How Technology and Generational Differences Will Affect the Staffing Industry

ThinkstockPhotos-100613053The staffing industry is poised for growth in the coming years, yet with growth will come change. In order for our industry to navigate these changes, we need to be armed with solutions to meet new market demands. With this, it’s important to study trends and forecast potential outcomes.

Within our organization, Atterro Human Capital Group, we see two primary factors driving change in staffing: technology and generational work style differences. These hot topics are already making a mark on our industry – and here’s how we predict they will evolve:

Transition to a “share society”

President Obama’s move to expand overtime pay eligibility signals a greater need to share talent and job duties. Temporary staffing agencies have made talent sharing possible for decades, yet technology will impact the accessibility and speed of talent placement.

I see this happening already within transportation companies like Uber and Lyft who rely on technology to operate. Without technology, specifically mobile apps, businesses like this would not be possible. Their apps allow us to share a service.

I see the staffing industry channeling this trend to make the hiring process more fluid online. Sure, talent can already find work through online staffing platforms where employers post an online job request and talent place bids. There is opportunity for this process to be more automated and efficient. I believe that employers will soon be able to jump on a mobile app to view detailed talent profiles that include ratings (similar to how you can rate an eBay seller), a live tracking of availability, and proximity to be able to contract talent on-demand. This process will allow for greater control, less downtime, and immediate access to help.

One challenge with app-based hiring, however, is the ability to effectively evaluate personalities and determine if candidates are a good cultural fit. This challenge can be overcome by partnering with a staffing agency that can pass along this insider information and guide employers’ hiring decisions.

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Mobile isn’t slowing down

Technology not only changes the way we locate, screen, and hire talent, it also makes it possible to have a mobile workforce that decides when, how, and where they work. And as tech costs drop and employee costs rise, a mobile workforce is becoming the answer for many businesses.

This trend also meets the demands of the millennial generation. Millennials have a work style that is vastly different from their predecessors. They value flexible schedules as well as time for personal pursuits, and want to make an immediate impact. A mobile work environment meets these workplace demands.

An added benefit of a mobile workforce, many offices will see a reduction in workplace distraction, such as water cooler chit chat and excessive company meetings. With workers moving from one job to the next, there will be less opportunity for office chatter and fewer meetings. And with more people working offsite, employers may also be able to reduce their office space.

Pivoting, the new buzz word

Millennials grew up protected from failure by over-engaged parents and don’t buy into climbing the corporate ladder and paying their dues. They are not searching for a life-long career with one company like the boomer generation. Their average stay at a company is about 2.3 years.

While some generations may label this type of work style as “job hopping,” the terminology is changing, as well as the connotation. No longer viewed as a negative work style, “pivoting” from one job to another allows workers the ability to quickly learn new skills, move up the job chain, and keep work interesting and fresh.

Look for the word “pivot” to be the new buzz word within the industry. Pivoting is the new way to build a career. It allows workers control over their experience and provides employers with talent who are well-rounded and have a variety of life and career experiences.

Better ROI with service bundling

Finally, there will come a time where staffing service providers will have to conduct business on a dollar-per-month basis rather than an hourly rate, similar to SOW work. Staffing firms need to be prepared with a bundled service option. Clients are looking for a better ROI and project-based billing allows greater flexibility and simplified budgeting.

As we position Atterro for the changes to come, these are the trends that are top-of-mind. With a creative leadership team and imaginative employees, we feel prepared for the changing business landscape. In fact, Atterro has already been early to move in terms of investing in technology, job sharing, and project-based billing.

David Loeser, former Atterro board member and senior vice president of Worldwide Human Resources at Unisys, agrees with our views on the direction of the staffing industry. Loeser states “I got involved with Atterro because Atterro does it a better way and has a vision for the future. Their future is bright.”

I believe the future is bright for the industry as a whole. Change is inevitable, but preparation and forecasting will allow us to stay one step ahead of client and talent demands.

MORE: What you need to know about gender bias and tech recruiting

Clay Morel

Clay Morel
Clay Morel is executive vice president of Atterro Human Capital Group.

Clay Morel

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