Toggle Menu

Curious about how the staffing industry began? Well, the history of this industry goes way back in time, and it is older than you think! Read this article to trace its root and evolution.

The 'staffing industry' as we know it today has been shaped by decades of trials, errors, and successes. Let's time-travel to the past and get to the roots of this industry, the story behind how it flourished, and also the inventions that aided its further growth! This is what the staffing industry entailed in the following years:

From the 1940s to 1960...

The blueprint of the staffing industry as we know it today was first crafted during World War II. While men were fighting for their life overseas, the general population was struggling for a stable livelihood. Most companies and factories were compelled to fill a large number of vacancies. And this when hiring women also became more common.

Some believe that the history of the staffing industry goes back further than in the 1940s. Reportedly, there were three prominent staffing companies since the 1890s. But they didn't operate on a large scale and mostly worked in the domestic help area.

The World War 2 era is when the staffing industry grew rapidly. The Midwest region in the United States of America was the first area to confront the business needs as they recruited local housewives, developing a new part-time workforce within the country.

Especially after the war was over, the need to fill positions became even more extreme. The process of searching for and finding the right staff became a primary need of a lot of businesses. There were a lot of candidates looking for jobs after the war, so there was a need for a refined process or way to handle & manage these requirements.

The 1960s...

Temporary workers were known as 'semi-permanent employees' back in the 60s. Temporary help firms started spurting up during this decade for assigning people to short-term assignments or to fill the gap when the permanent employees went on holidays. Temporary workers became an easy choice for companies struggling to employ and pay full-time staff, especially considering the economic struggle that was set to ensure in the 1970s. Temporary workers were no longer just needed for clerical or blue-collar work, they also stretched to the fields of engineering, accounting, programming, and many other professions.

Temporary help company Kelly Girl Services, Inc was made public during this period, after establishing offices in 29 different cities. Some companies who entered the market early witnessed a boom in this decade.

The 1980s...

This is the era where staffing agencies didn't just multiply, they evolved. Instead of just fetching a new employee and then continuing, they started picking up repeat clients and worked as an extension of the HR departments of companies. This is the period when temporary employment rose dramatically from 185,000 temps per day to over 400,000!

And in the year 1988, just at the brink of this decade's end, the number rose to 1 million. Simultaneously, the 'Part-Time and Temporary Worker Protection Act' was created to nurture and protect the rights of the temporary employees. The following decades only witnessed more success, even in the middle of an economic roller-roaster. More and more comprehensive staffing companies came to life and started to provide creative onsite staffing solutions to clients all across North America.

The 2000s to Present...

The invention of computers further transformed workplaces and also the staffing process. Softwares that tracked applicants and maintained their databases started to get introduced. This made storing and searching through candidates' files easier. When the World Wide Web revolutionized the world, the staffing industry was revolutionized too. It allowed organizations to seek employees on a global level. Then came innovative websites and social media platforms that further extended the reach of staffing agencies in the world.

Then, recruitment agencies started to be more tech-savvy to keep up with the emerging technologies. Most established agencies relied on this technology to fetch them the best candidates to fill vacancies within companies. They referred to the big databases and connected the employees with the employers. People didn't have to manually go and submit a resume because it could all be done online!

People started to send their resumes via the online job portals of companies or via social media platforms. With the technology we have in the present-day, the hiring process can now be finished in just a few days, including a thorough background check.

But the staffing system is still isn't perfect and has more room for evolution. What we need now is a smart system that can read a candidate's performance, an automatic system that evaluates their knowledge, and an ATS that hires a candidate.

To get one step closer to the staffing evolution, use Stafflist!