Improved yet cautious hiring expected for 2013

By BenefitsPro

By Amanda McGrory-Dixon

Although 26 percent of employers anticipate hiring more employees in 2013, an increase of three percentage points, they are still expected to remain cautious, according to CareerBuilder's annual hiring forecast.

"More than 60 percent of employers reported that they are in a better financial position than last year, and more than 40 percent said their sales increased over the last six months," says Matt Ferguson , CEO of CareerBuilder. "While this bodes well for job creation, employers are still assessing the implications of a weakened global market and a modest recovery at home. The guarded approach to hiring that has been evident over the last few years was sustained in part by concerns over the fiscal cliff during the time of the survey. We don't expect 2013 to bring any big surprises in regard to employment. Rather, it will continue on a path of stability and gradual growth barring any significant economic disruptions."

Despite the plans to add more staff, 9 percent of respondents expect to cut employees, an uptick from 7 percent last year. Fifty-five percent of respondents report no staffing changes, and 11 percent of respondents are undecided.

Among the top two positions in demand in 2013 are sales at 29 percent and information technology at 27 percent. Other in-demand positions include customer service at 23 percent, engineering at 22 percent, production at 22 percent, business development at 18 percent, administrative at 17 percent, research and development at 15 percent, accounting and finance at 14 percent, and marketing at 14 percent.

The survey also finds that more respondents are relying on staffing companies as 40 percent plan to bring in temporary or contract workers in 2013, a gain from 36 percent in 2012. Of these respondents, 42 percent intend to move some temporary workers into full-time, permanent roles in the next year.

Nineteen percent of respondents with 50 or fewer employees plan to hire, but 24 percent of respondents with 250 or fewer employees as well as 500 or fewer employees anticipate hiring in 2013. Meanwhile, 15 percent of respondents with 500 or fewer employees intend to take out new credit lines next year.

When it comes to looking for other employment opportunities, 19 percent of employees report being recruited even though they did not apply for any positions. The top positions that are experiencing this are sales at 33 percent, professional and business services at 31 percent and information technology at 26 percent.

To retain and attract the best talent, 72 percent of respondents expect to offer higher compensation for current employees, an increase from 62 percent in 2012, and 47 percent of respondents plan on doing so for new employees, an uptick from 32 percent last year. Typically, these salary increases will be 3 percent or less. For employees who do not have the necessary experience, 39 percent of respondents anticipate training them, marking a slight increase from 38 percent last year.

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