Workforce Trends for 2017 & Beyond

new-years-eve-1941665__340As Search Consultants, we have hundreds of conversations with hiring managers, HR professionals and workers. In addition, we do our homework and research a number of sources in order to compile our workforce trends list each year.

For 2017, here’s what we consider as the top talent 7 trends:

1) More Millennials Enter Management Roles

Younger professionals are ready to take on managerial roles as more than 3.6 million executive level professionals are set to retire. Millennials’ management style is expected to bring a big change to corporate America. Rather than the traditional top-down corporate structure, Millennials will manage by focusing on collaboration, transparency, and a democratic approach.

2) Growing Contingent Workforce

There’s high growth when it comes to contractors, independent consultants, and freelancers. New technologies, digital trends and requirements, cost factors, and the need for experienced talent to take on a number of projects are fueling this growth. The rise and growth of the contingent workforce is only expected to accelerate over the next few years into 2020.

3) Talent Raids to Acquire Leaders

Top tier talent is a core factor in the success of any business. Yet there is an insufficient talent pool from which to acquire leadership. This labor shortage is causing those on the front lines to talent poach from competitors. Right now, the competition for highly qualified and experienced leaders is at an all-time high due to several factors including an underinvestment in leadership development and tighter operating margins that influence workforce strategies.

4) Booming Cybersecurity Job Market

Cyberattacks are on the rise as attackers attempt to steal valuable intellectual property and information.  The most vulnerable industries for cybercrime are healthcare, manufacturing, financial services, IT services, government, travel and education. Therefore, cybersecurity jobs are plentiful and cybersecurity talent is in high demand. However, the demand is outstripping supply. Cybersecurity openings have grown three times as fast as openings for IT jobs overall and it takes companies longer to fill cybersecurity positions. The Cybersecurity industry as a whole, is expected to grow from $75 billion in 2015 to $170 billion by 2020, according to In addition, the demand for the cybersecurity workforce is expected to rise to 6 million by 2019 with a projected shortfall of 1.5 million.

5) Boomerang Employees More Common

Boomerang employees are employees who leave an organization only to return back to that same employer sometime later. They are also known as the “comeback kids.” Rehiring these former workers is on the rise. With talent at a premium, it only makes sense. Hiring managers find that bringing back someone they know is easier than recruiting new blood plus it saves money on training and development. In addition, there’s an immediate ROI.

6) Working Remotely More Acceptable

Traditional workers and workdays are quickly changing.  Freelancers and contractors are on the rise and as a result we’re seeing full time employees working side-by-side with them. In addition, some companies have found that the best people they wanted to hire were located elsewhere. Therefore, businesses are now very open to the idea of hiring remote workers. Overall, by 2020, it is expected that 50% of workers in the US will be working either from home or another remote location.  Having virtual employees is a way to get things done round the clock, without commuting, but with those hard-to-find skill sets.

7) Jobs Coming Back to US

Reshoring or bringing jobs back to the US has been a central theme of President Trump’s presidential campaign.  Aside from the election, recent developments including expensive labor abroad and high shipping costs are also factors in bringing jobs back to the US.  In addition, according to 24/7 Wall St., companies that are reshoring are also finding that it’s beneficial to their image. Consumer preference is for “made in America” products.  Logistical factors are also making reshoring more practical for businesses. In the era of Amazon, in which consumers expect quick turnaround on products, it can be more practical for companies to make products in-country to have the product ready for customers faster and avoid shipping expenses.

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