Understanding 3 Key Staffing Trends Shaping 2022

Last updated Jan 30, 2024  |  Published on Mar 10, 2022
by Todd Taber

As a Managed Service Provider + Vendor Management Solutions (MSP + VMS) leader and multi-labor category staffing pioneer, Knowledge Services tracks key workforce trends closely, observing how the latest factors are impacting industries across the United States. 

This insight into the American workforce keeps our team nimble, enabling Knowledge Services to act quickly and ensure our clients benefit from a knowledgeable, committed partner for all their MSP + VMS and workforce needs. A new report from Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) is shedding light on the latest forces influencing the American workforce. Discover three key takeaways from SIA’s Staffing Trends 2022 report to learn what the months ahead hold and how the Knowledge Services team is working to bring new opportunities to citizens across the country.  

COVID-19 Remains a Major Factor in Staffing 

Unsurprisingly, COVID-19 continues to be a major force in temporary staffing. As the world adjusts to the third year of the virus’s presence, the immediate upheavals the coronavirus brought in late 2019 and 2020 are beginning to stabilize, though COVID-19 variants still present major variables for all industries, SIA states. 

As the Omicron variant emerged in late 2021, infections once again rose across the country and many governments moved to reinstate COVID-19 safety policies that had been eased throughout 2021. SIA notes that COVID-19 vaccination has blunted much of the potential harm the virus could inflict, though the healthcare industry is still facing significant challenges stemming from the virus.  

SIA says one of the key impacts COVID-19 will have on the staffing industry will be managing vaccine requirements from employers. Though President Biden’s proposal for businesses with 100 or more employees to mandate vaccines or require weekly testing was struck down by the Supreme Court, the Court did allow to move forward plans requiring workers at healthcare facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid programs to be vaccinated. Simultaneously, many private employers are enacting their own vaccine mandates for their workforce or stipulating employees working in certain positions be vaccinated.  

These differing approaches to vaccine mandates have created a patchwork of policies for staffing companies to balance, SIA concludes. Many firms in the staffing ecosystem are creating new solutions to track and validate vaccination status, which SIA expects to be a prevailing trend throughout 2022. 

The Great Resignation Presents Challenges—and Opportunities 

In August 2021, a surprising data point illuminated a larger trend impacting the U.S. labor market. The U.S. Department of Labor reported more than 4.3 million people, representing 2.9% of the total workforce, left their jobs that month. That figure represents the highest rate ever recorded for resignations and brings into focus the numerous obstacles facing the staffing industry.  

SIA notes the pandemic motivated Americans to reevaluate their priorities, prompting many to seek new opportunities. Job openings and quit rates in the U.S. have both been rising since April 2020, though hiring rates hit a plateau in 2021. 

Notably, the biggest increase in resignation rates was among mid-career employees between 30 and 45 years old, SIA states. Resignation rates also grew in industries that experienced significant turbulence during the pandemic, including the healthcare industry.  

To reduce the negative effects of attrition, many employers are exploring new strategies to retain their employees and promote a positive work environment. SIA expects continued investments in employee wages and work-life balance to define the staffing industry in 2022 and beyond. 

Cyberattacks Endanger Every Organization 

In a November 2021 report, cybersecurity companies McAfee and FireEye outlined the sharp increase in cyberattacks since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their data indicates more than 80% of global organizations experienced increased cyber threats, and 79% of companies experienced downtime as a direct result of a cyber incident. 

The staffing industry is often a prime target for cybercriminals, SIA notes. As they process sensitive personal, health, and financial information of job candidates and resources, these firms are often seen as lucrative targets for hackers. Compounding security issues is the rise in work-from-home positions, where employees connect to a VPN or Cloud database. Companies that are transitioning to permanent work-from-home or hybrid scheduling should review their security posture and ensure they’ve solidified defenses against potential cybercrimes, SIA states. 

SIA recommends staying at the forefront of cyber compliance, employers must mandate ongoing security training for their staff. This training ensures every employee at every level understands the inherent risks of cyberattacks and the daily actions they can take to reduce those risks.  

SIA’s Staffing Trends 2022 report highlights major hiring trends impacting every side of the workforce. Though the past two years have brought about major volatility in the staffing industry, SIA concludes these challenges have ultimately made the staffing industry in 2022 “more resilient, more automated, more efficient, more empathetic and thankfully, facing more demand.” 

Knowledge Services Stays at the Forefront of Staffing

Knowledge Services has more than a decade of direct MSP + VMS and staff augmentation experience, helping an array of governments, institutes of higher education, special districts, and co-ops surmount their staffing challenges through technology and innovation. For more information on Knowledge Services’ staffing expertise, contact our team today.