US Employers Showing Strong Intent to Hire in 2018

US Employers Showing Strong Intent to Hire in 2018

Two studies released this week show that US employers have more robust hiring plans this year compared to last year. CareerBuilder’s annual forecast, a survey of over 800 hiring managers and HR professionals, found that 44 percent of companies are hiring for full-time roles in 2018, up four percent from 2017. Additionally, Roy Maurer of SHRM notes that the ManpowerGroup’s latest employment forecast has the strongest Q1 hiring outlook since 2001.

The CareerBuilder survey found that employers in the western states (49 percent) and the northeast corridor (47 percent) are the most likely to be hiring at the moment, while also outlining some key trends that appear likely to shape talent acquisition in the new year. One of those trends is the movement to get in early with talent, as 64 percent of companies that are hiring will be looking to add recent college graduates to their ranks. Almost a quarter of them will be looking internationally to fill positions, although this strategy may be complicated by the Trump administration’s efforts to tighten immigration controls and reduce the use of skilled worker visas like the H-1B. Perhaps most notably, 30 percent of companies say they plan on increasing compensation for new employees by five percent or more and 36 percent intend to do so for current staff.

The survey also pointed to challenges employers are having in filling openings, with 58 percent reporting that they’ve had jobs open for longer than 12 weeks and 66 percent saying they plan on hiring candidates who do not have all of the skills they need and filling any gaps through training.

“More job creation, higher voluntary employee turnover and intensified competition for talent will be the main themes surrounding employment in 2018,” CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson said in the release of the survey results. “There is a perfect storm happening in the US labor market. Low unemployment paired with lagging labor force participation and a growing skills gap is making it very difficult for businesses to find qualified candidates—and this is for all types of roles. If employers want to remain competitive, they are going to have to look to new talent pools and significantly increase their investment in training workers to build up the skills they require.”

ManpowerGroup, meanwhile, surveyed over 11,000 employers in the US, finding that 21 percent plan on increasing their headcount in the first quarter. The study found that hiring plans are most robust in the leisure and hospitality industry, where 28 percent of employers are hiring this quarter, while transportation and utilities (26 percent), construction (18 percent) and manufacturing (19 percent) are also experiencing a resurgence in recruiting. Geographically, Manpower found Los Angeles; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Phoenix, Arizona; and Charlotte, North Carolina to be the major metro markets doing the most hiring.

While forecasts are optimistic in the US, the outlook is fairly strong globally as well, according to ManpowerGroup, which surveyed over 59,000 employers in 43 countries and territories. Romania, Costa Rica, India, Japan, and Taiwan, along with the US, are the countries with the highest net employment outlooks for Q1 of 2018. The countries with the lowest outlooks are mainly in Western Europe, while the UK reported its weakest levels of employer confidence since 2012, which Maurer observes could reflect the continuing uncertainty over the impact of Brexit.