Employment has been a hot topic since the recession in 2008. After spending more than 27 years in the staffing industry, I have noticed a fundamental shift within the industry to a job market that is becoming increasingly temporary in nature.
No longer are employees demanding to stay permanently with a company for 30 or more years. Employees would rather grow their skills and experiences by working for multiple employers.
One of the causes of this shift is the nature of the current workforce.
The rise of millennials within the workforce has become too prevalent to dismiss. Born between 1980 and 1995, this group of workers — 80 million to be exact — has become a force to be reckoned with in the job market. They expect more things and different things than we are used to and they are not afraid to demand that their expectations be met.
Be ready to adapt
One thing is clear: Millennials don’t stay in the same job for very long; a two- to three-year stint for a millennial is very common. Millennials do not view having many jobs and working for many different companies as negatively as the older generations did. They view employer movement as a necessity to grow their career toolbox and deepen their career experiences.
As these workers continue to mature, expect more job changes and fluid career paths.
The second cause is that the ongoing demand for temporary staffing continues to be strong by U.S. employers. U.S. employers are using more temporary employees because of the increased uncertainty caused by new health care regulations, as well as the U.S. government’s fiscal situation.
Employers are unwilling to commit to long-term permanent hires and are supplementing their staff with temporary workers. This shift is confirmed by reviewing the recent economic data and how strongly the temporary employment market is creating jobs.
The percentage of temporary jobs created in the U.S. in this economic cycle is double that of the prior economic cycle (13.2 percent vs. 6.5 percent).
The pace of temporary staffing growth in the current recovery has also been faster as 792,000 temporary jobs were created in the 39 months ended December 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In the prior recovery, it took 56 months to add 513,000 temporary jobs. In addition, the temporary penetration rate — which measures the total number of jobs that are temporary versus permanent — is expected to increase from 2 percent to more than 2.6 percent by 2016.
The U.S. workforce continues to grow and change as our country does. These trends are evident to anyone paying close attention. Take the time to understand and get to know your own workforce — whether they are millennials or temporary help. It could go a long way in sustaining your company. ●
Thomas B. Moran
Addison Group, a professional staffing firm headquartered in Chicago that provides high level recruiting and placement services for finance & accounting, information technology, health care and administrative industries.
Thomas has more than 22 years of experience in the staffing industry and has held executive leadership positions within the industry’s largest firms.