High volume, shift-based labor: In a talent-scarce market how can you manage this category effective


Rodrigo Alcaine: All right. It's three o'clock let's. Let's go ahead and get started. Well, welcome everyone. And thank you for joining. I'm excited to be here with you today at World Staffing Summit. My name is Rodrigo Alcaine and I'm Head of Sales and Operations for JoinedUp by Beeline in North America. For those not familiar with JoinedUp, provides a workforce management solution built specifically for the dynamic world of high volume staffing, which is what we're going to talk about today.

Rodrigo Alcaine: And I'm joined by industry experts and a conversation around how to effectively manage the high volume shift based labor category topic that is absolutely near and dear to my heart. And I know equally as passionate are the panelists that we have here today as well too. So we're going to cover data and trends, some strategies to help drive better outcomes for your customers, your candidates, and of course your business.

Rodrigo Alcaine: And then how do you leverage the right technology as it relates to this particular category as well? But before we get started. I'd love for you guys to hear from our panelists and get a quick intro and Jenelle. I will start with you. 

Janelle Bieler: Thank you. Rodrigo, Janelle Bieler. I am Addeco Canada's President and Country Head.

Janelle Bieler: I've been in the staffing industry for 10 years, seven of those with Adecco. And I spent most of my time in the US before moving up to Canada this past year. So I'm excited to be part of the panel today to share some insights on North America. Thanks for having me Rodrigo. 

Rodrigo Alcaine: Awesome. Thanks for being here.

Rodrigo Alcaine: Appreciate it, Todd. We'll come over to you now. 

Rodrigo Alcaine: Excellent. 

Todd Bavol: Well, it's great to be here today. Todd Bavol, I'm the CEO and co-founder of Integrity Staffing Solutions. We started the business in 1997. We're very focused and always have been on high volume e-commerce logistics and fulfillment staffing. So it's a great session to be in.

Todd Bavol: Our focus is here in the United States. So I look forward to also providing a North American perspective. 

Rodrigo Alcaine: Wonderful. Thank you, Todd. And then Chris will bring it over to you now. 

Christopher Dwyer: Great, good afternoon. Christopher Dwyer, SVP of research at Ardent Partners as well as the managing director of the brand new future of work exchange, which is the industry's only dedicated and future of work destination site, has been in the industry for about 16 years now.

Christopher Dwyer: I spent the first several years of my career at a place called the Aberdeen group. And about nine years ago made the move over to Ardent Partners, which is a supply management procurement focus research group. But obviously I came over to kickstart its coverage of everything related to talent contingent workforce and the future of work and I'm really excited to be here.

Christopher Dwyer: Thanks Rodrigo. 

Rodrigo Alcaine: Yeah. Thank you, Chris. Appreciate it. And last but not least from over in the UK. So thank you for being on the slate, Adam, but to you. 

Adam Thompson: I was going to say Rodrigo, it ain't 3:00 PM here it's eight in the evening. So, thanks so much for having me and he's right. That's where the weird accent is.

Adam Thompson: Cause I'm coming to you from London. My background is for about 10 years, I started built and sold a pretty big high volume agency in the UK. I think one of the biggest instead of the big supermarkets and DHL and players like that. But then also as a result of seeing. In my view that's a lot about high volume staffing.

Adam Thompson: I was one of the co-founders. He started a business called, JoinedUp which is a platform to bring together hirers, suppliers and workers in real time. And I guess the last few years I spent building that prior to being acquired by Beeline seven, eight months ago. Thanks for inviting me.

Rodrigo Alcaine: Yeah, absolutely glad to have your perspective. And I love the kind of diversity that we have within the panel and supporting this labor category, both from geography, perspective technology, and then of course, research and supplier side as well too. But you know, let's go ahead and get started.

Rodrigo Alcaine: And what I'll say to the audiences is please leverage the chat. Because you have questions or you want to make some unique points, feel free to type them in there as well. We'll kind of sprinkle those into the panelists. As we have time and of course towards the end, we'll have time for some Q/A as well, but, now, I think we can all align and it's probably, you know, super unique time in this labor category.

Rodrigo Alcaine: Right. And staffing in general across North America and really everywhere. You know, with supply chain pressures, COVID workforce demands really different conditions than we've ever experienced before. Help wanted signs everywhere as well too. But I think when we really think about the high volume characteristics, like what makes that feel and act different than any other labor category out there as well. And I'm curious to hear your thoughts around it and for the audience, please feel free to answer as well too. But Todd, I'm going to direct this question for you to start with being that this is, you know, your expertise as well too, but what characteristics from high volume that make it feel and act different than any other labor category

Todd Bavol: Oh, sorry. You asked me to apologize. Nope, no worries. I'll tell you everything is urgent. Like that was why I gave that little pause to create the suspense because I'll tell you everything. 

Adam Thompson: It's all about timing, Todd. It's all about the time. 

Todd Bavol: It's all about the damage really seriously. Everything's urgent and the demands are urgent changes, urgent.

Todd Bavol: Things are happening at a pace faster than we've ever seen it happen. And the big challenges having teams adapt to the change at the pace of which the change needs to occur. And I think that's something that we're all faced with. 

Rodrigo Alcaine: Yeah, well said. And I want to circle back to kind of having the teams adopt the speed of change and that challenge as well too.

Rodrigo Alcaine: But Janelle, I kind of will ask the same question too. Especially you having a lens, both from the US market and now the Canadian market as well, too. What are your thoughts on that? 

Janelle Bieler: I couldn't agree more on the urgency piece. And I think that we've also seen. Shift to, especially with the pandemic in the past two years, because high volume staffing is typically not the type of jobs that can be done remotely.

Janelle Bieler: So there is even an urgency in filling the orders and filling the opportunities with clients that is different because the candidate pools have changed. People have shifted into wanting roles that could maybe be more remote. And so it's changed the dynamics of the people we have available to us as well.

Janelle Bieler: So I think you're dealing with this urgency coupled with this drastic shift in the candidate pool that we're all trying to solve for. 

Rodrigo Alcaine: Yeah. That's a great point. And also the need for transparency across the whole process as well, too. Right. Adam, I think this kind of speaks to your wheelhouse a little bit, because I mean, essentially this is why you kind of built JoinedUp too.

Rodrigo Alcaine: You know, having now a lens from a unique, a UK perspective, and then been dipping your time into the US market with the recent acquisition. What's your lens or point of view on that? 

Adam Thompson: First of all, I think the challenges seem pretty consistent from speaking to people, running businesses across Europe and the States from what I've heard.

Adam Thompson: My understanding has slight nuances. It sounds to me like in Europe and possibly California as well, there's a much bigger issue around complexity of rate calculations, and how to handle that then maybe in the rest of the states. But for me you know, everything we've been talking about tells me about jobs.

Adam Thompson: We're talking about kind of pace speed urgency. It all adds up to pressure, I think, where you have large numbers and that amount of pressure. And you combine that with typically pretty low margins. If you're a P&L holder what makes that tricky is how do you put in place an operational infrastructure that can deliver for your clients at a cost that still allows you to make money?

Adam Thompson: And that is pretty tricky. And so certainly what I spent a lot of time talking about is how there's all sorts of technologies out there. And if you can put them together in the right way, ideally you can kind of do more with fewer people. And that is very critical. In the, as I say, when you are trying to build an infrastructure on relatively tight model 

Rodrigo Alcaine: Yeah. Yeah. All really good points. And Chris, before I pivot to you, I want to come back to Todd's comment. Cause I think this is really critical because oftentimes we talk about from a staffing perspective, supporting our customers and our candidates of course too, but it has this a unique pressure on our teams to adapt and to move as fast as a business needs to move to. So, talk to us a little bit about maybe some strategies around getting the teams, internal teams to move at the pace that is required to, to support this labor category. 

Todd Bavol: Yeah, for us, what we're finding is really balancing, you know, there's this move to automate what we call the hands work.

Todd Bavol: Right. And automated as much as possible and keeping our arms really aligned with the hard work. And we talk often about that, but it's so critical in that adoption process, because the more that we can really narrow in on what we're expecting folks to do and be really good at that, the faster that we can get them to adopt.

Todd Bavol: And so the real balance is finding that balance between automation. And personal experience. And that is a real challenge right now, in the high volume arena. 

Rodrigo Alcaine: Yeah. Setting them up for a later conversation. So it's perfect the way you're bringing those topics up too. Cause I certainly want to hit on those as well, and I love the analogy of the hands versus hard work as well too.

Rodrigo Alcaine: I think that's really unique as well, Chris. I think a lot of this experience and what Todd and Adam and Janelle have spoken about certainly oftentimes might feel anecdotal as well, but from a data perspective, what are you seeing out there specifically within this labor category? And maybe over the next two to three years as well.

Christopher Dwyer: Yeah. A good question, Rodrigo. I mean, this is in high volume shift based labor. I mean, I really feel like there's this, you know, pre-pandemic, it was maybe 38 to 40%. You know, not like extended non-employee. And now it's up to 44%, 45%, you know, mid pandemic times. And when I look at and if you pardon the direction of my eyes, looking at my figure, sharing my screen 20, 21 40 4% of the average shift based organizations, labor was considered contingent.

Christopher Dwyer: And when I look at the growth figures of all of these other industries, engineering, admin healthcare, Life sciences, financial services, public sector, you know, consistent growth. But I do foresee a world maybe three, four years from now where you have anywhere from 55 to 60% of shift base work, being done by the extended workforce.

Christopher Dwyer: I mean, That's incredible. That's truly incredible. And I think a big reason for that. And I was talking about this during my earlier session today, the World Staffing Summit that we're more businesses have realized that they need agility to survive and adapt and thrive in these changing times.

Christopher Dwyer: And it's being felt everywhere. And I think when you look at organizations that are in this industry, this specific sector they're getting hit harder when it comes to. Re-imagining traditional talent acquisition, workforce management processes, right. That was the number one pressure across all industries.

Christopher Dwyer: But especially within this sector, you know, 92% of these organizations, when we asked them, you know, how have you know, how have you dealt with the changing times over the past 18 months, two years, it's what we've had to, re-imagine everything we're doing from a workforce management perspective. And that, that speaks volumes, right?

Christopher Dwyer: I mean, four or five years ago, it may have been. We need more visibility. We need higher cost. Cost-savings, you know, it could have been, you know, more compliance. It could have been one of those more traditional measures, but today it's, re-imagining how we find talent, which I think is pretty. 

Rodrigo Alcaine: Yeah, absolutely and those stats are pretty powerful too. And talking about 55% of shift based work being down, you know, done through contingent workforce as well to Jenelle and Todd. I mean, when you hear that from a you know, an ownership of staffing and support into the delivery function that you guys have as a staffing company, I mean, how does that resonate?

Rodrigo Alcaine: What do you feel when you hear those types of stats? 

Janelle Bieler: You know, I can tell you that in the Canadian perspective, Canada is the country that for the past two years has gone in and out of lockdown. So watching, you know, business needs shift literally month on month creating just a very different dynamic.

Janelle Bieler: And when you talk about rethinking, right, the way that we are going to take care of clients, we actually saw that our workers went from. Mostly full-time roles to over 60%. Part-time roles. And every time that we went through a lockdown, that number would go up. So, what I am talking about, I can say that I have seen that exactly in practice where you have these needs changing, where candidates need to be able to adapt, to shift work.

Janelle Bieler: Maybe can't commit to working full time at one place. And so I think there's a big need for us to not only re-imagine how that can look, but figuring out how technology can play a part in that. To figure out how you can offer that to candidates, where they might be able to pick up shifts, work across different organizations or different companies that allow them to create a full-time schedule.

Janelle Bieler: That's more flexible to their needs. 

Rodrigo Alcaine: Yeah, no, that's a really good point. And I think so do you see the need for part-time and for the client to be able to offer that solution as well, to continue to increase lock down or not? I mean, they're seeing efficiency gains there or what are you hearing?

Janelle Bieler: Yeah, I think it's opened up a new candidate force. That we didn't necessarily have before. And to give you a very Canadian example, international students think of a big part of our workforce here yet. They're limited to only being able to work 20 hours per week. So we were actually able to implement across multiple clients a kind of a weekend warrior program where you could take international students and just give them their 20 hours over the weekend.

Janelle Bieler: It kind of bridged the gap during the pandemic when we have less workers available, but now it's been something that has stayed throughout and is actually becoming part of the way that we now approach staffing as some of these high volume clients. So I think we're going to continue to uncover unique ways to do things that then are going to become part of the way that we operate moving.

Todd Bavol: Yeah. Yeah. I couldn't agree with Jenelle more. What we're seeing is the education that's necessary for clients to understand how they can re-imagine shift work as well. That we, especially as we. Think about e-commerce logistics, you know, you have your, the four, 10 schedules or the and they get locked into that mindset.

Todd Bavol: And when we educate them on the amount of workers that are, they have access to that are looking for flex shift work or a true flexible dynamic work, and the efficiency that can bring to their after operation, we can then begin to really optimize, help them optimize their use of the available labor force.

Rodrigo Alcaine: Yeah, a great topic. And I think something I want to spend a little bit more time about optimizing the workforce and that really what I want to unpack that a little bit more as well too. But before we get there, I'd love to ask Chris when, you know, the labor force participation rate is a huge topic today, right?

Rodrigo Alcaine: Everyone's having conversations and I think what Janelle and both, and Todd mentioned as well too. And Adam has alluded to as well with creating some of this flexibility. I mean, you know, with the demand continued to increase. The education back to the customers, but also what else are you seeing around the labor force participation rate?

Rodrigo Alcaine: Is, are we still going to see it kind of continue to be flat like this? Or what can we do to unlock some of that as well to fill some of these roles that we have? 

Christopher Dwyer: Yeah that's a great question. I mean, I think one really interesting facet of this sector specifically Is looking at participation in something like direct sourcing, right.

Christopher Dwyer: Which has not historically been a core talent strategy for high volume shift based labor organizations. You're seeing more and more of these companies starting to rethink some of your traditional, I know that's going to be a common refrain today, but rethinking re-imagining traditional channels of talent and indirect sourcing, I think is going to be a big part of that.

Christopher Dwyer: I know, again, it's something I talked about a couple of hours ago and it's hard to get away from the direct sourcing topic because it's so hot, but. These are hiring managers that, you know, weren't used to doing things the way that you would see in, in, you know, more traditional white collar, you know, hiring manager positions where.

Christopher Dwyer: You could very easily find workers remotely. You could find users via, you know, so many different automated digital staffing platforms. And now you're starting to see that shift. I mean, I've gotten introduced to so many new talent marketplaces that are focused on high volume blue collar ally shift based labor over the past year.

Christopher Dwyer: And it makes me, I mean, I'm like, wow, am I a failure as an analyst? Cause I didn't know, you know, you know, 30, 40 of these companies before the pandemic. Right. But I really do think that again, it all comes down to, adapting, evolving what they're doing. I mean, I think something like 15% of ally companies pre pandemic had a direct sourcing program in place, which seems like a lot.

Christopher Dwyer: You know, when you look at the other side of. You see another 40, 50%, 40 to 50% expect to implement direct sourcing by the end of 2023, which, you know, that's an indicator to me that could be a pretty viable strategy for these organizations because you know, you can't use a lot of the the traditional methods that you've used in the past, especially where we are.

Rodrigo Alcaine: That's right. Yeah. Adam, I want to pivot a little bit too, cause I know a lot of our conversations with Joinedup and our suppliers and clients as well too, is that we're constantly hearing that. You know, customers are asking for more data, more information being compressed, margins continue to be compressed and staffing is kind of working harder to get the same output and outcome.

Rodrigo Alcaine: Right. And some of that more strategic work is now being kind of distracted away from the job. How can the squeeze be over? Or what are you hearing as a really?

Adam Thompson: Wow, that's a big question. For any PNL holders, isn't it? I mean, as you'd expect from me, right, I'm a kind of evangelist for the use of technology in this component.

Adam Thompson: And I, by the way, I totally buy both Janelle and Todd and Chris has only positioned that it is about how you stick the human into this process. So I'm not a kind of pure play marketplace guy at all. My view. Is that you look for interesting ways to automate away the boring, repetitive parts of the process.

Adam Thompson: You free up your people to have better lives. I mean, the experience of an onsite manager is really tough. I'm always saying to people in my organization, Remember when he speaks to people in high volume LA environments, they're getting screamed at, by customers in high pressure tense times. They got upward pressure from workers themselves, often very close to minimum wage.

Adam Thompson: It's a really tough role. So anything you can do to take care of more of the boring work and technology helps with that is very valuable. Obviously on the candidate's side I think. It's beginning to be table stakes, right? So, the opportunity to offer your candidates transparency so they can see how much they're earning as they're earning it via an app or a portal the ability for workers to be able to set their own preferred shift patterns through that kind of platform, which automatically taken into account when the supplier's planning tools are doing automated planning this stuff that.

Adam Thompson: I don't know, four or five years ago it was rocket science. I think it's table stakes. I don't think it's, you know, it's not even that super smartly longer. And interestingly, you know, we've got a couple of clients who have got all of that in place, and then going beyond that with application of really interesting AI, et cetera for the end high-risk side of things I think what some of these tools can do through this radical transparency of sharing data amongst the three parties to the transaction, the supplier the higher and the worker could also be very helpful.

Adam Thompson: Whereas previously everyone was living in a world of data, siloed spreadsheets. If you can now have a tool in place where a hire is placing their orders on a system, those are popping up in front of the suppliers on their own planning screens and the end horrors can then see that plan build in real time.

Adam Thompson: As names are added to shifts. Well, again, What all of these things are doing, whether they are innovations on supplier agency and higher or worker, is they're allowing people to do more with less. So it's this kind of recurring theme, but if the tools are used in the right way, it should all show up in one place.

Adam Thompson: And that is increasing the ratio of gross profit earning tends per salaried employee. And I'll shut up in one second. But we've got really good data on this across you know, a few billion dollars now of annual spend in a high volume. We can see exactly the number of consultants on the platform.

Adam Thompson: We can see exactly the number of workers they have out and across that number. We can see. 27 to 35 ish percent increase in the numbers of those temps per salaried employee overuse of this kind of technology. And that's a very powerful job. 

Rodrigo Alcaine: Yeah, absolutely. It speaks to understanding where you can augment some of that effort and the importance of technology playing in there and where you can still continue to humanize the process because you have people doing the things that are really sticky and really important versus some of those low value administrative tasks as well, too.

Rodrigo Alcaine: Janelle. I want to pivot to you a little bit, cause I know you've always been for as long as I've known you. You've been passionate about this as well, but how has the role of the recruiter changed over the last let's call it 18, 24 months. Based off everything that we've just been talking about, what have you seen, 

Janelle Bieler: Adam, what you were talking about in terms of that automation of the top of the funnel or Todd, what you were talking about taking that kind of handwork and figuring out how to automate.

Janelle Bieler: I think the understanding of the candidate funnel and understanding where you can put in automation and technology to help expedite things so that the recruiter can focus on the people piece. The hard work has probably been the biggest shift that I've seen the recruiter have started to shift.

Janelle Bieler: There's always going to be a need for some part of the people's business, whether it's in front of, you know, the client and the associates at the onsite, whether that's directly talking to people to try and get them placed. But the more that we can remove from their desk and the more that we can try to automate so that they get qualified candidates in front of them, that they can turn around.

Janelle Bieler: Make the match with that client, the easier their job will be. I think there's also been through with that type of automation and that type of introduction and maybe acceleration of technology, because I feel like we've had to really move quickly to try and put some of that into the business is as mentioned it's table stakes now to try and figure out how you can do things more efficiently.

Janelle Bieler: I think part of the role of the recruiter though is also becoming tougher because they're trying to catch up. Right. There is a lot of change management that comes with that and trying to kind of pull our groups along to make sure that everybody understands how to utilize the technology. You can always put automations and technologies into the process, but if you're not properly training and showing people how to optimize them, it's not going to give you your full benefits.

Rodrigo Alcaine: Yeah, super powerful, great point. And you know, it's funny cause I think maybe Chris, I think on your panel that we listened to earlier or somewhere else where I saw we talked about this kind of war for talent that's been going on. And someone said it really well, sorry, I'm not giving credit to the right person.

Rodrigo Alcaine: But it's you know, the war for talent is over and guess what? The talent won. Right. And you know, when you think about that and you think about the amount of options that talent now has and about attracting top talent and going back to creating some you know, some different ways to do the work that they've done before.

Rodrigo Alcaine: I think there's a good segue into optimizing the workforce. Cause I know something you and I have talked about several times and I think you have such a great definition of explaining this, but when you were to define, you know, optimizing a workforce shed some light on that and what that really means and unpack that little bit.

Todd Bavol: Well, sure. Yeah, absolutely. I'll tell you what that means to us and in ours first it's really understanding in getting into that operating reality of your clients and, you know, so often it's all about a number of FTE or headcount that I want in the building. And we really shift that conversation to output, right?

Todd Bavol: What are we trying to do at the end of the day? What's that result? And whether it's an hour in the building equation, let us come up with the best way to optimize that. Whether we're using on demand, labor, for pieces of a job that aren't really generating that output that they're looking for, that takes very little training time.

Todd Bavol: And we know how to insert labor where it's most needed to get the output at the end of the day. And for us at the end of the day, that's what an optimized workforce looks like. It's putting the right, who, what, who do I have access to in this labor pool and who can complete what function at the best rate for the client.

Todd Bavol: So at the end of the day, that's what we're looking for. 

Rodrigo Alcaine: Yeah, no, I think that's great. And I think all of us probably I'm sure on this call and many people in our audience, probably they get it right. They understand that's a need, but going to the customer and having that conversation. And again, to your point, educating them as to a real need and how they do their work today.

Rodrigo Alcaine: Tell us about challenges that you're facing. When you go try to talk about that solution or strategy with the customer. 

Todd Bavol: It's a long cycle, right? It's a long education cycle. I think the best thing is proof of concept from other initiatives. It's also testing small, allowing them to see it function within a smaller subset, and then moving them along that journey.

Todd Bavol: It's purposeful. It's not something that a lot of organizations do. Just don't set up their systems. Aren't set up that way. Their timekeeping isn't set up that way. And if they want to rock, run through their systems, that even makes that challenge a little bit more difficult. So it's really helping create.

Todd Bavol: Strong integrations where, you know, they can integrate into our systems. We can then operate in function in the way that we do best in optimizing high volume labor. So it's a very, it's not a, it's not a short cycle in educating the customer. It's really a longer-term education.

Todd Bavol: However, we have seen a number of customers now coming to us quickly and saying, help us solve this. They just don't have access to the labor. 

Rodrigo Alcaine: Yeah, that's good. I think, yeah once the need is definitely there it's almost like they're their backs up against the wall and they really want it.

Rodrigo Alcaine: You may have been talking to them about it for months, but now you know, they've got unfilled jobs and they're trying to get as creative as possible. Chris from your point of view and the buyer perspective, and I know you probably have a lot of conversations with procurement professionals, et cetera, and how they acquire and procure talent.

Rodrigo Alcaine: What are you hearing as it relates to some of these different types of strategies or initiatives? 

Christopher Dwyer: Yeah. That's a great question, Rodrigo. I mean, I think it's, it shifted more from. You know, what's our long term talent strategy and what can we do right now? Because I think that's where the need is.

Christopher Dwyer: It's not I mean, here's the thing predictive analytics scenario building. That's great for long-term workforce planning, but in this sector it's not helpful right now, right. This second. Right? So we need real time, total talent intelligence to really figure out where our gaps are, because you know, we're running a warehouse, we're running a plant.

Christopher Dwyer: You know, we've got people working on the shop floor that if someone doesn't show up for a shift, you know, we need to fill that role immediately. So, it's from the procurement side, from the HR and talent acquisition sites as well the more hiring managers, the more executives I talk to that are in the sector.

Christopher Dwyer: They're trying to place the utmost focused on trying to understand, you know, the talent needs right now. And what they can do to, know, to avoid adverse events in terms of, okay. We have a COVID outbreak, right. We have to shut down half a warehouse. We have 30% of our staff that are quarantining, even if it's for five days, seven days whatever the CDC is deciding to do this week.

Christopher Dwyer: You know, there's a lot there to unpack for these executives that are in a really tough spot. And not only that, you know, you're not dealing with white collar work. You know, I can just tap into my personal network really quickly and find someone who can fit a project into their schedule.

Christopher Dwyer: Right? I mean code coding, Java, developer, web design development, all that stuff. I mean, you can squeeze that in at midnight, if you're really hungry and you're a gig worker can do that. When you're talking about this sector with high volume or shift based labor, it's a lot harder to fill those roles.

Christopher Dwyer: You know, with the snap of the fingers, right? I mean, that's a lot of pressure today and Rodrigo, I think you put it perfectly and it wasn't me. You said that, I mean, I'll take credit for it all day, but the war for talent, you know, talent wins, I mean, I hate, I absolutely hate the phrase. Great resignation.

Christopher Dwyer: The only reason I use it is for clicks, but you know, I, they call it a talent revolution. Right. I mean, it doesn't matter if you are a picker packer, it doesn't matter if you are. You know, someone who's on your laptop at one in the morning building a new website, right? You want not just better compensation, but you want, you don't want burnout.

Christopher Dwyer: You want better, safer working conditions. You want the ability to come into work and know, okay, I have a purpose and I'm feeling that purpose. My job isn't, you know, it, it isn't just the job. It's part of my life and all these different things, both tech and non-tech together are really coming together.

Christopher Dwyer: Unfortunately, pretty hard for organizations in the sector to, to fill the talent that they need at the right time. 

Rodrigo Alcaine: Yeah, go ahead.Janelle. 

Janelle Bieler: You know, perfect. When you're talking about kind of the shift in mindset too. I think the flexibility and the need for workers who want that flexibility in roles in high volume staffing, that typically don't have flexibility as part of the challenge we're faced with too.

Janelle Bieler: Right? How do we answer that need that the candidates want and the associates need, and still be able to staff these high volume operations? I think that's the big million dollar question that we're all trying to figure out. How do you pull all that together to kind of serve everybody. 

Rodrigo Alcaine: Yeah. You know, it's another question that tends to come up as well, too specifically with this labor category, because I think Janelle, you mentioned it earlier, starting off as this work, can't be done remote, right? That they have to go onsite and do a lot of this work. But from a recruitment perspective, how important from a staffing standpoint is proximity within this labor counter to either the customer or the candidate in today's kind of remote world.

Rodrigo Alcaine: And I'll open it to anybody who wants to answer that one. That one's a tough one, but 

Adam Thompson: I'll just volunteer sort of a tiny case study as I think it's quite interesting. We've got a candidate in the UK who I believe is the largest building materials company around the world. And so they've got 1100 shops around the UK and they have a model where.

Adam Thompson: When they're trying to fill a role for drivers and others, they have, in addition to reaching out to third party, temporary labor, they also have agency-like perms, which I always found quite interesting. So they have several hundred drivers who in fact are on permanently employed contracts, but within their contracts, they require them to travel a significant distance and they can make it worth their while.

Adam Thompson: So when we were implementing. A platform like we do, which links, you know, the people who are doing the ordering, the agency and the workers. They asked us to build in the ability that when the order was put up the priority, that pings up on the list of available workers, it sticks at the top of that pool.

Adam Thompson: That class of worker that can travel. And within the system, there's a real-time call on a Google maps API. So we know which one of those people are available. And if there is none available only then will it serve up one of the people from the agency database, again, listed according to proximity to site.

Adam Thompson: So it's just an interesting idea. I wonder whether there are other models like that, that one could use messing around with contracts and proximity. 

Rodrigo Alcaine: Yeah. Yeah, that's a good one. Adam, Janelle, do you know you were going to mention something about as well? 

Janelle Bieler: I was just going to mention that. I think when it comes to a lot of these roles, proximity is important, right.

Janelle Bieler: In trying to figure out how you can migrate talent pools within a certain geography, because, you know, if you have somebody across town that suddenly has workers available, they can't always travel. Right. Transportation issues sometimes there's, you know, a lot of things that can prevent people from working at a different site.

Janelle Bieler: So I do think proximity is still important and being able to understand kind of your talent pools within a certain geography, and then figuring out how you can leverage that shift, scheduling across clients is becoming more and more important to have geography of clients, to try and understand how you can share in that talent pool.

Rodrigo Alcaine: Interesting. So it's more about where the candidates are collectively and how to, yep. That's a good point. Todd, where are you going to, where are you going to say something? I'm sorry. 

Todd Bavol: Yeah, absolutely. I think proximity in this category for, if we're talking about talent. We find, you know, obviously one is that, you know, pay that.

Todd Bavol: How far is it from my home? And so even for our central teams who take people reaching out or connecting with them. You know, we want to be able to look at what's available. What's absolutely closest to their home to start with because proximity to, to the talent is critical to I not only taking, accepting the position, but the longevity, that position as well, we can correlate those two things together.

Rodrigo Alcaine: Yeah, that's interesting. So let's pivot to technology. I think that has obviously been a theme amongst the conversation today. I think if you had the chance to join any other sessions as well, this was kind you know, top of conversation as well. When you think about technology and not only technology in general, but the right technology obviously can create a better experience and it has enhanced operational efficiency, you know, something that we're seeing every single day.

Rodrigo Alcaine: With this particular labor category, where do you see technology fit in specifically with either AI or the role of recruiter today? And maybe Todd, let me start with you. Okay. 

Todd Bavol: Well, so from my perspective, and organizationally, we, right now, we're in a place where the candidate journey. As it relates to technology, it has to be diverse because the candidates are in different phases, right?

Todd Bavol: Some are absolutely app friendly. They want to be on an app. That's what they gravitate towards. Then you have others. That isn't that I want that personal touch and that experience, and still working through their computer or walking into an office, believe it or not. And we're finding that when we try to isolate even at a beta level one path that we're losing candidate share.

Todd Bavol: So as we look at technology right now, we're looking at. Like, somebody mentioned revolution earlier. I'll say this is an evolution, not a revolution because the faster we try to get the candidate to adopt, to adapt to the change. We're missing out on a portion of that candidate base that we can, so that makes it more complicated because you're running.

Todd Bavol: If we had our choice right now, we'd be 100% digital, right. Everything would be digital. That's not what the candidates are looking for. So we're having to offer both. And that creates operational challenges, I think. 

Rodrigo Alcaine: Yeah. Janelle

Janelle Bieler: As an organization thought, I think what you touched on is that there has to be multiple ways to meet the candidate where they need to be met. So I almost think that we have to shift in this type of high volume industry. We've typically been very high touch, right? We're in front of the client, in front of the candidate face to face.

Janelle Bieler: But as you mentioned, people are. Operating in different ways now. So I almost feel like we need to have an approach for the no touch candidate, right. That wants to do everything digital, but then we still have to find a way that's maybe augmented by some technologies that allows the human touch and you're still going to have candidates and clients.

Janelle Bieler: We still need to be very high touch. So I think that's part of what this whole shakeup around recruitment and high volume staffing is about is that we're now being moved into multiple ways, different channels that we have to reach out to candidates. That's a big shift. 

Todd Bavol: Yeah. In the end, what happens to Janelle?

Todd Bavol: That's such a great point because what we see is that it also puts at risk the experience. And for us, that experience from the front end is so important. And if we're if the pathways, those journeys are not precise and if there's gaps in those journeys, that candidate. Move on to the next.

Todd Bavol: So it really does create unique channels. 

Adam Thompson: And it's not. What's interesting is this conversation started off with, you know, does a worker like being spoken to lots in our sort of high touch way for technology. But actually even within technology, it's incredibly hard to keep up because there are some people who prefer to be communicated to you by WhatsApp, some via viral SMS, some via email, some of our instant via different forms of instant messaging.

Adam Thompson: So it all leads to a more complex environment. I completely agree, but it all adds up to this concept of choice. Ideally, we should be using a combination, I guess, of human interaction and technology to speak to people in the way that they want to be spoken to. So that you don't leave and neglect any portion of that candidate.

Adam Thompson: That's right. 

Rodrigo Alcaine: Yeah. It's certainly a, an and not an, or right. And to Janelle's point in Adams, all of you guys made this point if you got to meet the candidates where they are as well too. And a lot of the conversation that we're having is around attraction of the candidate engagement originally at the top of the funnel.

Rodrigo Alcaine: But I think even more importantly is the redeployment of great talent as well, too. And I think that's often a miss for a lot of us, because we're engaging in the new orders that we get from our customers. And then we just kind of move on to the next, because we're so busy, right.

Rodrigo Alcaine: Tell us a little about where work and technology augment their or any, some best practices that you all may have that you've seen around redeployment and an opportunity there. And then to last and those kinds of three questions in one, but Chris, if you have any data to support anything around redeployment of candidates, a desire to, we'd love to hear as well.

Christopher Dwyer: Yeah. I mean, I'll just start with the more, more anecdotal first and then dive into some of the points that I have. I mean, I really think that again, direct sourcing, you know, I think it's tough for me to not talk about it because I'm so passionate about it, but I'm not saying that all companies in this sector, half the utilize direct sourcing starting tomorrow, but we're going to be talking about candidate experience and talent redeployment.

Christopher Dwyer: I think one critical piece that these organizations can take away from direct sourcing. And I even call it direct sourcing 2.0, which I feel is the natural next evolution of direct sourcing, where you're involving more technology. You're doing more AI, you're doing more AI like candidate assessment.

Christopher Dwyer: You're doing more with nurturing collaboration. It's that nurture piece that sort of that cultural awareness. How are we giving our candidates and our workers the best possible experience from beginning to end. Right. And it's not just putting them in a talent pool at the end of the day or a talent community.

Christopher Dwyer: It's, you know, you want these candidates to feel like I just did a six week assignment. I filled on. Filled in on a dozen different shifts over the past four weeks, whatever it is, we want them to have such a great positive experience, not just for the work itself with the company, but the culture.

Christopher Dwyer: Again, this is why it's so important to look at the future of work through a non-technological lens sometimes because things like empathy and sort of feeling like you've got a purpose when you go into work, those are the aspects that candidates want to look at. When you have this again, war for talent, in which the talent one talent redeployment is really based on the fact that, you know, the candidates have to have a want, they have to want to come back.

Christopher Dwyer: They want to feel like they can be not an FTE or employee, but they can be part of the organization in a more meaningful way. And the organization wants them there. So that positive experience I think is pretty critical. And that's where I think things like talent nurture. Really come to mind, you know, taking a page from the direct sourcing playbook, you know, how do businesses in this sector effectively nurture their candidates and ensure that, you know, they have the best possible candidate experience and the best possible work experience.

Christopher Dwyer: So when the time comes in the future, Whether it's six weeks from now or six months from now, that candidate is going to remember, well, you know what, I do want to go work for them again, because it was a good all around experience. And, you know, it's more than just compensation. It really is about culture, you know, inclusiveness, safety, all of those things sort of wrapped together and this neat little candidate experience.

Rodrigo Alcaine: That's right. And the indirect kind of benefits to that as well, too, from a referral standpoint. And now it's much easier for people to tell everyone about their experience, good or bad. Oftentimes they'll tell you about a bad experience and a good one. So I think that's incredibly critical. Todd and Janell.

Rodrigo Alcaine: Any thoughts on redeployment of candidates? I know this is something that we've always talked about for a while, but now more prevalent than ever. I think. 

Todd Bavol: I'll jump in with technology. Redeploy understands what candidates are coming available, what can, what jobs are the best fit and matching them to those candidates better than ever before.

Todd Bavol: It's, we're still working towards that. Where redeployment right now. In fact, I had a conversation today where we were really looking at how. Our technology is currently set up from a redeployment perspective. And what are those touchpoints where we're still from a human perspective, right. Missing those opportunities, because that the more we missed.

Todd Bavol: The opportunity to, as Chris said, nurture that candidate prior to the end of that assignment with information about what's upcoming, about what their next step plans are. The more that we miss that opportunity, the higher our costs go to acquire new candidates. So redeployment for us is a large focus and art technology evolution right now.

Todd Bavol: And you know, there are right now we're using.

Todd Bavol: We can get as many people back in the workforce as possible with the shortest amount of time between assignment 

Rodrigo Alcaine: critical.Janelle do you want to add there? 

Janelle Bieler: Just agree on the nurture piece, especially when you're in high volume staffing. It's often a quick placement when you're putting somebody to work and what I love.

Janelle Bieler: Automated nurture campaigns that can help you lay the foundation for the relationship. Right? So, you're able to start getting a consistent message to your associates and start to build upon that. And then to Tod's point, being able to dig into that, to understand what people are looking for, are there upscale opportunities?

Janelle Bieler: How can we get them into that next rule that starts to build that stickiness with the associates, right? And hopefully the opportunity to continue to redeploy them and give them. You know, career opportunities that are beyond the one that they're currently working. So I would just agree with what both of you said to me that is at the heart of redeployment is how do you use some of those nutrients to build those relationships with your associates, to continue to have the opportunity to redeploy them.

Todd Bavol: Yeah. Jenelle You bring up a really good point around that. Those, if we think about the candidates that we say disappear, we were, we're no longer in communication. We're not connected anywhere. They're not responding, et cetera. And they go dark. I have set up campaigns where we're now reaching back out to those folks using technology saying, look, we haven't heard from you in awhile.

Todd Bavol: Have you added a new skill? And the technology now enables them to update new skills, and allows us to introduce new job opportunities to them. These are things that from a manual perspective, we're really almost impossible, right? At scale. And so technology really has enabled us to really manage our database at a higher level and not lose so many candidates who just end up going dark.

Adam Thompson: And on that last point, or I, so I, you know, I thoroughly agree with the idea of career paths and warehouse to wheels programs. The ability to combine multiple jobs across different clients to create a full five day working shift. All that technology can be incredibly helpful. I think there's one area, which I don't actually personally know that much about, but interestingly I have a client I can see who's in this session.

Adam Thompson: It's a big business in the UK gentleman by the name of Chris lee when there's listing now. But they've done the interesting thing where they've. Incorporated experiential data in there. So how do you create that feedback loop? And what they've, there's a third party, this particular company.

Adam Thompson: I think they use a company called Qualtrics. But this idea of polling and gauging sentiment from your worker pool, potentially, if you wanna get really smart about that, building that in a particular trigger points in the process. So, I dunno when someone gets that. If we know that we have a lot of people walking out the door, because they're upset with incorrect pay on the first pay weeks, that can automatically trigger in the process you know, sort of satisfaction.

Adam Thompson: And the nice thing about a lot of that, I think we're drowned with a lot of operational data of shift, fill rates and numbers, and God knows what else. And we don't spend enough time looking at that experiential data. And I think the combination of those things can be very powerful when you're looking at both retaining and redeploying.

Adam Thompson: So thinking a little bit about that feedback loop I think, well, 

Rodrigo Alcaine: That's great. That's a great topic. And actually kind of to round out the conversation, we talked a lot about the candidate experience and the recruiter experience and the team experience around technology. And I think Steven May has mentioned this in the comments too, but we missed the issue created by customers.

Rodrigo Alcaine: It's good work offered. Are there enough hours to make them stick and next hour is available in the site located in an area of high competitive density and better pay rates. I think it's a great topic. For the customer side as well too. But one of the things that I wanted to end and kind of close that loop out is Todd, you mentioned the journey of the candidate and being able to communicate with them based off how they want to be communicated as relates to either the digitization or through a phone call or kind of that human touch as well too.

Rodrigo Alcaine: But I think that same journey exists on the camp from the client side. A little bit more advanced in using technology to either procure, communicate back and forth with a supply, a supplier and or they still want to be able to walk down the street, open the door and say, Hey, I need 15 people on Monday or down, you know, for an onsite, et cetera.

Rodrigo Alcaine: So there's a fine balance. Are you seeing a demand or an ask from your customers around digital solutions or anything? 

Todd Bavol: Absolutely. Yeah. And again it's, as we were speaking earlier, that there are the different segments that once digital communication just wants to be able to put their own jobs in once to handle their own call-outs they want to be able to do it all digitally with, you know, information at their fingertips.

Todd Bavol: Others that you, we still can't, you'll give them the digital tool and they'll still call up and say, you put it in the system for me, you know? So, and that's a challenge, right? So, as I, I think there'll come a time and we'll evolve, you know, there, if we go back, I've been in this industry now 30 plus years.

Todd Bavol: And so I watched it when we moved to email. You know, and there were customers who still wanted to pick up the phone. They didn't want to email, you know, so it's just a transition. And I think what we're going to see is more and more customers who want that digital experience, because one, they have information at their fingertips faster.

Todd Bavol: And I think right now it's just creating awareness. 

Rodrigo Alcaine: Yeah, that's right. It is an evolution. Absolutely. So we've got a few minutes left. It looks like we've got some questions from the audience as well. So I want to make sure we touch on those. I think one of the first questions I saw let me make sure is from Rich gig smart and it's for Todd specifically, what has been the biggest win and biggest challenge incorporating an app based staffing solution into staffing organization.

Todd Bavol: The biggest win. The biggest win for us right now is the ability to handle on demand short, fat, short turnaround jobs. That's probably the biggest win that the biggest challenges adopting. And where to put the experience in the process. And what I mean by that is, as we talked earlier about application paths, right?

Todd Bavol: You have an app based experience where it's a 100% app based experience all the way through the application. Then for others, you may not. So where do you push that line? Where do you drive that candidate? And if you leave it open to both. Managing those experiences so that their ideal goes back to Adam's point about experience and those experience points, it has to be perfect.

Todd Bavol: And with the app based and the non app based journeys it creates a little more complexity than we anticipated. And so we're moving through progressively to make that. 

Rodrigo Alcaine: Perfectly well said. Thank you, Todd. Another question with the consideration of the skill gap currently happening in the labor market, due to various factors, I automation, AI machine learning, redeployment, are there any perceived barriers and addressing the up re-skilling up-skilling excuse me. Re-skilling in regards to shift based or part-time labor. Great question. I think that's something we did not touch on as the upskilling reskilling. Jenelle, if it's okay, I'll direct this one to you. And then maybe Chris, maybe you can add the end as well, too. 

Janelle Bieler: So I think up-skilling, and re-skilling, as it relates to shift work, is interesting because when you do try to move talent across different clients, you have to make sure that they are trained in those roles, right? Sometimes with the high volume staffing, you have very specific needs as to what the role requires.

Janelle Bieler: So I actually think that. As we try to answer this need from our associates and our candidates who want to have more of that flexibility in shift work, the more that we can upskill and give them a variety of skills, the more marketable they are and the better ability they have to shift across different clients and actually give us more of a talent pool to work from.

Janelle Bieler: So I think that there is a big opportunity for us. You mentioned warehouse two wheels. I think there's a lot of opportunities for us to try and figure out how we can just continue to build on skills. In this high volume staffing to be able to give people more opportunities to work in various different places of the business.

Christopher Dwyer: Perfect. Yep. And I'll add here too. I've been going down the road of looking at aspects of digital recruiting and how technology is being utilized to, you know, help recruitment and talent acquisition. And so. In prep for our session. Only 13% of companies in this sector are using quote unquote automated alignment of workers with opportunities to re-skill and up-skill.

Christopher Dwyer: So it seems like something that's, that seems to be an issue now, but 67% say they'll have that capability by the end of 2023. So that's, again, one of those things that's, you know, could be a big shift over. 

Rodrigo Alcaine: Yeah, that's huge. Chris, I'm going to need you to post all your stats that you've said on linkedIn for all of us. This is pretty impactful as well, but I know we're coming up at the end of time. I just wanted a huge, sincere thank you to Adam, Jenelle. Todd, and Chris. Has been such a pleasure having this conversation with you today. Now, someone told me really early in my staff and career, that staffing was a noble profession.

Rodrigo Alcaine: And I believe it now more than ever before that, that it truly is. And a huge heartfelt thank you to you and your teams for what you do every single day, the impact that you make on the industry. And also the communities that we serve every single day. So big, huge, thank you to all of you. Thank you for the World Staffing Summit. To give us this platform to have this really good conversation. And I appreciate the audience for engaging in questions as well too. So I'm sure you guys are getting flooded by LinkedIn invites to connect and so I'll leave you to that, but thank you all. I appreciate it. And appreciate your time today.

Rodrigo Alcaine: Thanks everyone. Thanks so much.


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Rodrigo Alcaine

Todd Bavol

Adam Thompson

Christopher Dwyer

Janelle Bieler




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