Three Shifts in the Workforce that Have Staffing Agencies Primed

According to U.S. News & World Report, the workforce has shifted in unique ways since 2007, and while some argue it has to do with the Great Recession, they are finding three surprising trends to be the reason. While there are a significant amount of job openings available that staffing agencies are looking to fill, the unemployment rate remains low- the lowest it has been in 40 years.

The economy continues to strengthen and the work that is available remains strong. Employers are using staffing agencies to find the top candidates to fill a variety of positions in their firms, many vacated by the baby boomer generation. They are also looking for candidates for entry level openings and for “prime age” candidates.

Baby Boomer Generation and Retirement

It is true the Great Recession affected the retirement of many baby boomers; in fact, they made up the highest percent of 55-year-old-plus workers since 1961. However, baby boomers are also choosing to stay in the workforce, not just because of economic reasons, but because they have the vibrancy to do so. They are expected to live longer than previous generations due to the advances in the medical and wellness arenas and because they are proactive in their health care.

However, because of the sheer number of baby boomers, a significant part of the workforce did enter retirement, and this had an impact on staffing agencies requests for candidates. According to a recent Gallup study, nearly half of the 63-year-olds and just over a quarter of 68-year-olds had left the workforce in 2014.

Entry Level Openings Changing

The National Center for Education Statistics has reported that students enrolled in college and university education grew by 52 percent from 1990 to 2014. With students in school rather than in the workforce, staffing agencies are looking wider for job seekers in entry level openings. The millennial generation is emerging and changing the candidate pool. They are the first generation to be “digital natives,” meaning they have grown up with the internet and always connected to endless digital resources. They live online and make decisions connected to that.

Priorities are different for millennials than previous generational groups, which means employers and staffing agencies will be adjusting their ways of business to attract and retain these innovative employees. Additionally, more educated job seekers will provide staffing agencies with more candidates for higher level positions, as these students complete their post-secondary degrees.

Prime Agers Missing in Action

The term “prime ager” in the staffing agencies world refers to those between the ages of 25 and 54. While some studies have found a high level of disability insurance claims may be effecting why this age demographic is missing from the workforce, they aren’t clear where the other workers are. Between 2000 and 2010, requests for Social Security disability doubled. With over 2.9 million disability insurance requests, the highest ever in US history, it is no wonder why experts believe this is having an impact on the workforce.

Fortune Magazine may have another reason for the missing prime agers. They believe that with the new ease of technology, including information, applications, and lower costs to begin a business, many people are creating their own employment. Trends are also showing that millennials are one of the more entrepreneurial groups, and employers and staffing agencies will again be looking to marry this spirit with job market demand.

What trends are you seeing in the workforce?

What changes are you implementing now to capture and retain employees through the shifts in the job pool?


Colorado Network Staffing can help you to navigate this new employment world to find your Einstein. CNS is a leader in staffing agencies, offering staff augmentation and contract management by acting as a sole human resource provider for our clients. Don’t waste your time, energy, and money on a bad hire. CNS has the experience, resources, and top-level management expertise to accomplish the tasks required on any size project. Contact us at 303-430-1441, and we’ll find you the best and brightest team.

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