The Future of Staffing: Where Will We Be in 2020?

Everything from our phones, cars and even how we communicate has rapidly evolved in the past decade. Your phone is capable of acting as a standalone computer that can take pictures, search the Internet, send emails and text messages, stream television and movies, listen to music and also, every now and then we use them for their original purpose, to make phone calls. Automobiles are equipped with GPS and emergency call features, making the days of carrying a map completely unnecessary. Communication options have literally exploded in the instantaneous avenues of text and video chat as well as email and social media.

If all of this has happened in the last decade? What will the next 10 or even 5 years have in store for us? What will happen in the U.S. workforce, and specifically, the world of staffing? What will be different? What new trends will emerge? What challenges and obstacles will the industry face? Many experts are looking into the crystal ball of staffing and attempting to provide some predictions. Here is what they found:

Staffing in 2020: No Signs of a Slow Down

According to Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), the staffing industry is expected to grow quite a bit by 2020. They suspect this growth will be a result of many factors, but primarily the need for a flexible workforce, and the desire from workers for mobile, educational and flexible careers.

Today, roughly 10% of the workplace is contingent, and SIA predicts that by 2020 the staffing industry will consist of 3.4 million employees, $185 billion in U.S. temp revenue, and 2.2% temp help penetration. By 2020, between 15% and 25% of the workforce will be contingent and well over 20% of companies will be utilizing staffing firms.

The main factors influencing the growth of the staffing industry, are:

  1. Economics – It is more cost effective for companies to outsource a certain percentage of their workforce including, on-boarding costs, off-boarding costs, insurance and healthcare expenses, etc.
  2. Legal – More often than not, companies want to mitigate liability away from themselves sand onto a staffing vendor. To quickly staff-up our workforce without a ton of liability is extremely desirable to employers. Other legal issues include sexual harassment and discrimination.
  3. Healthcare – Healthcare expenses alone could make the staffing industry soar, especially with small to mid-size businesses.

Where is the Staffing World Headed in 2020?

Currently, commercial staffing is still about 45% of the overall market. However, by 2020, experts predict that professional skills will make up nearly two-thirds of the staffing industry’s market. The individual sectors expected to grow the most, are:

  • Technology Staffing
  • Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Staffing
  • Government Staffing
  • Accounting and Finance Staffing
  • Engineering Staffing
  • Senior Care Staffing
  • Part-time Staffing

In addition to expanding and growing in specific industries, more and more staffing agencies are also expected to go global. As more companies start to expand their business to other parts of the world, they are going to need staffing agencies to support them globally.

The Workforce in 2020

The year 2020 will bring a very interesting workforce mix, with approximately five generations in the workforce at once. Two of the main generations that will affect how Staffing Firms do business are the Baby Boomers and the Millennia’s.

According to SIA, the temp industry in general is going to have 20-25% of the workforce made up of people who retired and are going back to work. The economic blows from the last few years, coupled with the lack of money saved by retirees, will force some Baby Boomers to work into their 70s, 80s and even 90s. Staffing agencies will have to be ready to cater to placing the elderly in low physical demanding jobs, such as clerical and administrative positions.

Staffing agencies will also have to cater to the Millennials in 2020. The Millennials generation, born between 1982 and 1998, have a strong entrepreneurial spirit and twice as many say they would prefer to own their own business than be a top executive. Employers will need to adjust virtually all of their policies and practices to the values of this new generation, including finding new ways to motivate and reward them.

The Workplace in 2020

It’s hard to believe that there was no such thing as Facebook before 2005, and now it’s changing our laws, the way we communicate, and even how we do business. Social media is contributing to mega trends and many predict that email, and even voicemail will soon be a thing of the past, and all of us will be communicating on social platforms.

Not only will social media be the primary way of communication, it will also be the primary way of recruiting. Therefore, recruiters will be able to relate to job seekers better if they understand how to use social media.

Another trend that will continue to develop is the desire for flexibility from workers. The values of the workforce are already shifting and will continue to shift in the next 5 years. Employees will now have 5+ career changes instead of one or two, employees will move away from 50+ hour work weeks and they will downsize their time spent at work in order to upsize the quality of their lives.

The result, organizations will have to accommodate the workplace to meet the desires and trends of employees. This trend will favor the staffing industry.

There are definitely uncertainties and challenges on the horizon, but in the big scheme of things, we are excited for what the staffing industry has to offer in 2020 in terms of flexibility, technological and work/life balanced.