The demand for top talent continues, and the market for skilled workers remains highly competitive in 2017. For small business owners who do not have an in-house HR team, working with a recruiter or staffing specialist is an efficient option for finding the right candidates to fill their open positions. Not only do recruiting firms have dedicated resources and specific areas of expertise, they are adept at embracing change in other industries as well as their own.

The staffing and recruiting industry is affected by many of the same market trends as other businesses. In a 2017 trend report published by staffing and recruiting software company Bullhorn, the shortage of skilled talent was cited by 60 percent of recruitment professionals as their biggest challenge in 2017, followed by pricing pressures and economic uncertainty.

Temporary and contract placements are fueling revenue.

Almost one in five of the Bullhorn survey respondents are projecting revenue growth of more than 25 percent this year, the bulk of which is expected to result from an increase in temporary placements.

Statistics show that employers across the country are expected to add close to 175,000 temporary jobs over the next two years, and that 47 percent of employers are planning to hire temporary or contract workers in the next year. Hiring temporary and contract employees helps businesses quickly tap the skills they need and adapt to shifts in market demand. For workers, temporary jobs offer multiple options for utilizing their skills and exploring career opportunities with different companies.

According to research from CareerBuilder, opportunities are opening up in a variety of occupations and pay levels in a wide range of industries and company sizes. Positions poised for growth range from computer service representatives and human resources specialists to construction workers, registered nurses, and heavy truck drivers.

Improved technology is giving recruiters a competitive advantage.

Staffing professionals are embracing the benefits for both employers and job seekers of using hiring techniques that rely on technology. The Bullhorn survey found that 64 percent of firms currently use an Applicant Tracking System to track candidate activity, These systems are becoming highly intuitive, with complex pattern recognition algorithms that, when combined with traditional hiring tools, can give recruiters a competitive edge.

For instance, hiring technologies can improve candidate conversion rates by helping staffing professionals assess how well a prospect is performing in their current company, their job satisfaction, and job stability. According to Forbes, technologies such as virtual reality are modernizing recruiting by allowing candidates to “experience” what a job will entail via a virtual office tour.

Employers are embracing the boomerang effect.

In a time of talent scarcity, boomerang employees are making a comeback. Rehiring someone who worked for an organization and left has its risks, but the advantages may be worth the gamble. Boomerang employees are already familiar with the company and its culture and will require little training in order to get up to speed. They may also be able to provide competitive intelligence as well as encourage the return of other talented employees.

The evolution of social media has made it easier than ever for recruiters to keep track of a company’s former employees. Staffing firms are well versed in using tools such as LinkedIn and Facebook to reconnect and engage with this potentially potent pool of job candidates.

Recruiters have to think like marketers.

In order to attract potential talent, today’s recruiters must think like marketers to sell the idea of working in a company. There is an increased emphasis on creating an exceptional candidate experience with recruiters pulling out the stops to convince candidates that working for a particular company will contribute to an outstanding quality of life. Promoting a company’s culture, work environment, and opportunities for career advancement is just as important as touting its benefits packages.

This is especially vital for engaging millennials and generation Z job candidates. These two generations will continue to compel companies to transform their workplaces, reward employees, and embrace flexibility, now and for decades to come.

Summit Financial Resources is proud to help staffing firms manage their cash flow so they can navigate periods of transition. Whether you’re the owner of a local temp staffing company or a worldwide placement firm, we offer unique and flexible financing options to help you achieve your short or long-term business goals.

For more hiring trends and tactics, check out the monthly newsletter produced by The United States Staffing Association (U.S.S.A.), which represents Independent staffing firms nationwide.

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Summit Financial Resources specializes in working capital financing for small to medium-sized businesses that need increased cash flow. We provide working capital financing through invoice factoring, asset-based lending, inventory lending, and equipment financing.