Although 2013 is expected to bring more jobs (along with spiked eggnog-fueled versions of Auld Lang Syne and maybe a not-so Rockin’ Eve sans Dick Clark), U.S. employers are playing it cool right now. According to CareerBuilder’s annual hiring forecast, conducted among 2,611 hiring managers and HR professionals and 3,991 workers, more than a quarter — 26 percent — of hiring managers plan to add full-time, permanent employees in the New Year, up three percentage points over 2012.
CareerBuilder’s CEO Matt Ferguson notes that while many employers are in a better financial position now than in the recent past, they’re still cautious about the state of the market and future recovery:
“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. While this bodes well for job creation, employers are still assessing the implications of a weakened global market and a modest recovery at home.”
Top Trends for 2013:
- Full-time, permanent hiring is up — and down: While the number of employers adding headcount is trending up from 2012, so is the number of those planning to reduce staff, indicating the continued mix of optimism and caution we’ve seen so much of throughout this recovery. Case in point: While 26 percent of employers expect to hire full-time, permanent employees in 2013, up from 23 percent in 2012, 9 percent plan to decrease headcount, up from 7 percent in 2012.
- Many market segments will see active hiring: Sales and information technology boast the top spot when it comes to hiring in the New Year – and those two positions are also where employers expect to see the biggest salary increases. Sales and IT aren’t the only hot positions for the New Year, though; the following percentage of hiring managers plan to recruit full-time, permanent employees for these other positions:
- Sales – 29 percent
- Information Technology – 27 percent
- Customer Service – 23 percent
- Engineering – 22 percent
- Production – 22 percent
- Business Development – 18 percent
- Administrative – 17 percent
- Research & Development – 15 percent
- Accounting & Finance – 14 percent
- Marketing – 14 percent
- Temporary and contract hiring are filling some hiring gaps: As market demands increase, more companies are turning to staffing and recruiting companies and temporary workers to fill the gap. Forty percent of employers plan to hire temporary and contract workers in 2013, up from 36 percent last year.
- Small businesses are split in their hiring plans: While small businesses (those with 500 or fewer employees) are showing more confidence in their hiring plans, many of them are still showing concern when it comes to financial stability and market demand.
It’s not a huge surprise, then, that 15 percent of small businesses say they plan to take out new lines of credit in 2013, and that hiring plans are equally split: Plans to hire increased at least three percentage points across small business segments from 2012, while plans to downsize trended up the same amount.
- Efforts to decrease the skills gap: In more and more market areas, demand for skilled positions is growing much faster than supply, leaving many employers unable to find qualified workers.
As companies work to fix the problem and get the right people in the door, workers should be on the lookout for three trends in the New Year:
1) Employers scouting talent at other organizations.
Employers may come knocking, solicited or not. Nearly one in five workers (19 percent) reported they have been approached to work for another company in the last year when they didn’t apply for a position with that organization.
2) More employers willing to increase compensation.
In an effort to retain and attract top talent for skilled positions, employers expect to provide higher compensation for both current staff and prospective employees.
3) Employers creating the right candidate instead of waiting for one.
Employers are taking measures to “re-skill” workers themselves. Thirty-nine percent plan to train people who don’t have experience in their particular industry or field and hire them for positions within their organizations, up from 38 percent last year.
Download the entire forecast here.