The staffing industry serves as a bellwether for the overall economy. In its ups and downs, we identify both emerging opportunities and looming challenges. With over two decades of experience navigating the waters of the staffing industry, Larry Hemley brings an unparalleled depth of insight into what the future holds for staffing firms in 2024.

Larry’s journey in the staffing world, which began at the turn of the millennium, saw him rapidly acknowledging the undeniable link between the industry’s health and broader economic trends. His extensive career crossing IT, healthcare, accounting and finance, construction, support services, and more, equips him with a unique vantage point, having assessed hiring markets’ reactions to varying economic landscapes and masterminded multiple business solutions. Let’s see what trends in the staffing industry he predicts for 2024.

Top Staffing Trends in 2024


1. Evolution of the Tech Stack

Every staffing firm is going to be paying close attention to their Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and other staffing technology. Emphasizing the need to make these systems more user-friendly for sales and recruiting teams. This aspect is pivotal, as the efficiency and success of these teams are fundamentally dependent on advanced software. That not only simplifies operations but also significantly streamlines communication and enhances referral processes. The focal point of these efforts is to augment communication channels, ensuring seamless and more effective interactions among team members and clients. Furthermore, there is an increasing emphasis on utilizing technology to drive referrals more efficiently.

By integrating sophisticated systems, staffing firms are able to leverage the power of technology to amplify their referral processes, making them more targeted and effective. Tools that improve consultant communication, tools that improve technical screening, tools that improve support for clients and candidates, tools that address referrals and reviews, all of these can or may be part of your tech stack and improving them across the board is in your best interest.

Moreover, the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in refining recruiting and sales processes is becoming increasingly central to the strategic operations of these firms. AI-driven solutions are being adopted to analyze data, predict trends, and make more informed decisions, which optimize the recruitment and sales lifecycle.

In the context of the current economic landscape, the adoption rate of new technology within the staffing industry is anticipated to reach unprecedented heights in 2024. Therefore, the pressure to identify and utilize the most effective tools is intensifying, underscoring the importance of staying ahead of the curve. This movement towards advanced technology adoption reflects a proactive response to market demands, ensuring that staffing firms not only meet but exceed the evolving expectations of their clients and the industry at large.

2. Economics Up and Down

With economists predicting oscillations for 2024, staffing firms need to calibrate strategies carefully. While we’re seeing a slowly recovered market for 2024, the reality is that through increased efforts and focus, firms are able to manage the rough waters and take advantage as the market recovers.

In a down economy, the importance of prioritizing certain key aspects becomes increasingly evident. This is the time when focusing intently on your clients and driving efficiency with your candidates begins to rise to the forefront as a critical priority. Such periods demand a heightened level of attention to these areas, in order to maintain and strengthen your business foundations. Additionally, this approach lays the groundwork for growth during economic upturns, while also providing the necessary stability during downturns. Both flexibility and unwavering dedication become essential in navigating these varying economic cycles effectively.



3. Client Mix Diversification

Stability is sought after by adapting the mix of clients. Firstly, firms need to reach for market areas that have been less affected by the economy, ensuring resilience against industry-specific hiring slumps.

A diversified portfolio is the saving grace in an uncertain hiring landscape. If your business is predominantly dependent on two or three major segments, diversifying becomes an imperative strategy to counteract the volatility of market fluctuations. By expanding your focus beyond these core areas, you are able to create a safety net. That reduces risk and ensures greater stability, adapting more effectively to the changing economic environment.

In the current climate, it’s advisable for every staffing firm to expand its focus rather than being confined to areas with poor hiring us marketing strategy for staffing firms

4. Redefining Submittal to Interview to Placement Ratios and Driving Efficiency

Every firm needs to be looking at the quality of submissions instead of quantity. The submittal is a recruiter’s opportunity to sell the candidate to the clients however, most of the submittals do very little selling. In 2024, everyone needs to be looking at how to improve interview ratios through how well they sell the candidate to the client. The recruitment drive is geared towards perfecting candidates’ prep for interviews, thus significantly shortening the path to successful placements.

In direct client engagements, the usual ratio is four submittals for one hire. This year, with clients becoming more selective, we could see an increase to a six-to-one ratio. Addressing this issue immediately is essential, as a rising ratio has serious financial repercussions. For those working with Vendor Management Systems (VMS) and Managed Service Providers (MSP), the challenge is greater, facing a ratio of twenty submittals for a single hire.

In response to these challenges, firms are expected to harness technological advancements and fine-tune their processes to enhance the quality of submissions. Overall, the goal is to ensure that candidate profiles not only meet but surpass client expectations, thereby improving the chances of successful placements.

5. Commitment to Accountability

Introspection spearheads efforts toward enhancing operational efficiency and accountability. In the past, firms haven’t always been consistent in driving success. However, 2024 marks a pivotal year where they need to channel their energy towards ensuring accountability across all teams. By doing so, they aim to foster a culture of responsibility and efficiency in every sector of their operations.

In the mandate for quality over quantity, regular check-ins with clients, candidates, and consultants are going to be critical. “Inspect what you expect,” as renowned economist W. Edwards Deming wisely advised, needs to be the staffing firms’ mantra, supported by meticulous result analysis and reporting.




6. Amplifying Marketing Initiatives

Business School 101, in recessionary time invest in marketing as the cost of acquisition drops dramatically due to less competition that does not follow Business School 101. Businesses have the chance to amplify their reach at a better cost. This situation is especially beneficial for ongoing consulting communications, driving new business, and strengthening existing client relationships. In this environment, marketing is ready to play an increasingly key role, not just in sales, but also in recruiting efforts. The ability of marketing strategies to meet and even exceed sales and recruiting targets is now more pronounced than ever.

It’s important to underscore the critical role that marketing plays in supporting recruiting teams, particularly in times of economic uncertainty. Marketing’s ability to adapt and thrive amid fluctuating economic conditions is key to its effectiveness. This adaptability ensures that recruiting teams are not only able to reach their goals but do so in a manner that is both efficient and effective. Leveraging the full spectrum of marketing tools and strategies available. Lastly, the strategic use of marketing resources, especially in this economic landscape, is essential for maintaining a strong pipeline of talent and sustaining business growth.

In a market that has expectations to go up and down, the key is to be vigilant in improving your business to drive success. Tech stack enhancements, client mix diversification, sharpened recruitment metrics, ironclad accountability measures, and a pronounced pivot towards aggressive marketing efforts represent a collective readiness to ride the waves of change. The commitment to these pivotal areas is determining the trajectory of many staffing firms in a challenging yet opportunistic year ahead in 2024.

In a volatile market, the overarching theme for success is vigilance and continual innovation. Strengthening your business armature now means positioning yourself to harness the opportunities that are inevitably rising from the flux of the staffing industry in 2024.

If your staffing company is looking to seize the opportunities in this dynamic market, our specialized marketing services provide the edge you need. Contact us today and let’s make this year your most successful yet!

About SJHemley Marketing

S.J.Hemley Marketing is a marketing and sales consulting firm focused on driving tangible results for professional services firms. Brand matters, but not without ROI. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience within staffing and recruiting, we have helped to drive successful branding, sales training, lead generation activities as well as defining marketing strategy for top organizations.