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In my last article, I discussed why your staffing technology vendor must be positioned to help you navigate talent-centric staffing and outlined the first three questions to determine they are ready to do so. Now, let’s tackle the final five questions you should ask prospective vendors before issuing an RFP.

4. Do you need to sign multiple vendor contracts to deliver and service your core mobile talent workflows, or can you consolidate with vendor responsibility?  

All staffing agencies use at least some APIs and secondary vendors to complete their tech stacks. However, your primary system of record and your primary mobile talent application should be supported under a single primary master service agreement. Each additional vendor adds to cost and complexity as well as a separate point of failure.

5. Does your technology partner have enterprise grade, fault tolerant infrastructure and security to back up mobile talent staffing operations?  

If your mobile strategy succeeds, your agency will need 99.99% uptime and fast response time even during peak hours. Because mobile talent apps will also contain private personal data, pay information and support for same-day pay, enterprise-wide data security across the entire staffing tech stack becomes critical. It only takes a single cyberattack to do permanent damage to an otherwise sterling reputation. Can you trust your provider to safeguard your client and candidate information?

Talent-centric staffing places far greater demands on software vendors to achieve SOCII compliance and enterprise grade infrastructure. You should expect cloud-based architecture with dynamic scaling, fault tolerant processing, protection from ransomware, redundant fail-safe cutovers and enterprise-grade security.

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6. Can you run your traditional staffing business side-by-side with cutting edge approaches to talent engagement?

A great mobile talent app will engage 95% of your talent, but you may still encounter old fashioned walk-ins and phone calls. A well-designed solution will accommodate all workflow scenarios without a hiccup. Staffing agencies must protect the business they have today while preparing for the future.

7. Is your technology partner a thought leader with a clear vision and a strategy to achieve it?

What is your technology partner’s vision for the future of staffing? Does this tech firm focus solely on short term operational issues, or do they venture into future possibilities? Do they lead discussions or simply follow trends?

Great software companies start with a vision of the future and then align software design, service, technology infrastructure, software partners, training and implementation to deliver outstanding business solutions.

8. Has your technology partner developed a comprehensive solutions roadmap and a track record for innovation?

A strong tech partner anticipates trends rather than reacting to them. Are they thinking through the competitive environment you will likely face in five years? Does their product roadmap match their vision? Talent-centric staffing requires a specific architecture that includes a full end-to-end system of record, deep integration with a mobile talent platform, sophisticated business intelligence and enterprise-grade infrastructure.

How quickly and frequently do they introduce enhancements? Do they solicit client feedback to enhance product design? Many of the best innovations in staffing are client led.

Embracing the Future with a Technology Partner Geared for Growth

The shift to talent-centric staffing, with its emphasis on the total employment experience, will dramatically alter the competitive landscape for staffing. As an industry, staffing revenues will continue to grow, but this new competitive paradigm will create winners and losers, with some staffing agencies growing rapidly at the expense of others. Expect significant industry consolidation to follow.

This creates a tremendous challenge for staffing executives. As an industry, we tend to be conservative with technology and capital spending. Our businesses require us to stay laser focused on day-to-day results even as we plan for the future. But during periods of significant change, sometimes the best defense to protect business value and grow revenue is to make decisive investments.

It starts by selecting the right technology partner. You need to ask your technology partner these eight questions and evaluate answers carefully. Objectively, only a handful of staffing software vendors in the market today can deliver on the promise of talent-centric staffing. Look for a partner with vision, scale, experience, infrastructure and core platforms to help you build a world-class business.

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