Time is Running Out to Close the Widening Skills Gap, Reveals New Research from TrueBlue’s PeopleScout in Partnership with Spotted Zebra

Study reveals 90 percent of HR leaders believe that half of their workforce will need to be reskilled in the next five years

23 January 2024 – TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI), a leading provider of specialised workforce solutions, today announced the results of a comprehensive study from leading recruitment process outsourcing provider PeopleScout, a TrueBlue company, and Spotted Zebra, an award-winning HR tech company. The study’s findings demonstrate the surprising conclusion that nine out of 10 HR leaders believe that up to 50 percent of their workforce will need to be reskilled in the next five years, with only seven percent reporting an active investment in their reskilling programs.

Global Labor Trends & the Skills Countdown

The pivotal research report, The Skills Crisis Countdown, offers an unprecedented look into the evolving workforce skills landscape and the growing disconnect between employee capabilities and business needs that highlights the importance of adopting a skills-based talent acquisition and management strategy. An estimated 85 million jobs could go unfilled by 2030 that will cost $8.5 trillion in lost revenue, according to The World Economic Forum. The report indicates talent shortages are the most widespread across industries including education, hospitality, healthcare, technology, and manufacturing. Approximately 80 percent of organisations reported their top workforce challenge is recruiting skilled talent, followed by retaining key personnel and upskilling current employees.

Employers are Ill-Prepared for the Future

Global trends like automation, AI adoption, the green economy and workforce demographic shifts are rapidly changing the skills needed for jobs, making skills gaps and shortages more acute. Despite this essential need for skills alignment, companies continue to prioritise degrees and experience over skills when making hiring decisions. This may be rooted in an overall unfamiliarity with skills-based talent strategies, as one in two HR leaders admitted to lacking an understanding of skills-based practices that would support these workforce strategies.

“As a trusted talent advisor to a vast portfolio of clients across almost all industries, we are seeing that the widening skills gap is one of the top challenges facing organisations today,” said Rick Betori, President of PeopleScout & EVP of TrueBlue. “This new research is a critical step in understanding the current disconnect between the demands of the future workforce and traditional hiring practices, ultimately emphasising why skills-based talent strategies are now mission critical for an organisation’s long-term success.”

Technology Accelerates the Skills Conversation

Technology adoption is accelerating the need to evolve skills, with 50 percent of HR leaders anticipating that job roles at their organisations will transform due to shifts in required skill sets. However, the report reveals another disparity regarding perceived importance of technology skills. Despite skyrocketing demand, both employers and employees undervalue skills in technology, ranking it second to last when asked which skills are most important for the future. Furthermore, 34 percent of employers lack any plans for workforce adoption of automation and AI.

“In just a few short months, GAI went from an abstract concept to a tangible force with dramatic impacts worldwide. Skills profiles across industries have already changed dramatically and will continue to evolve rapidly,” said Simon Wright, Global Head of Talent Advisory Consulting of PeopleScout. “This research reveals that many HR leaders are not ready for this transformation. Closing the widening skills gap will require better alignment on the importance of tech literacy.”

Becoming a Skills-Based Organisation

“Skills-based talent strategies are essential, and the clock is ticking for employers across all regions and industries,” said Nick Shaw, Founder & Chief Customer Officer of Spotted Zebra. “Without future-focused skills strategies for both hiring and development, organizations will suffer lost revenue and productivity when critical jobs are left unfilled.”

Shaw and Wright will present the research findings in a webinar on Thursday, 1 February 2024, at 11 am CST. Register for the webinar here.

The PeopleScout report combined data from more than 2,000 employees surveyed across Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America and insights from a statistically significant number of senior Human Resources and Talent Acquisition leaders from organizations around the world, across sectors and sizes.

Download the full report here for more survey findings and actionable insights for employers.

About TrueBlue

TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI) is a leading provider of specialised workforce solutions that help clients achieve business growth and improve productivity. In 2022, TrueBlue served 84,000 clients and connected approximately 611,000 people to work. Its PeopleReady segment offers on-demand, industrial staffing; PeopleManagement offers contingent, on-site industrial staffing and commercial driver services; and PeopleScout offers recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) and managed service provider (MSP) solutions to a wide variety of industries. Learn more at trueblue.com.

About PeopleScout

PeopleScout, a TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI) company, is a leading RPO provider managing talent solutions that span the global economy, with end-to-end MSP and talent advisory capabilities supporting total workforce needs. PeopleScout boasts over 90% client retention managing the most complex programs in the industry. The company’s forward-looking talent professionals provide clients with the edge in the people business by consistently delivering now while anticipating what’s next. Affinix™, PeopleScout’s proprietary talent acquisition platform, empowers faster engagement with the best talent through an AI-driven, consumer-like candidate experience and optimises the talent process through data and actionable insights. Leveraging the power of data gleaned from engaging millions of candidates and contingent associates every year, PeopleScout has served clients in more than 70 countries with headquarters in Chicago, Sydney and London and global delivery centres in Toronto, Montreal, Bristol, Krakow, Gurgaon and Bangalore. For more information, please visit www.peoplescout.com.

About Spotted Zebra

Spotted Zebra empowers organisations to make skills-based decisions throughout the entire talent lifecycle—from hiring to reskilling to succession planning. Its skills-based workforce management platform features three applications—the award-winning Hiring application for skills-based recruitment; the Mobility application for reskilling; and the Development application for succession planning. Spotted Zebra was founded in 2020 by repeat founder and internet entrepreneur Ian Monk and qualified occupational psychologist and former MD of SHL Nick Shaw. Find out more at spottedzebra.co.uk.

Press Contact

Taylor Winchell
Senior Manager, External Communications

[Webinar On-Demand] The Ticking Talent Clock: Is Time Running Out to Address the Skills Crisis?

[Webinar On-Demand] The Ticking Talent Clock: Is Time Running Out to Address the Skills Crisis?

With the rapid advancement of AI, accelerated digitalisation and the greening of the economy, businesses are grappling with the changing nature of work—how we work and the types of jobs we do. In fact, a new research report from PeopleScout and Spotted Zebra, The Skills Crisis Countdown, reveals that nine in 10 HR leaders believe that up to half of their workforce will need new skills to perform their jobs in the next five years. Yet, only less than one in 10 say they are actively investing in reskilling programs.

Are HR leaders running out of time?

Join PeopleScout’s Global Head of Talent Consulting Simon Wright and Spotted Zebra’s Chief Customer Officer Nick Shaw as they delve into the key findings from the research, lay bare the skills crisis and show why the clock is ticking for HR leaders.

In the webinar, Simon and Nick cover:

  • How organisations are addressing the mismatch in skills demand and supply
  • The current state of skills utilisation, skills-based hiring and the need to expand talent pools
  • Strategies for improving talent mobility (including case studies and success stories)
  • Practical steps you can take to transition to a skills-focused model
  • And more!


PeopleScout Ranked No. 1 in Breadth of Service Category on HRO Today’s 2023 Total Workforce Solutions Baker’s Dozen

Global RPO provider also recognised as an Overall leader and in the Quality of Service and Size of Deal categories

10 January 2024 – PeopleScout has been named a global Total Workforce Solutions leader on HRO Today’s 2023 Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Ratings. The company was ranked #1 in the Breadth of Service category and was also ranked as an overall leader and in the Quality of Service and Size of Deal categories.

HRO Today‘s Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Ratings are based solely on feedback collected from buyers via an annual survey.

“As our clients’ trusted advisors, we are unwavering in our commitment to developing flexible, best-fit solutions to meet their unique needs—across the talent spectrum,” said Rick Betori, President of PeopleScout. “We are grateful for our valued client partners who made this recognition of our Total Workforce Solutions possible as we further our mission to connect people and work.”

“PeopleScout continues to demonstrate the breadth and depth of their total talent offerings,” said Elliot Clark, CEO and Chairman of SharedXpertise and HRO Today. “Their holistic approach to talent acquisition makes them a valuable partner to employers in achieving both their immediate and long-term workforce goals.” 

PeopleScout’s Total Workforce Solutions blend the capabilities of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), Managed Service Provider (MSP) services and Talent Advisory expertise into a single talent program. As part of the TrueBlue family of brands—which also includes on-demand industrial staffing provider PeopleReady and contingent, on-site industrial staffing and commercial driver service provider PeopleManagement—PeopleScout is uniquely positioned to offer holistic workforce solutions across the total workforce spectrum, helping clients achieve their current and future workforce goals.

The company’s broad and deep expertise built over more than 30 years is foundational to their support of talent programs ranging from high-volume frontline roles to highly skilled niche hiring. Embedded within PeopleScout’s talent solutions is their mobile-first, cloud-based platform, Affinix™, which delivers speed and scalability, providing end-to-end support or integrating with existing talent technologies to create a superior experience for candidates, hiring managers and recruiters. 

PeopleScout continues to be recognized as a leader in RPO, MSP and Total Workforce Solutions. In 2023, PeopleScout was named an RPO Leader by both Everest Group and NelsonHall, and was named a leader on the global, EMEA and APAC HRO Today RPO Baker’s Dozen lists.

You can view the full Total Workforce Solutions 2023 Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Ratings here.

Press Contact
Taylor Winchell
Senior Manager, External Communications

PeopleScout Launches RPO Amplifiers—Modular Talent Solutions to Help Employers Boost their Recruitment Efforts

Curated suite of modular recruitment solutions helps augment recruitment efforts, deliver fast results and drive lasting business impact

LONDON—6 September 2023—Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) leader PeopleScout is proud to announce the launch of RPO Amplifiers, a curated suite of modular recruitment solutions to help employers augment their recruiting teams when and where they need it most. Whether it’s focused support for peak hiring seasons or sourcing hard-to-fill roles, RPO Amplifiers are designed to help organisations meet immediate talent goals and drive lasting business impact.  
“We are committed to meeting our clients’ unique needs with customisable talent solutionsand a full-cycle RPO engagement may not always be the best fit,” said Rick Betori, President of PeopleScout. “The flexibility of RPO Amplifiers allows organisations to scale quickly and augment their existing recruitment efforts, giving them the agility needed to compete in today’s talent landscape.” 
PeopleScout’s suite of RPO Amplifiers includes: 

  • Talent Mapping: PeopleScout experts harness research and analytics to help employers make better workforce planning decisions with insight into talent availability, salary benchmarks and more. 
  • Talent Sourcing: This talent sourcing solution helps employers boost their internal recruitment resources, engage with passive candidates and generate a list of qualified, enthusiastic applicants. 
  • Talent Campaign: Surge Support: This project-based solution leverages the expertise of PeopleScout’s recruitment pros when and where needed, without increasing permanent recruiter headcount. Surge Support is implemented quickly and seamlessly, providing all the benefits of RPO expertise on a short-term basis. 
  • Assessment Transformation: This solution helps employers deploy assessments to make the right hires and enhance the candidate experience, leveraging cutting-edge technology and visionary design. 

RPO Amplifiers offer scalable, agile recruitment support for organisations in all industries, augmenting existing processes with focused support, backed by PeopleScout’s 30+ years of recruitment expertise. RPO Amplifiers can be added as a standalone service or combined with an existing RPO engagement—whether with PeopleScout or another provider—when extra support is needed. 

Learn more about PeopleScout’s RPO Amplifiers here

Less Than Two in 10 Job Seekers Rate Their Recent Recruitment Process Experience as Excellent

PeopleScout’s latest research reveals hard truths about candidate expectations versus the reality of their experiences  

25 January 2023 – Today’s job market is experiencing a clear disparity between candidate expectations and the reality they face when searching for and applying for jobs, according to a recent report by leading recruitment process outsourcing provider PeopleScout, a TrueBlue company. Survey findings showed that less than two in 10 candidates would rate their experience as “excellent”—a clear indicator that expectations for their job search are not being met by employers. The global research report, Inside the Candidate Experience, surveyed over 2,400 job seekers and analysed 217 companies around the globe to see how employers stacked up against candidate expectations.  

Technology, social media and lightning-fast consumer experiences have driven job seekers to expect seamless, quick, digital-first experiences. For employers to succeed in this market, they must deliver the same intuitive and personalised experience. For example, survey results showed that two-thirds of candidates use social media to research companies during their job search. Yet, a third of employers are not consistently posting career-related content to their social channels.  

Job seekers also showed a desire to make an emotional connection with prospective employers. The study revealed that an organisation’s mission, purpose and values are top considerations for candidates when deciding whether to apply for a job. Yet less than half of organisations include this information on their career site. Also, 35% of employers do not feature real employees in their recruitment material.  

In addition, candidates want to know that applying to an organisation is worth their time and effort. Of those surveyed, 21% of candidates said lack of information regarding next steps would make them likely to drop out of the process after applying, but less than two in 10 employers provided candidates with those details. Plus, only 30% of employers clearly stated that adjustments were available for candidates with disabilities prior to starting an application. 

“In my conversations with talent acquisition leaders, it’s clear organisations understand the importance of the candidate experience, yet our research reveals that employers have a long way to go to meet candidates’ expectations,” said Simon Wright, PeopleScout’s Head of Global Talent Advisory Consulting. “PeopleScout strives to make the recruitment process as seamless as possible for both parties, and our hope is that this serves as a rallying cry for employers to get serious about making improvements to their candidate experience, especially as hiring has become so challenging.”   

Download PeopleScout’s full report here for more survey findings and actionable insights for employers. 

Press Contact 
Taylor Winchell 
Senior Manager, External Communications 

PeopleScout Named a Leader on HRO Today’s 2022 MSP Baker’s Dozen 

PeopleScout also ranked No. 2 in Breadth of Service and Size of Deal categories 

CHICAGO — May 25, 2022 — PeopleScout has been recognised as a leader in Managed Service Provider (MSP) solutions on HRO Today’s annual MSP Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Ratings. In addition to being named an overall leader, PeopleScout was also ranked No. 2 in both the Breadth of Service and Size of Deal categories. 

“PeopleScout has once again earned its place as an industry leader on the MSP Baker’s Dozen list,” said Elliot Clark, CEO and Chairman of SharedXpertise and HRO Today. “Organisations looking for an authentic, transparent and consultative approach to an MSP partnership need look no further than PeopleScout, who continues to remain one of the best choices in the market for contingent labour services.” 

PeopleScout’s Beyond the Expected™ MSP service approach delivers consultative insight and a uniquely transparent approach to partnership that drives businesses forward. 

“To be named a leader on the MSP Baker’s Dozen list every year since its inception is a tremendous honour,” said Taryn Owen, President & COO of PeopleReady and PeopleScout. “We thank our valued clients for their continued trust in our partnership and in our commitment to bringing them the very best in contingent talent solutions.” 

PeopleScout’s MSP service approach offers the expertise, technology, resources and grit to solve the toughest staffing challenges and help employers build a contingent workforce with the best talent—now and in the future. PeopleScout’s high-touch service is underpinned by innovative thinking that challenges the status quo, and its MSP solutions go beyond the cost controls and process administration typical of standard MSP programs.  

PeopleScout’s MSP solutions are powered by Affinix™, PeopleScout’s award-winning proprietary talent technology, which integrates with VMS technology to harness the power of analytics, creating clear visibility across contingent workforces and other labor channels for a total workforce view. Embedded within PeopleScout’s talent solutions, Affinix is a robust platform that delivers speed and scalability to our MSP clients while leveraging artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation, predictive analytics and more. 

HRO Today surveys current buyers of MSP services for its Baker’s Dozen, which ranks the top 13 MSPs in the industry. Learn more on the HRO Today Magazine website

PeopleScout Named a 2022 Global Leader in Recruitment Process Outsourcing by Everest Group for Fourth Consecutive Year

Everest Group also recognised PeopleScout as a Major Contender in EMEA 

PeopleScout has been named a Leader in Everest Group’s Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) Services PEAK Matrix® Assessment 2022 for the fourth consecutive year. In addition, PeopleScout was also named a Major Contender in Everest Group’s debut RPO PEAK Matrix for EMEA. 

“PeopleScout continues to improve its value proposition by expanding its client portfolio across multiple industries, improving its delivery footprint, and investing in its Affinix platform,” said Aniruddha Kulkarni, Practice Director, Everest Group. “Its ability to manage high volume recruitment programs, flexible and agile service delivery approach, and the capabilities of its Affinix platform helped it position as a Leader in Everest Group’s Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) Services PEAK Matrix® Assessment 2022 – Global.” 

Everest Group classifies RPO service providers into three ascending categories of Aspirants, Major Contenders and the highest designation, Leaders. Everest Group’s PEAK Matrix® framework assesses the market impact and overall delivery capability of RPO service providers. 

“As we continue to place our clients’ needs at the forefront, this designation by Everest Group is humbling validation of our commitment to fostering consultative, strategic partnerships with our clients,” said Taryn Owen, President & COO of PeopleReady and PeopleScout. “In addition, to be named a Major Contender in the EMEA market is incredibly encouraging as we continue to expand our global capabilities to help our clients around the world connect with the best talent.” 

Everest Group’s assessment of PeopleScout on this year’s PEAK Matrix highlighted the following key strengths:  

  • PeopleScout is one of the largest providers in the global RPO market, with a strong presence in North America and a growing presence in the UK and Asia Pacific markets. 
  • PeopleScout serves clients across all industries and has expertise in hiring both blue- and white-collar professionals. 
  • Referenced clients reported that recruitment expertise and relationship management capabilities were strengths of PeopleScout. 
  • PeopleScout’s proprietary talent acquisition technology Affinix was recognised as a strong technology ecosystem, which includes an AI sourcing tool used to screen candidates sourced from public sources, existing talent pools and clients’ existing employees as well as its automated high-volume, virtual onboarding and internal mobility solutions. 
  • PeopleScout’s Affinix Analytics platform provides extensive dashboards as per clients’ needs, including visibility into requisition data, applicant data demographics, organisational diversity metrics and market benchmark data.  

Everest Group’s research is based on three key sources of information: its database of approximately 4,100 RPO deals, the operational capability of the 37 assessed RPO service providers and ongoing buyer surveys and interactions. To be named a Leader, RPO providers must have the highest maturity levels in market impact, vision and capability. 

To learn more about the RPO Services PEAK Matrix® Assessment 2022 visit the Everest Group website