The ever-changing challenges and needs in the staffing industry are robust. With technological advances popping up every day, and employees constantly on the lookout for job flexibility and career mobility, it feels as if the ground beneath our feet is constantly moving. In an effort to move to stable ground, we’ve gone ahead and put together a list of the top 4 trends impacting the industry and how to best capitalize on them.


1. Skilled Workforce Shortage

At 3.7%, we currently have the lowest unemployment rate in nearly 50 years. But believe it or not, that’s not necessarily ALL good news.

Talent scarcity is a big issue. For nearly a year now, there have been more open jobs each month than the number of individuals looking for work. Staffing firms believe talent scarcity is the biggest hindrance to their business today and for the next decade. In fact, 67% of staffing employers are struggling to find relevant, high-quality candidates, according to

So, What Does This Mean for You?

In a competitive talent market, it’s imperative to retain top talent by keeping employees happy, motivated, and engaged. The way to accomplish this is through support, connection, wellness, and reward. Easier said than done.

The only surefire way to prove to your employees that you understand them, and their individual needs is through honest, empathetic conversation and guidance. You cannot short cut this process, however human capital management technology can expedite it for you, helping you succeed by streamlining typically cumbersome tasks, such as performance reviews, so you can focus on connecting one-on-one with your employees.

At the end of the day, your employees want to know that you’re invested in their future, otherwise they will likely start looking for employment elsewhere.

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2. The Gig Economy Keeps Rolling Along

The gig economy is booming. An ever-increasing number of workers do not want to be tied down to the typical 9 to 5 job and are looking for freedom and flexibility. This is a trend that will continue to grow as younger age groups join the workforce.

We’ve gathered some interesting statistics to show just how prominent this gig economy is.

  • 57 million people in the U.S. were “gig workers” in 2018, which was more than 36% of the U.S. workforce. That number is projected to spike to 43% by 2020.


  • Nearly half of Generation Y (47%) and Generation Z (46%) workers are freelancers in some capacity, according to projections in the Freelancing in America Survey.


  • The younger generations (Y and Z) are estimated to make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025, according to Capital GES.


So, How Do You Use This Trend to Your Advantage?

We recommend that you promote your company’s employee engagement strategy by focusing on offerings that are highly coveted by gig workers, including flexibility, part-time work, and the ability to allocate time to passion projects. These type of company offerings will attract more qualified job candidates and will lead to longer tenured employees, ultimately ensuring stronger output and profitability.

As the workforce continues to trend younger, we suggest that you ensure highly skilled and qualified Generation Y and Z workers consider your company, by offering the freedom and flexibility that they crave.

3. Compliance is an Ever-Changing Battlefield

We’re faced with a constant challenge – to stay on top of new and evolving local, state, and federal compliance laws, especially as it relates to Human Resources. Here are a couple of the most common HR compliance regulations and associated fines to look out for.

  • ACA (Affordable Care Act): Companies that are an applicable large employer (“ALE”) may be subject to a penalty tax if it fails to offer health insurance to 95% of its full-time employees and their dependents. These penalties can add up quickly, with an ACA fine of $2,500 per full-time employee (minus the first 30 employees).
  • FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act): The FLSA is a federal law that establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping, and child labor standards for full-time and part-time workers. Fines for rule violations are up to $1,100 per violation.

For a slew of reasons, often due to incompetence and negligence, companies face employment lawsuits that have increased 400% in the last 20 years.

Managing recruiting compliance is a tremendous challenge, especially for large companies, never mind mid to small-sized employers where resources are scarce. 

So, What Do We Recommend for You?

There isn’t one simple answer to solve this complex issue, however we recommend a combination of elements that can lead to success.

  1.  Ensure your HR team is well versed in the compliance space. This includes frequent trainings and seminars.
  2.  Create a compliance “dream team” that specializes in this area of focus.
  3.  Arm the team with automated, compliance tools that provides integrated, automated workforce management tools that provide the necessary, in-depth information you need to comply with compliance regulations.

A seemingly minor misstep can lead to a large fine and lost credibility in the industry. Although a heavy lift upfront, these three steps will help ensure you are compliant and continue to stay that way.


4. Automation and AI – Time to Update your Résumé?

Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are two critical areas of technology that are greatly impacting the staffing industry. The opportunities that these technologies afford us are unbounded. The million-dollar question is how do we best integrate the individual strengths of technology (data analysis) and human capital (ingenuity and creativity)?

We are all aware of automated résumé screening, however future opportunities are even more exciting. Additional possibilities include automated notifications to candidates, computer conducted preliminary video interviews and advanced competency tests for potential candidates. This technology can analyze numerous visual and verbal cues from a candidate including expressions, tone, and word choice as well as the ability to conduct competency tests on candidates to assess emotional and cognitive abilities via neuroscience-based brain games. 

Here are some interesting and relevant statistics for the staffing industry:

  • AI is growing at an exponentially quick rate and will impact more and more of our personal and professional lives. In fact, AI is projected to be 1,000 times more powerful in 2028, according to StaffingTec.
  • Technology will improve quality of hire through standardized job matching. Screening resumes efficiently (and time-effectively) remains the biggest challenge in talent acquisition, with 52% of talent acquisition leaders saying the hardest part of recruitment is identifying the right candidates from a large applicant pool. 

Great, but How Do You Capitalize on This?

The key here is to ensure your workforce is utilizing a specific set of skills that are complimentary to what technology offers, not duplicative. Combining the powers of humans and technology will lead to efficiencies and an improved quality of work.

This is easier said than done, as it is difficult to change the old way you’ve worked, especially across large corporations.

The most successful and profitable staffing firms are becoming highly automated by using a wide range of technologies to offer differentiated services, faster operations, and lower costs. We recommend utilizing technology that helps combine your employees’ strengths with technology so that you can focus on what matters most: results

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In a constantly evolving world, it’s mission critical to stay ahead of the curve related to the trends impacting the staffing industry. But being armed with this knowledge is only half the battle. What you do with this information is what really matters.

The good news is that you don’t need to go it alone. By combining your strong business sense and following the advice we provided, you can get ahead and stay ahead of any trend impacting your industry. The key piece of advice that we hope you walk away with is to identify a human capital management technology platform to help outfit your team with software that can speed up business and provide insights to better arm you. Technology makes all daily tasks more efficient, which opens up previously unavailable time that can be used to focus on what’s coming next.

Check out our infographic to learn more about the top staffing trends

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Published: Friday, October 25, 2019