Welcome to 2024! Right now, many of us are in the midst of planning out our year ahead, setting goals and defining how we want to change our lives for the better. For some of us, that planning process may also include seeking out a new career path where there’s more autonomy, freedom, and room for growth. Franchising opportunities offer exactly that: flexibility and independence along with the support and resources of a parent company. 

If you’ve found yourself considering franchise ownership, you may be evaluating a range of industries to see which are the strongest and most stable. Time and again, staffing comes out on top—and 2024 is shaping up to be no different. Read on to get all the details in our 2024 staffing industry outlook! 

Looking ahead: Big-picture staffing trends 2024

Staffing has historically proven itself to be a stable, growing industry, as companies are always seeking qualified personnel and need help finding the right individuals to fill open positions. For 2024, the staffing industry is poised for continued growth thanks to three key reasons: the evolving nature of work, the need for flexible staffing, and the rapid growth of the gig economy.

The evolving nature of work

The workplace is changing significantly—in work practices and organization, but especially within the realm of technology. The advancement of technology and its integration into the workplace is leading to increased automation, remote work opportunities, and the adoption of digital tools. Employers are having to shift their focus areas to include candidates with a strong digital acumen and the ability to work alongside advanced technologies. This complicates hiring, as managers are finding themselves needing to assess skills related to a specific job function alongside a candidate’s ability to adapt to new technologies and navigate their unique work environment.

In addition, technology has made it easier for employees in office jobs to work remotely, which has significantly widened the pool of available talent. Employers are sifting through applications from potential employees located across the country—instead of just the nearby metro area—and are struggling to keep up.

Increased flexibility in staffing

More and more employers are turning to flexible staffing to meet their hiring goals, which introduces a consistent need for staffing support. With flexible staffing, employers can vary the number of employees hired and the hours worked to adapt to changing business objectives. It involves the use of temporary, part-time, or contingent workers to supplement a core team and respond to fluctuations in workload or specific project requirements. Flexible staffing can also be relied upon in the event that a suitable full-time candidate has not yet been found, but the company still needs to make forward progress in some form. 

This reliance on flexible staffing is growing and should continue to grow throughout 2024. In fact, in a recent survey, 64% of hiring managers in finance and accounting alone expect to bring in more contract workers in the months ahead.

The rise of the gig economy

We can think of the so-called “gig economy” as essentially the counterpoint to the flexible staffing model outlined above. Across the board, more and more employees are also choosing to pursue short-term or project-based positions, and the gig job market is growing at a rapid pace. Globally, the gig economy market size is expected to expand 14.22% each year, reaching $918,944.83 million by 2028. The staffing industry can expect to play a vital role in bridging the gap between companies and independent contractors or freelancers: helping workers find available openings and helping employers source and vet top talent.

Together, these three factors mean that businesses need to build agile workforce solutions—and that means a robust, lasting demand for staffing services. According to the latest American Staffing Association survey, staffing agencies anticipate a 2.1% revenue increase by year-end, further cementing the optimistic outlook for the industry in 2024. 

Potential risks to our outlook for the staffing market

No 2024 staffing industry outlook would be complete without addressing some of the potential perceived risks, but these are fortunately minimal. Some frequently cited external factors that can impact the success of the staffing industry include the macroeconomy, monetary policy, and evolving political dynamics. 

First, the macroeconomy plays a constant role in shaping the business landscape, because economic indicators such as GDP growth, unemployment rates, and consumer spending directly affect the demand for staffing services. A robust and growing economy generally translates to increased business activity and, in turn, a higher demand for temporary and permanent staffing solutions. On the flip side, as the unemployment rate rises, the demand for staffing services tends to increase, and conversely, as the unemployment rate falls, the demand for staffing services may decrease. Across the board, the outlook appears favorable for staffing: According to Reuters, the Congressional Budget Office projects US economic growth to rise 1.5% in 2024, with the unemployment rate rising to 4.4%, creating ample opportunities for staffing agencies to assist with hiring.

Second, monetary policy has a ripple effect on various sectors, including staffing. Interest rates, inflation targets, and overall economic stability are key components of monetary policy that can impact the cost of doing business and the financial landscape for both companies and workers. Lower interest rates may stimulate business expansion, encouraging companies to invest in workforce solutions. On the other hand, a tightening policy may prompt a reassessment of staffing budgets. Again, the outlook here for staffing is promising. The Federal Reserve has indicated interest rate cuts in 2024, while inflation rates are expected to continue to fall to 3.2% in 2024, compared to 4.06% in 2023 and 9.59% in 2022.

Finally, the upcoming US presidential election can lead some companies to press “pause” on any decisions in case there are changes to regulations or labor laws, immigration policies, or government spending priorities. And while political uncertainty in general influences the broader business environment, it doesn’t affect staffing in quite the same way. Compared to other industries, the staffing industry is unique, because staffing thrives in times of uncertainty. Companies are always hiring, and job seekers are always looking for work; it’s just that the type of hiring or type of employee may change. Any potential political changes, if they do occur, merely translate to additional opportunity for those in the staffing industry.

Considering franchise ownership based on this 2024 staffing industry outlook?

Clearly, the staffing industry is a stable one, which makes it ideal for those looking to make a career change in 2024—or simply expand into a new specialty. Franchising in the staffing sector presents a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs with a background in sales, a desire to increase their earnings, and the ambition to lead and grow a team. The franchise model offers a structured framework, reducing the risks associated with starting a business from scratch. And Spherion, in particular, has distinguished itself by providing a proven model that empowers franchisees to thrive in the competitive staffing landscape.

Spherion's franchise model is designed to ensure the success of its partners. With decades of experience dating back all the way to 1946, Spherion has provided comprehensive support in areas such as marketing, operations, and technology. Franchisees benefit from a recognized brand, established processes, and ongoing training, enabling them to navigate the complexities of the staffing industry with confidence. The emphasis on collaboration and mutual success makes Spherion a particularly attractive choice for entrepreneurs seeking a reliable and supportive franchising opportunity in which they also have the freedom to run their own business, set their own hours, and dictate their own direction for the future.

A bright future for the staffing industry—and you

As we enter 2024, the staffing industry's projected growth and assured stability create an incredibly promising outlook for the staffing market. Spherion, with its proven franchise model and robust support system, provides a compelling opportunity for entrepreneurs seeking success in the staffing landscape. 

With the right blend of industry knowledge, entrepreneurial spirit, and strategic planning, franchising in the staffing sector with Spherion can pave the way for a lucrative and fulfilling business venture.

About the Author
Dan Brunell
Dan Brunell

Dan Brunell

Regional Vice President of Franchise Development

Dan’s background as a senior executive in the staffing industry and founder of a top franchise brokerage equips him with more than 30 years of experience helping prospective franchisees succeed.