As we approach year’s end, many companies are knee-deep in planning which strategies will help them achieve their 2017 business goals. But because these efforts tend to focus on specific tactics and bottom lines, some companies fail to consider how they should similarly create and develop the best workforce to achieve those goals. Yes, companies may have the right technology partners in place or an all-star sales and marketing engine to drive profits, but many companies haven’t deeply considered where they’ll face talent shortages. They also may not have analyzed their future human capital needs in terms of size, type, experience, or skills to match business objectives. Further, they may not have confirmed whether they have the right company culture to attract and retain the top talent needed to execute on an otherwise solid plan.
Beyond people problems, companies must stay abreast of industry insights and forecasts. Whether or not your industry is booming, there are still a finite number of “A” players in the talent game, and your competitors are angling for them as much as you are. So what’s going to set you up for success? Is your company prepared to maximize its human capital investment through the right mix of contingent workers, outsourcing, and succession planning?
One answer lies in workforce planning, which at its core is about preparing for future staffing needs, including a supply, demand, gap, and solutions analysis. And it’s not just about staffing for the future; rather, it’s a continuous examination of resources to optimize and train a capable, agile workforce. A component of this process requires companies to better project their future needs. In which skill categories could this be more critical than in others, particularly as it relates to temporary staffing? Here are some predictions to ponder:
It’s most difficult to find qualified candidates with skillsets in cybersecurity, cloud, application development, and data analytics, according to Staffing Industry Analysts’ latest U.S. Staffing Industry Forecast. In fact, unemployment rates for those occupations are near or below 2%. SIA says hiring managers should expect challenges negotiating contracts, too, particularly within telecom and banking/financial services, which are the two largest verticals for IT staffing. The advisory firm also suggests that the U.S. IT temporary staffing market is expected to achieve 6% year-over-year growth in 2017, following 5% growth in 2016.
Our company TEKsystems, a leading provider of IT staffing, IT talent management, and IT services, forecasted similar findings last December in a survey of IT leaders who agreed that programmers and developers are the most difficult positions to fill, followed by cloud, security, and software engineers. TEKsystems’ survey also found that contingent IT staff makes up about 20% of current IT departments, and 41% of survey respondents expect to increase contingent IT staff hiring this year. Want to stay informed about future developments? Bookmark TEKsystems’ research page, where you can read about IT industry and staffing trends, as well as its blog, which features thought leadership on talent management, attraction and retention, and tech trends.
Shifting gears, recruiters are starting to see more sub-specialties emerge in the field of engineering as a recent blog from our recruiting and staffing company Aerotek indicates. However, the market is evolving rapidly, so the article encourages emerging professionals in this space to choose specialties they’re passionate about rather than only what’s trending today – namely civil and mechanical engineering, which are enjoying unemployment rates below 2.0% according to SIA and the Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS), so expect heightened bill rates for those job categories. Looking ahead, SIA says the automotive industry could provide a pocket of demand for engineering staff, as well as aviation. Indeed, engineers are predicted to carve out unique career paths. If you’re looking for more insight, read one project engineer’s journey so you can experience her creative approach to managing her career by working as a contract employee.
Next, SIA’s overall growth forecast for temporary U.S. industrial occupations in 2017 is 3%. This prediction is based off modest GDP growth coupled with falling inventory levels and wage inflation stemming from minimum wage increases and tightening labor markets, which will keep the industrial staffing industry in check. That said, logistics, in particular, continues to boom with new distribution hubs to support growing online commerce. Citing research from DC Velocity’s 13th Annual Salary Survey, a recent Aerotek blog reported that 96% of logistic pros are satisfied with their careers, and another 93% would recommend the career to emerging professionals. This should be good news if you’re hiring in this space. Moving on to manufacturing, which makes up 40% of industrial staffing, SIA has seen year-over-year declines since March, but the motor vehicles and parts industry remains one of the best performing manufacturing sectors for total employment growth. Temporary staffing job growth is also expected to be above average in the restaurant (3.3%), waste collection (3.3%), and landscaping (3.1%) industries. Finally, SIA said warehousing and storage total employment growth is up 6.6% this year over last. Here’s some interesting news for workers in this space. The same Aerotek blog referenced above found that wearable devices are impacting how people in the warehouse and distribution industry do their jobs. For example, smart glasses, belt-mounted scanners, location-detecting voice control headsets and more are boosting efficiency and making work fun. Read the post to learn more.
Growth trends continue for number crunchers, too, as SIA projects a 6% increase year-over-year in the U.S. temporary staffing market for 2017. The firm says professionals with experience in analytics and Big Data will become more desirable amid a tough regulatory climate and greater complexity in financial services. In addition, retail banking jobs will become more consultative and less transactional. The BLS adds that hiring will increase 13% for accountants and auditors, and 16% for financial analysts by the year 2022. To help face these staffing challenges, Aston Carter, an Allegis Group company headquartered in London, suggests that companies reevaluate how they approach the hiring process, including a more imaginative focus on sourcing professionals with five- to 10-years of experience, who may be the most in demand. Download a whitepaper from this provider of recruitment and staffing services across accounting and finance, as well as governance, risk, and compliance disciplines for strategies to bolster your hiring process.
Moving on, SIA says clinical research and medical trials require flexible labor, and increased outsourcing of the management for pharmaceutical trials and the disaggregation of services present opportunities for this field. As such, SIA’s US Staffing Industry Forecast suggests modestly accelerating growth of 5% in 2017 for clinical/scientific temporary staffing. Such an increase seems logical as the aging population heightens demands for health-related services. Our company Aerotek, which is the largest U.S. provider of clinical and scientific staffing services, also suggests that manufacturers are ramping up production, which translates into greater needs for experienced technicians. In addition, as the industry’s workforce begins to retire, companies want to replace tenured, experienced professionals with highly educated and trained candidates, and a larger percentage of graduates are being hired in contingent labor partnerships as a result.
Next, let’s shift from the scientific to the creative, where SIA’s report suggests the highest temporary staffing growth will come from digital marketing. Client organizations that shrunk budgets in 2009 followed up on that action by increasing marketing spend. Today, marketing budgets average over 10% of company revenue, and roles that combine digital and creative proficiency (e.g., web copywriters, front-end developers, or graphic designers) are becoming increasingly valuable. With high demand and short supply, skilled marketing technologists are becoming harder to find. Combined, SIA projects that the marketing/creative segment of the U.S. temporary staffing market will continue to climb at a 7% growth rate in 2017.
Higher growth levels across various industries like marketing/creative are being met with low-growth (1%) projections for U.S. temporary staffing of legal occupations in 2017. However, SIA suggests this market is full of change and disruption. For example, it reports that companies are seeking more solutions, consulting, and outsourced legal services over traditional, standalone staffing. Clients are also more willing to disaggregate the legal services they need over multiple providers.
Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA), an Allegis Group company that has been navigating the legal talent landscape for more than 30 years, acknowledges such disruption. In a blog about what it means to be a 21st Century lawyer, Global Practice Leader of the Managed Legal Solutions team Mark Yacano writes, “Alternative legal services providers are here to stay and that means traditional providers will need to develop skill sets to manage them, integrate them into their own workflow, and recognize when bringing an alternative provider to a client relationship is the right thing to do.” Tangentially interesting, MLA recently made headlines with its 2016 Partner Compensation Survey, which identifies ranges of partner compensation, the criteria law firms use in determining partner compensation, and the satisfaction of law firm partners with their compensation and compensation systems. Results found that average partner compensation is up 22% since 2014, and male partners at major U.S. law firms make 44% more than their female peers. Download the report from MLA’s website. (And if you’re wondering which industry achieves the greatest gender parity when it comes to U.S. full-time employment, the answer is: construction. Refer to table 19 in this December 2015 BLS Women in the Labor Force report for details.)
Next, as you laser-focus your business for 2017, consider how your company handles inside and field sales. While hiring a contingent salesforce is a good way to manage changing business conditions, temporary sales hiring is wrought with elevated turnover, high training costs, and often a worker’s lack of commitment or accountability to achieve results. That said, maybe this is the year to turn this functionality over to a full-service, managed sales outsourcing company like Allegis Group’s MarketSource company, which provides comprehensive solutions for the entire sales ecosystem — from retail to B2B, direct to indirect, simple to complex. Whether you’re looking to reduce or control costs, focus on core competencies, increase market share, or maybe scale quickly, MarketSource delivers better sales through a better customer experience. Explore the business case for outsourcing sales in a new eBook written by MarketSource President Rick Haviland.
Finally, seasonal hiring remains a numbers game, but it’s one you can still win. Get the tips you need on hiring for the holidays, whether for retail or supplemental activities around sales, manufacturing, fulfillment, and distribution, in a recent blog from Aerotek.
Holistic Solutions for Your Contingent Workforce
Were all of those statistics and predictions a bit overwhelming? Does it feel like it may be impossible to get a handle on your organization’s temporary hiring needs? It’s okay. Allegis Global Solutions (AGS), an Allegis Group company, can help manage your contingent workforce as your managed services provider (MSP) partner. AGS counts some of the world’s largest and most-respected brands as its clients.
With its MSP solutions, AGS is an extension of your procurement department, managing all aspects of your contingent workforce – including maneuvering the increasingly complex web of vendors. AGS sets your organization up for success out the gate with industry-leading market analytics, cost management, innovative technology, and proven best practices that drive ROI. Is your organization ready to engage an MSP? Find out in AGS’ latest infographic.
Partner With the Global Leader in Talent Solutions
Improving workforce planning and performance always requires additional ideas, business models, and explorations of new occupations. A partner like one of the Allegis Group companies, which can inform you on the state of local labor markets and what it takes to make job openings attractive to top candidates, could be just the solution you need to create your best workforce in 2017! Best wishes for a great year!