Staffing Industry and Recruitment Statistics

person holding a resume

Last Updated on October 31, 2022

Hiring and retaining employees has been a challenge for employers across the US as the staffing industry and hiring expectations have shifted during and after the pandemic. According to Robert Half, over half of hiring managers have said that quitting at their company has increased, and 78% are concerned that more employees will leave. As the landscape continues to reshape, it is important to stay on top of staffing trends to better understand how to be competitive. Check out our roundup below of some of the most important (and surprising) statistics in the staffing and recruitment industry!

Staffing and Recruitment Market Size

  • The US staffing industry was projected to be a $216.8 billion industry by 2022 (Precision Global Consulting), and the global staffing industry was projected to be a $653 billion industry by 2022 (Statista)
  • The US healthcare staffing market size was more than $24 billion in 2021 (Grand View Research), while the US IT staffing market size was more than $32 billion in 2021 (Arizton)

How Big Is the US Labor Force?

  • The US labor force consists of 164.7 million civilians (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Of those in the labor force, 158.9 million are currently employed, a 96.5% employment rate (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • 37.7% of the civilian noninstitutional population is not a part of the labor force; of those not in the labor force, 5.9% currently want a job (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
    • The U.S. Department of Labor defines the civilian noninstitutional population as “Persons 16 years of age and older residing in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, who are not inmates of institutions (e.g., penal and mental facilities, homes for the aged), and who are not on active duty in the Armed Forces.”

How Long Does It Take to Hire Someone?

  • The median time to hire can vary by 1 – 2 weeks, depending on the job function (LinkedIn)
  • Research shows that engineering roles have the longest time to hire than any other analyzed discipline with a median time to hire of 49 days; however, the slowest 10% of engineering hires waited 82 days from application submission to day one at the job (LinkedIn)
  • Administrative and customer service jobs have the shortest time to hire of analyzed disciplines with 33 days and 34 days, respectively (LinkedIn)

table showing the average time to hire by industry

The Costs of Hiring

  • It takes 36 to 42 days to fill an average position in the US (note that the time to fill a position and time to hire are measured differently) (Zippia)
  • The average vacancy cost of an open position is about $98 per day (The Johnson Group)
  • The average cost per hire is $4,683 (SHRM)
  • The average cost per hire for an executive role is 505% more expensive than the average cost per hire overall (SHRM)
  • The average cost of training a new employee at a small company is more 98% more expensive than at a large company ($1,433 per year vs. $722 per year) (Investopedia)
  • It takes 12 weeks, on average, for a new employee to be fully productive at work (Zippia)

Working in Staffing and Recruiting

  • 62% of recruiting firms in North America reported year-over-year (YOY) revenue increases from 2020 to 2021, and 73% expect revenue to increase in 2022 (Bullhorn)
  • Recruiting agencies that specialize in IT and Technical verticals and firms that recruit for multiple verticals report the strongest 2021 performance (Bullhorn)
  • The top priorities for recruiting firms in North America are candidate acquisition (39%), digital transformation (30%), and the candidate experience (28%) (Bullhorn)
  • Nearly half of recruiting firms believed both their operations and technology budgets would increase in 2022 (Bullhorn)
  • 84% of recruitment agencies had a digital transformation strategy in place in 2021, up 95% YoY (Bullhorn)
  • 73% of companies in the US use talent acquisition software (Zippia)

Challenges in the Recruiting Industry

  • The top challenges for global recruiting firms are talent shortages (46%), COVID-19 Impacts on jobs (41%), and reskilling workers (26%). These three issues are the same top three challenges that US firms report, though more US firms report each at a higher rate (Bullhorn)

top challenges for recruiting firms in north America bar graph

  • 52% of all recruiting firms say there is a talent shortage, but the number of firms reporting a talent shortage varies quite a bit by industry. For example, temp firms (72%) and light industrial firms (82%) report much greater shortages of qualified candidates (Bullhorn)
  • Sourcing is the top recruitment lifecycle challenge (24%), followed by gathering requirements from clients (21%) (Bullhorn)

Contract and Temporary Work

  • 64% of staffing employees work in temporary or contract roles to fill the gap between jobs or to help them land a job. This is compared 20% of temporary and contract employees saying schedule flexibility is the reason for choosing this type of work (American Staffing Association)
  • 73% of staffing employees work full time (American Staffing Association)
  • 55% of companies plan to use more contract talents in the next year (Robert Half)
  • 64% of managers have brought more contract professionals on as full-time hires in 2022 compared to 2021 (Robert Half)

Benefits Trends

  • 83% of HR managers say that their companies have offered new perks in response to the current market; however, many companies continue to prioritize benefits and perks that are lower priority to employees (Robert Half)
  • 46% of employers plan on increasing recognition efforts to keep top performing employees (Robert Half)

Remote Work Trendscircle chart showing that 74% of managers say their department offers remote work options

  • 74% of managers say their department offers remote work options (Robert Half)
  • Currently, 60% of employees work on a full remote or hybrid schedule (Robert Half)
  • Managers report seeing increased retention (48%) and better morale and work/life balance (41%) with their remote and hybrid teams (Robert Half)
  • 69% of employed adults feel positively about remote work, and 61% say they work better remotely compared to working in the physical workplace (CareerBuilder)
  • 52% of employees want more flexibility when determining their work schedules (Robert Half)

Salary Trends

  • 89% of employed adults expect an annual pay increase from their employers (CareerBuilder)
  • 66% of employed adults prefer a 10% pay increase over an additional week of PTO (CareerBuilder)
  • 82% of senior managers have given salary increases to workers who have expressed salary concerns (Robert Half)
  • 34% of employers currently offer signing bonuses to attract skilled candidates (Robert Half)

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • 69% of working adults are optimistic about their employers’ DEI efforts (CareerBuilder)
  • 80% of executives believe investing in DEI efforts will lead to tangible benefits, including better recruitment and retention (Robert Half)
  • 83% of professionals say that flexibility allows for a more diverse and inclusive workforce (Robert Half)
  • 91% of employers expect their focus on DEI efforts to attract employees will become permanent (WTW)
  • 72% of US adults say that employee resource groups (ERGs) play a significant role in supporting DEI efforts (CareerBuilder)

IT Staffing

circle chart showing that employers struggle to find employees with IT skills

  • IT roles are currently the most sought-after (ManpowerGroup)
  • 78% of IT and Technology employers struggle to find candidates with the required skills for their roles (ManpowerGroup)
  • Creativity and Originality is the #1 soft skill IT and Technology employers are looking for (ManpowerGroup)
  • 77% of IT professionals are men, compared to 23% being women, and women in IT make 95 cents to every $1 men in IT earn (Zippia)
  • Most IT professionals are 40+ years old (54%) (Zippia)
  • Almost a third of IT professionals stay in their jobs for just 1 – 2 years (Zippia)

Healthcare Staffing

  • Employment in the healthcare industry is expected to grow 13% from 2021 to 2031 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • 47% of US clinicians (defined as primary and secondary care doctors and nurses) plan to leave their roles within the next 2 – 3 years (Elsevier.com)
  • While healthcare roles that require a doctoral or professional degree have the highest average median salary, roles that require a high school diploma or equivalent make up the largest segment (28%) of the healthcare industry (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

pie chart of US healthcare jobs by education requirements

  • Amongst healthcare jobs that require a high school diploma or equivalent, hearing aid specialists have the highest average median salary of $59,500, followed by occupational health and safety technicians with $51,120 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Amongst allied healthcare professional graduates, radiologic technologists (38%) and physical therapists (36%) are the most in-demand (AMN Healthcare)

Nursing

  • There were 3.1 million registered nursing jobs in the US in 2021, and the median salary was $77,600 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Travel nurse staffing made up the largest segment (45%) of healthcare staffing market in 2021 (Grand View Research)
  • Search interest in [travel nursing] grew 80% YoY (Google Trends)

year over year nursing search interest trends chart

Healthcare Staffing Shortages

  • Healthcare employment is down 176K workers compared to February 2020 (U.S. News and World Report)
  • By 2026, it is estimated that the US will need about 3.2 million lower wage healthcare workers and 900K mental health workers (Mercer)
  • By 2034, it is projected that the US will need 17.8K – 48K primary care physicians and 21K – 77.1K non-primary care physicians (American Medical Association)
  • With the increase in demand for healthcare labor, labor costs rose 37% from 2019 to March 2022 (KaufmanHall)

bar chart showing an increased labor cost in healthcare pre and post pandemic

  • Demand for nurses is expected to grow by at least 5% by 2026, but it is expected that more than 900,000 nurses will permanently leave the profession in that same time period (Mercer)
  • 29 states are expected to not be able to meet the demand for nurses by 2026. Pennsylvania is expected to have the largest nursing talent shortage followed by North Carolina (Mercer)
  • 85% of healthcare facilities (including hospitals, medical groups, and home health providers) are experiencing a shortage in allied healthcare professionals (AMN Healthcare)
  • 71% of healthcare facilities cited longer times to fill positions as a primary staffing challenge for allied healthcare professionals, and 46% noted burnout amongst professionals as a key challenge (AMN Healthcare)
  • In addition to offering more incentives such as signing bonuses and increased pay, 59% of healthcare facility managers said that they intend on hiring temporary staffing to fill gaps in their allied healthcare professional staff (AMN Healthcare)