7 Major Hiring Trends for 2007

About 40 percent of some 2,600 hiring managers recently said they plan to increase their number of full-time employees in 2007, according to results in CareerBuilder.com's "2007 Job Forecast" in December. Another 40 percent expect no change in their head counts, and 8 percent are expecting job eliminations. So keep an eye out for the following hiring trends in the new year.

In 2007, the U.S. workforce is likely to see employers become more competitive in recruitment and retention efforts, according to results this week of a survey of some 2,600 hiring managers by online job site CareerBuilder.com. This is evident in higher salaries, better training and career advancement opportunities, and more flexible work cultures.

1) Bigger paychecks

Eighty-one percent of employers report their companies will increase salaries for existing employees, and nearly half of employers (49 percent) expect to increase salaries on initial offers to new employees.

2) Diversity recruitment

Nine percent plan to step up diversity recruiting for African American job candidates, while 8 percent will target female job candidates. Half of employers recruiting bilingual employees say English/Spanish-speaking candidates are most in demand in their organizations.

3) More flexible work arrangements

Work/life balance being a major buzzword among U.S. employers, 19 percent of employers say they are very or extremely willing to provide more flexible work arrangements for employees such as job sharing and alternate schedules. Thirty-one percent are "fairly willing."

4) Rehiring retirees

As some employers express concern over the loss of intellectual capital due to a large number of so-called Baby Boomers approaching retirement, one in five employers plan to rehire retirees from other companies or provide incentives for workers approaching retirement age to stay on with the company longer.

5) More promotions

As the perceived lack of upper mobility within an organization is a major driver for employee turnover, 35 percent of employers plan to provide more promotions and career advancement opportunities to their existing staff in 2007.

6) Hiring overseas

Companies continue to drive growth by entering or strengthening their presence in global markets. Thirteen percent of employers report they will expand operations and hire employees in other countries in 2007.

7) Better training

In light of a seeming shortage of skilled workers within their own industries, employers are looking for transferable skills from other industries. Seventy-eight percent report they are willing to recruit workers who don't have experience in their particular industry or field and provide training/certifications needed.

About 40 percent of some 2,600 hiring managers that CareerBuilder.com surveyed said they plan to increase their number of full-time, permanent employees in the coming year. Another 40 percent expect no change in their head counts, and 8 percent are expecting job eliminations, according to CareerBuilder.com's "2007 Job Forecast."

Of the jobs for which employers will be recruiting, about 9 percent will be in engineering and 13 percent in information technology.

"Of the tech recruiters surveyed, 48 percent said they would be adding positions in 2007, 10 percent said they would be decreasing posts, and the remaining said they were unsure or expected no change," said CareerBuilder spokeswoman Jennifer Sullivan.

However, while a modest recovery might be starting, proposes CNET, "when it comes to the technology sector, have claims of a rebound been exaggerated?

"The tech sector, most notably, is suffering from the longest jobless recovery since World War II, having lost more than 400,000 jobs since the start of the March 2001 recession," Marcus Courtney, president of the WashTech/CWA union of high-tech workers, wrote in a July CNET News.com column, adding that the recession officially ended in November of that year. But, Courtney wrote, "according to a recent study prepared by the University of Illinois at Chicago's Center for Urban Economic Development, only 76,300 new IT jobs were created nationwide during the last three years. That's less than one quarter of the number of tech jobs lost earlier in the decade."

More recruiting is expected in the areas of health care (24 percent), administration and clerical work (19 percent), sales (17 percent), and accounting and finance (17 percent).

Further, in FAST COMPANY's compilation of the top 10 professions that will be in high demand in 2007, buyers and purchasing agents ranked high. The business publication's trend forecasters predict that this year could be a make-or-break year for the retail industry, specifically the department store. Much of the department store's fate lies in the hands of the buyers and purchasing agents, Trends Journal publisher Gerald Celente recently told FAST COMPANY.

These individuals are in charge of store inventory and make decisions on item color, size, quantity, and country of origin. With the recent vicissitudes of the retail industry, these jobs are often hard to come by and can be very lucrative if store profitability increases.

Overall, recent U.S. Department of Labor reports support a sense in the market that the economy is slowing at a gradual, reasonable pace and inflation has steadied," said CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson said in a statement. "This bodes well for job creation as economists and employers alike predict a moderated, yet stable, hiring environment to carry over into the New Year."

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