While the jobs recovery continues to lag that of previous recessions, the outlook for the back half of 2012 shows continued improvement over 2011.
Forty-four percent of private sector employers reported they are planning to hire full-time, permanent staff from July 1 through December 31, 2012, an increase of nine percentage points over the same period last year.
In last year’s forecast, the number of companies planning to hire full-time, permanent employees (35 percent) increased seven percentage points over 2010. The nationwide survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive© from May 14, 2012 to June 4, 2012, included more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes.
“The rate of job creation has been slower than what we would have expected at this point in the recovery, but the market is stable,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder.
“Two years ago, the hiring activity in the U.S. was driven primarily by large employers recruiting in metropolitan areas for a handful of industries or job functions. Today, we see job listings in all industries, market sizes and company sizes. The outlook for the remainder of the year is better than 2011, but it will follow the same pattern of steady progress rather than a surge in job growth. Employers will remain careful as they assess barriers and opportunities for growth in the economy and their own businesses.”
Employers plan to add a mix of new employees over the next six months, with each category trending up from last year:
- Hiring full-time, permanent employees – 44 percent, up from 35 percent in 2011
- Hiring part-time employees – 21 percent, up from 15 percent in 2011
- Hiring contract or temporary employees – 21 percent, up from 12 percent in 2011
Small Business Hiring
Hiring among small businesses is gradually gaining ground. However, companies with 50 or fewer employees continue to be more cautious than other segments and reported little change in recruitment plans from last year.
- 50 or fewer employees – 21 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 20 percent in 2011
- 250 or fewer employees – 31 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 26 percent in 2011
- 500 or fewer employees – 34 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 27 percent in 2011
Hiring in Metropolitan and Rural Areas
Job creation is picking up in both big cities and outlying towns. Of employers who are hiring, 75 percent said they will be recruiting for positions in large metropolitan areas while 39 percent will be hiring in non-metropolitan, rural areas.
Hiring By Region
Comparing regions, the West is the most optimistic in terms of hiring plans for July through December and reported the highest year-over-year increase for adding full-time, permanent staff.
- West – 47 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 35 percent in 2011
- South – 45 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 38 percent in 2011
- Northeast – 44 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 34 percent in 2011
- Midwest – 40 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 32 percent in 2011
Where Employers Are Hiring First
The top functional areas for which businesses plan to hire first are those directly impacting revenue and innovation. Customer Service remains in the No. 1 spot for recruitment with Information Technology and Sales rounding out the top three.
- Customer Service – 24 percent
- Information Technology – 22 percent
- Sales – 21 percent
- Administrative – 16 percent
- Business Development – 13 percent
- Accounting/Finance – 12 percent
- Marketing – 11 percent
More employers are also reporting that their organizations have created entirely new job functions within their organizations to respond to evolving business demands. When asked if their organizations currently have positions that didn’t exist in their firms five years ago, employers pointed to the following:
- Positions tied to social media – 16 percent
- Positions tied to storing and managing data – 15 percent
- Positions tied to cyber security – 12 percent
- Positions tied to financial regulation – 10 percent
- Positions tied to promoting diversity inside and outside the organization – 9 percent
- Positions tied to green energy and the environment – 8 percent
- Positions tied to global relations – 8 percent
Hiring in Q2 2012
One-third (34 percent) of employers added full-time, permanent headcount in the second quarter, up from 29 percent last year and 33 percent last quarter. Nine percent decreased headcount while 56 percent made no change to staff levels and 1 percent were unsure.
Hiring in Q3 2012
Looking ahead, 30 percent of employers plan to hire full-time, permanent employees in the third quarter, up from 26 percent last year. Given that employers historically have been more conservative in estimates than actual hiring activity, the number may come in higher at quarter end.
Seven percent expect to downsize staffs, down from 8 percent last year. Fifty-eight percent anticipate no changes to headcount while 5 percent are undecided.
Workers are feeling better about their job prospects with one-in-four (27 percent) stating they are likely to leave their current jobs in the next 12 months, up slightly from 26 percent last year.
As the job market improves and employee turnover rates increase, the competition for in-demand talent is getting more intense.
Thirty-nine percent of employers are concerned that top talent will leave their organizations, up from 35 percent last year. Twenty-one percent reported they lost top performers in the second quarter, up from 18 percent last year and 19 percent last quarter.
- Fourth quarter hiring will match pre-recession levels, CareerBuilder says
- Small businesses report stronger sales, hiring plans
- More than a third of employers plan hiring, survey says
- Bad hires are costly and the problem is global
- Charlotte IT hiring expected to drop from 2006 fourth quarter numbers
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