Top 5 Staffing Industry Trends for 2015

The biggest disruptions are the ones you don’t see coming. Resolve to get ahead of them this year (with a little help from us).

As a dedicated staffing industry professional, you may have set goals for 2015 — but have you considered how some of the recent developments within the industry may affect them? By being aware of this year’s biggest staffing trends and resolving to do something about them, you’ll add value back to your business and truly make a name for your firm as 2015 gets into full gear.

Trend No. 1: The War for Talent is raging.

Demand for talent is up, unemployment is down — and key skills are going to be harder than ever to find. It’s time to show up for battle with the right ammunition.

Resolution for 2015: Show the skills gap who’s boss. How? By building a stronger employment brand, paying employees a fair wage, creating training opportunities for your employees and promoting from within, investing in necessary job skills, and taking better advantage of candidate referrals.

Did you know? 2 in 5 candidates see a skills gap in their particular industry, according to Inavero and CareerBuilder’s 2014 Opportunities in Staffing Study. Despite this, many believe staffing firms can help overcome that gap. Thirty-seven percent of candidates are also noticing that the skills gap limits employment opportunities, and 33 percent recognize their skills are different than what is needed by most employers.

What this means: Talking frankly with your clients about what skills gaps they are witnessing will help you understand their challenges as well as reaffirm your importance as the partner in helping them overcome the gap. And coaching your candidates who have similar, though not-quite-there skill sets on what they can do to be more desirable to employers within their industry will help everyone involved.

Trend No. 2: Demographic shifts are creating a diverse, multigenerational workforce.

Millennials. Baby boomers. Gen X. The silent generation. (Coming soon: Generation Z.) Your workforce, whether you realize it or not, is a spectrum of generations and with that comes variations in work styles, habits, motivations, values, strengths and more.

Resolution for 2015: Find out what makes your workers tick — from the silent generation to the social natives. While it’s true you definitely shouldn’t brush with broad strokes when it comes to leading your workforce, recognizing that different generations may have different needs will help you better understand and lead them. Successfully lead your multigenerational workforce by respecting varying communication styles, foreseeing potential culture clashes and correctly interpreting your employees’ signals.

Trend No. 3: Building a talent pipeline that “re-recruits” talented workers is essential.

Getting candidates’ attention has gone from hard to harder — not to mention sustaining that attention for more than mere seconds. Today, you need to keep your candidate flow strong with a continuous and thoughtful recruitment process rather than a one-and-done strategy (which really isn’t much of a strategy, now, is it?)

Resolution for 2015: Capture more candidates and reduce drop-off by continually engaging your potential talent. The key to workforce planning is all about creating and nurturing a database of pre-qualified candidates so they’re ready to be contacted and called in to interview at any moment.  An easy-to-find, branded talent network will help you capture and re-engage more candidates over a longer period of time, as it works behind the scenes to send members targeted job alerts when your new positions are posted.

Did You Know? 65 percent of candidates are likely to accept a future staffing firm assignment.

What this means: It’s great to see how many candidates are willing to accept a future assignment with staffing firms, and the reason for a majority that’s not likely to accept a future assignment is about wanting permanent work. Despite misconceptions about reasons behind candidates’ unwillingness to accept future assignments, for a majority of candidates it’s not about the pay or recruiters or other factors, but about wanting a permanent/full-time job.

Trend No. 4: Smile, you’re on camera.

Video and social is everywhere. Your candidates and employees are seamlessly integrating social media and interactive video apps into their everyday lives, and as the lines between work and professional lives have blurred, they expect their professional lives to be interactive and engaging, too.

Resolution for 2015: Amp up your employment brand. A whopping 91 percent of candidates have said a potential employer’s brand plays a big part in whether or not they apply to a job. As an employer, you have a multitude of resources at your fingertips to help build your brand. By embracing video and social, you have the opportunity to amplify your recruiting, training, onboarding, employee communications, and even performance management and recognition efforts.

Did you know? Two-thirds of staffing firm clients use social media to some extent for recruiting.

What this means: A third of clients never use social media for recruiting purposes, and another 27 percent do so rarely (monthly or less).

Why it matters: Knowing that about half of clients are regularly using social media creates the perfect window for staffing firms to persuade potential clients of the firm’s social media savvy and resulting success in recruiting. With social media affecting most aspects of business today, there are few clients who don’t know that they ‘should’ be using social media, but many don’t have the time to do it, creating the perfect selling opportunity for your staffing firm to fill that gap.

Trend No. 5: Smartphones are everywhere — and candidates expect a mobile-friendly experience.

Technology continues to dominate the way candidates search and engage: Once candidates decide to apply, they expect to be able to act immediately — be it on a PC, tablet, smartphone or other mobile device. If you’re not mobile-optimized, you’re likely going to lose a lot of potential candidates to your competitors whose sites do make it easy for candidates to apply on their mobile devices.

Resolution for 2015: Create and execute a mobile recruitment strategy. There’s no sense in fighting against the rising tide: 71 percent of staffing firm candidates have searched for a job on a mobile site, and those statistics will only increase as we move into 2015. And having a mobile recruitment strategy isn’t just about keeping up with the Joneses. It gives your company three distinct advantages: It increases applications, reduces candidate drop-off rates and strengthens your company’s brand.

Did you know? Candidates aren’t the only ones using mobile.  65 percent of clients correspond via text with someone from their staffing or recruiting firm and 44 percent review applications submitted by from their firm via their mobile device.

What this means: Client smartphone ownership continues to grow in 2015, with now more than 9 in 10 having a smartphone. Clients are using all those smartphones to heavily interact with their staffing firms.

Why it matters: Not having a mobile-optimized website is no longer an option. But beyond the website, building all of your client-facing systems to work well on mobile is imperative to make usage as easy and efficient for your clients as possible.