Temporary agencies seek ways to improve margins as job growth continues

The most recent jobs report released by the U.S. Department of Labor was full of positive news for the nation’s economy. Based on a seasonally-adjusted basis, the nation added 165,000 non-farm jobs in April 2013. Significantly, the FordyceLetter reports that temporary workers accounted for 20 percent of all of April’s job growth. That’s 30,800 jobs – almost one in five positions. With this improving employment picture, temporary staffing agencies are seeking ways to improve their margins even as they face new challenges to their business.

The shift in employment trends
In addition, revisions to the previous month’s jobs reports signified that employment growth was greater than reported. New job estimates for February and March 2013 increased by a combined 114,000 – on top of previous numbers. This brings the employment growth for the first quarter of 2013 to 618,000. This is only slightly behind the 208,000 monthly job growth average of last year. While some economists or officials lament the decline, it’s important to remember that any additions are progress and the rate of employment growth is remaining steady – instead of jumping up and down and creating uncertainty in the economy.

The increase in the contingent workforce is a new trend that is picking up speed. A wide variety of industries are showing a preference for hiring temporary workers for some positions. As a staffing professional, this may mean a change in how you conduct business in order to improve your margins. For example, you may find yourself contacting potential job candidates who are experienced working as a freelancer or contingent worker, which is more common in the tech and creative industries. Or, it’s very possible that you could find yourself working to convince a passive job seeker to consider leaving a full-time, permanent position for a contract job. Passive job seekers embody the portion of the workforce not actively looking for a new position, but are not opposed to greater opportunities. By seeking out and recruiting high-caliber candidates you can offer these to your clients for positions that require fast ramp-up times – and so generate higher margins for your business.

What you may need to handle the shift in employment trends

Because of the changing trend in the employment industry and the rapid growth, you may find yourself being inundated with requests from clients and potential job candidates. Especially if you find yourself with a steady go-to group of workers in set industries who specialize in contingent positions, you will have to gain instant access to where these people are in the hiring process. This includes knowing who is under contract when and whether an individual worker and his or her temporary employer decide to turn the position full time.

A cloud-accessible recruiting software that enables you to better understand the situation an employer or potential job candidate may find him or herself in will become necessary. In the fast-paced industry of staffing, missing the right candidate or being unable to have information on hand can be a detriment to your job performance and to the margins you would like to generate. Are you seeing a change in the number of clients who are requesting for contingent workers? Do you think you have the right tools in place to handle this trend?