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2020 Staffing Industry Outlook Survey, Part 4: Changes in Marketing & Recruiting Budgets

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COVID-19 has had an unprecedented effect on all aspects of our lives, especially the way we work. In May and June 2020, Haley Marketing conducted an online survey of staffing industry professionals to find out how our industry has been impacted by the pandemic.

In this series of posts, we’re presenting the results of our survey and sharing key takeaways for your staffing agency.

Related posts in this series:

2020 Staffing Industry Outlook Survey, Part 1: Entering the Economic Rebound

2020 Staffing Industry Outlook Survey, Part 2: Impact and Recovery

2020 Staffing Industry Outlook Survey, Part 3: Adjusting Sales & Recruitment Strategies

A constantly changing economic situation is no doubt stressful, hence the focus of today’s post: How have staffing industry professionals handled their budgets?

Q: How have you adjusted your job board spend since the beginning of the pandemic? 


Staffing firms have taken a reactionary approach to recruiting: 

  • Just 4% of firms have increased their job board spend. 
  • More than half (56%) have decreased their expenditure.

Recruiting Paradox 

Why should your staffing firm spend more on recruiting in this economy? One word: Opportunity. Now is the ideal time to capitalize on the temporary influx of highly qualified talent by: 

  • Proactively recruiting amazing candidates who haven’t been on the job market in a decade. 
  • Accelerate time-to-fill and quality-of-hire by being more aggressive about recruiting. 
  • Skill marketing your best talent to generate additional placements. 
  • Upgrading your talent: systematically replacing low performers (both internally and in the field) with higherperforming, higherpotential individuals who are a better cultural match. 

In a time when competitors are making draconian cuts to their recruiting budgets, recruitment marketing provides opportunities to gain a sustainable competitive advantage in your market. 

 Learn more: 

Time to Topgrade? Why Now is the Best Time to Attract the Best Talent to Your Company 

Why Recruitment Marketing Now? 

Q: How has your marketing budget changed to overcome pandemic challenges? 


Responses were mixed: 

  • Approximately 4 in 10 (42%) of firms have cut their marketing spending and activities. 
  • More than one-third (36%) have not changed their marketing budget. 
  • Roughly 2 in 10 (21%) have increased their expenditures. 

Why Is Marketing So Important Right Now? 

In uncertain economic times, marketing may seem like the easiest thing to cut. However, smart executives understand that during a recession, marketing is a non-negotiable budget item.  

Here’s why: 

  • Lose visibility, and you WILL lose market share.​
    FACT: Aggressive advertisers obtained 4.5x the market share gain ​of competitors who cut back on marketing during a recession. Source: Center for Research and Development 
  • Companies that market fall less and grow faster.​ 
    FACT: Companies that advertise aggressively during past recessions had sales 256% higher than those that did not continue to advertise. Source: Wharton School 
  • Marketing gives your sales team a reason to call. 
Learn how to rebound faster: 

Strategies to Recession Proof Your Staffing Company (part 1): Expert advice from Harvard Business Review and more to protect your firm and generate more sales.  

Strategies to Recession Proof Your Staffing Company (part 2): Haley Marketing’s most powerful sales and marketing lessons to help you recover faster. 

Up Next: What’s working in sales and marketing?

In my next post I’ll share some insight into the best marketing and sales strategies right now. If you just can’t wait, download the full, FREE eBook “2020 Entering the Economic Rebound Staffing Industry Outlookhere!

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