Nearly Half of Employers Plan to Ramp Up Hiring

The jobs outlook is positive for 2019, according to a new CareerBuilder report, as organizations plan to continue hiring full-time as well as temporary employees. The tough part, everyone agrees, will be finding the talent. Here are five trends to watch for this year, along with insight from recruiting experts at Robin Judson Partners and Rand Thompson Consultants.

March 6, 2019 – U.S. businesses are expecting hiring to pick up this year, with 40 percent of employers planning to add full-time employees and 47 percent looking to recruit part-time workers, according to a newly released report by CareerBuilder. Those numbers are on par with last year’s report, which forecast 44 percent and 51 percent increases, respectively.

There is demand for full-time workers. Some 50 percent of human resource managers said they currently have open positions for which they cannot find qualified candidates. Yet there are candidates at the ready. Across all skills levels, 32 percent of workers said they are looking to change jobs in 2019. When asked why they left their last job, employees cited low compensation or a lack of benefits (15 percent) and poor company culture (10 percent).

“The employment outlook is positive with 40 percent of employers looking to hire full-time, permanent employees,” said Irina Novoselsky, CEO of CareerBuilder. “While a skills gap has created an environment where employers are having trouble finding qualified talent, employees’ and companies’ mutual dedication towards competency-based training indicates we have made leaps and bounds toward eliminating these obstacles; we’ve found that 59 percent of employers plan to train and hire workers who may not be 100 percent qualified but have potential.”

Technological innovation will continue to be a driving force in defining the labor market for both in demand jobs and how companies recruit for open roles, said Ms. Novoselsky.

The national surveys, conducted online by the Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder, included representative samples of 1,021 hiring managers and human resource managers and 1,010 full-time U.S. workers across various industries and company sizes.

Hiring Trends to Watch

1) Candidates’ soft skills are increasingly important when applying for jobs. Ninety-two percent of employers said that soft skills, including interpersonal skills, communication abilities and critical thinking, will be important in determining whether they will hire candidates. Eighty percent also said that soft skills would be equally or more important than hard skills when hiring candidates, since specific technical skills are necessary for some jobs. The top skills that employers are expected to be hiring for in 2019 are the ability to be team oriented (51 percent), attention to detail (49 percent) and customer service (46 percent).

2) Opportunities for job seekers are available year round. Fifty-one percent of hiring managers recruit throughout the calendar year for positions that may open up later on. Of those who continuously recruit, 55 percent said this reduces their time-to-hire and 42 percent said it reduces cost-per-hire.

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3) Companies and job seekers are willing to invest in tech training. Fifty-five percent of employers said they believe that, on average, 50 percent or more of all jobs include tech requirements, and 56 percent have paid for employees to get skills-based training outside the office, so they can move up to a higher-skill job within their organization. However, 66 percent of employees said their company offers no educational opportunities or workshops outside of work hours to teach them new skills they could use in their jobs. Of those employees, 73 percent said they would be somewhat or extremely likely to participate if such opportunities were offered.

4) Convenience and culture may be more important than compensation. Employees cited factors like location (56 percent), affordable benefits plans (55 percent), job stability (55 percent), a good boss (48 percent) and good work culture (44 percent) as more important than salary when considering a position.

Related:HR Leaders Cite Engagement and Culture as Top Priorities

5) Compensation is on the rise. Twenty-nine percent of employers said they expect the average increase in salaries for existing employees to be five percent or more in 2019 compared to 2018.

Top Areas for Hiring

As new technologies are constantly introduced, legacy industries are being transformed, and the need for workers with specialized, high-tech capabilities is on the rise. CareerBuilder found these areas are in demand for hiring:

  • Skilled labor: 25 percent
  • Data analysis: 21 percent
  • Digital marketing: 12 percent
  • Cybersecurity: 11 percent
  • AI and machine learning: 10 percent
  • Healthy living: 10 percent

Recruiting Trends to Watch

The job seeker experience is paramount: HR managers (36 percent) cited improved user experiences for candidates, employees, and hiring managers as a top priority for recruitment and HR management going into 2019.

Related: 4 Ways to Build Talent Pipelines of the Future

Efficiency is critical: HR managers also said that helping recruiters to be more efficient in filling roles faster with higher quality candidates (29 percent) and expediting background checks (24 percent) are top priorities for recruitment and HR management going into the new year.

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Streamlined communication: Twenty-two percent of HR managers said they believe technology will be most beneficial in helping manage and maintain regular communication with job candidates during the application process. “To simplify the process, CareerBuilder’s new TD Companion App enables hiring managers to communicate directly with candidates through text message and email,” said Ms. Novoselsky.

Related:A Look Inside Today’s Worker-Employer Relationship

Speak the same language: Recruiters speak one language and candidates speak another; it’s no wonder 39 percent of HR managers said that technology would be most beneficial in helping with sorting through applicants to identify top candidates and remove candidates that are not qualified. “CareerBuilder has crossed the language barrier with the use of AI and semantic search to halve the applicant to hire ratio,” said Ms. Novoselsky.

Perfecting the process: Bad hires can negatively affect companies, and the main ways they impacted employers’ businesses last year were less productivity (28 percent), a negative impact on employee morale (25 percent) and driving up costs for recruiting and training other workers (24 percent). Additionally, employers who have had a bad hire affect their business in the past year estimated that the average cost of a bad hire is more than $18,700.

Search Consultants Weigh In

“The current demand for specialized skills in our sectors has made it important for hiring managers to keep recruiting processes moving,”said Robin Judson, managing partner and group founder at Robin Judson Partners. “A delay of as little as a week in bringing a candidate through a process may result in losing candidates to other roles.”

“The first quarter offers the greatest number of open positions and no one wants to get caught without a job if they can avoid it. At this point, feeling insecure in a current position is more idiosyncratic or company-specific,” said Ms. Judson. “At the same time, whether the job markets are positive or negative, companies should always offer their strongest employees as much support and as many non-monetary benefits as possible. Everything from strong reviews with guidance to the future to allowing key staffers to attend strategy and/or client meetings passes a message that the employee has a future in the company,” she said.

Related: 5 Job Market Trends Expected in 2019

“We see similar issues with risk aversion being driven by increased market and economic volatility,” said Drew Desky, managing partner of New York-based executive search firm Rand Thompson Consultants. “Both employers and employees experience this decrease in risk tolerance. Many potential job candidates retreat into a deer in the headlights mentality, hoping to ride out the volatility through a renewed focus on job performance and maintaining a low profile.”

Similarly, employers can implement hiring freezes and/or reductions in their workforce, as warding off increased compensation expenses is viewed as a simple although painful approach to averting financial risk. “What many people overlook, both employers and candidates, is that volatility also gives rise to unforeseen opportunities in the job market,” said Mr. Desky. “Companies can take a hard look at improving the quality of its employee base, as good candidates from competing firms become available. Candidates should likewise scope out opportunities where their skills are better valued or where they can gain a clearer career trajectory.”

Related: The High Cost of Picking a Wrong Leader

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

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