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2013 Hiring Forecast: A Good Employee Is Hard to Find

January 25th, 2013 ::

By Rieva Lesonsky

Will you be hiring employees for your small business this year? If so, you’re in good company–but you might face challenges as tough as looking for a needle in a haystack. More than one-fourth of hiring managers polled in the CareerBuilder Hiring Forecast for 2013 say their companies will be hiring full-time, permanent employees in 2013, up 3 percent compared to 2012. However, that doesn’t mean the hiring outlook is rosy.

Many businesses are still on the fence about hiring. Although more than 60 percent of employers in the survey say they are in a better financial position than last year, the slow pace of recovery is still affecting hiring plans, and the percentage of companies planning layoffs also increased, from 7 percent last year to 9 percent this year. Small businesses, in particular, show signs of indecision, with both the percentage planning to hire and the percentage planning to lay people off up 3 percent from last year.

If you are planning to hire, what markets will see the most competition? Sales (29 percent) and IT (27 percent) are the top areas where companies plan to hire. These are also the two areas that will see the biggest salary increases. Customer service, engineering and production are close behind sales and IT, with slightly over 20 percent of companies planning to hire for these roles.

While it may be hard to believe, in many industries and/or regions of the country, it’s hard to fill skilled positions, and employers are struggling to find workers. How are companies dealing with the shortage?

  • Temp time: More businesses are relying on temporary employees or using staffing services to fill in the gaps. Some 40 percent of companies surveyed report plans to hire temporary and/or contract workers in 2013, an increase from 36 percent last year.
  • Talent poaching: More employers are actively recruiting employees from other companies. Almost 20 percent of employees in the survey reported having been approached by a potential employer in 2012 even though they hadn’t applied for a job at that company.
  • Pay raises: Employers are concerned not only about finding skilled workers, but holding on to those they already have. No wonder many employers in the survey said they plan to increase compensation for both existing staff and prospective hires.
  • Do-it-yourself: Instead of searching for skilled employees, more companies are training their existing employees to move up to positions of greater responsibility or learn new skills that are needed within the business. Some 39 percent of employers said they will train current employees for new positions this year, up from 38 percent last year.

Image by Flickr user John Pavelka (Creative Commons)

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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Posted in Recruiters, Small Business, small business, Workforce | 1 Comment »

  • http://www.enmast.com/ Devan Perine

    Over the last 8-12 months we’ve also seen the number of job applicants go down quite a bit. So for a marketing position in Chicago that used to get 150 applicants, we’re now seeing candidate pools of like 80.

    Unemployment is down, so there’s not as big of a market place for talent out there as there used to be (like in 2009 when it was awful). So there’s been more focus on recruiting passive candidates, which means poaching, raises for current employees to retain them, and so forth.