Dec 11, 2019

Staffing Trends and Challenges in 2020

Despite a continued labor shortage, 2019 marked another year of growth in the staffing industry. Attracting and retaining talent remains a primary challenge for employers, but many companies are beginning to offer on-site job training as one solution to the tight labor market4. Shifting demographics will also play an important role in the oncoming years as millennials now make up a majority of the U.S. workforce. Over half of millennial staffing clients intend to increase their use of staffing firms and understanding how they make decisions will be crucial to successfully planning and achieving your business goals. Here are a few more staffing trends and statistics to keep in mind as 2020 approaches.

Staffing Industry Growth Statistics

  • US staffing industry grew 4% this year and is projected to reach a record $153.5 billion. This growth is expected to fall to 3% in 2020.1
  • The staffing industry has been growing faster than the economy. GDP growth for 2019 sits between 2.2%-2.3%, while staffing industry growth sits at 3.4%.2
  • Projections for full-year GDP growth are currently at 2.2% for 2019 and predict a decrease to 1.8% in 2020 and 2021.2
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects steady growth for staffing industry despite the labor shortage.2

Recruiting Statistics

  • The number of job openings continues to exceed the number of hires in 2019, an ongoing trend since 2014. A year ago, the number of job openings totaled 7.6 million with hires amounting to 5.8 million.2
  • 52% of hiring managers say one of their main obstacles in the recruiting process is gaining access to candidates with the right skills.3
  • 40% of employers are looking to hire full-time employees; 47% are looking for temporary employees.4
  • 92% of employers say soft skills, such as communication abilities and critical thinking, are important factors in determining whether they hire a candidate, and 80% believe soft skills are more or equally important as hard skills.4
  • 49% of employees who choose temporary or contract work do so in hopes of gaining permanent employment.2
  • On any given day, 2.1% of employed adults (3.1 million) are working in the staffing industry. 63% of these are temporary employees, and 37% are contract workers.2

Client and Candidate Experience Statistics

  • Half of all hiring managers plan to increase their use of staffing firms in the next five years. 45% list their primary staffing firm’s success as a reason for their intended continued use of staffing firms.3
  • 32% of hiring managers have switched their primary staffing provider in the past year. Of those hiring managers, 45% said they wanted more than one staffing firm filling their order, 44% said they needed more help finding a niche skillset, and 41% said poor service was their reason for leaving their staffing firm.3
  • 67% of hiring managers believe it is important for their staffing firm to use the latest technology, and 74% of hiring managers believe use of technology distinguishes staffing firms from one another.3
  • Only 10% of clients say they first became aware of their primary staffing firm from a sales representative. 12% of clients cited the firm’s reputation, and another 12% cited third-party recommendations as their first introduction to their primary staffing firm.3
  • 40% of hiring managers say they avoid working with staffing firms to save money, and 28% believe a staffing firm would be unable to hire the positions they need.3

Millennial Staffing Client Statistics

  • 77% of millennial clients plan to increase their use of staffing firms in the next five years.3
  • Millennial clients are more likely to consider a staffing firm’s reputation, online ratings, and responsiveness when selecting a primary staffing firm, rather than looking at a staffing firm’s ability to hire specific talent.3
  • 59% of Millennial clients believe recruiters will play smaller roles as technology advances.3
  • Half of millennial clients prefer to place job orders online in place of speaking with a recruiter by phone or in person.3
  • 58% of millennial clients believe it is extremely important that their staffing firm uses the latest possible technology.3

Interested in more technology and staffing trends and stats? Take a look at our “Hiring and Technology Trends in 2019” for more information.

Sources

  1. Staffing Industry Analysts, 2019, US Staffing to Reach Record $153.5 Billion with 4% Growth This Year: SIA
  2. American Staffing Association, 2019 Staffing Industry Playbook
  3. CareerBuilder, 2018 Staffing Buyer Study
  4. CareerBuilder, 2019 Hiring By Numbers

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