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Trends Shaping the Temporary Staffing Industry

Various analyses of the staffing industry all point in the same direction: steady growth. This is attributed to more than one trend that is helping to shape the staffing industry for 21st century employment practices. Even in an economy that is recovering slowly, hope springs for temporary agencies that have plenty of marketable candidates. Both employers and job applicants can find a reason to use temporary staffing services.

Staffing Industry Remains Flexible to Business Needs

Generally, the staffing industry brings many benefits that fit business needs, according to a survey conducted by the American Staffing Association. Approximately 90 percent of respondents stated that temporary agencies offer flexible staffing options for busy times and slow period. Eighty percent of respondents believe that staffing agencies are a good way to find full-time employees once they are ready to hire.

Clearly, staffing agencies continue to help their clients stay flexible during a dynamic economic period. This track record will ensure that agencies are the first point of contact when it is time to increase hiring.

Staffing Industry Offers Opportunities in a Weak Job Market

While helping clients ensures that staffing agencies remain relevant, they are also responding to the changing needs of today's workforce. ASA also analyzed the employment habits of workers in a weak job market. More than half of staffing employees prefer a flexible work schedule, which is possible through temporary assignments. Another 88 percent believe that the work experienced gained through temporary assignments have increased their marketability for full-time work.

This is good news for the staffing industry, considering that temporary staffing was classified as a last resort for low-skilled workers. With a tight job market, many workers have varying skill levels. Not only does this fit with their overall career plan, but working through staffing agencies fit their current needs.

Some experts predict that this trend will not change in the near future. More workers will prefer flexible, temporary work schedules from industrial to executive positions.

6 Trends Shaping the Temporary Staffing Industry

Many trends will continue to shape the temporary staffing industry, which continues to have a significant role in the employment outlook for the nation.

Industry Trend #1: Staffing is a Fast Growing Industry

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the temporary staffing industry is projected to add 5.1 million jobs to the American workforce by 2014. By some estimates, this pace exceeds job growth in other sectors.

One of the reasons for this trend is the increased demand for temporary staffing services in response to flexible staffing and working patterns.Industry Trend #2: Industrial Staffing is Remains Strong

Statistics from BLS also show that many temporary and contract workers come from the industrial staffing sector. This makes industrial staffing the largest of all categories for which agencies recruit workers. Flexibility is also taking over industrial staffing, which include positions such as welders and assemblers.

Industry Trend #3: Fewer Workers Want Long-Term Commitments to One Company

Predictions continue to project how the needs of workers will shape the staffing industry. Increasingly, workers want contract work that does not require long-term commitments. This helps the staffing industry since workers are looking for more ways to continue working rather than retire. The Great Recession and the fact that more people are living longer and healthier are contributing to this change from just 20 years ago.

Typically, Generation X workers have a reputation for being more mobile. The days are gone where people want to work for one company until it is time to retire. Some people wait to retire out of personal desire; others out of necessity since the financial crash of 2008.

Industry Trend #4: Higher Than Normal Unemployment Rate

Despite the changes on work habits of many people, the unemployment rate still has a significant role to play in the staffing industry. Economists expect unemployment numbers to remain high, by historical standards, even though other areas in the economy are recovering. While this slow pace is bad news overall, the staffing industry stands to benefit.

Some might consider this counterintuitive that less employment equals more staffing opportunities. However, high unemployment increases the labor pool available to temporary staffing agencies. Many employers remain skittish about hiring in an uncertain economy. Yet, they need temporary staffing solutions.

Industry Trend #5: Demographic Changes Reshape the Workforce

Demographic changes across the country will have a two-fold trending effect for the industry. Demand may increase in some cities where the workforce dwindles after a large portion of the population migrates to another area. Older workers who retire will usually take many years of knowledge and experience that cannot be replaced overnight.

Technology can create new jobs and make other jobs obsolete. However, there are some jobs that are still necessary and cannot be shipped overseas. One example is patient services for the elderly. Workers must have a wide range of skill and expertise to care for older people. At the same time, these jobs require flexibility, which is the perfect combination for temporary staffing.

Industry Trend #6: Staffing Agencies Will Train Temporary Workers

Temporary staffing remains a highly competitive industry with clients who demand very specific skills for some positions. This demand and competition is prompting some staffing agencies to begin training temporary workers. The idea of training workers is not new for the industry.

Clerical staff was offered training to brush up on the typing and computer skills. Some staffing agencies that offer light industrial work would train workers for specific client production lines. Advancements in technology now make it easier for many agencies to expand their training programs.

Essentially, there are two key reasons why staffing agencies want to offer training. First, training workers distinguishes the agencies from competitors. The second reason is similar to why employers may offer professional development opportunities to permanent employees. It is an attractive tool for retaining the best workers.

Recruiting through staffing agencies save money for companies but can be expensive for staffing agencies. Training workers is a good way to keep them, instead of trying to replace them. Additionally, training programs are attractive to sell staffing services as a way of life. Workers will not consider temporary assignments as simply a stop-gap between permanent jobs.

Further, workers believe that training gives them an advantage by demonstrating skills that employers want. For staffing agencies, they can increase rates for enhancing the skill level of temporary workers.

Online learning is another contributor to the trend towards temporary worker training programs. Staffing agencies are partnering with companies that offer courses to temporary workers. This gives agencies the opportunity to fill the gaps in skill levels that clients need for specific positions.

Some temporary staffing agencies have in-house libraries that include books and DVD training materials. Workers can follow self-directed courses and receive certificates of completion to demonstrate their skills to potential employers.

First Fired in a Recession, First Hired in a Recovery

When a recession hits, temporary workers are usually the first ones to be terminated. However, they are often the first ones hired during economic recoveries. For the staffing industry, the recovery is working in their favor. Uncertainty looms over many sectors although many clients are looking for temporary help.

Demand for workers is crossing all levels of positions: administrative, industrial, professional and business services. The need for repetitious, low-skilled jobs remains in some areas. However, industry trends shaping the temporary staffing industry also require experienced, well-trained, well-educated workers.