If finding a new job is high on many peoples' lists of New Year's resolutions, the prospects are likely to improve to some degree, according to CareerBuilder's annual job forecast. Compared with 2010, more employers plan to add full-time, permanent headcount in 2011, with a continued emphasis on hiring in technology and revenue-producing fields. The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive from Nov. 15 to Dec. 2, included more than 2,400 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and in companies of different sizes.
"More than half of employers reported they are in a better financial position today than they were one year ago," said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. "2011 will usher in a healthier employment picture as business leaders grow more confident in the economy. Our survey indicates more jobs will be added in 2011 than 2010, but job creation will remain gradual. The year will be characterized by steady, measured gains across various industries."
In 2011, 24 percent of employers plan to hire full-time, permanent employees, up from 20 percent in 2010 and 14 percent in 2009. Moreover, 7 percent plan to decrease headcount, an improvement from 9 percent in 2010 and 16 percent in 2009. While 58 percent anticipate no change in their staff levels, 11 percent are unsure.
According to survey results, 13 percent of employers expect to hire part-time employees in the next 12 months, up from 11 percent in 2010 and 9 percent in 2009. Meanwhile, 5 percent said they plan to decrease part-time help, an improvement from 8 percent in 2010 and 14 percent in 2009. Seventy-one percent anticipate no change in their staff levels while 12 percent are unsure.
Survey results also suggested businesses will be relying on interim solutions to help shoulder growing workloads. One-third of hiring managers (34 percent) reported they will hire contract or temporary workers to supplement leaner staffs in 2011, up from 30 percent last year and 28 percent in 2009. Of those hiring, nearly one-in-four (24 percent) expect to add more than last year. Thirty-nine percent of employers plan to transition some contract or temporary staff into full-time, permanent employees.
Among employers who plan to increase their full-time, permanent headcount in 2011, sales (27 percent) is the most popular functional area they will be hiring for as they focus on expanding their customer base and market penetration. The top functional areas for recruitment also include information technology (26 percent), customer service (25 percent) and engineering (21 percent).
While small businesses have been slower to recover, hiring is gradually improving among companies of all sizes, the survey found. Thirty percent of organizations with more than 250 employees plan to increase full-time, permanent headcount in 2011, followed by 27 percent of employers with 51 to 250 employees, and 14 percent of those with 50 or fewer employees. Additionally, 5 percent of companies with 50 or fewer employees plan to reduce their workforce, compared with 6 percent of businesses with 51 to 250 employees and 9 percent with more than 250 employees.