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5 Essential Skills Every Staffing Industry Professional Needs for Success in 2020


It’s hardly a secret that technology is changing near enough every industry as we know it. AI, robotics, and automation have all made their mark on retail, real estate, and even HR in recent years. And, as we head into 2020, staffing industry professionals are also seeing significant changes here.

New technology is being implemented across the recruitment board to simplify processes, target the best candidates, and generally take the hassle out of hiring. 38% of staffing companies are already utilizing benefits like these, and an astounding 62% are expected to catch up in the coming year.

It’s hardly surprising, then, that many recruitment staff members are starting to feel a little hot under the collar. Luckily, technologies like these look set to make life easier, rather than harder, for individuals working within this sector. That said, the skills necessary to find success here in 2020 are definitely undergoing a shift. As such, we’re going to look at five essentials that any staffing industry professional should brush up now ready for 2020 and beyond.

#1 – Adaptability

As the recruitment sector takes a considerable step away from familiar processes, adaptability is, most definitely, a fundamental skill to bring to the table. If recruiters are to hold onto their positions, they must embrace rather than resist AI and tech-led changes to operations. That means automating resume sorting, integrating mobile applications, and even using AI for reporting and performance indicators they can work with. What’s more, such individuals should work hard to develop skills around these new processes, utilizing new knowledge, ideas, and processes as a result.

#2 – Speed

While agents have always been required to work as fast as possible, limitations mean that recruitment processes have been inevitably slow. Now, automation allows tech to scan hundreds of resumes for keywords and priorities within seconds. That means anyone still hoping to hold onto their position in 2020 will need to work fast to contact applicants and put that automated speed to the best possible use.

What’s more, speed is set to become essential where decision making is concerned. No longer is it enough for recruiters to spend excessive time on finding the ‘ideal’ applicant. Now, they must work hard to pick the best of those automated selections in the shortest time possible.

#3 – Tech knowledge

Obviously, tech know-how is another vital 2020 skill that recruiters will need to stay on top. As technology becomes a fundamental part of this industry, professionals here should do what they can to understand new recruitment programs and their best uses within the field. Only then can they continue to deliver results that stand up against competitors who are also implementing technology next year and beyond.

This means taking the time to familiarize themselves with programs before implementation and even undertaking courses for new tech-based skills that can see agencies implementing totally new tech to give them the upper hand.

#4 – Service-orientation

It isn’t merely enough to recruit using technology these days. The best staffing industry professionals will also understand that clients needs must come first with tech implementations. Introducing technology that doesn’t serve audience needs is simply never going to cut it. Instead, professionals should take the time to understand the services customers are calling out for, including mobile apps, automated administrations, and centralized AI services. This focus on service-orientation means guaranteed results and thus guaranteed success in the field into 2020.

#5 – Empathy and business know-how

While many industries fear that the introduction of AI etc. will cost in jobs, this worry needn’t enter the recruitment field if professionals focus on utilizing the skills that computer programs could never bring to the table. Empathy is at the forefront here, as is the ability to make informed decisions. 

Ultimately, AI and automated systems are only able to search based on keyword input and basic phrases/requirements. To retain their success within the industry, professionals need to pair these tech benefits with the human elements that are so essential for ongoing success. This includes determining personality, noticing keyword errors, and generally keeping the all-important human touch alive in recruiter-applicant/client relationships.

A final word

Is AI and other such cutting edge technology about to change recruitment as we know it? Most definitely. Does that mean jobs at risk? We don’t think so. While skill sets required here look undeniably set to change moving into 2020, there’s no reason why staffing industry professionals can’t rest easy by making sure to take care of these priorities moving forward.

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