As the world recovers from the chaotic disruptions brought about by the pandemic, companies are now picking up momentum and increasingly looking to upscale operations to maximize profits. Even as economies begin to reopen, the staffing industry is in uncharted territory. Businesses worldwide must adapt to the fluctuating market needs in this time of economic uncertainty, and, to this end, staffing needs can rise drastically or fall dramatically. To get through the roller coaster of talent supply and demand, HR teams must have robust, agile, and flexible hiring and staffing plans in place. This is where Integrity Staffing Solutions is moving the needle by connecting companies with the right talent within tight recruitment deadlines. From streamlining and managing to executing the talent acquisition process, Integrity Staffing Solutions acts as a full talent acquisition department for its customers.

In an interview with the editorial team of Manage HR, Todd Bavol, President and CEO of Integrity Staffing Solutions, discusses at length how his company’s custom recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) solutions and associate-first culture generate opportunities for people to exceed their own expectations, and advance careers, companies, and communities.

Could you provide an overview of your company?

After working in the staffing and recruitment industry for several years, I decided to establish an organization to create opportunities for people to exceed their own expectations. That’s how Integrity Staffing Solutions came into being in 1997. Our mission is to make the applicant journey and experience second to none with a keen focus on an associate-first approach and culture. We believe that when our associates have a great experience on the job, the clients they work for keep hiring new people and move local economies forward. This is why we’re passionate about providing our associates with the tools and resources they need to be successful both on and off the clock. As our organization grew, we found a niche in the logistics and e-commerce sector and started to perfect a model to recruit for fast-growing organizations that were building teams quickly across the country. To this end, we built and designed technology that enabled us to emerge as leaders in the talent acquisition space. With our staff hiring and employee retention expertise, we came up with our RPO model for organizations looking to add people to their teams and process flows. One of our first engagements as an RPO solution provider was with a client who we helped onboard 90,000 to 100,000 new employees in a year, and this provided us with an exciting opportunity to perfect our model. By fostering an associate-first culture and simplifying applicant processing, talent attraction, and onboarding, we’ve been making a positive impact by empowering our clients and associates to thrive in ways, big and small.

What are the major challenges that companies face today?

Prior to the pandemic, the labor market was tight, and unemployment rates were at an all-time low. When the pandemic hit, the need for labor plummeted in certain industries and significantly spiked in others. Today, organizations are scrambling to meet their labor needs because although numerous people are looking for work, labor participation is low for many reasons. People are refraining from stepping into a workplace, even though companies are following all measures to create safe work environments. At the same time, skills mismatch is another significant challenge in today's job market. Given that remote working is the new norm, there is also an acute need among companies to quickly mobilize and facilitate remote workforces and boost productivity among employees.

How does Integrity Staffing Solutions solve the market challenges?

Fortunately, through the use of technology and our consistent ability to be flexible and nimble, we are able to put together our RPO programs to respond to client needs quickly while ensuring utmost safety. Our centralized team structure for RPO initiatives allows us to swiftly mobilize and add staff to support the growing needs of organizations. We’ve partnered with COVID testing groups offering remote temperature-checking kiosks to help clients safely conduct COVID testing at their workplaces.

By fostering an associate-first culture and simplifying applicant processing, talent attraction, and onboarding, we’ve been making a positive impact by empowering our clients and associates to thrive in ways, big and small

With a vast network of resources across the country and an extensive applicant database, we’ve created an incredible referral engine to quickly and efficiently generate a large number of candidates for our clients. We have also put together a COVID task force team that works closely with our clients to ensure that they are up-to-date on the latest occupational safety and health administration (OSHA) regulations and the right technologies to adhere to social distancing protocols. Our COVID team also ascertains that our processes are aligned with the latest safety standards to produce the best outcomes for our applicants.

With a keen eye on employee wellbeing, we launched our "Project Home" initiative with the goal of identifying and eliminating homelessness among our associates. Project Home helps us addresses numerous employee issues, such as assisting women who have been victims of domestic abuse or who need to be relocated quickly with their children and providing them with temporary housing and employment. Also, we support an applicant resource center to help applicants with all the resources they need.

What is the approach you follow while catering to your clients?

The first step of our engagement process begins with understanding our customers’ operations and needs. We believe that flexibility is key and we don't follow a one-size-fits-all approach. We rather incorporate a focused approach and we call it “work your way.” We focus on recruiting in a way that aligns with the culture of the employer. As a part of our discovery step, we ensure that we have the right framework in place to kick start the process. Following this, we set up the implementation plan. Next is execution; before we begin with this step, we ensure that our client-branded landing pages are approved and our recruitment strategy is beta tested. We ensure that there is proper communication between the different systems—be it our systems or our clients'. We then make sure that we assign the right team members for the client's needs to meet the SLAs or KPIs we’ve set and deliver on our commitment.

Could you cite a customer success story?

One of our clients, a start-up college snack delivery service, had an aggressive expansion plan and aspired to double its locations in a timeframe of three months. They faced a number of challenges, including an inconsistent recruitment process, high attrition rates, lack of recruitment space, and overwhelmed local HR teams due to the lack of a dedicated recruitment team. Our RPO staffing team helped them overcome their challenges and achieve their goals by developing a robust, end-to-end recruitment process. By using our six-step approach focusing on process design, recruitment strategy, candidate sourcing, screening, hiring coordination, and onboarding, we equipped them with a streamlined and managed talent acquisition process from a central location. Our white label recruiting solution allowed us to market our client's opportunities and source quality candidates, all under their company brand. In the process, they gained cost, quality, service, and scalability efficiencies that turned a local mom-and-pop into a national brand name.

What does the future hold for your company?

The COVID-19 outbreak has inspired us to focus on virtual and contactless community recruitment centers that are completely automated. These centers prove to be highly beneficial for applicants who don’t have access to technology. Our community recruitment centers are open 24 hours a day, wherein a live person virtually greets applicants from our central recruiting resource center. Applicants can complete their drug testing and other procedures seamlessly. We provide them with automated lockers to unlock access to the resources they need in a highly safe manner. We believe that virtual recruitment centers give us an opportunity to attract exclusive talents that other recruiters might not be able to access. We plan to use artificial intelligence to automate and streamline our processes along with a human touch and serve applicants within minutes.

The need for RPO is constantly on the rise, especially in the logistics, e-commerce, and data center industries. We see a constant push toward total talent management, and we are perfectly poised to fulfill all the needs of an employer holistically—from RPO, temporary services to on-demand or flexible labor.