Annual Study From Robert Half International and CareerBuilder Provides Preview of Post-Recession Job Market

    Key Findings:

    -   In the next 12 months, more than half of employers polled plan to
        hire full-time employees, four in 10 will hire contract, temporary or
        project workers, and four in 10 will hire part-time employees.
    -   Technology, customer service and sales are the top three areas in
        which employers expect to add jobs first once the economy rebounds.
    -   The average time to fill open positions, depending on the job level,
        is 4.5 to 14.4 weeks, the same time range as last year.
    -   Despite an abundant labour pool, six in 10 employers are willing to
        negotiate with qualified candidates for higher compensation.
    -   Four in 10 employers expect the American Recovery and Reinvestment
        Act of 2009 to create jobs in their organizations over the next two
    -   More than half of employees polled plan to make a career change or go
        back to school when the economy recovers.
    -   Forty percent of hiring managers said that when the economy improves,
        giving pay raises will be their primary method for retaining top

    TORONTO, Aug. 27 /CNW/ - The economy has posed many challenges for
businesses - including the need to make sure they are prepared for the upturn.
According to a new U.S. survey, managers are planning to hire a combination of
workers to support both long- and short-term initiatives. Fifty-three per cent
of employers expect to hire full-time employees over the next 12 months while
40 per cent will hire contract, temporary or project professionals and 39 per
cent will add part-time employees.
    Now in its fifth year, The Employment Dynamics and Growth Expectations
(EDGE) Report provides an overview of the current employment situation, as
well as a glimpse of the future hiring landscape. The report offers
information on what types of professionals employers will be looking for when
economic conditions improve and the strategies businesses plan to implement to
recruit and retain talent. The EDGE Report is based on an annual survey by
Robert Half International, the world's first and largest specialized staffing
firm, and CareerBuilder, the global leader in human capital solutions. More
than 500 U.S. hiring managers and 500 workers participated in the study, which
was conducted by International Communications Research from April 30 to May
31, 2009.
    "Companies already are identifying the key skill sets they will need in
new hires to take advantage of the opportunities presented by improving
economic conditions," said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half
International. "Firms that cut staffing levels too deeply may need to do
significant rebuilding once the recovery takes hold."

    Where Jobs Will Be Added First

    Customer-facing roles are indispensable in good times and bad. In the
current economy, hiring managers consider customer service the function most
critical to their organization's success, followed by sales,
marketing/creative and technology. Public relations/communications, business
development and accounting/finance round out the list.
    Looking ahead, respondents cited technology, customer service and sales
as the departments that will add positions first. Marketing/creative, business
development, human resources and accounting/finance also were cited.
    When the pace of hiring begins to accelerate, entry- and staff-level
workers can expect to benefit the most in terms of new opportunities.
Thirty-two per cent of hiring managers plan to hire staff-level professionals,
while 28 per cent will hire entry-level workers. Companies may be looking to
restore positions affected by layoffs or hiring freezes while continuing to
rely on existing staff to occupy leadership positions.
    Because companies are operating with fewer resources, hiring managers
further appreciate the value of team members who can wear many hats. Asked to
identify the most valuable characteristics in an ideal new hire, employers
cited multitasking, initiative and creative problem-solving.

    Continued Challenges in Recruitment and the Impact on Compensation

    Despite high unemployment rates across the United States and an expanded
pool of available talent, employers continue to report difficulty locating
skilled professionals for open positions. Employers said that, on average, 44
per cent of resumes they receive are from unqualified candidates. Forty-seven
per cent of hiring managers cited underqualified applicants as their most
common hiring challenge, followed by the reluctance of qualified candidates to
leave secure positions (22 per cent).
    As they lay the groundwork for growth in their organizations, employers
are open to paying more for hard-to-find talent. Sixty-one per cent of hiring
managers said their companies are willing to negotiate higher compensation for
qualified candidates.
    What employers are unwilling to do is accelerate the hiring process. The
average time it takes to recruit a new full-time employee is the same range as
this time last year: 4.5 to 14.4 weeks. In addition to spending time reviewing
and screening out a high volume of resumes from unqualified applicants,
employers also are more carefully evaluating those job candidates who are
invited for interviews in order to avoid costly hiring mistakes.

    Holding on to Talent: Money Talks

    "As businesses look to the future, they also have to consider how tough
decisions made during the financial crisis have impacted job satisfaction and
loyalty of their current staff members," said Matt Ferguson, CEO of
CareerBuilder. "Fifty-five per cent of workers plan to make a career change,
seek out new employers or go back to school once the economic recovery is
underway. In addition to competitive pay and benefits, showing a committed
investment in the professional development of employees will play a key part
in retaining critical talent."
    Nearly half of workers polled (49 per cent) said that after the economy
improves, the most effective way to keep them on board will be pay increases.
In fact, 28 per cent plan to ask for a raise. Employers seem amenable, with 40
per cent stating that increasing pay will be their primary method for
retaining top performers.
    Another 20 per cent of employees said they hope for better benefits and
perks once the economy turns around. The top perks workers expect are
technology upgrades, followed by tuition reimbursement or subsidized training.

    Survey Methodology

    This survey was conducted by International Communications Research on
behalf of Robert Half International and CareerBuilder among more than 500
employers (employed full-time; have employees who work for them if
self-employed; involvement in hiring decisions) and more than 500 employees
(employed full-time; not self-employed; no involvement in hiring decisions)
ages 18 and over within the United States between April 30 and May 31, 2009.

    About Robert Half International

    Founded in 1948, Robert Half International (NYSE:   RHI) is the world's
first and largest specialized staffing firm, with more than 360 offices
worldwide. The company's professional staffing divisions include
Accountemps(R), Robert Half(R) Finance & Accounting and Robert Half(R)
Management Resources, for temporary, full-time and senior-level project
professionals, respectively, in the fields of accounting and finance;
OfficeTeam(R), for highly skilled office and administrative support
professionals; Robert Half(R) Technology, for information technology
professionals; Robert Half(R) Legal, for project and full-time staffing of
lawyers, paralegals and legal support personnel; and The Creative Group(R),
for creative, advertising, marketing, web and public relations professionals.
For more information about the specialized staffing and recruitment divisions
of Robert Half International, visit

    About CareerBuilder

    CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping
companies target and attract their most important asset - their people. Its
online career site,, is the largest in the United States
with more than 23 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 32 million
resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world's top employers, providing
resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis to talent
acquisition. More than 9,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband
portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder's proprietary job search
technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:  GCI),
Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company (NYSE:  MNI) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:  
MSFT), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States,
Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit

    Note to Editor: Members of the media can download a copy of The EDGE
Report at Readers can learn more about The
EDGE Report and request a free copy at

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: CareerBuilder, Jennifer Grasz,
(773) 527-1164,,; Robert Half International (Canada),
Kristie Perrotte, (416) 350-2330,,

Organization Profile

Robert Half International (Canada)

More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890