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Beyond the Desk: Staffing Agencies in the Age of Remote Work

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by Lynn Connor, COATS Staffing Software

The ASA Workforce Monitor survey from April 26, 2024, found that 68% of U.S. workers prefer a hybrid or in-person work schedule, while only 32% want a fully remote schedule. The survey also found that 39% of Americans prefer a hybrid work schedule, which is a combination of in-person and remote work.

The location of employees’ work has undergone quite a shift in recent years, with remote work emerging as a preferred option for many employees. This trend has significant implications for staffing agencies, which must adapt their strategies to meet the evolving needs of both temporary employees and client companies.

Unexpectedly, a poll of employees across all ages showed work preferences that may not be what you expect. So many tend to think the younger generation prefers to work from home, but they grow tired of not having in-person interaction with their peers.

According to the American Staffing Association, the largest percentage of employees preferring a fully remote work location was found in Baby Boomers, aged 60-78, at 37%. As far as Gen X (44-59 year olds) 33% desired fully remote. Millennials (ages 28-43) surveyed at 31% and Gen Z (18-27) showed 26% preferred a fully remote schedule.

Almost half of the participants who had children under 18 years old desired a hybrid schedule, compared to 35% of adults without children.

“The question of whether employees should work fully in person, fully remote, or on a hybrid schedule has been a top issue facing organizations across America since the pandemic triggered a workplace revolution four years ago,” says Richard Wahlquist, chief executive officer at the American Staffing Association.

“While some predicted the end of in-person work, the survey found that half of U.S. employees currently work 100% in person. Employees’ attitudes are changing, with 68% of U.S. workers now stating that they prefer a hybrid or in-person schedule.”

Expanded Talent Pool

One key advantage of remote work for staffing agencies is the ability to tap into a larger talent pool. By recruiting candidates from anywhere in the world, agencies can access a diverse range of skilled professionals, enhancing their ability to match candidates with suitable job opportunities.

Client Expectations

As remote work becomes more prevalent, some client companies are seeking remote workers to fill temporary positions. Staffing agencies should align their services with these shifting preferences, refining their candidate screening processes to identify individuals who are well-suited for remote work and ensuring that candidates have the necessary skills and technology infrastructure to succeed in remote roles.

Remote Onboarding and Support

Transitioning to remote work can be challenging for temporary employees, and staffing agencies play a crucial role in facilitating this transition. Agencies must invest in remote onboarding and support services, providing training, technical assistance, and ongoing communication to help remote workers thrive in their new roles.

Efficient Hire integrates with COATS Staffing Software and does just this. Efficient Hire is a best-of-bread hiring technology that helps staffing operators onboard new employees quickly and consistently. Their self-guided process makes it easier for new hires to complete hiring packets compliantly from any device or any place, while reducing the physical paperwork and helping you with onboarding requirements.

COATS Staffing Software also offers their staffing agency clients an employee and client portal. Employees are able to pull their own pay stub details, W-2, note their work availability and other critical information through the intranet, as needed. Clients are able to review their invoice details, payment history, assigned employees, add new job order requirements and more. These portals offer employees and clients a secure and unified access point, the ability to have continuous collaboration and access to review their account information.

Competition and Differentiation

With the rise of remote work, staffing agencies face increased competition from firms specializing in remote placements. To stand out in this competitive landscape, agencies must differentiate themselves by offering specialized remote staffing services, providing exceptional candidate support, and building strong relationships with client companies.

According to NVT Staffing in Washington, D.C., they are seeing many embrace remote work and their “temp-to-perm” service also covers the ability to hire remotely for their client companies.

NVT notes, “We will take over the responsibility of finding, screening, selecting, and managing all of your remote hires. We ensure that there is no communication gap between you and your remote staff.”

Flexibility and Adaptability

To succeed in a rapidly changing environment, staffing agencies must remain flexible and adaptable. This may involve continuously evaluating and refining remote work policies and procedures, staying informed about emerging technologies and best practices, and proactively addressing any challenges or concerns that arise.

Are some staffing agencies hiring remote workers right now? Yes, they are. Below is only page one of available remote positions from one staffing agency.

A quick search found that Robert Half has the following remote roles open as of 5/8/24:

  • Controller – Remote/Permanent – Permanent – East Coast
  • Remote HR Operations Coordinator – Temp to Hire – Los Angeles, CA
  • Contract Administrator – Remote – Temporary – Los Angeles, CA
  • Attorney/Lawyer – General Liability – Remote – Temporary – Philadelphia, PA
  • Remote Hospital Medical Insurance Coordinator – Temp to Hire
  • Litigation Associate – Remote – Permanent – Mission Viejo, CA
  • Remote Litigation Paralegal – Permanent – Mission Viejo, CA
  • Director of Technical Accounting – Remote Biotech – Permanent – Durham, NC
  • Senior Accountant – Remote Public Biotech – Permanent – Boston, MA

The growing preference for remote work among temporary employees presents both challenges and opportunities for staffing agencies. Embrace remote work trends and adapt strategies. Position your staffing agency for long-term success in an evolving marketplace.

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