Robust growth for IT, locum tenens, legal and clinical: Pulse Report

US temporary staffing revenue growth accelerated to a median 7% year over year in July from 6% in June, according to Staffing Industry Analysts’ latest Pulse report survey of staffing firms, released last Friday.

“Robust revenue growth reported by IT, locum tenens, legal and clinical/scientific staffing firms indicate continued demand for talent in those segments,” SIA Research Analyst Sree Thiyagarajan said.

Median year-over-year revenue growth accelerated in the following staffing segments in July from June:

  • Legal: to 27% from 10%
  • Clinical/scientific: to 22% from 7%
  • Locum tenens: to 20% from 13%
  • IT staffing: to 11% from 6%
  • Office/clerical: to 5% from 2%
  • Industrial staffing: to 6% from 5%
  • Travel nursing: to 6% from 5%

Median year-over-year revenue growth decelerated in the following staffing segments in July from June:

  • Allied healthcare: to 5% from 17%
  • Engineering/design: to 15% from 22%
  • Marketing/creative: to 21% from 24%
  • Per diem nursing: to 9% from 10%

Median year-over-year revenue growth stayed the same last month for finance/accounting staffing at 5%.

Median year-over-year revenue growth increased in direct hire to 17% from 5%, and in retained search to 18% from 10%.

The July report also found the net proportion of firms reporting an increasing trend in new orders fell to 46% in July from 50% in June — still higher than the last 12-month average of 41% for this metric.

Average sales difficulty edged up to 2.66 in July from 2.58 in June (on a five-point scale, with five being most difficult), and average recruiting difficulty edged up to 3.28 in July from 3.25 in the survey overall. Industrial staffing firms reported an increase in both sales and recruiting difficulty, reporting the highest recruiting difficulty level since August 2015 at 3.86. For staffing firms serving the healthcare industry, average sales difficulty increased, while recruiting difficulty stayed the same. For IT staffing firms and staffing firms serving the manufacturing industry, average sales difficulty increased, while recruiting difficulty edged down slightly.

Starting with the report covering April, the Pulse research now covers metrics by company size — including median year-over-year revenue growth, bill rates, new order trends, and sales and recruiting difficulties. US temporary staffing revenue rose a median 17% year over year in July for survey respondents with $10 million or less in US staffing revenue; 9% for those with $11 million to $200 million; and 4% at firms with more than $200 million in revenue.

Pulse survey results are based on a monthly survey of US staffing firms. Data from the month of July were submitted by individuals from 155 staffing companies. Corporate members of SIA can view a high-level summary of the report, and the full report is available to participants.

It’s free to take part, and the next Pulse Survey is currently underway. Participate now by selecting this link.

Nontraditional benefits ‘highly significant’; flexible hours/schedule most important

Nontraditional benefits such as flexible work schedules, unlimited paid time off and remote work options may help employers attract and retain employees, according to a survey released by professional employer organization TriNet Group Inc. (NYSE: TNET).

Nontraditional benefits include perks such as flexible work schedule, commuter benefits, unlimited paid time off, paid volunteer time and remote work options. Eight-five percent of survey respondents said that providing such incentives improves employee morale; 82% said it improves employee retention and 73% said it improves company culture.

“It is no longer just about compensation, as employees also view time spent with family and friends — and pursuing other aspects of their life — as highly significant,” said Catherine Wragg, senior VP of human resources at TriNet. “Nontraditional benefits can help employers stand out by offering uncommon perks that can be meaningful to employees, positively impact company culture, and potentially help retain top talent.”

The survey found flexible work hours/schedule is the most important nontraditional benefit — with a weighted average importance ranking of 4.38 out of 5.00 — when compared to commuter benefits, unlimited paid time off, paid volunteer time, remote work options, extended paid leave options or paid company shutdowns during major holidays. Paid company shutdowns during major holidays and having the option to work remotely also ranked high at 4.15 and 4.12, respectively.

When comparing categories of non-traditional benefits — such as education assistance, health and wellness assistance, transportation, paid leave and childcare benefits — employees put the highest priority on having a work-life balance with a weighted average importance ranking among surveyed respondents of 4.36. Paid leave (excluding vacation pay, sick pay and paid time off) followed at 4.31.

Childcare benefits rank as the least important category in the list, at a weighted average importance ranking of 2.76.

Respondents between the ages of 25 and 34 rated nontraditional benefits as “extremely important.” This age group ranked paid leave, health and wellness benefits and work/life balance as the most important non-traditional benefits categories when compared to education assistance, transportation and childcare benefits. 

TriNet conducted the survey between May 14 and May 21, 2018. The approximately 3,000 respondents are all employees of TriNet client companies. 

US manufacturing index accelerates in August, employment portion also improves

Economic activity in the US manufacturing sector accelerated in August at a faster rate than in July, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index, released today.

ISM’s manufacturing index rose in August to a reading of 61.3 from July’s reading of 58.1.

Readings above 50 generally indicate improving conditions.

“Respondents are again overwhelmingly concerned about tariff-related activity, including how reciprocal tariffs will impact company revenue and current manufacturing locations,” said Timothy Fiore, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “Panelists are actively evaluating how to respond to these business changes, given the uncertainty.”

The employment portion of the index rose in August to 58.5 from July’s reading of 56.5, representing growth in employment for the 23nd consecutive month. Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 10 reported increased employment and four reported decreased employment: Printing and related support activities; nonmetallic mineral products; electrical equipment, appliances and components; and primary metals.

“Employment continued to expand, supporting production growth during the month,” Fiore said. “Respondents continued to note labor-market issues as a constraint to their production and their suppliers’ production capability.”

Wipro lands $1.5 billion contract with Illinois firm

IT services and outsourcing provider Wipro Ltd. (NYSE: WIT) won a 10-year engagement to provide a suite of solutions and services to Lincolnshire, Ill.-based Alight Solutions LLC. The deal will include services in health, human resources and finance.

The deal, Wipro’s largest win to date, will bring the firm $1.5 billion to $1.6 billion in revenue over the tenure.

Wipro in 2016 acquired Indianapolis-based IT cloud consulting firm Appirio for $500 million. Appirio also owns Topcoder, a crowdsourcing marketplace with more than one million IT professionals, from coders to data scientists, on its platform.

Word of the month: Offshore recruitment services

Offshore recruitment services,” or ORS, is defined by Staffing Industry Analysts’ online Lexicon of workforce solutions ecosystem terms as a category of outsourcing offered to staffing firms from companies based in lower-cost labor markets (primarily India and the Philippines) that can help staffing firms to lower cost and improve their flexibility and efficiency. Many ORS providers promote themselves as recruitment process outsourcing firms and a number even include this service description within their brand name. However, the offshore support available to staffing firms goes beyond the processes directly related to recruitment.

As the ecosystem evolves, SIA’s mission is to keep the language current for professionals in the space.