44% of employers believe in ‘hire power’ in 2018

January 16, 2018

Fewer than half (44%) of U.S. employers nationwide plan to hire full-time, permanent employees in 2018—and just over half (51%) will hire temporary employees, based on findings of a poll of 888 hiring managers and HR managers released on January 9 by CareerBuilder.

Last year, the number planning to hire was 40%, so opportunities have increased slightly, according to the study, conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder by The Harris Poll.

However, the online job recruiter says, the most pressing question remains: How quickly can they fill those roles, if at all? Forty-five percent of HR managers currently have jobs they cannot fill because they cannot find qualified talent and 58 percent report that they have jobs that stay open for 12 weeks or longer.1

At the same time, employers will have a harder time holding on to current employees with 40% of workers planning to change jobs during the next 12 months.

“More job creation, higher voluntary employee turnover and intensified competition for talent will be the main themes surrounding employment in 2018,” said CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson “There is a perfect storm happening in the U.S. labor market. Low unemployment paired with lagging labor force participation and a growing skills gap is making it very difficult for businesses to find qualified candidates—and this is for all types of roles.

“If employers want to remain competitive,” Ferguson added, “they are going to have to look to new talent pools and significantly increase their investment in training workers to build up the skills they require.”

With companies struggling to get new employees in the door, the poll found that they are exploring various sources for job candidates and increasing compensation in 2018—among them::

  • Capturing new talent earlyEmployers will start courting college students early: 64% plan to hire recent college graduates this year.
  • Importing talent: Employers will be looking beyond borders to find talent,with 23% planning to hire workers from other countries to work in the United States.
  • Re-engaging past employees: Employers will increase outreach to workers who know their business and have a history with them: 39%  plan to hire former employees in 2018.
  • Hiring for potential: 66% percent of employers said they will train and hire workers who may not have all the skills they need, but have potential; 44% of all employers plan to train low-skill workers who don’t have experience in their field and hire them for higher-skill jobs.
  • Boosting compensation: While wage gains have not reached desired levels, employers will become more aggressive with compensation levels for in-demand workers. Fully 30% plan to increase starting salaries for new employees by 5% or more, while 36% will do the same for existing staff.

While employers say functions such as customer service, sales, information technology and production will top their list for full-time, permanent hiring in 2018, they also pointed to other key areas where they will be adding headcount—including jobs tied to skilled labor (30%), data analysis (25%), digital marketing (17%), cybersecurity (15%), automation (12%) and artificial intelligence/machine learning (10%).

The West and Northeast are leading the regions in the percentage of employers hiring full-time, permanent employees at 49% and 47%, respectively; followed by the South (45%). The Midwest continues to lag other regions with 33% of employers planning to hire in 2018.

Research contact: Jennifer.Grasz@careerbuilder.com

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