Data and fodder for those who dare to lead

head start“Change is the only constant.” This phrase is credited to Heraclitus of Ephesus, a Greek philosopher in c. 500 BCE. He knew what he was talking about, and never has his point been truer than in today’s workforce solutions ecosystem.  Changes here are occurring at an accelerated pace, and not even in a consistent, predictable direction — some of the changes that have happened over the last several years are being challenged, altered and in some cases reversed. As the world around us shifts, here are some focus areas to monitor and keep up with.

The Economy:  The new administration is at least intending to foster very strong economic growth. The year started off nicely in terms of employment. In January, the United States added 227,000 total non-farm jobs, up 1.6% year over year, seasonally adjusted. Temp employment had a great start as well, adding 15,000 jobs, up 3.3% year over year.

The Law: Legal compliance and risk management is a top concern for staffing firms and their customers. The penalties if found non-compliant can cripple both the bottom line and reputation. Prepare for changes in the ACA/healthcare reform, FLSA overtime rule, paid sick leave, immigration, discrimination and collective bargaining. From repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to amending I-9 forms to reviewing decisions on joint employer standards, much will alter the compliance landscape. SIA’s Fiona Coombe, director of legal and regulatory research, highlights potential legal changes and developments that will affect the US workforce environment.

The Buyers: Clients expect their staffing providers to deal with changes, whatever they are. So, when it comes to minimizing risk, staffing firms need to take precautions at their end. It begins with staffing firms auditing themselves. Our Buyer Survey indicates that among the strategies used by customers to mitigate contingent workforce legal risk, carrying out due diligence on suppliers’ levels of compliance was the ranked the highest followed by limiting assignment lengths and obtaining indemnities from the suppliers.

The Evolution: In a tight labor market, where companies are going after the same pool of candidates, adopting new models of work is critical. Hiring companies are becoming more open to different forms of help.  For example, the percentage of buyers using RPO has been steadily rising — from 17% in 2009 to 36% in 2016, as shown in our Workforce Solutions Buyers Survey – Trends in supplier management strategies. On their part, Workforce solution providers need to think outside the box and present carefully thought out options to their clients.  Innovation – and the resulting change — is essential.

SIA: Our job is to see developments in the ecosystem you don’t. We like to give our audience tools and information to deal with these developments. Starting today, Staffing Industry Review magazine has an online edition to showcase articles that are not published in the print edition of the magazine. You asked for more data and we are giving it to you.

I look forward to meeting many of you next week at the Executive Forum. Our team is always looking for ways to improve and would love to hear from you. Find us in person at the conference or online. We believe this Executive Forum will be the best yet.

Subadhra Sriram

Subadhra Sriram
Subadhra Sriram is Staffing Industry Analysts' editor and publisher, media products. She can be reached at SSriram (at) staffingindustry (dot) com.

Subadhra Sriram

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