Talking Staffing With John Nurthen

John Nurthen John Nurthen is one of the keynote speakers at The Job Board Summit 2014 – Europe. John is Executive Director of Global Research, for Staffing Industry Analysts. The global advisory on contingent work, he has also held senior managerial roles for three of the world’s largest staffing companies.

John shared his thoughts with us at Jobg8 on some of the key trends in the world of recruitment and talent acquisition today.

John comments; “from a global perspective, the staffing industry is likely to see solid but unspectacular growth over the next few years although, as always, there will be pockets of strong growth if you know where to look for it.

“With the imminent IPO of Japan’s largest staffing firm, Recruit, we should also expect to see a wave of global consolidation. Recruit aims to be the largest HR services company in the world and will need an aggressive acquisition policy to achieve this. In the past, the company’s appetite has stretched from traditional staffing players (Advantage) to web delivery (Indeed). Other large international staffing firms are unlikely to sit around and do nothing while this happens. The staffing industry remains highly fragmented on a global basis with the top three companies having a market share of only 16%.

“Legislation, even though it sometimes takes one step forward and two steps back, should continue to broadly improve. Many countries in Europe have, so far, failed to liberalise their markets to abide by the EU’s Agency Work Directive but there’s only so long they can hold out before the regulators start to take action against them.

“Service fulfillment will become increasingly sophisticated. Procurement solutions and their accompanying technologies such as MSP/VMS and RPO/ATS are just the tip of the iceberg as organisations seek to become more proactive and address their work requirements in a much more holistic, joined-up fashion; a trend we are referring to as ‘Total Talent Management’. We’re at the very early stages of this development and, while there’s much to gain for companies that can step up to meet these more complex client expectations, those who don’t could find themselves side-lined.

“The strong growth of ‘online staffing’ offered by companies such as Elance-oDesk presents both an opportunity and a challenge to traditional staffing models and Job Boards given their access to global freelance talent. Clearly, established players have begun to recognise this following the recent acquisitions by Adecco and Randstad in this space.

“In the long term, these various threats and opportunities will be dwarfed by the impact of artificial intelligence and robotics which our research suggests will have a very dramatic impact on the demand for temporary workers (beyond the impact anticipated on permanent workers). As jobs get replaced by technology, new jobs will undoubtedly be created but it remains to be seen whether education systems will be able to keep pace with the need for differently skilled workers. This has profound implications for any intermediaries that help organisations access talent given the talent they will want in future will not necessarily be human.”

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