Even in a sluggish economy, staffing and recruiting professionals need high-quality staffing resources. Believe it or not, there are many industries that are having trouble finding good people. For these industries, staffing agencies are a great resource to help them find, filter and fill their open positions with qualified contract candidates.
This is especially true when trying to fill positions in the following fields which are, according to the best statistics I could muster, the most in demand these days:
- IT. Can you think of the last time you didn’t use a computer at work – and that includes hand-held devices? Neither can I. Software engineers, techs, computer systems analysts, programmers – the race is always on to harness the incredible explosion of computing power, which means that a lot of people are needed to keep the IT machine running.
- Mathematics. This one surprised me, but only for a little bit. The standard mathematics-related jobs like actuary and statistical analyst are always available simply because high-quality mathematical minds are uncommon. Nowadays, though, entrepreneurial mathematicians, following the lead of sports-related stat geeks like Bill James and economists like Steven Levitt, are showing that they can provide a type of analysis to everyday affairs – including business-related affairs, of course – that no one else can. SO now every company wants its own math whiz.
- Healthcare. It’s been a long, long time since this sector shrunk. RNs, physical therapists, dental hygienists, physician assistants, and so on, and so on. No one yet has figured out how to reduce demand for healthcare while spending less money on it, and it goes without saying that we’re a long ways from robotic doctors and nurses. In other words, expect healthcare to be a growth industry for some time.
- Biosciences. A lot of these jobs could be labeled as “healthcare,” I suppose. Veterinarians and lab technicians were commonly listed jobs. And let’s remember that “lab technician” can mean anything from analyzing blood at a hospital to sewage at a treatment plant, so there’s no end to the need for biochemists handy with test tube.
- Education. Teachers, yes, but also trainers of all kinds. Training, it seems, is a perpetual part of corporate life these days. There’s always a new phone system or software program to understand, and of course there’s an endless barrage of “keeping up with the latest research” that professionals have to do. Interestingly, designing learning modules for independent, web-based learning and training is a huge market. Why disrupt every employee’s schedule for a 45-minute presentation when each employee can work through material online at a time convenient for him/her?
- Specialty manufacturing. I won’t comment on the endless comments about the manufacturing sector from economists, but one thing seems to be clear: There’s a need for workers with very specialized skills. Sheet metal manipulators, chemical quality-control specialists, engineers of all kinds – I was surprised by how many job there were for people with a lot of education and/or experience.
Education and experience – those seem to be the key in this job market. The unemployment rate is above nine percent, but it’s below five percent for people with a college degree. The day of making a decent living as an unskilled laborer is, I’m afraid, long gone.
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