3 Key Takeaways From The NAPS 2018 Conference

by Cyle Jurvelin

The National Association of Personnel Services hosted their annual “NAPS Conference” in Bonita Springs, FL in early November of 2018. More than 400 attendees from the search, recruiting, and staffing industries got together to educate each other on the changing workforce dynamics, enhancing recruiting strategies, improving business practices, and leveraging technology.

There were a variety of panels and sessions conducted by industry leaders and business owners such as Versique’s own Tony Sorensen who talked about bringing your personal/professional business into the online world through digital marketing (SEO, SEM, PPC, etc.)

Here are a few key takeaways from the event:

1. Digital Marketing and Your Online Brand Matter More Than Ever

Your online presence and reputation is the key to winning business and networking. Are you or your business getting good reviews online? Have you invested in any thought leadership content, SEO initiatives or anything in digital marketing?

So, ask yourself, what would a prospective client or candidate be able to find about you online?

If you can’t be found with a simple Google or LinkedIn search, you’ll likely not even get a call back for any inquiry. As more business is done through online validation of credibility, having your brand come top of mind is key to grow organically and through paid media. Think about this: if you can’t figure out what someone does by looking at their LinkedIn profile in 15 seconds or less, you’ve likely lost out on any interaction or potential client/ candidate.

This is a dense subject matter so here are some links to more information on building your personal brand and how digital marketing can get you more clients:

2. The Millennials Are Here – What Now?

By 2020, nearly 50% of employed individuals will be a millennial. What does this mean for you? What does this mean for your business? Do you have new tactics on how to manage people in this generation?

Since there was a massive shift in how millennials were raised, management styles of people in regard to this generation must change in accordance. As a younger millennial who has experienced a variety of management styles, I couldn’t agree more. Mindsets need to change in order to reach a common goal. We are processing information faster than any other generation but with a lot more empathy behind our decisions and feelings. Millennials need great listeners as bosses who know how to explain the big picture of “why” and who ask the right questions.

  • Constant and sincere feedback while giving praise on progress and success is needed
  • Advancement opportunities – continuous learning and the feeling that millennials are making an impact is needed
  • Craving mentorship and trust – it’s critical to have someone to learn from, but the freedom to run with projects without fear of failure
  • Flexible work hours – millennials work to live not live to work. Less time in the office is not as correlated with work done. We are hitting #s with less “desk time” needed.

“Millennials are high maintenance, but also high performers” – Stephanie Maas

3. Soft Skills Are Becoming Harder to Come By in Candidates

Technical skills have never been more sought out from employers as technologies advance and emerge. Many companies are searching for leaders to help them navigate through this ever-changing technological period we are in.

Although the trend is still facing toward the technical side, there has been a huge decline in soft skills (i.e. Communication, team players, interpersonal skills etc.) There are many reasons for this shift, but most communication is done online vs. talking to someone face-to-face. Finding a client-facing personality may be harder in the next coming years. (I blame smartphones.)

All in all, the workforce and recruiting industry are constantly changing and NAPS brought many new trends and tactics to light. If you were there, I’d love to see any thoughts or key takeaways in the comments! Maybe I’ll see you there next year 😉

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