Diagnosis: Uncertainty

In a recent blog post, I talked about the uncertainty that remains an integral part of the hiring landscape. But economic uncertainty isn’t the only variable: The needs of customers are changing very quickly, and expert staffing can help companies meet those needs while providing them with the workforce flexibility they need to adapt to a changing professional/regulatory landscape.

This is especially relevant now, at a time when the impact of the soon-to-be-implemented Affordable Care Act (ACA) has introduced some large variables into the hiring equation. For many companies, preparing for the ACA and making hiring decisions in the current environment has been akin to an exercise in reading the economic and regulatory tea leaves. Needless to say, that’s not a fun way to run a business.

While some have speculated that the recently announced one-year delay in implementing the employer mandate portion of the ACA would lead to more hiring, there is scant concrete or anecdotal evidence that that is the case. If anything, the change almost seems to have added to the general sense of uncertainty. Whenever possible, it seems like more companies are looking at hiring options that meet their needs without taking on the burden and additional commitment of managing the new healthcare burdens. The last thing any employer wants to do is make hiring commitments now and turn around in a year or two and have to cut back because the health care costs were higher than anticipated.

Layoffs don’t look good to investors and the media, and they can be corrosive to employee morale. The bottom line is that many companies are concluding: unless we have a true long-term need for a particular position, do we really want to take on that risk?

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