2016 Staffing Trends: Expert Insights
What were the staffing trends that most shaped 2015 -- and what new trends will impact the staffing industry in the year ahead?
To find out, we asked a group of staffing experts about recent staffing trends as well as 2016 recruitment. Jim Lanzalotto, Senior Vice President, Staffing & Health Care Sales, Monster Worldwide, moderated the discussion.
Tom Sweetman, President and COO of Debaise Holdings
Tim Fischer, COO, Mitchell Martin Inc.
Jay Rogers, Vice President, Engineering Recruitment, Randstad
Lanzalotto: What were some of the more notable staffing trends that impacted your company in 2015?
Sweetman: Demand for IT talent, demand for internal resources to sell and recruit -- and retention of both.
Fischer: In the MSP space, margins continue to be constrained and “surprise” rate reductions and furloughs at some of the financial firms have been more prevalent. The issue of how to find the passive candidate continues to be a challenge.
Rogers: The folks that are actively looking, that go up on the job boards, are just getting lots and lots of phone calls. A controls engineer, for example, could put their resume up on Monday. By Wednesday, you have two or three phone interviews, and by Friday you have a couple face to face interviews scheduled.
Lanzalotto: Are these trends likely to continue into 2016?
Fischer: I think they will continue in 2016. Finding great candidates has always been a differentiator in our business and I don’t see that changing. Margin pressure will continue and staffing companies will continue to try and find the regional, mid-market companies where value can be sold instead of just price.
Rogers: I do, especially for the passive candidates. We talk about fall off rates -- someone that said they're going to start and then they ended up not starting. We might've missed something because we rushed the conversation with the candidate. The active candidates are, like we said earlier, getting lots and lots of calls, but people go through active states of looking and then passive states.
Lanzalotto: What are some of the larger challenges in finding talent to meet demand?
Sweetman: Wage inflation outpacing bill rate increases from clients.
Fischer: It’s not just finding talent, it’s finding the right talent. Many of our clients have become very picky about who they hire. You have to have recruiters who understand the business side of things and can find candidates who are not just technical fits, but organizational and cultural fits as well.
Rogers: The two biggest reasons that candidates aren't starting, what we see, is that they took another job. The second biggest reason we're seeing is counteroffers. So their current employer finds out that they're going somewhere else and they offer them more money.
Lanzalotto: What opportunities do you see for staffing firms in 2016? What challenges lie ahead?
Sweetman: My opinion is that the same issues that face us today are the same issues that faced us 20 years ago and will be the same in 20 years. We have to find the best talent, in the most efficient manner possible and get them in front of clients quicker than our competition at an affordable price.
Fischer: I think there are tons of opportunities for staffing firms moving forward. Successful firms in 2016 will come up with creative methods to service MSP business and still make a profit. Some of these methods could be using more offshore recruiting or sourcing, or developing recruiting centers in low cost areas in the US and using technology to find the best candidates. I see the regional mid-market clients as a huge opportunity because you can still sell value and not just price.
Rogers: We have to think about the speed, and the quality, and the quantity of our delivery. We have to engage with our clients more closely in the beginning of the process, to help them identify what it is that they actually want. Not what they think they want, but what it is they actually want, so that when we cue these things up, all these different marketing campaigns, email campaigns, calls, and different things, we want to be able to get the right candidates in quickly, have them interview quickly, and then get them placed quickly.
Lanzalotto: If you were granted one wish for 2016 recruiting, what would it be?
Sweetman: That Java developers and .Net developers would grow on trees.
Fischer: That I would have a team of recruiters who worked not only hard, but smart, and utilized all the different technologies to find the passive candidates.
Rogers: I wish I could wave a magic wand, and there was one tool where my recruiters could go in and perform a search, and it would search not only my database, but all the other databases, and all the social areas, and then would bring in, to one screen, all the candidates based on all these wonderful things, that there were that job title, they're in this location, they're in this salary range, they're active, they're passive, and we just stack rank them up there. Then we could email them, text them, call them, and just get that speed of delivery quicker. That's my one wish, a tool like that.
Tom Sweetman joined PDS in January, 2007 and brings 15 years of experience in the staffing industry. Prior to joining PDS, he spent four years as the Western Regional President at The Yoh Company. He was a Group Vice President at AdvectA, Inc. He also held senior leadership positions at both Robert Half and Target Corp. Tom has a business degree with an emphasis in economics from Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota.
Tim Fischer joined Mitchell Martin in 2014. Tim’s role there is to develop a comprehensive sales strategy that will foster growth in new markets and new verticals while at the same time maximize results from existing clients. Tim has a distinguished 24-year career within the IT services industry, introducing strategies to drive growth within intensely competitive markets. Tim attended the United States Air Force Academy and graduated from Culver-Stockton College.
Jay Rogers, Vice President, Recruiting at Randstad Engineering, has been with the organization for nineteen years. Jay signed on with the engineering group, then known as Think Resources. Throughout his tenure, Jay has played a tremendous role in growing Randstad Engineering’s network of candidates to over three million. He plays an active role in cultivating and engaging the staff to help drive results for the organization. Jay is an expert at engineering staffing from recruiting, sourcing and the overall staffing industry. Jay received his Bachelor of Science in Management from The Georgia Institute of Technology, with Highest Honors in 1992.
Jim Lanzalotto is an award-winning sales and marketing leader with 25+ years of direct, leading-edge experience with some of America's highest-impact B2B brands in staffing, health care, B2B services and technology markets. Jim is a charter member of the Staffing 100, the ranking of the most influential people in the industry, according to Staffing Industry Analysts. Jim is currently Senior Vice President of Staffing and Health Care Sales at Monster Worldwide.
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