If you're job hunting, 2013 may be your year.
According to CareerBuilder's annual hiring forecast, 26 percent of hiring managers plan to add full-time, permanent employees in the New Year -- up three percentage points from 2012. The study also points to heightened competition for high skill labor and improved compensation trends.
The nationwide survey was conducted by Harris Interactive from November 1 to November 30, 2012 and included more than 2,600 hiring managers and human resource professionals and more than 3,900 workers across industries and company sizes.
"More than 60 percent of employers reported that they are in a better financial position than 2012 and more than 40 percent said their sales increased over the last six months," said 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."
Full-time, permanent hiring
While the number of employers adding headcount is trending up from 2012, so is the number planning to reduce staffs -- reflecting a mix of optimism and caution that has been characteristic of this recovery. Twenty-six percent of employers expect to hire full-time, permanent employees in 2013, three percent more than in 2012. Nine percent plan to decrease headcount, two percent more than in 2012. Fifty-five percent anticipate no change in their staff levels, while 11 percent are unsure.
The top two positions companies plan to hire for in the New Year -- Sales and Information Technology -- are also where employers expect to see the biggest salary increases. Hiring managers plan to recruit full-time, permanent employees for:
- 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
More companies are turning to staffing and recruiting companies and temporary workers to help meet increased market demands. Forty percent of employers plan to hire temporary and contract workers in 2013; it was 36 percent in 2012. Among these employers, 42 percent plan to transition some temporary workers into full-time, permanent employees over the next 12 months.
Small business hiring
Fifteen percent of small businesses (500 or fewer employees) reported they plan to take out new lines of credit in 2013. While small businesses are showing more confidence in their hiring intentions, there are still concerns over financial stability and market demand. Plans to hire increased at least three percentage points across small business segments while plans to downsize trended up the same amount.
- 50 or fewer employees – 19 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff in 2013, up six percent from 2012; six percent plan to reduce headcount, up three percent from 2012.
- 250 or fewer employees – 24 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff in 2013, up four percent from 2012; seven percent plan to reduce headcount, versus four percent in 2012.
- 500 or fewer employees – 24 percent plan to add full-time permanent staff in 2013, up three percent from 2012; seven percent plan to reduce headcount, up three percent from 2012.
Hiring by region
Similar to previous forecasts, the West and the South house the most employers planning to recruit new employees over the next 12 months.
- West – 28 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff in 2013,versus 24 percent in 2012; nine percent plan to reduce headcount, the same as in 2012.
- South – 27 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff in 2013, four percent more than in 2012; nine percent plan to reduce headcount, compared with seven percent in 2012.
- Midwest – 24 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff in 2013, up slightly from 2012; ten percent plan to reduce headcount, versus six percent in 2012.
- Northeast – 23 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff in 2013, up two percent from 2012; ten percent plan to reduce headcount, also up two percent from 2012.
Navigating the skills gap
There are an increasing number of areas where demand for skilled positions is growing much faster than the supply. As companies work to remedy the situation and get qualified talent in the door, workers should be on the lookout for three trends in the New Year:
- 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. Sales workers were the most likely to report being courted at 33 percent, followed by 31 percent of Professional & Business Services workers and 26 percent of Information Technology workers.
- 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. Seventy-two percent of employers plan to increase compensation for existing employees -- up from eight percent in 2012 -- while 47 percent will offer higher starting salaries for new employees – a 15 percent surge from 2012. Most increases will be three percent or less.
- 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 a tick from 2012.