[Infographic] The Execu|Search Group’s December Employment Index

What a difference a year can make!  Our internal statistics, in conjunction with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ December Jobs Report, show that job growth in December ended on a strong note – setting the stage for a promising 2015!

For example, the BLS reported that December’s unemployment rate fell to 5.6% – a six-year low – and capped 2014 to be the best year in hiring in 15 years.  Our internal data also shows that December was a strong month in terms of job opportunities with a yearly growth rate of 82% for all new job orders coming to us from clients that were hiring.  While we experienced a 33% year over year growth in full-time job orders, temporary and temporary-to-permanent jobs were even more plentiful with a 106% yearly growth rate.

The prevalence of temporary and temporary-to-permanent opportunities can be attributed to the finding that 63% of employers we surveyed for our 2015 Regional Hiring Outlook have stated that finding qualified candidates is their biggest hiring challenge.  This shortage of talent in the marketplace has led to what we refer to as the “war on talent,” or the struggle for one company to outdo another for a top candidate, and according to Glenn Bernstein, COO of The Execu|Search Group’s Temporary Staffing division, this talent shortage has greatly impacted the temporary employee population.

“In an effort to quickly adapt to evolving industry trends and address seasonal business needs, employers are turning towards professionals to work on a temporary or temporary-to-permanent basis,” comments Glenn.  “For these professionals, there has been increased opportunity –resulting in a market where supply cannot meet demand.  What this means for job seekers is that there is a surplus of assignments available to people who may not have considered temporary employment before.”  For example, there is a strong demand for high-level, highly specialized consultants to see a project or transition through to completion.  Additionally, unemployed professionals are experiencing an increase in assignment choices and according to Glenn, “seeking temporary employment is great way of getting their foot in the door and keeping their skills up-to-date.”

To remain competitive during this talent shortage, Glenn advises employers to be more urgent when hiring.  “To ensure employers can attract the talent they need to keep business moving forward, it would be wise to expedite the hiring process for both permanent and temporary employees,” he says.

To learn more about what December’s job growth means for this year, our 2015 Regional Hiring Outlook can be downloaded, here.