U.S. Employers Expect More Hiring for Remainder of 2017

Sixty-five percent of hiring managers expect to hire before the end of the year, driving competition for talent to new highs. Let’s take a look at the latest hiring forecast.
U.S. employers expect more hiring for rest of 2017

July 24, 2017 – A record number of hiring managers in the U.S. anticipate bringing aboard more employees in the next six months, according to the semi-annual hiring survey from DHI Group, an online career resource and talent acquisition platform for technology professionals and other select professional communities.

The expected rise in hiring comes at a time when unemployment is low and demand for skilled professionals is high, driving competition in the recruitment market amongst employers.

Today, 65 percent of hiring managers expect more hiring, three percentage points above last year, according to the DHI report. The uptick in expectations comes after a dip just six months ago when 56 percent of hiring managers who recruit for a variety of professionals anticipated adding more employees to their organizations.

“The survey last year hit during a tumultuous political season in America and prior to the election of Donald Trump as President,” said Michael Durney, president and CEO of DHI Group. “It would seem that whatever concern was paralyzing employers’ hiring earlier in the year has since abated.

“Now, it’s a hurry-up-and-wait situation; hiring managers are combating lengthy fill times as professionals ponder choosing the ideal employer,” he said. “Recruiters are needing to employ creative tactics to attract skilled candidates.”

Finding Qualified Candidates

The report also found that almost half (46 percent) of hiring managers note the time to fill open positions has lengthened relative to last year, primarily driven by the inability to find qualified candidates (47 percent) and becoming more discernable while waiting for the perfect match (28 percent).

DHI Group’s proprietary labor market report, ‘DHI Hiring Indicators,’ echoes this sentiment among employers. In April 2017 (latest data available), the DHI-DFH measure of national vacancy duration found the average job in the U.S. took 30.5 days to fill, a record high and nearly a full day above the previous high in April 2016.

“The time to fill open positions is at peak levels and the pressure is on for America’s employers. Offering competitive pay, excellent benefits and employee perks is essential for any company who wants to attract skilled tech talent,” said Mr. Durney.

Recruiting budgets are expected to be more robust than last year, according to 35 percent of respondents. Companies are receiving the message on recruiting tactics, but not necessarily regarding pay. More than half (55 percent) of hiring managers anticipate salaries for new hires to trend upwards relative to last year; however, that’s dipped from the past two surveys (November and June 2016) when 58 percent of respondents expected higher salaries.


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On the other hand, certain recruiting strategies are being leveraged more frequently as employers are eager to get talent in the door. The most common is more firms paying for relocation (53 percent in 2017, compared to 50 percent in 2016) and there’s a rise in companies offering employee perks like free lunches, snacks, gym memberships and unlimited vacations (45 percent in today versus 44 percent last year) as a competitive advantage—although today perks are the norm and any firm not offering them are in the minority.

Sourcing and building a bench of talent continues to be a priority for many companies, as 76 percent of hiring managers say it’s more important than a year ago, according to DHI Group. Many hiring managers broaden their search (51 percent) beyond local talent when a position is difficult to fill. Recruiters are managing expectations, too—only 26 percent say they keep positions open until the perfect match is found, a tick down compared to the 32 percent who said this six months ago.

“In order for companies to get ahead, recruitment has to be regarded as a continual process and they need to have an ongoing conversation with prospects,” said Mr. Durney. “Recruiters today know the best way to be efficient is by understanding the talent they want to attract and creating highly targeted messaging, like through Lengo, to promote the employer brand. Employers who do this will build value in their brand and assemble a solid pipeline of star talent.”

Similar Findings

A recent CareerBuilder study revealed that 60 percent of companies are hiring full-time, part-time and temporary or contract workers from July 1 through Dec. 31, up from 50 percent last year. Thirty-six percent of employers plan to hire part-time, permanent employees, up from 29 percent, and 46 percent plan to hire temporary or contract workers, up from 32 percent last year.

“Events dominating national headlines have had a polarizing effect in the U.S., but most employers remain confident in their outlook for financial growth and plans for hiring,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “Job seekers stand to benefit not only from having more options, but also from the growing intensity in the competition for talent.”

“Employers are moving quickly to recruit candidates and they are willing to pay more across job levels,” he said. “They are also placing a greater emphasis on candidates having a positive experience when they apply to their firms. The current climate puts job seekers in a more advantageous position.”


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Inadequate Talent Supply

Since the financial crisis of 2008, there has been an emergent skills gap that has plagued almost every industry. Numerous reports continue to come out citing that lack of quality talent is an issue among companies despite the large amount of people seeking new employment opportunities. “Companies that are growing want to hire really good people, and when you have an unemployment rate under five percent, there’s a shortage of them,” said Tom Gimbel, chief executive officer of recruiting firm LaSalle Network.

The inadequate supply of qualified and skilled talent is the second-biggest threat to U.S. companies’ ability to meet revenue or business performance targets, second only to “increased competitive pressures,” concluded a recent Randstad ‘U.S. Workplace Trends’ report. Nearly eight-in-10 hiring decision makers (79 percent) agree that when positions become available at their organization, they struggle to find people whose skills match the job requirements.

“Often the challenge for hiring executives isn’t the quantity of available candidates; instead it’s the increasing difficulty in finding talent that is qualified, with the right skills and cultural fit for the position,” said Jim Link, chief human resources officer (CHRO) of Randstad North America. People are the key factor linking innovation, competitiveness and growth for companies today, he said. “But securing skilled workers is getting more complex and challenging than ever before.” As organizations further increase their hiring activity, he added, low unemployment means business leaders will have to work harder at hiring and keeping quality talent particularly as employees gain more options and confidence to change employers.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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