Employers Becoming More Flexible

January 6, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A new CareerBuilder survey finds employers are becoming more relaxed about set schedules and dress codes as they take measures to enhance the overall work experience.

One-third of employers expect to offer more flexible work arrangements such as telecommuting and alternate schedules in 2011.  Fifteen percent reported they will provide a more casual dress code.  

A CareerBuilder press release said 41% of employers are concerned about losing their top talent as the economy improves.  While the majority of employers plan to increase salaries for existing staff in 2011, 39% will not be providing raises.  As a gesture of recognition to employees, 13% are offering higher titles, but without pay increases.   

Along with more traditional job opportunities, employers are also adding new functions within their organizations in response to popular movements. Jobs centered around social media, green energy, and health care reform are being added in the New Year.  Hiring managers also reported demand for “cyber warriors” to protect Internet sites from security breaches or fraudulent activity.  

Thirty-five percent of employers reported that their current staffs are smaller than pre-recession levels.  Of those employers, most anticipate no adjustments to staff levels in 2011, with 57% reporting that they have become accustomed to handling the workload with less headcount.  Others pointed to their business changing focus and hiring in other areas.    

Nearly one-in-five U.S. employers (18%) reported they will be hiring for their operations in other countries in 2011.  Five percent stated they will likely recruit workers from other countries to work in the U.S.    

With smaller recruiting staffs facing larger amounts of job applications, employers are turning to technology to help identify viable candidates.  Six percent reported they have conducted video interviews with potential job candidates while 11% plan to do so in the New Year.  

Forty-two percent of employers said their company changed its business direction as a result of the recession.  The majority of these employers kept their core business, but added new revenue streams. More than one-quarter (27%) of those who shifted business direction reported they changed their core business altogether or expanded into areas that will eventually become their core business.  

The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,482 U.S. hiring managers and 3,910 U.S. workers (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government) ages 18 and over between November 15 and December 2, 2010.