Automation is a key factor in staffing agencies gaining the competitive advantage. Still, many staffing firms are not yet leveraging the industry’s best technology.
Today, we’re breaking down the five most common myths of automation to help you make strategic, informed decisions that are right for your staffing business.
But first: What is automation?
Automation refers to using technology to streamline and simplify repetitive processes, allowing tasks to be executed with minimal human intervention. This functionality can be harnessed to enhance efficiency and productivity across various aspects of your staffing agency’s operations.
For staffing firms, automation can be applied to:
- Lead Generation: Automation tools can identify and nurture potential clients, helping staffing agencies expand their client base efficiently.
- Data Entry: Time-consuming data entry is made more efficient through automation. When you have a fully integrated solution (like with TempWorks), this applies to your ATS, job boards, onboarding processes, and more.
- Candidate Screening and Onboarding: Sorting through resumes and processing candidate information is expedited. Take advantage of chatbots and mobile-friendly tools to ensure a more seamless candidate experience. All of this and more greatly accelerates your time to hire.
- Email/Text Messaging: Automated communication ensures timely updates and notifications to candidates and employees, enhancing their experience. Schedule messages to your employees to celebrate key milestones or events. Send real-time updates each time an employee is placed.
- Email Marketing: Targeted and personalized email marketing campaigns can be automated, promoting job openings and agency services.
- Payroll: Automation simplifies the often complex and error-prone payroll process, reducing human error and ensuring timely payments.
- Enhanced Talent + Customer Experience: Automation enables agencies to provide a more personalized and efficient service to candidates and clients, fostering stronger relationships and increasing retention.
- Faster Time-to-Hire: By automating tasks such as candidate screening and lead generation, staffing agencies can significantly reduce the time it takes to fill job vacancies.
- Improved Processes: Automation streamlines internal workflows, making them more efficient and reducing bottlenecks. When your processes are smooth, you’re better prepared to grow your business.
- Work Smarter, Not Harder: Staffing agencies can maximize their efficiency and output without expanding their workforce by deploying automation strategically. Your own database is a gold mine; deploy automation to better maximize your own database and re-engage with employees.
- Increased Accuracy / Reduced Human Error: Automation ensures consistency and accuracy in tasks prone to human error, such as data entry and payroll processing.
- More Time for Revenue-Generating Tasks and Building Relationships: By automating routine and time-consuming processes, staffing agencies free up valuable time and resources to focus on revenue-generating activities and cultivating stronger client and candidate relationships.
Automation & Personal Relationships
Myth #1: Automation is impersonal
In staffing, personal relationships are irreplaceable. While it might seem surprising, automation can actually strengthen those relationships, not harm them. Here’s how:
Automation helps your internal team manage their time more efficiently. By automating routine and time-consuming tasks—such as data entry, follow-up messages, or scheduling—your employees can redirect their efforts towards building and nurturing relationships with your talent and clients. This means they have more time for personal interactions, such as conducting in-depth interviews, which ultimately deepens trust and increases retention.
Automation makes talent feel more supported, ultimately improving retention rates. With the right tools, you can be proactive rather than reactive. Ask an employee how their first day of a new assignment went, remind them to activate their paycards, and more.
Automation strengthens the relationship between staffing agencies and customers, too. You can foster stronger customer relationships by providing real-time insights and data-driven recommendations. Your staffing agency can use automation to track customer preferences, monitor the performance of placements, and proactively address issues. This transparency and data-driven approach can lead to more satisfied customers who value your expertise.
One way your internal team can leverage automation is by strategically enhancing personalized communication. With the right tools, your team can send timely, relevant updates and messages to both customers and talent, making them feel valued and well-informed.
Automation & Job Growth
Myth #2: Automation eliminates human jobs
One of the most prevalent myths about automation in staffing agencies is the fear that it will lead to job losses. It’s true that automation can take on repetitive and time-consuming tasks, but it doesn’t replace the need for human expertise. Instead, it empowers staffing professionals to focus on higher-value activities such as candidate engagement, client relationships, and strategic decision-making.
As a matter of fact, automation more often leads to the creation of more jobs. A World Economic Forum study predicts that by 2025, “digital technologies will create at least 12 million more jobs than they eliminate, as people with the right skills will be needed to program, maintain and repair them.”
Ultimately, you can’t take the people out of the people business. Automation is a tool, not a replacement; it complements human skills, making teams more efficient and enabling them to deliver better results.
Automation & Your Team’s Processes
Myth #3: Automation is one-size-fits-all
Many staffing professionals fear that automation necessitates a complete overhaul of your team’s existing processes. When used best, though, automated solutions are designed to work with your established processes, not against them.
Each staffing firm has its own processes, talent pool, customers, and business goals. The uses of automation are as diverse as the staffing industry itself. Automating key functions should address your staffing firm’s distinct pain points and help you reach your goals.
Rather than forcing your team to learn entirely new procedures, automation can be integrated in a way that complements and enhances the efficiency of your existing workflows. “When helping clients build and evaluate their tech stack, I suggest they look for where their team is caught up in repetitive tasks,” says Sophia Montana, Director of Strategic Alliances for TempWorks.
Then, I work with them to identify tools they can apply to streamline workflows and improve efficiency.”
Automation for Staffing Firms by Size
Myth #4: Automation is only suitable for large staffing firms
Automation is not a luxury reserved for enterprise businesses. Staffing firms of all sizes can harness the power of automation to streamline their staffing processes, reduce operational costs, and significantly boost overall efficiency.
The key is to tailor automation solutions to fit the specific needs of your staffing firm. Automated solutions are often adaptable and flexible, built to scale with your business. With cloud-based solutions and SaaS models, automation becomes an accessible and affordable tool that empowers all businesses to work smarter and achieve better results.
The Ongoing Journey of Automation
Myth #5: Automation is a one-time fix
Many assume automation is a quick, one-time fix—that once implemented, these tools and functions run on autopilot indefinitely. In reality, automation is a dynamic process that demands continuous evaluation, optimization, and adaptation to remain effective in the ever-changing landscape of staffing. (Hint: That’s why the human touch is so important!)
As market demands shift, technology advances, and your staffing business grows, automation needs to be updated and refined in order to continue delivering results.
As your staffing agency adapts to new challenges and opportunities, automation can be tailored to suit these evolving business needs. To keep your automation processes in peak condition, regular performance analysis is essential. This involves monitoring key performance metrics and actively seeking feedback from users within your agency. By doing so, you can identify areas for improvement and fine-tune your automation systems for optimal performance.
Automation & ROI: Is it worth it?
Any time you consider adopting new technology, it’s important to examine whether the benefits outweigh the cost. In the world of staffing, automation is certainly a valuable investment—one that is key to being competitive in the marketplace.
This doesn’t need to mean overhauling all of your existing technology, though. “Start by identifying one pain point in your business, then decide where you can add automation,” says Montana. “Even if you can identify one place where automation can enhance your processes, you can see a huge ripple effect across your business.”
This could be a new integration, a service, or an existing function you haven’t used yet in your ATS.
With automation, you can empower your team to focus on what truly matters: meaningful interactions with talent and customers. By automating repetitive tasks and providing a platform for personalized communication, staffing agencies can create a winning formula for building and maintaining strong, long-lasting relationships.