Small Hiring Improvement Seen for 2011

December 30, 2010 ( – More employers plan to add full-time, permanent headcount in 2011 compared to 2010 with a continued emphasis on hiring in technology and revenue-producing fields, a new CareerBuilder survey finds

According to a CareerBuilder news release, 24% of employers plan to hire full-time, permanent employees in 2011, up from 20% in 2010 and 14% in 2009. Seven percent plan to decrease headcount, an improvement from 9% in 2010 and 16% in 2009 while 58% anticipate no change in their staff levels.

“More than half of employers reported they are in a better financial position today than they were one year ago,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, in the announcement. “2011 will usher in a healthier employment picture as business leaders grow more confident in the economy. Our survey indicates more jobs will be added in 2011 than 2010, but job creation will remain gradual. The year will be characterized by steady, measured gains across various industries.”

The CareerBuilder poll found 13% of employers expect to hire part-time employees in the next 12 months, up from 11% this year and 9% in 2009. Five percent plan to decrease part-time help, an improvement from 8% in 2010 and 14% in 2009.

Meanwhile, one-third of hiring managers (34%) reported they will hire contract or temporary workers to supplement leaner staffs in 2011, up from 30% last year and 28% in 2009. Of those hiring, nearly one-in-four (24%) expect to add more than last year. Thirty-nine percent of employers plan to transition some contract or temporary staff into full-time, permanent employees.

Sales a Hot Hiring Sector

According to the CareerBujilder survey, among employers who plan to increase their full-time, permanent headcount in 2011, Sales is the most popular functional area they will be hiring for as they focus on expanding their customer base and market penetration. The top ten functional areas for recruitment include:

  • Sales – 27%
  • Information Technology – 26%
  • Customer Service – 25%
  • Engineering – 21%
  • Technology – 19%
  • Administrative – 17%
  • Business Development – 17%
  • Marketing – 17%
  • Research/Development – 15%
  • Accounting/Finance – 14%

Twenty-six percent of hiring managers in the West reported they plan to add full-time, permanent headcount followed by 24% in the Northeast and 23% in the Midwest and South. Thirty percent of employers with more than 250 employees plan to increase full-time, permanent headcount in 2011, followed by 27% of employers with 51 to 250 employees, and 14% of employers with 50 or less employees. Five percent of employers with 1 to 50 employees plan to reduce their workforce compared to 6% of businesses with 51 to 250 employees and 9% with more than 250 employees.

Sixty-one percent said they will increase compensation for their existing staff in 2011, up from 57% in 2010. While most employers estimate the average raise will be 3% or less, one-in-ten (10%) expect the average increase will be 5% or more. Thirty-one percent will provide higher initial job offers to job candidates, up from 29% last year. While most increases will likely fall within the same 1% to 3% range, 8% of employers expect to up initial job offers by 5% or more.

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