The Staffing Industry’s Increasing Role in Driving the Economic Recovery

117774783“In the three years since the end of the Great Recession, the U.S. staffing and recruiting industry has created more jobs than any other single industry in America.” –(source: ASA Annual Economic Analysis of the Industry)

The recovery is taking hold – and our industry is a driving force behind it. In June 2013, PrideStaff conducted an online survey to gauge workforce and hiring trends across the United States. Completed by 840 individuals at businesses across a wide range of industries and company sizes, the survey’s results point to three distinct ways our services are building momentum in the economy:

Staffing and recruiting firms are ahead of the curve in the war for talent. PrideStaff’s survey respondents listed skilled workers (47.1 percent) and general laborers (21.5 percent) as areas where they’re seeing the biggest skills gap with available candidates – CNC machinists, welders, machine operators, and forklift drivers. Administrative/clerical candidates ranked third, with 18.7 percent of respondents citing the biggest skills gap in this area.

By regularly conducting research like this, strategic staffing firms are able to identify skill gap areas and begin proactively recruiting for their clients. Anticipating employers’ need for talent, our industry greatly reduces acquisition times for both contingent staff and direct hires.

PREMIUM CONTENT: September 2013 Jobs Report Digest

Staffing and recruiting firms provide better access to talent. In PrideStaff’s survey, nearly 80 percent of respondents reported that staffing and recruiting firms were either an extremely or somewhat effective recruiting tool. Today’s employers realize that classified ads are no longer effective (in fact, 30 percent of respondents reported that they have never even used them to recruit) and rely on our expertise, broader recruitment channels and economies of scale to help them access better talent.

From social recruiting to building true talent communities, staffing and recruiting firms are pioneering new ways to connect to high performers – even passive candidates. We offer rapid access to a highly skilled and diverse pool of talent, making it easier than ever for employers to find the people they need to support growth.

Temporary staffing is now a permanent corporate strategy. In fact, over half (51.5 percent) of PrideStaff’s survey respondents plan to supplement their full-time staff with temporary and contract workers.

Given the continued volatility in our economy, employers on the rebound are still extremely cautious about adding permanent headcount. Even with positive economic indicators and growing consumer demand, internal budget restrictions and the high cost of hiring are preventing employers from “pulling the trigger” on direct hires. To meet their needs, companies are transitioning to a more flexible workforce – using temporary staff to meet demand fluctuations without the expense or liability of permanent hires.

Tips for Capitalizing on the Economic Recovery
In the staffing and recruiting industry, prospects are bright. Use these ideas to capitalize on every opportunity as our economic climate continues to improve:

Know your customers’ needs. Talk with your clients and prospects to learn about their short-term and long-term plans for growth. Find out what their customers are asking for and what that means for their businesses. Look at their workforces’ “big pictures,” to uncover needs for temporary, contract or direct hire services. In addition to pure talent needs, identify opportunities where strategic staffing options could help clients simplify workforce management and fuel profitable growth.

Get proactive and creative with your sourcing. Gone are the days when simple job postings consistently yield the best candidates. To stay ahead of clients’ needs, make talent communities, referral networks and social media parts of your recruiting arsenal. Don’t forget about direct sourcing, too. Now that the economy is improving, high performers are looking for greener pastures – and may be more receptive to hearing what you have to offer.

Results-market your candidates. Instead of waiting for job orders to come to you, go out and get them. Market the measurable results your top candidates have achieved to the clients or prospects who may need their services. There’s a ton of pent-up demand for talent; if you present the right person at the right time, and can demonstrate how a candidate could deliver similar results for an employer, you’ll create your own opportunities.

Cross-sell existing accounts. Make sure you develop relationships at each organizational level to cultivate every possible ordering source. Ask your best customers to facilitate introductions, so you can better understand clients’ businesses and learn first-hand about their needs. As you develop more relationships, you will create more opportunities for business within each account.

MORE: The temporary jobs trend and common misconceptions

Tammi Heaton
Tammi Heaton is COO of PrideStaff. She can be reached at theaton (at) pridestaff (dot) com.

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