10 YEARS & 10 ANSWERS, Part 2
Staff Insight is celebrating 10 years in the staffing industry with a special blog series including company history, career advice, and how to succeed as a small business. In this second section of 10 questions that are often posed to our team, Partner Lori Prickett shares more about her experience in the staffing industry and how the business has adapted to changes over the years. You have been in the staffing profession for most of your 2+ decades career. Why do you feel the placement industry has had such longevity? As internet and technology advancements occurred, the rumor was that staffing agencies were going to go away. This turned out to be completely untrue. The core product we offer in finding the right person for the desired position, as well as easing the burden of the client has become even more important in today’s environment. It’s much tougher to find quality candidates with all of the tools available today. Those seeking new opportunities and companies looking for the perfect fit have so much more access to each other. However, this wealth of information brings clutter, making the task of finding right person or right company for a job seeker or client even more difficult. Staffing firms serve an even more integral part in the today’s job market. With a strong job market, and unemployment rates so low, a lot more effort goes into finding just one candidate who’s the best fit. Job seekers get frustrated with the online process of sending their resumes and never hearing back from potential employers. If you happen to be gainfully employed it becomes even more challenging, so working with an agency can really help! As a recruiter and business owner for this lasting period of time, what makes staffing worthwhile and has kept you working in this field? I love the opportunities this business has given me to impact lives for candidates, companies and the hiring managers who I work with over the years. I like the fast-paced environment, with no day ever being the same. I constantly learn about new companies, new technologies, new roles and responsibilities. I enjoy that the recruiting and staffing industry is still about quality, service and building lasting relationships. The recruiter that provides the most qualified candidates for the best job opportunities to excellent client companies with ethics and integrity wins every time! Looking back, we’re still dealing with people (candidates and clients), which can be a challenge but one of the most satisfying parts of my job. We have two customers - our candidates and our client companies. Providing the highest level of service to both always gives us the competitive advantage. I have a true passion, determination, and drive for helping people improve their career situation and for finding the right talent at the right time for my clients, which is why I have kept working in this field. I’m thankful for all the experiences I’ve gained and the opportunities I’ve had in this industry, and I can’t wait to see what happens in the coming years. What changes have you seen in generations of job seekers, as well as the industry, that surprise you or that you feel is better now than before? Imagine what it was like to be a recruiter in the early days without the use of computers, email, cell phones or internet. When I started my career, I relied on personal connections, phone books, and newspaper classified ads to reach potential job seekers. Paper resumes and phonebooks are now a thing of the past! Until the 1990’s all jobs were advertised in newspapers. The closest thing to a candidate database was a Rolodex and pile of business cards. Fast forward a few decades and everything has been digitalized, with a large focus on social media, company career sites, mobile apps and online job boards, making the process quicker and more efficient than before. Everything is done online now, from the initial sourcing of candidates, to even the interview on some occasions using FaceTime, Skype and Tango to name a few, so technology has changed the most over the years. Back in the early days, the only way to contact potential candidates and clients was to see them in person, call them on the phone or send snail mail. We submitted resumes and delivered important documents by courier – can you imagine?! We revised resumes on typewriters with carbon paper! Then came faxes, the cutting-edge technology of the time. Today, our industry is still a phone and in-person business with lots of other ways to connect. Technology has certainly made it easier for applicant and client/customer tracking. The tracking process of strong candidate information in manila folders was not as efficient as everything being digitalized today. The sense of urgency was extremely high, it was all about how quickly you could reach a client via the work phone and pitch your candidate, who typically was working with several other agencies. I still feel that the human aspect is lacking with our current processes. Technology is great, making things faster and more streamlined, but I do miss the hires that were made the old-fashioned way!
By Lori Prickett