Phew, what a ride. Coronavirus, a presidential election, and social distancing requirements have made 2020 a year like no other. Industries across the globe have had to alter processes and business plans to comply with various restrictions brought on by the pandemic, and the staffing industry is no exception. See below for the new crop of staffing trends 2020 has brought us.

Remote Work

As with most other organizations, staffing agencies had to adjust to social distancing restrictions that varied from state to state. Not only did agencies need creative solutions to get in touch with potential candidates, they also had to reposition their workforce. Paperless and mobile resources have helped with the former, while the latter has made virtual communication a necessity. Some companies have even gone above and beyond popular solutions by offering free childcare for their employees.

Candidate Retention Struggles

Despite historically high levels of unemployment, some staffing agencies have found it difficult to find and retain candidates for some high-demand customers. Competition for workers is intense and candidates will often leave jobs for other companies offering wage increases as small as $0.25 per hour (this is particularly true of the light industrial and manufacturing sectors).

Higher Wages

To accommodate the high competition, staffing agencies must often work with clients and encourage them to raise wages for temporary employees. Clients who have agreed to raise wages see higher rates of candidate retention and have managed to succeed despite the pandemic’s multiple restrictions to daily life.

Pivoting Resources

Due to sudden changes in demand across industries, staffing agencies who have been able to pivot their resources and break into new sectors have achieved the most success during the pandemic.

The staffing trends 2020 has brought us are a sharp contrast to trends from previous years, when record low levels of unemployment were causing difficulties for the staffing industry. This past year, with high unemployment and sudden shifts in demand, innovation and creativity have been critical for businesses, separating those who have struggled and those who have thrived. As for the year ahead, it is difficult to make any predictions, but with a vaccine on the way, we can hope for a less disruptive 2021.

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