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By Elizabeth Catherine

Staffing agencies across the nation have been forced to get creative about how they run their businesses. The pandemic has had a broad range of effects on the staffing industry, hitting some sectors hard while others are seeing huge spikes in business. Few agencies have implemented identical changes to their workforce, but nearly all have experienced an increasing reliance on virtual solutions.

Pandemic Changes to the Office
To comply with social distancing requirements, businesses have reimagined the workspace. In smaller organizations where COVID-19 could be easily spread, office employees have shifted entirely home, with only a few going into the office for administrative needs. Some of these companies were unwittingly prepared for such a scenario and relied on TempWorks Software’s HRCenter for their remote hiring, onboarding, and payroll needs.

Some agencies have opted for a happy middle between a completely remote workforce and one that remains office based. These agencies have closed their buildings to the public, requiring candidates to fill out applications online and conduct interviews virtually. Agency employees, however, still go to the office for work, maintaining a six-foot distance from each other and wearing masks in communal spaces.

On the other end of the spectrum, many staffing agencies still allow candidates to come in and fill out applications in-person. These candidates are checked for temperature and asked to sign COVID-19 waivers before entering the buildings.

Pandemic Changes to Technology
It goes without saying that technology and virtual solutions have helped the staffing industry survive from the start of COVID-19. Some agencies have even found their virtual strategies so successful that they intend to keep on using them even after the pandemic passes.

Virtual changes have been especially successful for agencies who have switched to remote interviews. Thanks to TempWorks Software’s HRCenter, candidates can easily fill applications from home and are only a phone call away for a video interview. Recruiters often find video interviews easier to stage and that candidates are much more likely to attend them. Before the pandemic, when in-person interviews were still the order of the day, recruiters often had to schedule their interviews days in advance. And when the time of the interview came, it was often a no-show. In contrast, virtual interviews allow recruiters to call candidates and schedule a phone or a video interview within as little as an hour, lessening the chances of no-show appointments.

The staffing industry has struggled through the pandemic, but agencies’ creative solutions in the face of dozens of restrictions have brought some great innovations to their businesses. Many will find that such innovation will not only carry them through the current global crisis, but also better prepare them for success in the future.

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