Staffing’s technology spend lags, but why is this important?

Research from Staffing Industry Analysts shows that compared to other industries, technology spend in the staffing industry is below average both as a percentage of revenue and per full-time equivalent employee. A global average across all industries, according to Gartner, is 4.5 percent.

So why is this important for the staffing industry? After all, technology is but a tool. How we use it and implement it is critical to the success of this tool.

However, it is also true that if used correctly, technology can definitely help a staffing firm stand out in many ways. For example, the right tool enables a staffing firm reduce internal inefficiencies, identify cost savings and run a much smoother organization at the backend. The right technology can also empower a staffing firm to not only find qualified candidates, but find them at a speed that is required in this day and age of vendor management systems.  

These are just a few examples on how latest technology trends can and are already impacting the staffing industry. Advancements in some key areas such as mobility, big data and analytics, cloud and security are on the radar of every CIO and staffing firms are no different. CIOs of staffing firms are already dealing with demands from internal customers to delivery services faster and with more flexibility, but at the same time in a more cost-effective manner. 

According to a recent Staffing Industry Analysts report on “Information Technology Issues and Trends,” only process improvement and innovation, which are often enabled through technology, can be a basis for real differentiation in the marketplace. However, these comprise, on average, no more than 20 percent of the typical staffing company’s IT budget. In an industry struggling with commoditization, creating this differentiator is vital, but the relatively slim IT budget sure is a big hurdle.

We will talk more about this and other staffing industry trends in our upcoming webinar on Feb. 5. In addition, there will be more in depth coverage of technology issues that impact the staffing industry and much more at the Staffing Industry Executive Forum being held in San Diego from March 18-21.

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