Everyone who is anyone is offering their predictions for what the biggest trends in recruiting and hiring will be in 2013, so we figured we might as well throw our hat in the ring.  Based on what we have read and discussions we have had with recruiters over the past year, here are our predictions for 2013:

  1. Employers will remain cautious about hiring. Although the fiscal cliff has been resolved, there is still a lot of economic uncertainty out there that is reining hiring in. CNNMoney has reported that there are still more "fiscal cliffs" to watch out for as Congress continues its partisan ways, and consumer confidence is down.  And while some experts predict that hiring will be up, most agree that the growth won't be as strong as it could be.
  2. Obamacare will have a major impact on hiring. Perhaps one of the biggest economic question marks is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), better known as Obamacare.  There is a lot of uncertainty among employers regarding how to comply - or if they even should. We are hearing that this is already causing an impact on hiring. Since employers with less than 50 employees don't have to comply, those near that threshold are simply choosing not to hire so they can avoid it all together. Others are considering reducing employees' hours to lower their costs under the law.  As a recruiter, you will want to be sure to know the basics of the law and be able to help come up with creative ways to help your clients keep their costs down while still getting the work done.
  3. More workers will join "Gig Economy" - As we discussed in a previous blog post, there is a growing trend toward a  "gig economy" where workers shun full-time traditional employment and instead work on a contract basis jumping from project to project.  This is driven by a number of factors, including the need for more work-life balance and workers' distrust of employers born out of the layoffs of the recession. The emergence of technology, such as mobile phones and the Internet, has also allowed workers to work more remotely, which fits in well with the project-based work.
  4. Record-breaking contract staffing growth. Based on these first three trends, it's no surprise that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is expecting contract staffing to reach a record high by the summer of 2013. Contract staffing provides a risk-free way for companies to remain productive without committing to a direct hire or taking on the benefits costs that come with them. 
  5. Debates about skills shortages will continue. Is there a skills shortage? It depends on who you ask. Some say the skills shortage will be a major challenge, especially in the manufacturing and IT sectors. Others say the impact has been overestimated (see USAToday article "Study says shortage of skilled workers not that severe").  And still others, most notably Peter Cappelli of the Wharton School, claim that the real problem is employers that are too picky and not willing to train.  Whether or not the so-called skills shortages have a real impact on hiring and recruiting in 2013 remains to be seen, but we are willing to bet that the discussion is far from over.

Please feel free to provide some of your own predictions in our comments section!

Debbie Fledderjohann is the President of Top Echelon Contracting, Inc.

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Tags: Hiring, Recruiters

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