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May 13, 2019

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2014: Top 10 Trends in the Staffing Industry


For auld lang syne

Yes, it’s that time again. Time to close the book on another year, reflect on the lessons we learned, and look forward to new challenges and opportunities that will arise over the ensuing twelve months. Naturally, most of the publications in the staffing industry will be offering recaps of the HR and employment issues that 2014 faced. We’ll all be reading about changing labor regulations, employment statistics, ban the box, FLSA and health care.

At Zenith Talent, we spent our year seeking out the new wrinkles in contingent workforce dynamics, focusing on upcoming innovations and anticipating the future of talent. And you can read about that in our eBook “The Future of Talent in the Contingent Workforce.” Rather than rehash a lot of the wider and more prevailing labor topics that affect a broader population of workers, we’d like to revisit some of the trends and developments that captured our attention in 2014, from our perspective as a game-changing contingent talent firm.

Although Dick Clark may no longer be here to usher in the New Year from the bustle of Times Square, that ball’s still gonna drop. So here’s our Top 10 countdown of topics we covered and contemplated throughout 2014.

Ten: The transformation to MSP 2.0

Over the last 15 years, the workforce dynamic has shifted radically. At the turn of this century, use of contingent labor spiked due to changes in technology. That trend continued in unprecedented ways to permeate all other areas of the modern workforce, with indirect labor taking its place as the norm rather than the exception. The need to integrate non-employee talent transformed the way in which companies viewed and managed their resources, leading to the rise of managed service providers (MSPs).

The flattening of the MSP market between 2012 and 2013 led industry analysts to conclude that organizations felt the honeymoon had ended. And then, as MSPs found themselves at a turning point, they embraced a strategic new direction: program maturity and transformation.

Read the original article - MSP 2.0: Transforming, Not Aging at Zenith’s The Talent Factor: Contingent Recruiting and Staffing Blog.

Nine: Employment branding

If you want to attract, retain or re-engage workers, and create evangelists for your brand in the process, you must fulfill the promises and expectations made to your new talent. According to research conducted by LinkedIn: “While there are certainly companies that can easily attract top talent on the basis of powerful overall brands, these companies are in the minority. How do most organizations compete? Our research shows that a company’s employer brand is twice as likely to drive job consideration as its company brand.”

Orchestrating thoughtful employer branding programs is a win-win scenario for your talent and your clients. They drive productivity, profitability and a company’s ongoing commitment to invest in its workforce. Moreover, the positive image created by these endeavors ensures that employers, to paraphrase Socrates, “be as they wish to seem.”

Read the original article - Successful Employment Branding: Selling Your Company to Talent at Zenith’s The Talent Factor: Contingent Recruiting and Staffing Blog.

Eight: Diversity

Diversity in the 21st century has expanded to encompass values -- the motivating factors that inspire talent to join a company, embody its organizational visions with passion, strive to make meaningful contributions and reach higher levels of productivity.  

A truly diverse workforce cultivates creativity, productivity and innovation by bringing together talent from disparate backgrounds and experiences, who coalesce yet retain their individual identities. Successful businesses have learned that they can rely on diversity to strengthen their operations and bottom-line profits. Diverse talent are paving the foundations of a more robust and unified economy that will flourish for generations to come.

“The share of people of color in the United States is increasing,” the Center for American Progress observes. “More women are entering the labor force, and gay and transgender individuals are making vital contributions to our economy, while being increasingly open about who they are.”

Read our articles on the economic benefits of diversity, empathy and acceptance, and the importance of including veterans in your hiring initiatives.

Seven: Alumni and passive recruiting in an era of skills shortages

In 2010, 54 percent of large U.S. businesses laid off their employees to combat the adverse effects of the Great Recession. As employers prepared to augment their workforces during the recovery, they discovered that the deficit of necessary skills had grown during the intervening years. Many organizations found themselves turning to an alternate option for sourcing qualified talent: rehiring former employees.

Imperative positions in high-impact sectors such as technology and IT also benefit from evergreen programs, aimed at constantly sourcing passive candidates for future positions.  The same solution works equally well for environments with historically high turnover rates: retail, call center and nursing, as a few examples. It’s a solid concept any organization can embrace. Yet to realize the full potential of an evergreen strategy, you’ll want to work with a leading-edge staffing partner skilled in the active, concentrated strength of passive recruiting.

Read our past articles on bringing back high-performing alumni, courting passive candidates and retaining top talent.

Six: The rise of the Millennials and social recruiting

At 77 million strong, Millennials represent 24 percent of the total U.S. population. They are the social generation. They are the pioneers of the social media movement, and they remain connected to friends, family and colleagues online 24/7. Because they’re coming of age in the most challenging economic climate since the Great Depression, they place a heightened emphasis on family, community and connectivity to their world through social networks.

The most recent survey performed by Jobvite found that social recruiting usage has increased exponentially over the past six years. Over 94 percent of employers already use or plan to use social networks as recruiting tools, a 73-percent increase in investment as of 2013 data. More interestingly, staffing professionals discovered that the job seekers they recruited via social media were more likely to be hired. They also noted enhancements in the way candidates were sourced and vetted, with improvements in key metrics.

Committing to strategic social media participation – the alignment of social media activities with recruiting objectives and target demographics – will bring significant value. If conducted methodically, the benefits of social media include improved search results, recruitment, reputation management and measurable outcomes.

Read the original article - Rise of the Millennials And Social Recruiting at Zenith’s The Talent Factor: Contingent Recruiting and Staffing Blog.

Five: The long-term unemployed

Three million Americans remain without jobs and have been searching for work longer than six months. Historic trends have demonstrated a tragic correlation between the length of unemployment and the chances of talent finding new work: as the months of joblessness increase, the likelihood of gaining employment plummets. At some point, many of those former workers drop out of the labor force altogether.

It’s time to discard archaic notions of what long-term unemployment implies and realistically look at the catalyst in context of this economy. Aggressive efforts should be made to seek out and consider the long-term unemployed, following the examples of 300 leading businesses championing the White House’s initiative. As Xerox pointed out, the best hiring practices involve matching the skills of applicants to those needed by employers -- not making presumptions about why jobs have been difficult to come by for them.

Read the original article - Staffing Curators Help You See Beyond the Prejudices Against The Long-Term Unemployed at Zenith’s The Talent Factor: Contingent Recruiting and Staffing Blog.

Four: Affordable Care Act concerns

The ACA story really shouldn’t be one underscored by a sense of doom and gloom. There are positive changes the recent healthcare reform presents to this new generation of talent and the businesses they support. Fundamentally, the Affordable Care Act works. It’s not perfect, yet after nine months evidence shows that it does provide health coverage to the poor and the working-class in a reasonably efficient manner. However, concerns about ACA implementation are still prominent and understandable. For suppliers whose businesses are focused on supporting MSP programs, where margins are low and tight, the increased ACA costs can put their financial solvency at risk.   

Some progressives MSPs are stepping up to help shoulder these burdens by sponsoring unique benefits options for participating suppliers, leveraging insurance partners and third-party administrators to assist with plan selection, enrollment, coverage, record keeping and auditing.

Proactive communications with clients about ACA-related increases are critical to gaining acceptance and support. Clarifying all costs to clients and MSPs, and working together to form a mutually beneficial solution, will ensure that clients keep receiving top talent with the best staffing partners.

Read past posts on how the ACA can drive labor market progress and other related articles at Zenith’s The Talent Factor: Contingent Recruiting and Staffing Blog.

Three: Online staffing platforms

Today, with over 145 development companies supporting these virtual talent marketplaces, they represent the next iteration of staffing technologies. Our contention has been that the prevalence of human cloud platforms will actually elevate the role of staffing professionals into curators.

Expert staffing professionals can be engaged to lend consultative guidance to issues of workforce regulations, employment classification, labor laws, tax reporting, and a variety of screening processes. Where issues are identified, staffing curators can step in to represent the talent for buyers, taking workers on as employees and ensuring a compliant placement process with limited exposure to risks.

Read more about online staffing platforms and how staffing curators are helping ensure a compliant process at Zenith’s The Talent Factor: Contingent Recruiting and Staffing Blog.

Two: The rise of the freelance economy and supertemps

Today, contingent talent choose their freelance lifestyles. Temporary or contract-based work is not a matter of circumstance or situation, it’s a choice -- a preferable career arrangement for highly skilled, tenured and credentialed supertemps. And the most recent industry statistics point to even greater numbers of freelancers and contractors penetrating the workforce of the near future.

As skilled professionals turn to the freedoms of contingent work, throwing off the shackles of domineering corporate schedules and impositions, organizations are making tremendous efforts to find ways of working with them. These freelancers are in the driver’s seat now. If businesses want to succeed, they need to follow the talent. The future of business will be transformed by talent through the transformation of talent.

In this evolution, staffing firms will play a pivotal role in curating the relationship between freelancers and their clients. The contingent labor industry isn’t just creating new jobs -- it’s creating opportunities. With the growing reliance on freelancers and the online marketplaces they use, elite staffing professionals will be needed to curate the process, ensuring compliance and connecting businesses to this exceptional contingent talent.

Read the original article - Top Talent is Choosing a Freelance Lifestyle and other related posts at Zenith’s The Talent Factor: Contingent Recruiting and Staffing Blog.

One: Staffing agencies are evolving into staffing curators

Staffing firms play an undeniably vital role in helping clients and MSPs find exceptional talent. And their reach has stretched far beyond the traditional scope of agency temp placement and contingent labor fulfillment. As technology, society and the economy have transformed the global marketplace, the corporate recruiters of today face new challenges with skills shortages, a generation of emerging talent with different needs and drivers than their predecessors, and revolutionary changes in the online platforms being used to source today’s top talent.

To seek out and place exceptional workers requires increasingly more social approaches. Staffing professionals must become facilitators and partners to candidates, offering coaching and consultative interactions, not merely transactional approaches of matching skills, work experience and compensation to job descriptions. The nature of hiring is shifting to a system of open bidding more than applying. And as the freelance economy continues to grow -- with hiring managers, consumers and the buyers of labor decoupling -- evolved staffing curators will become the best allies for MSPs and clients seeking the future’s best talent.

Read the original article - How Staffing Curators Bring Clients and MSPs the Best Talent and other related posts at Zenith’s The Talent Factor: Contingent Recruiting and Staffing Blog.

From everyone here at Zenith Talent, we thank you for a wonderful 2014 and look forward to a mutually prosperous New Year! Check out our eBook below to learn about the future of talent in the contingent workforce.

Sunil Bagai
Sunil Bagai
Sunil is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, thought leader and influencer who is transforming the way companies think about and acquire talent. Blending vision, technology and business skills honed in the most innovative corporate environments, he has launched a new model for recruitment called Crowdstaffing which is being tapped successfully top global brands. Sunil is passionate about building a company that provides value to the complete staffing ecosystem including clients, candidates and recruiters.
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