Challenger: Hiring Managers Still Picky

June 25, 2004 ( - More than four in 10 companies plan second-half 2004 hiring, but that doesn't mean they're throwing the workplace doors completely open.

A survey of 100 mostly small- to medium-sized companies by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas also found that more than two thirds of employers predicted that they would still be very choosy in their hiring and that competition among job seekers would stay fierce.

Among a third (31%) of companies that did not add workers during the first half of the year, 25% plan to begin hiring in the second half. According to the survey, 69% of the companies polled added workers in the first half of 2004.   Among these firms, 44% said they plan to hire more after July 1.

Thirty-one percent of companies surveyed are not yet enjoying the fruits of an expanding economy or have been able to meet higher demand with existing workers.   They did not add workers in the first half of the year and 75% do not plan to hire in the second half.

“For some employers, there is still some uncertainty tied to geo-political instability and the election outcome, which is giving some companies reason to pause when it comes to making hiring plans. Employers are content to wait and see how the how these issues pan out before they commit to significant hiring,” noted John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.