The year of 2019: Contingent workforce to strategic hiring and everything in between

Most recruiters believe deeply in the work they do. What makes this profession so exhilarating is the joy that comes with helping people find their dream jobs. However, facilitating that kind of matchmaking isn't easy. Recruiters have to adapt to the new needs of applicants as both technology and the workforce evolve. In response to those changing conditions, recruiters have had to evolve too: they have to demonstrate an intimate understanding of modern work culture; they have to pull from the widest applicant pools to source the best, most qualified candidates; and they have to act as on-demand talent scouts, ready to deliver the right candidate in days or even hours.

And not just sometimes—every single day—because that's just what it means to be a recruiter in 2019

Candidate-centric labor market

In recent years, candidate engagement has taken center stage, with companies building strong employer brands, investing in communication channels, and embracing a more candidate-centric approach to hiring. MRI Network's Recruiter Sentiment Study found that 90% of recruiters believe that the labor market has become candidate-driven and 21% of recruiters find it difficult to deal with candidate demands. How are recruiters adapting? A CV Library Study said that 54% of companies wanted to prioritize offering an outstanding candidate experience, and 42% planned to invest in technology to achieve this goal.

Temp workers rising 

In this challenging hiring environment, recruiters are sweating it out to ensure meaningful candidate engagement, but at the same time, there has been a steady increase in the need for contract, seasonal, temporary or contingent workers. A recent Career Builder survey observed that companies across the globe are revamping their hiring efforts, with more than half of companies surveyed reporting that they are relying on temp workers more than they have in the past. The study stated that only 44% businesses are looking to hire full-time employees, while 51% are planning to hire temporary personnel.

These are not isolated results, either. Another study conducted by TBM Growth forecast that, by 2020, the temporary staffing market will generate $185 billion in revenue, with a total of 3.4 million temp workers, accounting for 15-25% of the total workforce across the globe. "With 14.4 million temp staffers in 2017, the US has traditionally been the biggest home to temporary workers, followed by China at 8.1 million, India, Japan and France brought up the rear," the report stated.

This trend is supported by the Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), who projected that the US temporary staffing market will grow 3% in 2019, reaching a staggering $131 billion in revenue next year.

Why companies prefer contingent workers

For employers, temporary staffing means an increase in how quickly a position can be filled, huge cost savings thanks to simplified processes, fixed expenses, and better employee retention. The TBM Growth report also found that "the strongest revenue growth in temporary staffing is projected for education staffing and marketing/creative staffing, with both projecting 7% growth this year as well as next year." The same report also mentioned that the contingent workforce is a hit with manufacturing and consumer-facing businesses.

It's not just SMBs or corporates that are turning to contingent hiring. The same studies also found that even enterprises are now leveraging this strategy, especially as companies begin to tap into the global workforce.

Why recruiters should adapt

History has taught us not to fight change, so recruiters should ride this wave to make the most of it. Implementing the right technology, understanding your clients' business needs, and delivering the right talent on-demand will give you that extra velocity to outpace your competition.

Happy New Year and Happy Recruiting!

*This is the first of three posts in our special series focusing on the emerging field of contingent workforce management, the change in tide it is going to bring and what you can do to sail along. In our second post, we will discuss how employees benefit from being seasonal or contingent workers. 



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