Survey Shows Shift to Employee-Driven Job Market

August 31, 2005 ( - A survey conducted by Robert Half International Inc. and designed to compare and contrast the perspectives of hiring managers and workers in the current job market and determine which group has more clout, shows a shift to an employee-driven job market.

The report said that neither group feels they have the edge in the job market, but workers are realizing they have more leverage as companies have trouble recruiting qualified staff.

Forty two percent of hiring managers reported it was difficult to find qualified candidates one year ago, and 32% said it is even more challenging to find good people today. Forty seven percent attributed the difficulty to an overall shortage of qualified workers, according to the survey.

Fifty five percent of workers said it was difficult to find a job 12 months ago and 42% believe it is even more challenging today.

One fifth of hiring managers attributed their difficulty in finding qualified staff to the inability to offer competitive compensation packages, according to the report. However, 28% said compensation packages have increased from last year, and 33% anticipated offering higher salary and benefits packages in the next 12 months.

Employees are more aggressively pursuing better compensation packages. A year ago, according to the report, 39% of workers said they were not very or not at all willing to ask for a better offer from an employer. Forty seven percent of this year’s respondents said they will be more likely to push for more generous salary and benefits packages in the next 12 months.

Hiring managers are taking little action to address the problem of turnover. More than 75% of hiring managers do not expect turnover to increase from current levels, and the same percentage have not implemented any policies or programs aimed at increasing staff retention rates in the last 12 months. However, 28% of workers admitted they are currently looking for a new job. Thirty percent think they will likely change jobs in the next year and 47 percent expect to do so in the next three years, according to the report.

The survey was conducted between August 1 and August 8, 2005, and includes responses from 1,450 workers and more than 600 hiring managers.

Survey results can be found here .