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7 Major Hiring Trends in 2009, Survey Shows

Today, while others are reflecting on the most memorable events and accomplishments of the past year (for me, 2008 will always be remembered as the year I learned how to spell “Blagojevich”), CareerBuilder.com looks ahead with the release of its 2009 U.S. Job Forecast.

According to the annual survey of hiring managers and HR professionals conducted by Harris Interactive® (spoiler alert!), employers will be slower and more cautious about hiring in the coming months.  But wait, there’s more…

Sure, maybe the above doesn’t seem like news news, but you might be surprised to see that while many employers (16 percent) do have plans to decrease the number of full-time, permanent employees in 2009, nearly the same number (14 percent) actually plan to increase this number next year. 

You can read the press release here, or go here to download the entire survey, but I’ll leave you a summary of one of the major – and more optimistic – takeaways: the seven emerging hiring trends for 2009:

  1. Increased Salaries - It won’t be by much, and there won’t be as many as there were last year, but yes, 66 percent of employers report their companies will increase salaries for existing employees this year (if only by 3 percent…), and one third expect to increase salaries on initial offers to new employees.
  2. Flexible Work Arrangements - 31 percent of employers will provide more flexible work arrangements, including alternate schedules, telecommuting options, compressed work weeks, summer hours, job sharing and sabbaticals.
  3. Green Jobs - One of the few positive increases from 2008, 13 percent of employers (3 percent more than last year) say they plan to add “green jobs” – positions that implement environmentally conscious design, policy, and technology to improve conservation and sustainability.
  4. Recruitment Tools – Despite decreased hiring budgets, spend on recruitment tools like online recruitment sites, newspaper classifieds, career fairs, recruiters and social networking sites will increase.
  5. Retaining Retirees - 17 percent of employers express an interest in rehiring retirees likely to rehire retirees from other companies, and another 12 percent hope to provide incentives for workers nearing retirement age to stay on with the company longer.
  6. Diversity Recruitment – 88 percent of employers report they will be placing the same or greater amount of emphasis on recruiting bilingual candidates in 2009.
  7. Freelance or Contract Hiring – 28 percent of employers anticipate hiring freelancers or contractors to support their business as they wait for the economy to bounce back.

What do you think?  Anything to add to this list?  Where does your company fall among the employers surveyed?

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.
6 comments
D M Norm
D M Norm

Wausau, WI layoff 118 sales staff at WBS as of 12-31-08. Very hard to get a new job in Wausau, WI. Roache cut program and 56 jobs lost. Very hard times. Hope it gets better for 2009. I loved my sales job and will have to look long and hard to find another to take its place.

D M Norm
D M Norm

Wausau, WI layoff 118 sales staff at WBS as of 12-31-08. Very hard to get a new job in Wausau, WI. Roache cut program and 56 jobs lost. Very hard times. Hope it gets better for 2009. I loved my sales job and will have to look long and hard to find another to take its place.

Ray Jones
Ray Jones

I agree absolutely, the ball is totally in their court, they get the tax breaks, to back up and leave for lower wage payouts, or to just bring in cheap labor. It would be ridiculous for any employer not to be able to be confident with all the cards their holding.

Ray Jones
Ray Jones

I agree absolutely, the ball is totally in their court, they get the tax breaks, to back up and leave for lower wage payouts, or to just bring in cheap labor. It would be ridiculous for any employer not to be able to be confident with all the cards their holding.

Ron Meledandri - Sentra Business Solutions
Ron Meledandri - Sentra Business Solutions

I beleive that for smart businesses, there are always oppotunities to increase sales - and thus hire more people. Whether the ecomony is in a boom or a recession, smart business owners and mangers find opportunities. If I were working for an employer right now who was "singing the blues," I would look for employers who were hiring during this recession - even if I felt my job is totally secure. I would want to work for someone who can find oppotunites, not someone who sees the glass as half empty.

Ron Meledandri - Sentra Business Solutions
Ron Meledandri - Sentra Business Solutions

I beleive that for smart businesses, there are always oppotunities to increase sales - and thus hire more people. Whether the ecomony is in a boom or a recession, smart business owners and mangers find opportunities. If I were working for an employer right now who was "singing the blues," I would look for employers who were hiring during this recession - even if I felt my job is totally secure. I would want to work for someone who can find oppotunites, not someone who sees the glass as half empty.

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