HR Survey Predicts Hiring Pickup

September 24, 2003 ( - HR executives predict double-digit hiring increases over the next year at their organizations, but a stable job picture over the next six months, according to a new poll.

According to the new Job Opportunities Survey, conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and job search Web site, one-third of HR respondents indicated that there already had been increased hiring at their organizations in the past six months. Some 457 human resource (HR) professionals and 421 employees/job seekers responded to the survey.

On the other side of the employment ledger, layoffs occurred in 44% of the HR professionals’ organizations in the preceding six months, although they expect the number of layoffs to decrease in the next 180 days. Less than one-quarter of HR respondents predict layoffs at their organizations in the coming year.

HR professionals expect layoffs to drop in the next year more so than the short-term (six months) while employees expect more layoffs over the short and long-term than HR professionals. Just over a quarter of employee respondents reported being laid off in the last six months although nearly three-quarters knew someone else who was given their walking papers during that time.

The survey also covered respondents’ economic predictions as well. Four in 10 HR professionals and about two-thirds of employees forecast that the economy would improve in six months while about a half of HR professionals indicated that they expect the economy stay where it is during that time period.

When responses from this Job Opportunities Survey are compared to the same survey that was conducted in January 2003, greater numbers of both HR professionals and employees are now hopeful that the economy will improve in the short-term (six months) and long-term (12 months).