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In Case You Missed It: Five Predictions for the Future of Staffing

Fortune cookieThanks to increasing client demands, evolving technology, global expansion and new legal requirements, the staffing industry is changing before our very eyes, according to Barry Asin, President of the Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA).

Asin delivered the keynote speech at the 2014 Staffing Industry Analysts Executive Forum last March, where he highlighted some of the most pressing challenges staffing executives face today.

Change and innovation is key to success, Asin noted, and the actions staffing and recruiting professionals take now will have long-term implications for the strategy direction of your organization in the future.

In addition to sharing what he projects will be the top three workforce growth areas – statement of work (SOW)/project workers, outsourced workers and offshore workers – Asin also presented five possible scenarios he sees for the future of the industry:

  1. Direct Connection: There’s a reason real estate agent jobs are up 29 percent: As the complexity of sale increases, home buyers want direct contact with real people who understand their lifestyle and their needs, and can provide expert advice and assistance when it comes to a major life decision. Similarly, staffing firms are increasingly taking on the role of business partner and advisor when it comes to helping companies find the right people for their businesses. They can guide both clients and candidates throughout the job search process, inform them on industry trends, manage risk and provide value at every step of the way.
  2. VMS Everywhere: Another scenario is that vendor management system (VMS) penetration could reach 100 percent at larger companies, and with multiple platforms and models, there would be high transparency in pricing and orders.  This would cause lower profit margins, but higher order volumes, more candidate placement, and many new platforms and models for staffing players.
  3. The Triumph of Talent: In the coming years, unemployment could fall below 5 percent, where we would then be facing major skills shortages.  The implications of this development would be that HR executives and hiring managers would be driving the process so procurement would decrease – resulting in less focus on the price of talent and more on the value of talent. As a result, many firms will take on a role similar to that of a talent agent, wherein staffing firms would represent only very top talent in the market, shop their talent around and work to get them the best job for the most pay and greatest return – a win-win for both talent and staffing firms.
  4. Steady as She Goes: Another scenario is that the near-term growth forecast will continue improving, and temporary staffing will be even stronger in 2014.
  5. The Good Old Days Again: Or in a twist of the future, we could see the end of the Internet as we know it due to cyber terrorism or critical mass of privacy concerns. While this is unlikely, it would lead to a happy repeat of early 1990s, when recruiters had little competition – unlike today, when clients and candidates are relying more heavily on search engines, social media and other online search and sourcing technology.

No matter what the future holds, making an effort to stay on top of industry trends and the needs of clients is the best way to prepare for any type of change. Lay the foundation for success now by taking time to understand your clients’ needs and take advantage of the opportunities in the staffing industry.

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