Bullhorn has released its 2018 North American Staffing & Recruiting Trends Report. According to the responses from more than 900 staffing professionals, the majority of staffing firms (75%) expect revenues to increase over last year’s levels. An interesting side note is that many of these firms expect their total volume of business to increase while bill rates and margins stay flat or decrease. Nearly half of survey respondents rank the downward pressure on pricing and margins is a top three concern.
Other important highlights include the following:
Candidate acquisition also remains an important challenge. More than 40% of survey respondents say the talent shortage is their top challenge, while nearly two-thirds rank it in their top three. The skills shortage continues to impact the ability of staffing firms to locate the right talent. This is especially prevalent in the IT, manufacturing, and accounting/finance/insurance sectors. Candidates with specialist expertise with 3-7 years of experience are generally fully employed and hard to source.
Additionally, the overall candidate experience has room for improvement. Text messaging (SMS) is used by an increasing number of staffing firms, particularly to contact Gen Z and Millennial candidates. There are strong generational differences in preferred communication methodologies. Two-thirds say texting is the preferred method for Gen Z and Millennials. Texting is the top choice for just two percent of Gen X, Boomer, and Mature candidates.
Candidate retention must be elevated in importance as half of respondents place less than 25% of their candidates into their next assignment. Even more shocking: another quarter of respondents don’t know how many candidates they redeploy. While most staffing firms believe candidates would give them a good or excellent rating during the sourcing, screening, and interviewing phases, there is a sizable drop-off in satisfaction once an offer has been extended. This dissatisfaction can lead to reductions both in referrals (the top source of candidates for many firms) and redeployments for future assignments.
The Bullhorn report offers a comprehensive look at the current trends in the staffing space, and can be downloaded by clicking the link at the top of this post. What other trends are you seeing and hearing from staffing firms? Drop a note in the comments!