Blog
Nov 10, 2020

Why the staffing industry needs to redefine ‘agile workforce’

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Checkr Editorial

For the staffing industry, it’s always been important to meet your clients’ needs on a moment’s notice. In today’s world, what’s changed is that your ability to provide an agile workforce can make or break your client’s business.

The world is increasingly embracing larger and larger contingent workforces. These workers are working on the highest-impact projects alongside full-time employees (FTEs). Contingent workforces have a greater-than-ever impact on revenue and stock prices.

Some agencies can brute force their way to meeting buyer’s needs in a moment. But forward-thinking staffing agencies are building fully-agile workforces, able to scale up or down in a moment’s notice.

New trends and processes like talent redeployment, co-opetition, and real-time seasonality are giving agencies more options than ever. They’re lowering candidate acquisition costs and winning more business.

Classical agility was needing more to do more—new agility is doing more with less

The staffing industry’s agile workforces are changing. How?

Classically, staffing agility has described the ability to move into new territories, open up branches, integrate onsite programs, and onboard new customers quickly. You’ve seen the tools that make this possible: heavy processes, big manuals, and large expansion teams. These tools come with a significant cost. Each new business opportunity also presents a new set of expenses.

Staffing innovators are redefining agility. It starts with an “always on” mentality so that you’re ready to react at a moment’s notice to economic pressures and your clients’ needs. Instead of processes and manuals, you use powerful technology. It means you’re only ever a few taps or clicks away from your candidate pool, and the candidates you reach out to are always ready to go. It turns your catalog of candidates from a struggle to an indispensable tool.

Staffing buyers crave the flexibility of an agile workforce

Staffing buyers’ desire for an agile workforce was growing even before the pandemic hit. The most forward-looking and fastest-growing companies in the world have been increasing their percentage of contingent workers. Google, for example, works with more temporary workers and contractors (121,000) than they do FTEs (102,000), according to a NY Times report. OnContracting estimates that 40 to 50 percent of workers at most technology companies are contingent labor. 67% of business leaders anticipate spending less on recruiting permanent hires in the next 12 months, according to McKinsey & Company.

The great majority of businesses (68%) expect a “truly agile workforce,” according to a recent Ardent Partners study. This truly agile workforce included a mix of non-employees and full-time employees who contribute equally to projects that are most critical to a company. Compare that to just the 10% who said they’d “prefer FTEs to address core projects” or the 22% who said “non-employee talent augments how work is done.”

In the old world of staffing, agencies were valuable for their ability to access large amounts of talent. Now what’s most valuable to staffing buyers are these agency’s ability to build flexible and curated workforces. The top reason listed by staffing buyers for why they wanted to increase their use of contingent workforces was a “shift towards a more agile course.”

To see in greater depth how staffing agencies are unlocking fully-agile workforces (and how you can too), download our free eBook


Our Staffing Trends 2021 series contains three eBooks which show you how the staffing industry will evolve in 2021 and beyond.

The first eBook about the Rise of Signup Culture is about how staffing agencies are adjusting to a world of instant results. The second eBook about Putting Buyer Expectations First so they can build resilience through long-lasting relationships.

Inside our newest eBook Unlocking Fully-Agile Workforces, you’ll learn about:

  • How the 5th largest employer in the country reduced turnover by 88%
  • How new seasonal hiring trends are forcing new ramp planning strategies
  • Why competitors are collaborating with each other like never before
  • How the staffing industry is partnering with a gig economy heavyweight to power their expansion
  • Why best-in-class companies are choosing talent redeployment
  • What questions to ask to adapt your own seasonal hiring
  • And much more...

Download the eBook today to learn the trends, statistics, anecdotes, technologies, and people who are meeting buyer expectations and changing the future of the staffing industry.

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