In 2013, the staffing industry ebbed and flowed—much like it has the past few years. Notable occurrences in 2013 include the fluctuation of the overall job market, the abundance of healthcare IT jobs, the continued use of social media and the widespread adoption of new technology. As 2014 looms, I’ve asked our staff to share their 2014 staffing industry predictions. Here is what they had to say:
Adam Barron, Technical Resource Manager
“I think we can make several assumptions about the climate of the job market and staffing industry in 2014 based on recent emerging trends. We saw a continuous increase in temp-to-perm jobs throughout 2012 and 2013. As the economy slowly recovers, hiring managers seek to work with prospective employees as contractors before making a long-term commitment. The right-to-hire option should continue to be of preference for companies looking to augment their workforces next year, especially where long-term budgets and business needs are potentially unclear.
Professional networking via social media as a viable tool for both recruiters and job seekers will continue to surge ahead and evolve. To say that we as an organization have experienced a substantial increase in new relationships and Internet traffic based solely on our combined efforts in social media marketing and blogging in 2013 is a massive understatement. It’s really incredible how methods of establishing contact and maintaining quality relationships have changed in the six years that I’ve been in this business and I’m sure any of my more seasoned colleagues can agree. I’m certainly excited to see what innovative digital recruiting and marketing practices emerge throughout the next 12 months. As we look forward to continuing to grow with this ever-changing branch of a very competitive industry, maybe you’ll join us for a cup of coffee.”
Craig Farley, Technical Resource Manager
“Here at EDI Specialists/Key IT, staffing in 2013 seemed to take a more conservative approach and I expect 2014 to be more of the same. Companies tightened IT budgets to get more bang for their buck with a more centralized focus on contract to hire and direct hire labor.
I can see this trend continuing in 2014 as the economy has improved over the past few months, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement. Companies have developed “hybrid” roles combining several roles into one. For example, I’ve been seeing a lot of EDI, infrastructure, and software development roles made into one position. Candidates that have a development background (.NET, SQL, Java/J2EE, etc.) and some sort of secondary skill (EDI, network administration, database administration, etc.) are in high demand. In other words, the more versatile the candidate, the better for company needs.
In sum, I can see companies eventually turning to contract help in 2014, but that continues to be a wait and see approach to see what happens with the economy. That might not happen for a little while until they can also see what is out there on the direct hire market first. IT professionals that have traditional consulting backgrounds (SAP, BizTalk, Oracle EBS, webMethods, etc.) who work on a direct hire basis will be a hot commodity as companies will continue to look to save money by paying salaries over hourly consulting rates. It’s hard to think 2013 has already come and gone and 2014 is just around the corner…”
Barbara Feldman, National Account Manager
“I believe that the staffing/recruiting industry will continue to grow steadily in 2014 due to the continued improvement in the overall economic climate and job growth in the US. Companies will continue to increase their focus on filling new permanent technology jobs vs. contract/temp IT positions and contract to hire positions will be on the rise. I feel that salary bases and overall compensation will remain somewhat flat.”
Aron Gilbody, National Account Manager
“I predict a lot of the same trends we saw throughout 2013 will continue into 2014. More and more companies will look to roll out Managed Service Programs and Vendor Management Systems. The need for contractors and/ or consultants will remain and companies looking to hire full-time resources will continue to consolidate what was/should be two to three different roles into one position.”
Wayne Marshall, VP of Professional Services
“I predict little or no change in the overall employment picture, based on continued political division, geopolitical events, economic stagnation and little growth in GDP. Temp jobs will remain prominent over full time jobs. The only saving grace is that 10,000 boomers retire every day. Becoming energy independent will also help the employment picture, but IT workers will still face challenges as Cloud Computing increases along with outsourcing and onshore competition from foreign workers. Obviously, pockets of opportunities will continue in areas like healthcare and logistics. However, there are two wildcards that could change everything: the future of the ACA law and the 2014 elections. Tapering by the Federal Reserve could also alter the employment trajectory, but is unclear to what degree.”
Dede Nickerson, Technical Resource Manager
“In general, 2014 will probably be like previous years—talented IT professionals with experience in the latest technologies will be in high demand and in short supply making recruiting a challenging endeavor. Based on various articles I have recently read, my predictions are as follows: growth in IT budgets & spending, growth in the staffing industry and, growth in both full time/salaried and contract IT headcount.”
Lori Noel, Business Development Representative
“My prediction is that Compliance and Regulation will remain highly influential in hiring trends. Technology will continue to play a major role in not only satisfying demands for compliance but also reducing manual, paper-laden labor. I believe we have several years of steady employment growth until we reach pre-recession levels.
The way that we work is changing, with companies outsourcing labor and/or using more temporary labor. Also, younger works as well as those with specialized skills are more mobile and attracted to contract staffing. All of this is good news for the staffing and recruiting industry.”
Gerry Noumi, Director of Operations and Marketing
“I predict that the US Staffing Industry will have another year in the 5 percent growth range for 2014, which according to the Staffing Industry Analysts’ December report is their projection for 2013. Locating top-level IT talent will continue to be difficult for corporations and the need will continue for a contingent workforce. I look forward to the adventures that are a head in 2014 and our team is positioned for success. In being local to Boston, I also predict another World Series for the Red Sox.”
Gretchen Ponte, Technical Resource Manager
“Staffing predictions are like predicting the weather in New England, it can change without any warning, but that doesn’t stop people from guessing which way the winds are blowing. I predict in 2014 that there will be a steady stream of contract-to-hire positions instead of companies hiring direct employees. Also, many companies have been outsourcing to either overseas or a managed solution, I predict that will stay the same, if not increase. There are still a number of EDI and IT candidates actively looking for work and I predict that will continue in the first quarter. My hope for them and companies with available jobs, is that EDI Specialists, Inc. will be able to assist them in finding the right match for both parties!”
What are your industry predictions for 2014?
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