HR Trends

3 HR Trends in Consulting

Tim Clauwaert

Co-founder & CEO at intuo

It goes without saying that staffing agencies are part of a diverse and exciting industry. The staffing business models vary depending on the specific needs of the client, but generally, go from placing people in companies for short assignments (weeks to months) to placing them full-time. So what are exactly the challenges that this industry faces and what are the ways to relieve them?

Having staff that is not on-premise, was unheard of 10 years ago and today, this has its consequences. Usually, you could just walk over to a person’s desk and literally be able to see how this person is doing. Now those business models revolve around outsourcing staff, and the internet has enabled these models to thrive, it is hard to get a read on your consultants. All of this brings along a number of obstacles and challenges. Let’s zoom in!

  1. Challenge 1: Retention, Retention, Retention

    A tale as old as time, but even more so in this specific industry. People who are being placed at certain companies often get many opportunities thrown at their feet. More specifically:

    35% of staffed people are offered a permanent job by the client they are working for, and 66% of those accepted the offers of permanent employment

    Imagine Peter being placed by Staffing firm "The Staffers" at Company Awesome for a short-term assignment. Peter loves the project that he’s doing at Company Awesome (because... well it’s Company "Awesome") and has even been made an offer to work there full-time. Peter will make more money and Company Awesome will have to spend less. Peter already loved working there, so he decides to leave The Staffers and is now a full-time employee of Company Awesome. Gone is Peter.

    This is a recognisable situation for many people in the industry and there is research that backs the reasoning behind it. When questioning the people in the industry, it became clear that staffing firms are more focused on satisfying their end customers and are neglecting their actual employees while doing so. Of course, this isn't a good approach because you need the one party to satisfy the other. Simple math gives us "happy employee equals a happy customer".

    3-hr-trends-in-consultancy_1.jpg Consultants doing everything in their power to satisfy their clients.

  2. Challenge 2: The Talent Pool is Drying Up

    Another main challenge in the staffing industry is matching the right candidate with the right client since there are several considerations to be made here. You have the preferences of the candidate, the preferences of the client, and the necessity of having to have a certain match between those two. A certain profile with a certain skillset might successfully complete a project in one company while completely failing the same project in another.

    And some of those skill sets are not always easy to find, on the contrary. Companies nowadays are looking for a unique skill set, in a niche market, with experience preferably in a specialised industry. Those are some very specific needles you need to find in a haystack.

  3. Challenge 3: Lacking Performance Metrics

    The people who are being placed at companies are often caught operating somewhere in the middle. They are performing their day-to-day job at an external company, yet are on the payroll and are part of their actual employer, the staffing company. Because of this situation, a lot of information gets lost. Who is responsible for what? Who takes on the coaching role? Who the has intel on this person’s performance and who reviews it?

    In fact, more than one-third of staffing companies admit they don't measure their employees’ satisfaction. This causes an obvious blind spot that should not be underestimated. A lot of staffing companies aren’t receptive to feedback and will not be able to detect and prevent/solve issues. When those issues go unnoticed, the chance is real they will evolve into genuine obstacles and might turn into a loss of business.

How INTUO Addresses These Challenges

Establishing a feedback culture from a distance

Through both the intuo platform and mobile app individuals can request feedback from several stakeholders: Their direct colleagues, their coach, their team leader, and even people outside of the company like the client they are working for. The objectives of every candidate and progress indication of every key result contribute to having a better view on their actual performance. It provides information on whether this person is on track with his own personal career path. In addition to this, the platform allows you to capture performance-related information via the "performance snapshots". All of these things combined provide you with a clear picture of the overall performance of every candidate.

Keeping Your Consultants (happy)

It's a matter of investing in your people. Not just money, but genuine effort. They want value. Even though things like salary and compensation package are undoubtedly important, people today are more triggered by companies that have a clear purpose and can provide clarity on career progression. They want to be part of work that is meaningful, where they can grow and have an impact.

Give them something that the company where they are placed can’t offer them. Generally, staffing firms can differentiate themselves by investing in three pillars: salary (a nice company car), interesting projects and quality coaching. You can provide them with a clear-cut coaching track where every individual is assigned to a dedicated coach (not the "hey-how-are-you-once-every-quarter" kind of coach). Intuo can support this extensive coaching mindset via an intuitive platform that enables both coach and employee to form a solid relationship based on transparency and trust. Through carefully curated questions and engagement pulses, the employer can closely follow up on general mood of his consultants, while the employee himself has a great view on his or her career potential, all documented in one place.

Performance Dashboarding and Profile

Intuo provides you with a good view on who is available in your current talent pool and who is suited for which kind of project. Via our platform, you can identify and score skills to optimise matchmaking with the available projects and clients. Based on the logged conversations and the individual's objectives, coaches are able to identify the right consultants.

If you or your organisation face the same kind of challenges and are looking for a solution, contact us straight away and we can provide you with a detailed demo or some more information specific to your case. 
Or download our case study below to get some more insight!