State of the Industry: Corporate Support

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Nov 13, 2017 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights

Keeping your thumb on the pulse of the market will prepare you for when you have to plan for the coming year. 

This second installment in ICS' State of the Industry blog post series examines staffing demand and trends for corporate support roles, which are typically made up of human resources, administrative support, and customer service. 

Human Resources Staffing

Gone are the days when Human Resources personnel were strictly responsible for hiring and administering company benefits programs. HR managers and personnel today need to be able to handle an array of matters, from ethics complaints and investigations to promoting diversity and inclusion. Increasingly, companies big and small are moving from HR generalists to a model where HR personnel specialize in one or more specific functions.

One good example of this is company-sponsored benefits. There must be people in place to market, communicate, enroll, and provide support for these benefits. The responsibilities are far too great for one person. Given the complexity of the regulatory framework governing benefits, businesses that handle employee benefits programs in-house often find they need dedicated personnel with working knowledge of Department of Labor regulations and ERISA rules. Specifically, with the new healthcare bill on the table, there could be significant changes to the legal rights of the employer and employee.  

It doesn't stop at benefits though. The way companies staff is also changing with laws in place for banning salary history questions. HR needs to be trained on what they can and cannot say legally. The fines for violations are too high to make those mistakes. New technology, with a focus on employee engagement, culture, wellness, and productivity, will also be a huge factor in determining the need for a certain kind of HR talent. HRIS analysts will be crucial with HRIS systems becoming more mainstream as Big Data is on the rise and artificial intelligence will also be a huge push for HR. With all of this new technology making its way into the office, training will need to be updated and new hires will need to bring different skills to the table.

Office, Clerical and Administrative Support Staffing

Although a wave of technology in recent years has cemented the "digital assistant" as a familiar part of our culture, these tools are not likely to replace office, clerical or administrative support personnel anytime soon. BLS projections say there will be an additional 1.5 million new administrative job openings by 2022, so there still is a need for that human component. Even when technology takes over menial tasks, there must be someone to analyze the data and maintain the technology. They may not need to have IT degrees, but they need to be competent enough to handle web conferencing, and other business software in order to be considered valuable. 

As for needed skills, administrative support hires must have bilingual skills, financial acumen, and technological prowess. The role has expanded to more than just typing fast. The viewpoint of these roles has shifted from menial to essential. Proof of this sentiment lies in the titles of these roles. Job titles are now phrased as "Director of First Impressions," "Administrative Chief of Staff," etc. 

Customer Service Staffing

A company's brand is only as good as its customer service representatives. As the forefront of the company, it's critical to have the right people in those roles. Businesses that want to be positioned for future growth need to staff their customer-facing jobs proactively. 

It's projected that, by the end of 2018, customer service jobs will have increased by 400,000 since 2008. Just like in administrative support, the human component of customer service will need to stick around. Of course, today's customer service rep may not spend all day on the telephone, as was the case in decades past, but may instead use online chat features to resolve customers' issues via instant messaging. We may see certain kinds of customer service roles, like customer service phone reps, disappear due to technologies like AI, but with customers comes loads of valuable information, and we still need people who understand how to get the most out of Big Data. Corporate support as a whole will see a shift in the talent it demands and the volume of talent it needs to support its added functions.

Your Organization's Corporate Support Staffing Needs Support

Having the right corporate support personnel on your team can have a long-lasting, positive impact on your organization's success. At Infinity Consulting Solutions, we understand that it's not just about hiring human resources, customer service or administrative personnel; it's about hiring the right people. You need skilled staffers who fit within your company's culture, and who are eager and able to help your company pursue its goals.  To learn more about how ICS can meet your corporate support staffing needs, contact us today.

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