Blog
Oct 14, 2020

We Need to Talk About Your Staffing Buyers’ Expectations

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Checkr Editorial

“We’ve been talking about candidate expectations since before my kids were born,” a staffing executive told us recently. What doesn’t get talked about enough are your buyer’s expectations.

After all, without orders there are no candidates to set expectations for. This truth became more evident than ever when the pandemic hit, and many staffing agencies’ calls weren’t getting returned.

But the crisis didn’t cause buyers to radically change their expectations. Instead, it accelerated buyer trends that had been in motion for years. Yes, they want to hire as quickly as possible. They also want insights to make better-informed labor decisions than ever before. Plus these buyers want help building strong employer brands.

Meet buyer expectations to build strong, lasting relationships

The agencies that delivered on their buyers’ expectations and built relationships were the ones who were getting called back. “We went from a war for talent to a war for relationships,” says Brad Talwar, Founder and CEO of TalentBurst. Building relationships is old school staffing. Building those relationships with technology is new school staffing.

Bullhorn heard this loud and clear from the staffing professionals they surveyed. “Improving management of client relationships” was the top priority for almost half of their respondents (45%), according to the Bullhorn GRID report.

Fully-digital supply chains bring more options

Meeting your buyers’ expectations starts with digitizing your workforce and turning your human capital into a fully-digital supply chain.

This access to a fully-digitized workforce is becoming the baseline expectation for your staffing buyers. “Robert Half customers expect digital platform services today, and that expectation will only grow in the future,” says Steve Kass, Chief Administrative Officer at Robert Half.

Staffing innovators everywhere are embracing fully-digital supply chains. Adecco’s Pontoon and Adia, TrueBlue’s JobStack, Robert Half Direct, and Eightfold’s Talent Exchange are just a few of the low-touch solutions that have hit the market and continued to expand. These represent a continuum from low-touch to zero-touch (completely recruiterless) models. Pontoon, for example, announced for the 2019 holiday season that they were hiring 10,000 people using a zero-touch model.

Meeting expectations mean choosing tech tools that fit together like puzzle pieces

Many leaders try to take a cutting-edge tool and mash it together with an outdated system. That’s a mistake, says Penny Queller, EVP at Randstad USA. “You cannot build disruptive technology on top of legacy systems,” says Queller. “Investments will need to be made to modernize the tech stack in order to compete in the future.”

Part of the reason why updating systems is important is because you need to make sure each tool integrates with the other. You lose the productivity benefits of your tools if you’re jumping from one solution to another all day long. It’s enough to give someone a digital headache.

Buyers are increasingly expecting you to demonstrate candidate care

Staffing buyers now also expect their agencies to share their values and to take care of their candidates. This is especially important in a world where the relationship between your buyer’s companies and their temporary workers has changed. These temporary workers are often converting into full-time employees (FTEs) or are these companies’ consumers.

To fulfill these candidate care needs, some staffing agencies are incorporating the kind of benefits that an HR department would usually reserve for FTEs. EmployBridge has created Life Assistance resource lists to help workers who are struggling with finding child care, transportation or other needs. Wonolo announced their Wonolo Up program which includes a range of benefits for their temporary workers. Accruing time towards a paid day off, getting health insurance and dental care, or setting up a HSA account through your staffing agency are not benefits that are normally available to contingent workers. As staffing agencies get more competitive, these benefits are getting more and more commonplace.

To see in greater depth how staffing agencies are meeting buyers’ expectations (and how you can too), download our free eBook

Our Staffing Trends 2021 series contains three eBooks which show you how the staffing industry will evolve in 2021 and beyond.

The first eBook about the Rise of Signup Culture is about how staffing agencies are adjusting to a world of instant results.

Putting Buyer Expectations First is the second in our series. Inside our newest eBook, you’ll learn about these changes from some of the country’s leading hiring innovators. Inside the eBook are insights from:

  • Penny Queller (EVP at Randstad USA)
  • Taryn Owen (President at PeopleReady)
  • Shay Johnson (Senior Director, Talent Acquisition at Compass Group North America)
  • Brad Talwar (CEO at TalentBurst)
  • Steve Kass (Chief Administrative Officer at Robert Half)
  • Allison Robinson (CEO at The Mom Project)
  • Ericka Hyson (President at WorkN)
  • And other staffing leaders who are transforming the staffing industry

Download the eBook today to learn the trends, statistics, anecdotes, technologies, and people who are meeting buyer expectations and changing the future of the staffing industry.



“You cannot build disruptive technology on top of legacy systems. Investments will need to be made to modernize the tech stack in order to compete in the future.”

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