2016 is shaping up to be another growth year for contingent work. My last article covered trends in statement of work and industrial staffing. Here, I cover what developments we expect to see in IT and healthcare.
Information technology. IT staffing, IT solutions consulting and IT project management talent wars continue and 2016 will be no exception, with a projected $28.9 billion dollars being spent on IT in the US. Computer science degrees are on the rise but supply has yet to outpace demand for experienced professionals. The US unemployment rate for the computer and mathematical occupation category is at 2.4%, and below 2% for computer network architects, network and computer systems administrators and database administrators, all making recruiting a huge challenge. Despite a critical shortage of talent this market is projected to grow at 6% in 2016 (the seventh consecutive year).
Our reliance on computers and related electronics will drive IT employment for the years to come, with specific skills being sought in trending areas like cloud computing, big data, mobile connectivity, digital marketing and data security. Make sure your suppliers are engaged as talent partners and have a good understanding of your specific upcoming IT needs (especially in the trending areas) and are able to pinpoint areas of opportunities to curate IT talent. SOW for IT staffing firms has also been an opportunity but buyer beware, not all staffing firms are set up operationally or staffed to pursue IT SOW. Finally, when engaging IT consultants as independent contractors tread carefully as regulatory attention on misclassification and ACA has increased scrutiny and liabilities.
Healthcare. In 2015, Staffing Industry Analysts projected the healthcare segment of the US temporary staffing market to accelerate from 7% growth in 2014 to 17% in 2015, reaching an all-time high of $12.7 billion. It’s apparent that healthcare staffing is experiencing a resurgence not seen for the last decade. Driven by the Affordable Care Act, an aging population, Medicaid expansion and a booming economy to name a few, short-term growth will be the name of the game. In just one example, the US Census Bureau projects an increase in the number of people over 65 years of age (all of whom are eligible for Medicare), to comprise 21% of the US population in 2035, up from 15% in 2015. The sunbelt is big for healthcare, with Texas and Florida being the second- and fourth-largest states for healthcare employment in the US. The Association of American Medical Colleges is projecting a national physician shortage, but nurse shortages should due to an uptick in nursing school graduates in the past few years; by 2025, there is projected to be an excess supply of RNs.
When competing for healthcare workers, your biggest competitor may be the government, which accounted for more than one million healthcare practitioners in 2014. Buyers of staffing services should consider that there is also an increased penetration of MSP and VMS in the healthcare staffing market. Further, many healthcare staffing companies are looking to provide workforce solutions such as RPO, training and workforce planning to move up the value chain. One healthcare buyer shared how it did this in this recent webinar.
As we continue to redefine what temporary work is and how it is leveraged in the workforce of the future, consider these hot trends for 2016 in SOW, industrial, healthcare and IT.