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Steve Isenberg

Challenges Facing the Staffing Industry in 2016

Posted on: December 10, 2015

By: Steve Isenberg

Call them growing pains – the challenges and concerns facing an expanding industry. A positive outlook will choose to see these situations as opportunities to maintain momentum, to spur continued grow, and to reach for the potential on the horizon.

A September 2015 CareerBuilder survey queried over 200 members of the staffing industry concerning plans for the New Year. Specifically, respondents were asked, “In your opinion, as you look toward 2016, what is your staffing firm’s biggest challenge?”

Respondent’s answers included:
* Open positions for which qualified candidates can’t be found 30%
* The need to increase the pipeline of quality talent 29%
* Discovering new ways to source more efficiently and effectively 26%
* Maintain a competitive edge with implementation of new technology and software solutions 8%
* Implementing data and analytics to improve our business 5%


The results point to sourcing issues as the top challenge contender, netting 85% of the “biggest challenge” votes. This comes as no surprise as the search for quality candidates continues to be of major concern across all sectors of the staffing industry.

Other concerns directly related to candidates include the ever-widening skills gap and the growing shortage of skilled laborers.

This same survey asked, “Which of the following goals will your organization still be focusing on going into 2016?” More than a third of the respondents (35%) noted they intend to devote attention to the skills gap – lessening that pesky “gap” between the skills needed for a job versus those skills possessed by a prospective worker. Because there’s consistent misalignment between the skills that employers need and those that potential employees possess, staffing agencies are scrambling to find the talent their clients need.

Another very real dilemma challenging not only staffing agencies but the American business structure as a whole is the increasing shortages in skilled labor. With the potential for crippling effects, our country faces growing shortages in critical sectors such as nursing, truck drivers, teachers, and in building related trades like carpenters, plumbers and electricians.

It would appear there’s no shortage of challenges to be faced by those involved in the staffing industry. In general, however, agency staffers feel positive about the year ahead even as they concede to challenges in regards to the economy, the candidate-driven marketplace and rising competition. Choosing to view each challenge as an opportunity for further growth will create fertile ground for success.

Stay tuned the next two weeks as we’ll address strategies to combat both the skills gap and the shortage of skilled workers.

At ASJ Partners, we make it our business to stay abreast of the positive and the negative, the forecasts, the shifts, the trends, the nitty-gritty concerning employment and staffing issues. You can trust us to accelerate revenues for Staffing and Recruiting Firms through unique, customized and highly targeted marketing programs. Contact us today to set-up a consultative assessment.

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