Staffing Central: Construction Industry Growing, Solar Energy is Hot and Increased Customer Service

Whether you are a recruiter, job seeker, manager or entry-level employee, keeping abreast of the latest trends in the staffing industry is an important aspect of your professional life. Yet, in today’s rapidly changing labor market, staying on top of the industry can feel like a full time job! 

Our staffing central series is designed to bring you all the news you need to know. Here’s what’s happening in the staffing industry this month:

1. The employment situation: February

In February, U.S. employment increased by 242,000 and by approximately 2.7 million over the year. Healthcare and social assistance saw the most growth, adding 57,000 jobs in February. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported job gains in multiple industries including construction, retail trade and food services and drinking places.

2. Small Businesses mean big business

Career Builder’s 2016 Job Forecast found that small businesses plan significant increases to their work forces this year. Of businesses with fewer than 50 employees, 27 percent plan to hire full-time permanent employees, up from 20 percent last year. Of businesses with fewer than 250 employees, 33 percent plan to hire full-time permanent employees up from 29 percent last year. 

3. Construction industry builds momentum

Experts in the construction industry are optimistic about prospects for 2016, reports Emily Peiffer of Construction Dive. “Dodge Data & Analytics' 2016 Construction Outlook report predicted 6 percent growth, with the value of construction starts reaching an estimated $712 billion,” Peiffer says.
Despite the bright outlook, finding enough skilled workers to fill available positions is challenging because “a significant portion of employees who left the industry during the recession never returned, and companies are still struggling to find workers at all levels to properly staff their teams,” says Peiffer. 

“Environmental consciousness and ‘green’ construction remain a major consideration for many builders and their customers. This trend shows little sign of declining in 2016,” the Construction Monitor reports. 

4. Solar energy is hot

The alternative energy sector — solar, wind power and biofuel — is flourishing. In fact, the number of solar jobs in the U.S. has more than doubled in five years, writes Patrick Gillespie for CNN Money. Gillespie says jobs in solar power such as solar panel installation, design, engineering, sales and management pay well too. 

“Solar installers are making $21 an hour on average, up five percent from a year ago — or double the national average, according to the Solar Foundation,” he says.

5. Call centers dial up customer service

Research by NewVoiceMedia, finds that poor customer service costs U.S. companies approximately $41 billion each year, says NewVoiceMedia’s Nicola Brookes. As a result, call centers around the country are making major changes to the way they operate. 

If you’re a contact or call center agent you’re probably aware that customer service is a bigger priority than ever before. Case in point, “nearly all companies surveyed by Gartner (89 percent) believe that customer experience will be their primary basis for competition by 2016,” says Tom McCall at Gartner Inc. A large part of providing an enhanced level of customer service is utilizing the latest technological tools, such as cloud-based call center systems, mobile broadband and big data management.

“By digging into the available customer data through call center analytics one can precisely anticipate what each customer needs and personalize the offerings, which creates value for both the parties,” says Invensis

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