Employer Hiring Fears Lead to Temporary Solutions

October 8, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The latest survey from CareerBuilder and USA TODAY found that, hesitant to accelerate hiring to full capacity, employers are turning to interim solutions to support business needs.

Thirty percent of employers reported they hired contract or temporary workers in the third quarter. Twenty-seven percent plan to do so in the fourth quarter.   

According to a press release, the positions for which employers are most likely to hire contract or temporary staff in the last three months of 2010 include:  

  • IT – 27%  
  • Administrative -25%  
  • Engineering – 12%  
  • Finance and Accounting – 12%  
  • Sales and Marketing – 10%  
  • Creative and Design – 9%  


Nearly one-in-four hiring managers (24%) said they are planning to transition some contract or temporary staff into permanent employees.

Fourth Quarter Hiring Plans  

Twenty-one percent of employers expect to add full-time, permanent employees in the fourth quarter, according to the latest survey from CareerBuilder and USA TODAY. A press release said the October to December period is the fourth consecutive quarter where at least one-in-five employers planned to increase headcount.  

Ten percent of employers expect to downsize staffs, 65% anticipate no change, and 4% are undecided.  

Twenty-four percent of employers in the Northeast and 22% in the West plan to add full-time, permanent workers, compared to 21% in the Midwest and 20% in the South. By company size, 26% of employers with more than 250 employees plan to increase headcount in the fourth quarter, as do 24% of employers with 51 to 250 employees and 13% of employers with 50 or less employees.  

Forty-one percent of employers anticipate no change in salary levels in the fourth quarter compared to the same period last year. Thirty-five percent expect there will be an average increase of 3% or less. Fourteen percent expect their average changes will be between 4% and 10%, and 1% predict an increase of 11% or more. Five percent anticipate a decrease in salaries.   

The announcement said actual hiring consistently beat projected hiring for the last six quarters in the survey. Looking at 2010, 24% of employers reported adding full-time, permanent headcount in each quarter from January through September. Original projections for that period averaged 21%.  

The survey also found half of full-time, employed workers indicated they are not happier with their employment situation today than they were one year ago. Contributing to the lack in job satisfaction that some workers are feeling is the inability to contribute at desired levels.   

Nearly three in ten workers (29%) reported feeling underemployed. Of these workers, 71% stated their skills and experience aren't being utilized to their full potential, 45% don't feel challenged and 30% stated they don't feel a sense of autonomy in their positions. Nineteen percent said they feel underemployed because they took a job during the recession that was lower than their previous position.   

Twenty-seven percent of workers reported they don't feel loyal to their current employer.   

The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive from August 17 to September 2, 2010, and included more than 2,400 hiring managers and human resource professionals and more than 3,100 workers across industries and company sizes.