Tony Gregoire: What’s going on in the US Staffing Sector?

Tony GregoireTony Gregoire, Director of Research for North America at Staffing Industry Analysts will be kick starting The Job Board Summit 2015 – North America with his industry insights and unique research undertaken recently by SIA.

Some of these fantastic insights have been shared exclusively in our interview with Tony below.

What are the key trends in the US staffing sector today?

While not ‘gangbusters’, the US staffing market is experiencing fairly healthy growth. We estimate the market grew 5% in terms of gross revenue, and project 6% and 5% growth for 2015 and 2016, respectively.

As we are now in the later stages (sixth year) of the current economic expansion, we expect such trends in the highly cyclical staffing industry to continue until the next recession. While we do not know exactly when the next recession will arrive, the US has never experienced an economic expansion longer than ten years in recorded history (since the Civil War).

While none of the 11 major occupational segments that we track within temporary staffing are expected to decline this year, some segments are experiencing weaker growth than others, such as engineering staffing (due to weakness in oil & gas), clinical/scientific (due to consolidation in the pharmaceutical industry) and office/clerical (where low-skilled jobs are being replaced by automation and offshoring). Some of the stronger segments include IT (not surprisingly), healthcare (due to increased patient volume driven in part by the Affordable Care Act) and finance/accounting (where the recovery from the last recession is just now hitting some pockets).

What are the key trends around work today?

Sometimes people are surprised that our growth estimates for the staffing industry are not more robust given recent headlines (in some cases, maybe a bit sensationalistic) claiming our world is shifting toward a new paradigm of ‘flexible’ work.

However, such headlines typically refer to the much broader category of ‘contingent’ labor, of which the staffing industry is only a portion.

What are your insights on the growth of the cloud based staffing businesses?

Looking more broadly than the staffing industry, there are of course the Ubers of the world which are adding an interesting dynamic to contingent work arrangements. Another model that has been surging over the past few years is online staffing, which allows engagement managers to connect directly with independent workers via an online marketplace.

This market, made up of providers such as Upwork (formerly Elance-oDesk), generated roughly $2 billion globally last year by our estimates, and continues to experience strong, double-digit growth.

Have you seen any interesting data points i.e. value of Top 5 Staffing Business v Job Boards etc.?

Going back to the staffing industry specifically, one striking trend regarding its relationship to job boards is how much more co-operative it has become. Though there was once a time when some in the staffing industry thought job boards would take away all of their business, they are now viewed more as an important tool. In our Staffing Company Survey for North America, 25% of respondents noted use of job boards as the tactic with the highest ‘bang-to-buck’ return for direct hire business (recruiting for permanent positions), second only to LinkedIn (not an entirely separate tactic) with 32%.

Join Tony Gregoire at The Job Board Summit 2015 – North America June 22nd-23rd 2015.

LOGO_J2C_orange  TopResume (TalentInc)                     Gold Sponsors of The Job Board Summit 2015 – North America

Can you afford to miss the job board event of the summer? Book now.

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