working for you..

Sarah Moss: Yeah. It's like, if I can do it, anybody can do it. Yeah. They make it very easy to add campaigns. And like you said, you want to look across your business process to automate those campaigns. So that's super powerful. I would say, just building on your point, David, just, that's such a key thing and I feel like I've been doing this kind of consulting for 20 years.

Sarah Moss: It's such a key point to just say out loud, which is you've got to be constantly getting more and more value out of the tools that you already have while you're looking at the next latest and greatest thing that's available on the market and being built, but always be getting more and more value out of your tools.

Sarah Moss: Like you said, that's pretty accurate two or three use cases out of your CRM, ATS, and there's a lot that can be done there to help efficiently. And get efficiency, boosts and better service and all that. 

David Francis: Yeah. All right. We've got one from Jan. What is your take on the staff for a new player, any innovations you see that are emerging in that market?

David Francis: I might take the first tab, I'll say yes. I think there are some actually pretty innovative new players that are on there. They tend to be kind of in. Occupational focus. The name's alluding to me right now. I can go look it up, but there's a company that's like an ATS, a relatively newer ATS for healthcare staffing.

David Francis: That's just an absolutely amazing system and it kind of optimizes workflows around healthcare and just the user experience is fantastic. I think for some of them like the legacy systems functionally they work in a really robust way, and there's a lot that you can do with.

David Francis: But, you know, from a kind of a user perspective and a kind of extensibility perspective, they're getting kind of, I would say almost over overly. I dunno if over architect is the word overly complicated. But I definitely think that there's some room for new players in the staffing space, particularly cause it's consolidated to some degree

Brian Delle Donne: So maybe if you, if we take that to the next layer 

David Francis: right now, if you'll give me 30 seconds, I can actually go pop it up, pull I'm talking about Amy and the other takes the other thing I'll say on the ATS market, where it seems like the battle lines are going to be drawn is around kind of open and closed basically partner ecosystems and The, you vendors or ATS providers are kind of have slightly different strategies on, you know, the companies that they're inviting into their partner network and how open they are with their APIs and how easy it is to integrate.

David Francis: Our take is like, know, your ATS isn't gonna solve anything and you need an open marketplace. That's the future. But the. Depending who you're, depending who you're using that may be easier said than done. 

Sarah Moss: I think another interesting play is the,

Sarah Moss: yeah, I was just going to say that another interesting play is yeah. Is based on the Salesforce platform. So we've got Bullhorn for Salesforce and we've got a target. Target recruit built on Salesforce. So not new players per se, but I think those offerings are getting stronger and can serve a wider market if you will, in terms of all sizes of staffing companies.

Sarah Moss: And they're just trying to support more and more types of staffing. So I think that's good because we haven't always had the greatest. You know, customer relationship management functionality combined in the ATS. So that makes that piece powerful, but definitely agreeing about partnership and ecosystem is everything.

Sarah Moss: I feel like over my years, partnerships just become more and more important, especially as we see more investment in the talent space, there's more of those third parties that you want to be able to link into. And it's another way of automating your end to end business process. So partnerships are key.

Sarah Moss: I think those are two great points, but definitely right. For new players.

David Francis: All right. I'm back. Sorry about that. When you accidentally step on your microphone cord I want to get back the question about highest impact technologies that Brian, when we were kind of discussing earlier one other area I would call it. It kind of depends on what sector you're in, what business you're doing, obviously.

David Francis: What business do you have one place we've seen quite a bit of investment recently in some like hard ROI results is on in the high volume hiring space. And specifically using a chat bot along with a short form assessment and an interview scheduling tool.

David Francis: And it's basically like, like taking an applied process, like making the apply process, like two to three minutes. And, you know, it closes with a scheduled interview. We seem some cases, but that's like, the kind of pre and post roll out results. 

Brian Delle Donne: I thought you were going to call out the digital delivery on the deployment platforms that the hourly workforce is able to deploy now.

Brian Delle Donne: And we had a great session earlier today. We had a couple of agencies that were high volume logistics, warehouse workers, light industrial types that have been filling, you know, thousands and thousands of ships. And the availability of the deployment platform really facilitated creating a digital interface for the candidate, which is really more important than an age of candidate experience.

Brian Delle Donne: But it also made a digital interface for the customer, which is a good sort of counterbalanced to them maybe going to an e staffing company or a template of a marketplace where they can go and try to find candidates and self-select them. So, agencies that recognize this are working in high volume.

Brian Delle Donne: I've had some really good success with deployment platforms. Our last survey showed that probably only less than 20% of the respondents had adapted those solutions yet. But I guess our feeling of Talent Tech Labs is they are really high impact. They create very sticky relationships with the contractors, very sticky relationships with the client and their huge efficiency drives.

Brian Delle Donne: Within the agency. So it's like a win on all three fronts. So adoption is not yet at big numbers, but it's growing and growing quickly. But clearly really high-impact innovation for those in the hourly space. 

David Folwell: And Brian, I'm going to have a personal story on that, which is with working. I don't know if you were talking about work, but we actually we're.

David Folwell: We partnered with work in and with Staffing Referrals had our app inside of there with Hire Dynamics. We did a case study. During the first six months, they drove more placements through referrals through their direct, directly through the work in app direct deployment than they did through job boards, which was the first time in their 20 year history.

David Folwell: So the direct deployment app, things like work and like Safa, there's a bunch of other players in the space, but I think that's a huge play and super valuable. It also gives you like direct channel to the market, which I think somebody it's like when you can actually message. Your candidates in a way that they will respond to in app messages.

David Folwell: Probably have a high response rate than email. I should know that I don't off the top of my head, but my guess is that you might actually get more engagement from that than you do from sending multiple emails. 

Brian Delle Donne: Yeah, you're right, David. And thanks for bringing that up. And Rowan with time saved was on the other builder on that call.

Brian Delle Donne: And that didn't really come up. The fact that those apps then can become a conduit for bringing other things like referrals continuing education prompts you know, you know, things that keep the candidate engaged and so having that app interface really, I don't think it's been fully exploited yet.

Brian Delle Donne: You know, you're in the candidates pocket and able to pump much more through there. I think it's only a matter of time till either other apps or other features or content starts finding their way through those kinds of apps too, to add value to having people want to stay there, keep their schedules updated in there and things like that.

David Francis: Great points. How to referrals you know, compared versus job board advertising. 

David Folwell: I mean, I have our stars, it was actually good. It's kind of interesting. So, I know our stats for our platform. We are placed across all of the agencies we work with. 18% of referral applicants get placed on assignment.

David Folwell: And job boards typically like 0.1% up to 1%, depending on the job board and the vertical. So we're about 18 next, a normal job board that said a traditional referral kind of an analog referral where I'm giving it to you. Word of mouth probably closes at 35 to 50%. We're getting more in the gate, but actually reduces the close rate because we're allowing it to go out there and to kind of expand out to your social network in a little bit different way.

David Francis: What's the volume? Are you guys kind of volumes? Are you getting up to. 

David Folwell: I mean, it depends on, I think our largest client has, we've got people that have had 3000 placements in a year through referrals. So pretty significant. And that's more on the, and then we have the healthcare we're talking about hundreds.

David Folwell: But we have companies where, you know, 20 to 50% of their placements are coming from referrals. Usually when they start working with us. They say they're at 25%, we would expect them to go to 35 or 40% of their placements. So we have a pretty good lift which is where we're able to drive an ROI from that.

David Francis: Cool. Do you have any advice around kind of how to set up the schematics for it? Like a, is there a price point at which it's like, ah, this is the.

David Folwell: Yeah, that was actually kind of fun. Good question. So the two things, one, you don't need software to do any of this, so you can not use us, or you can do this on your own.

David Folwell: However you want to. I highly recommend that if you are interested in getting more referrals, shifting from the kind of the old school way or the traditional way of doing referrals and staffing has been, we're going to give the, what we call the brand ambassador or the the person that's referring some yeah, like I'm going to refer David Francis over.

David Folwell: So I get paid out, shifting it from my one side referral bonus to a dual sided referral bonus. And when you shift it to a dual-sided, it increases the likelihood that you're going to share the referral program and increases the likelihood that you're going to talk about it because it takes it from being a selfish act where I'm making money, getting my friend's shop to being a win-win.

David Folwell: So, just one component, that's one component then on the price point we actually didn't do this research, but we, and I'm, I don't, I need to do more data analysis on this, but we had a company that we talked too. Who they went up from a 100$ referral bonus up to $2,000 referral bonuses. They were only doing the one-sided on the ambassador and they actually said after $200, they saw no difference in the actual number of placements.

David Folwell: They just got more referral leads and I think a lot of the agencies focus on. Trying to like, get as much money out the door. And the reality is after a certain threshold, it's just like, do I like, do I want to help my friend out? And is this enough to actually incentivize me to talk about it and bring it across the line so that I think the financial reward is less impactful than some might think after a certain amount.

David Francis: Right? It's the diminishing returns like Tacos. 

David Folwell: Its like Tacos. 

Brian Delle Donne: Cool. I see a merchant from our friend Steve Aussie over at them at co-works. And it's a really good question. You know, with all this tech out there to attract, engage, do everything, but, you know, slice the toast in the morning, you know, what's the role of the staffing?

Brian Delle Donne: What does the staffing service layer look like in the future? And I think to respond to that, you know, there's a, I think a good illustration where companies have come in. Purporting to be tech is the all solution. You know, we will identify matches and you know, put people on assignment with, without any human intervention.

Brian Delle Donne: And just a couple of years ago, as recently as that people were making these kinds of claims that, you know, totally tech enabled solutions would do the job. And over time these kinds of platforms have come to realize that they needed a service. And what that service layer looks like as you really drill into it is more and more of what a staffing company does.

Brian Delle Donne: So although there are lots of tech enablers in the market, Steve and you know this cause you're you've deployed some of them. I think what those are meant to do really at the end of the day is to free up time from what recruiters and maybe even salespeople are doing so that they can do more valuable things that require the high touch.

Brian Delle Donne: You know, the idea of being able to move data between two systems or to refresh a stale resume, or to be able to get a candidate who shows a little bit of interest, but hasn't yet applied in a. Nudges to them to make the next step in status. Those things all free up recruiters from having to do those either manually on a phone or with an email.

Brian Delle Donne: And so, we think that the service component of what staffing companies do really well. Nurturing relationships pitching the job the virtue of taking a role at a particular client, the viewers those things you know, can go back to you know, the priority for.

Brian Delle Donne: Agency workers. And most of them probably ended up in the industry because they like talking to people. They liked the higher touch things. They didn't necessarily love, you know, pushing data through different forms and fields and making sure that they've, you know, filled in all the boxes to be able to move to the next page.

Brian Delle Donne: And so, the fact that technology can do those things better and without complaining than humans actually lets the high touch component of the recruiter's job come back. So I do think that service layer is going to be where staffing companies can really shine and hopefully people that got into the business for that are able to get back to spending their time more like an enjoyable task of interfacing with other humans.

David Folwell: And Brian, just to add to that, the one thing that. I completely agree with your statement on that. And I also think that it's like the automation should be to automate things that aren't meaningful, that are relationship driven, that don't need to be human and then allow for the human connection to be the most important part of it.

David Folwell: The second part of it we did a survey it was actually for a client years ago, but we were, I tried to identify like, would people be willing to self onboard self fulfill for. Increase in pay and what we thought was there very different distinct segments, right? Like there's, there are people who still want the travel agent and there are.

David Folwell: Absolutely do are willing to do, go through whatever length they possibly can without it. And so I think that at the end of the day, there might actually be segments of the population that want different experiences. That said I completely agree with you on the fact that like the relationship, the human side of it.

David Folwell: Is where I think recruiters are going to push even further into less mundane tasks and more relationship driven experiences with the candidates of. 

David Francis: It might be a little bit, and maybe an illustration is the move from, you know, kind of, branch banking to online banking.

David Francis: You know, I rarely, you know, visit a branch these days. But you know, the financial intrusion I'm a part of still offers all kinds of service when I need it and where I need it. And then, in the staffing context it's essentially offering the same thing.

David Francis: You know, you, self-serve where you can and you advise and you help negotiate. You're kind of a, you know, the, I think the role of like a staffing company in the future is kind of like a talent advocate and somebody who's like, you know, kind of negotiating on behalf of the talent and that's, you know, why they continue to work with you, where they, you know, trust you and take the roles that you know, you show to them.

David Francis: Amy's got a, let's see with the push more relationship vs admin. Do you see a need for new skills and training to reconnect the human/ interpersonal side of staffing? Are we becoming too systems oriented? And do we have to get people in the back of being human again? It's actually a good question. I think as a generation, you know, might be generational.

David Francis: I don't think it's just in the staffing industry, like being on our computers for that for the past couple of years. And you know, that's generally the generation that's growing up now is, you know, device first and, you know, screen first that might take some unlearning. 

Sarah Moss: Well, and we've got this great resignation thing going on.

Sarah Moss: Don't we, so people really care about what their work environment is like. So like Brian was saying, if they're focused more on building relationships and getting back to those things that they enjoy doing and that human connection. We're like what Steve is saying about bringing values to work or David, you put it as talent advocates.

Sarah Moss: That's all very powerful. But I would say to you know, down in the trenches, people get very used to doing what they do day in and day out. Right. And change is hard for all. So I think there's definitely a component and it's not as easy as well. We'll just automate away the business process and everybody will appreciate that and get on board change is hard, even change.

Sarah Moss: That makes sense to the people you're changing. Right. So. I think that's something that I've experienced since. The beginning of my career is a lot of talk about change. And originally that was training, right? Training change management on a technology project means training and that definition needs to change as well.

Sarah Moss: You know, it's all about creating a great culture at teaching people, how to build those relationships, how to leverage the data that they have, but still be efficient and doing business and building those relationships. So definitely a huge opportunity for change to change our definition of change management and make that part of the picture for real this time.

Sarah Moss: Right. 

David Francis: Agree. Agree. Agree. We've got one on AI regulations. My gosh, so I've seen some really. I've seen early stage regulations being framed up at the state local level on AI being prejudicial to underrepresented populations and minorities. What should staffing companies do to understand how this might impact them and why city proposed regs while the provider that require the provider conceivably the staffing company to audit these AI tools or compliance?

David Francis: How could we ever do that? 

Brian Delle Donne: So David, when you presented this morning for those who saw it, you had a a slide that showed that AI, how AI has really become quite pervasive. And it's not just in, in the matching, but it's actually driving lots of different things. And it was a really neat slide that had, you know, a dozen or so different places where AI is manifesting.

Brian Delle Donne: So it's not just, it's not just in being applied. Vetting candidates or knocking people off of lists. And I think that's worth talking about, because those legislative initiatives I know are getting some staffing companies here on. The NSA's, you know, legal team is scrambling.

Brian Delle Donne: Legislative team is scrambling to try and establish a position as to what they should be doing, what they should be advising elected officials to do in the way of regulating. But I think that's interesting is that the AI is not just around the candidate interface anymore, but it touches on so many other aspects of what goes on in this hiring continuum.

David Francis: Right. Yeah. The issue boils down to basically like is a system making a decision or is it not making a decision? And so where you're gonna, you know, potentially start running into some regulatory, hot waters is if you know, relegated decision-making to some system. And the reason for that is you're going to need to be able to go in and then what the regulations are doing is you need to do this audit and understand like, is that, is the data biased?

David Francis: Can you do like a disparate impact analysis and make sure that, you know, comparable to your standard process, you're not disproportionately impacting, you know, some underrepresented group because the data has been trained on historical data. So, the two things, I would do is number one, if you're using the first thing you should do anyways, is just kind of do an internal audit and see where AI is being used in your process.

David Francis: And just document that down. And there are two flavors. There's your kind of standard process-oriented AI, which is, know, we did an interview and we transcribed that interview and we're not using it to make a decision. It's just, the AI is being used to. You know, be able to search for that later.

David Francis: And then there's a different flavor, which is our AI analyzing this interview. And we're saying that this person is potentially a good fit or not a good fit for the role because of that analysis. And that's where it can get a little bit murky and you can still use those data points in your decision. But you know, we'd advise that you shouldn't let that kind of just be making an automated decision.

David Francis: For the time being, you just want to document where AI is being used and essentially how it's being used and the extent possible you, you know, if it's relating to you directly to an employment decision that a system's making just know that potentially there's going to be some more scrutiny coming down the the road.

David Francis: That's a good question. Amy's point on and training Sarah on changed into the training of new skills for the recruiters to learn how to use the. From AI tech, right? Yep. Are you seeing any innovation around exec search or succession planning? Yeah, we've got, we're actually running.

David Francis: Want to talk a bit about what we're seeing in the tele-management space? Rana?. 

Rana Fatima: Yeah. I guess when it comes to succession planning, there's a ton of stuff that's happening with first kind of building up. The baseline for that with career pathing and skills taxonomy for identifying who's in your organization, what kind of skills and I guess, indexing that to begin with.

Rana Fatima: And then from there kind of, looking at opportunities of where it's possible to promote people or to kind of, put them in a succession plan to set them up for success. The eventual role that you're trying to fill. So what we've seen in, you know, is a ton of movement in the entire space of skills, taxonomy with internal talent marketplaces with a ton of even building into slightly, even in performance measurement as well.

Rana Fatima: So looking at a lot of how career path thing tools are working with employee goals and setting them up and at the same time, So there's that employee driven space. And then there's also the recruiter slash manager driven space, where they're able to see that workforce indexed and then, you know, kind of either prod or push the right employees into the right.

David Francis: We've seen a couple of interesting tools around the executive level. And it's it's kind of around team composition as a company based over in Europe, I think they're called team scope. And basically what they do is it's like a the kind of traditional management or management consulting model.

David Francis: If you're doing kind of, executive search and planning as you do this kind of behavioral assessment. And, you know, kind of what are the relative strengths and skills of all these different team members. And it's basically a platform where you kind of do that at scale and then they give you back some insights and they'll give you like a C-suite minus to look at what the bench looks like and kind of who potentially would be a good fit there.

David Francis: And where they've been picked up where they've been adopted quite a bit is in private equity. So a private equity company would go by, by go invest in a, for buy solution and then they want to know what does the exec team look like? And what's our bench look like as we grow that. And so basically they are getting put into a bunch of portfolio companies and now the attraction has been pretty phenomenal.

David Francis: So, interesting use case there. 

Sarah Moss: Yeah. So we're talking about exec search. In innovation and exec search. I do think there's a lot of opportunity to, for the basics and exec search, to be honest with you and leverage tools like engagement tools and just integrations. I feel like exact search is pretty old school in terms of leveraging technology.

Sarah Moss: So I think there's some opportunities to just lift these tech technologies or tools from maybe mainline staffing and bring them into exac search as well.

David Francis: All right. We characterize technologies either as threats or, you know, disruptor opportunity, additive. What do you see as the biggest potential disruptor for the staffing industry? Another fun one, Brian, you wanna take that? 

Brian Delle Donne: Well, you know, I think that the the agencies that are paying close attention to it, I think at first blush, we're getting concerned about what we would call east staffing or temporary labor marketplaces and in certain skill categories you know, you can go find designers and creative folks on upwork.

Brian Delle Donne: Much more quickly than you might be able to through an agency. And so, the simplicity of finding candidates on those platforms has lets some people be concerned that those could be threats. I think you had one of your talks today. David had Upwork on and even Upwork and fiverr that the two publicly traded flavors of temp, but marketplaces and although their growth has been really high and COVID accelerated it because staffing usually traditionally been putting people into on-premise you know, jobs where companies required people to show up at their site to do the work with COVID. They loosen that up and allow people to work remotely.

Brian Delle Donne: And so those platforms were able to overcome what had been a traditional barrier to them being a threat to, to agencies. And so they've stepped up, but even still they're a very small drop in the bucket compared to the available market for staffing companies. So that could be a threat around the edges, but one that I personally think.

Brian Delle Donne: Much more disruptive for staffing agencies. Traditional staffing agencies, as you know, there's direct sourcing solutions. That's in space now. And direct sourcing has been talked about for a number of years, but, you know, it was really hard to prove that it was what it was promised to be. But now in the past year or two, we've seen some really you know, detailed playbooks come out that have proven that they can work.

Brian Delle Donne: And you know, originally, like we talked about, is it all tech can do it all with tech, you know, the early play was, it's all tech, you know, it's all you need this platform, we'll get it solved for you. And of course that, that floundered. And so after some experimentation, these direct sourcing platforms are in the hands of MSP or or a progressive agency that wants to sort of own a supply chain of itself. You know, can be the orchestrator of making that model more successful. And we're seeing that happen now. And so I think the disruption may be in the form of reducing the available market for staffing firms, because if clients can source some candidates, they already know they're not going to have to put that wreck out to a partner.

Brian Delle Donne: Right. And so, again, you know, it's a bit of a balance you know, is there a service layer that's sufficient to make sure that those candidates that are identified are actually available and would be a good fit and could be convinced to work at that particular client, but, you know, so on the one hand they could reduce some of the available market, but on the other.

Brian Delle Donne: I think they will also take a hit to put a dent in the margins that agencies are able to command because if a threat is that, you know, the client can find these people on their own, their willingness to pay and see markups you know, unless there's a really good service case to be made, you know, could be a bit perilous for for the margins of agencies.

Brian Delle Donne: So I actually think those direct sourcing platforms are probably today in the right hands are actually a, quite a big potential disruptive traditional staffing. 

David Folwell: And Brian, your chart that you guys had on the kind of the gap with where Upwork and I saw with the we basically started Upwork and Fiverr and there's toptal, I don't think you had toptal on it, but it's like kind of amazing that I see that as a huge threat.

David Folwell: And also the fact that it hasn't. Driven more of an impact yet kind of surprises me. I use those daily. Those are sites that I've been using for years. And I think I see either somebody coming in and figuring that out or figuring out a delivery model, that one of them figuring out a delivery model.

David Folwell: That's so simple that potentially it could edge out a lot of. I mean, it could be a threat to two agencies because it can take five minutes, take less than an email. And that's when they figured that out, that's where I think it's going to be a problem. 

David Francis: Yeah. My my, my take on disruption, I think, you know, my expectation is.

David Francis: For template, for marketplaces and you know, the platforms and all their flavors. What I suspect is going to happen is that it's like the two we're basically going to influence each other to the point, you know, that they're going to start to blend. And at some point you're, we're like, we're not going to really know the difference between, you know, one of these platforms in a staffing agency that are going to kind of, it's like two nations coming together and, you know, kind of sharing culture from one another is something.

David Francis: So I suspect that's how that will evolve and you know, like existential threats or disruptions to the industry. If it does happen, I suspect it would be there's some underlying change to the business model where the economics are such that it's just like, it's like you can't operate as a staffing firm.

David Francis: And still make money. And then, like the example I would use is probably like, what indeed did with job board advertising, where traditionally you have like the pay for post model and you pay X dollars for your job slot. And indeed came in, you know, kind of aggregated everything and said, like, no, just come to us.

David Francis: And, know, we'll, you know, you can get access to all these for free. And, you know, the job boards were originally happy because they were kind of getting increased traffic and you know, eventually. And you started offering sponsored jobs at significantly lower cost and better performance and you know, devastated and ways, the traditional job boards.

David Francis: So if there's like, I don't know what exactly that would look like. But if there's some way where it's like, oh, we'll give you access to you. Like universal database candidates, we've got some process for doing it. And maybe it's like a monthly subscription you pay to you. Or, you know, the cost of placement is like. way cheaper than the cost of placement would be for a staffing firm to do that. You know, that could potentially be disruptive. And if you're looking at it from kind of that lens and like aggregating supply and demand, I mean, the players that are in that, the scale to do that would potentially be like a LinkedIn or an indeed or Google or Facebook or somebody that's got like the data on everybody and could build a model that, you know, that leverage that now isn't LinkedIn going to do that.

David Francis: Probably not because, you know, staffing is like a huge part of it. Same with indeed. Although they've kind of, I mean, they're experienced, they're experimental with staffing models right now, so that's something to think about. But yeah, I think there's going to be disruption. There's some fundamental change, the business model that kind of works at scale that obviates the staffing model.

David Francis: All right. Other questions from the group.

Sarah Moss: They're going easy on us on Friday afternoon. 

Brian Delle Donne: The happy hour started 

David Folwell: Brian, we're the same page I was going to say, when does happy hour start? I think now I think in most places now. 

David Francis: Well, I think what we could do, we can call it a close here and we'll give you back 15 minutes time.

David Francis: Thank you for those of who came and hung out with us and ask us questions. If you were feeling extra shy, you still have a question. You can always email us in. Well that the answer for you, we love doing this kind of thing. And I think we will actually be starting a happy hour relatively soon in the south.

David Francis: Hopefully join us for that. Thanks so much. Cheers. 


No items found.


Rana Fatima

David Francis

Brian Delle Donne

Sara Moss

David Folwell




Watch Session now