Q3 Hiring Plans: How Will IT Fare?

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Menlo Park, Calif. — June 4

Nearly nine in 10 (88 percent) executives surveyed for the quarterly “Robert Half Professional Employment Report” said they anticipate no changes to the size of their teams in the next three months. Five percent of respondents plan to add full-time, professional-level staff in the third quarter, while another 5 percent indicated they will make personnel reductions.

Recruiting challenges continue to surface for executives: 69 percent of those interviewed said they are having difficulty finding people with the skills they need, up eight points from the second-quarter survey.

The report is based on telephone interviews with more than 4,000 U.S.-based C-level executives and other senior managers in a variety of fields who were asked about their hiring plans and general level of optimism for the upcoming quarter.

Key Findings
•    Eighty-eight percent of executives expect to make no changes to the size of their full-time, professional-level teams. Five percent of executives anticipate bringing in additional staff in the third quarter, and 5 percent project personnel reductions. The resulting net hiring increase is down two points from last quarter’s survey.
•    Sixty-nine percent of executives reported recruiting challenges, up eight points from the previous quarter.
•    More than three-quarters (79 percent) of executives expressed confidence in the growth prospects for their firms in the next three months.

“One factor affecting hiring activity is a shortage of specialized talent — especially in technology and finance,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. “While general unemployment remains high, unemployment for key positions in these fields is low, leading to recruiting challenges for many firms.”

The IT and accounting and finance fields reported the greatest difficulty finding skilled professionals, as cited by 70 percent and 69 percent of executives, respectively.

“To locate specialized skills quickly and keep workloads manageable, many firms are engaging temporary or project professionals,” said Brett Good, a senior district president with Robert Half. “The flexibility of variable-cost labor provides an advantage to companies that seek greater control over their human resources budgets and appreciate having access to skilled talent when and for as long as they need it.”

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