Phrase WORKFORCE PLANNING written on note book with eye glasses.

Almost 1 in 5 (18%) businesses plan to use more outside talent this year, according to new data from RGP and YouGov. Overall, the survey results show that companies anticipate using a multifaceted approach to workforce development.

Over 80% of businesses surveyed currently plan to increase their investment in workforce development this year. This investment includes reskilling / upskilling current employees (37%), increasing internal headcount (22%), and sourcing outside talent, including using staffing firms (18%).

“There’s a lot of work out there, but the lingering labor market imbalance is causing employers to embrace new ways of finding the skills they need, and our latest research validates this shift,” Kate Duchene, CEO of RGP, said in a press release. “As skills gaps for technical and knowledge-based work widen due to an uptick in large-scale transformation initiatives, investment in workforce development will remain a top priority, especially once the Fed begins making expected rate cuts later this year.”

Other key workforce findings:

  • The biggest workforce skills gaps are in AI and automation (45%), followed by soft skills, data management, and project management, which all came in at 31%.
  • More than half (53%) of financial decision-makers said they would invest new capital from expected interest rate cuts in balancing full-time headcount with outside talent.