Ride the Wave: 10 Recruiting & Staffing Industry Trends for 2016

Surfers know that in order to catch a wave you have to get ahead of it. A couple of timely strokes can put you in position for the ride, but if the wave gets ahead of you, you’re going to miss it. Business trends are much the same; those who are prepared can take advantage of trends to build their business, while those who don’t get left standing on the beach. To help your agency hang 10 in the New Year, we here at Bond checked in with seasoned staffing pros for trends to watch.  Discover what they see making big waves in 2016, how you can ride recruiting and staffing trends to business wins, and how the right staffing software solution can help you get there.

Sharlyn Lauby

Sharlyn Lauby

Tony Restell

Tony Restell

Amy Bingham

Amy Bingham

Trend #1: A competitive market will require recruiters to adopt innovative practices

At ASA Staffing World, Bond surveyed more than 100 professionals: 

Given the level of competition, survey respondents cited a need to identify innovative recruiting strategies for finding and placing the right talent.

Trend #2: Greater specialization in recruiting campaigns will be required to win the talent war

Sharlyn Lauby identifies one way she sees recruiters changing things up this year: “I think we will start to see more industry- and profession-specific recruiting campaigns to attract people,” says the author of the blog HR Bartender and president of ITM Group Inc. “For instance, the restaurant industry will create campaigns to promote food and beverage careers – not just entry-level jobs, but long-term careers. Companies are going to look to their professional associations to help them attract new talent to their profession.”

Trend #3: Stronger interest in recruiting on social media platforms

“I also believe,” Sharlyn says, “that we will see a renewed interest in social recruiting,” “That’s not to say that social recruiting has gone away, but I believe some organizations scaled back their efforts. As the recruiting market gets more challenging, organizations will revisit their social recruiting strategies.”

Trend #4: Increasing competitiveness on social platforms

As companies scale up their social recruiting, it’s natural that competitiveness will also increase. Tony Restell, Director at Social-Hire.com, forecasts greater competition on social platforms. “Increasing competition on social media will mean recruiters have to work harder and smarter to generate results,” he says. “As an industry we are sharing far more content on social media, there are more competing profiles vying for candidates’ and clients’ attention….” The right staffing technology – for example, LinkedIn integration – can help recruiting professionals effectively leverage social media.

Trend #5: Mobile-first job-seekers will submit fewer applications

Tony sees technology advances impacting recruiting in another way: “We’ve spent much of the last year talking about the need for companies to make their websites mobile responsive,” says Tony. “The problem though is that a candidate on a mobile device is four times more likely to leave a job listing page without applying. So as more and more jobseekers use mobile devices in their next job hunt, we will see response rates collapse.”

Trend #6: 2016 will see market uncertainty

“Historically, we know a presidential election year means uncertainty,” says staffing industry consultant Amy Bingham, “which translates to employer skittishness with respect to hiring….With the economic pundits predicting a recession,” she adds, “demand for direct hire could wane the second half of 2016.”

Trend #7: Firms need to protect themselves against dropout of permanent labor market

Given market volatility, Amy continues, “Firms heavily dependent on direct hire services should get out in front of this early in the year by focusing sales efforts on contract labor to insulate themselves if the bottom drops out of the perm market later this year or early next year.”

Trend #8: Some sectors will defy any downturn

There is less risk in some sectors than others, notes Amy. “Going forward, demand for staffing services will continue to be strong particularly in healthcare (both clinical and non-clinical skills) due to an aging population and skill shortages,” she says. “This sector is recession-resistant, which bodes well for healthcare firms if a recession is on the horizon. Demand will also continue for IT staffing, driven by ever-changing technologies and persistent skill shortages.”

Trend #9: Companies will be challenged by Affordable Care Act Compliance

In our ASA Staffing World survey, management was identified as the second greatest challenge for 2016, and managing elements created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) topped the list of concerns. Having non-integrated systems that don’t communicate is seen as a stumbling block to efficiency for mangers. A system that unifies front and back office operations interface is looked at as being essential for 2016. Top 4 Staffing and Recruiting Industry Challenges for 2016

Trend #10: Technology investment for recruiting efficiency in competitive environment

Agencies will automate recruiting and sales functions in 2016 in order to be more nimble and competitive. The right staffing software solution is seen as key to running a successful business: 41 percent of staffing and recruiting professionals say they will invest in new technology this year. Top 4 Staffing and Recruiting Industry Challenges for 2016

Overall, 2016 is looking to be a great year for the staffing and recruiting industry. To take advantage of projected 6 percent growth and anticipated revenues of $123 billion, make sure your company is in the right place at the right time. Ride the wave of these trends to translate record industry revenues into market gains for your agency.