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Justin Bieber’s Got Nothing on These: Top 10 Hiring and Workplace Trends to Watch in 2011

Justin Bieber-style haircutWhat do drive-in movie theater dates, Hypercolor t-shirts, and Justin Bieber-inspired haircuts have in common? They’re all trends that have passed through our lives over the years (or, in some cases, are still in our lives). New trends seep into our everyday existence all the time, and the world of hiring and the workplace is no exception. A new CareerBuilder and Harris Interactive survey of more than 2,400 hiring managers and 3,910 workers nationwide identified 10 key trends in business, hiring, work culture and job search to watch out for as we kick off a new year.

Let’s get right to it – here are the 10 top hiring and workplace trends to keep an eye on in 2011, according to survey results:

1) Shifting Business Directions: A whopping 42 percent of employers said their company has changed business directions as a result of the recession. The majority of these employers kept their core business, but added new revenue streams – although 27 percent of those who shifted direction said they changed their core business altogether or expanded into areas that will eventually become their core business.

2) Working Leaner: Thirty-five percent of employers said their current staffs are smaller than pre-recession levels. Of those employers, most don’t foresee adjustments to headcount in 2011, with 57 percent reporting that they have become used to handling the workload with less people.

3) Changing Jobs: Workers are becoming more optimistic about their job prospects in 2011. Fifteen percent of full-time, employed workers are actively seeking a new job, and 76 percent said that although they are not actively looking, they would change jobs in 2011 if the right opportunity came along.

The majority of workers aren’t necessarily focused on a bigger paycheck, either. Sixty-eight percent said affordable benefits are more important to them than salary.

4) Creating New Functions: Along with more traditional job opportunities, employers are adding new functions within their organizations in response to popular movements. Jobs centered around social media, green energy and health care reform are just a few of these “emerging” roles being added in 2011, and hiring managers reported that “cyber warriors,” whose roles are to protect Internet sites from security breaches or fraudulent activity, are in high demand as well.

5) Video Interviewing: With smaller recruiting staffs facing larger numbers of job applications, employers are turning to technology to help find the right candidates. Six percent reported they have conducted video interviews with potential job candidates, while 11 percent plan to do so this year.

6) Less Moonlighting: While making ends meet is still a challenge for many U.S. households, fewer workers are reporting the need to work more than one job. In addition, only 12 percent plan to take on second jobs in 2011, compared to 19 percent in 2010.

7) Taking a Global Perspective: Nearly one in five U.S. employers (18 percent) reported they will be hiring for their operations in other countries in 2011, while 5 percent stated they will likely recruit workers from other countries to work in U.S. locations.

8 ) Relocating Talent: Of workers who were laid off in the last 12 months and found new jobs, 23 percent relocated to a new city or state. For those workers looking to relocate this year, good news: 33 percent of employers said they would be willing to pick up the moving tab for select candidates this year.

9) Promoting Without Pay: Forty-one percent of employers are concerned about losing their top talent as the economy improves. While the majority of employers plan to increase salaries for existing staff in 2011, 39 percent will not be providing raises. As a gesture of recognition to employees without pay increases, however, 13 percent are offering higher titles.

10) Going Casual: Employers are becoming more relaxed about set schedules and dress codes as they work to enhance the typical work experience. Fifteen percent reported they will allow for a more casual dress code, and 33 percent expect to offer more flexible work arrangements like telecommuting and alternate schedules in 2011.

Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America, offers his take on the trends:

“The recession produced fundamental shifts in how companies and workers view the market. “Businesses are becoming more agile and changing direction. They’re operating leaner and recruiting for opportunities in emerging areas. Workers are transitioning to new fields, are more open to relocation and are more apt to consider opportunities outside of their current employers.”

Which trends do you foresee most aligning with your business direction in 2011?

Amy K. McDonnell

About Amy K. McDonnell

Originally hailing from Ohio, Amy is the editorial manager on the content services team and has been with both CareerBuilder and the city of Chicago for nearly a decade. She writes on a range of recruitment topics on The Hiring Site, striving to bring a dose of clarity and humor to sometimes complicated issues around employee attraction, engagement and retention. When she's not working, Amy spends as much time as possible reading, pretending to be a chef, writing short stories, eating Nutella out of the jar, waiting for CTA buses and trains, going to see her favorite bands live, and spending time with people who inspire and challenge her.


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