Top Staffing Industry Challenges in 2020 & Beyond


2020 was arguably the most challenging year in recent history. The economy came to a screeching halt due to global pandemic lockdowns, returning to work became a political and public health issue, and the unemployed talent pool had many reasons to remain at home rather than seeking work. Staffing firms were forced to pivot to keep up with the ever-changing times. Because 2020 felt like an endless uphill battle, Avionté surveyed over 1,200 staffing and recruiting professionals to determine the greatest staffing industry challenges of 2020 and beyond. Here were the top results.

Top Staffing Industry Challenges of 2020

1. Finding Talent

A staggering 46% of survey respondents cited finding qualified talent as their number one challenge in 2020. Iseems counterintuitive that firms struggle with recruiting when the unemployment rate is so high. With many Americans out of workit’s surprising that the issue persists. However, factors such as health concerns, new workplace safety protocols, school and childcare issues, and enhanced government unemployment benefits make the unemployment pool difficult to recruit. To learn more about the talent trends of 2020, check out our session with staffing industry consultant Tom Erb

2. Streamlining & Driving Efficiency

26% of responders indicated that streamlining and driving efficiency was their biggest challenge. Manual, outdated technologies continue to plague staffing and recruiting organizations, costing precious time and resources. Streamlining and optimizing processes was even more challenging this year when firms and employers were faced with sudden changes, such as moving to remote work or new workplace protocols. Many organizations were forced to reimagine processes and adopt new technology in a rapid way, often causing disruptions and frustration.  

3. Acquiring New Business

At a time when client acquisition is more important than ever, it is also more difficult. It’s no surprise that acquiring new business was top challenge for 2020. Staffing firms’ businesses are struggling. Many are hiring less. Hiring freezes made client acquisition especially difficult. Many responders expressed concern over acquiring new business into 2021 due to the uncertainty around the timeline of the pandemic and when businesses may be able to safely reopen.   

2020 Staffing Industry Challenges Report

If you would like to further examine the staffing industry challenges of 2020 and beyond, download the full 2020 Staffing and Recruiting Challenges Report. The 2020 Staffing and Recruiting Challenges Report was built based on a survey of more than 1,200 staffing professionals from various locations and verticals to uncover precisely the challenges they are facing in their businesses today. This report will unveil what staffing professionals are struggling with most and what they foresee as major challenges as we enter 2021  

Download the Full Report