Employers want to hire this year but are stymied by lack of prospects

Employees  iStock / Getty Images Plus
It's a tough road for employers looking for talent. (iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Close to half (44%) of employers expect to hire full-time, permanent employees this year and half (51%) will hire temporary employees, but with the labor pool extremely tight it becomes a question of how, a survey by CareerBuilder says.

Forty-five percent of HR managers currently have positions they are unable to fill because they cannot find qualified applicants, and 58% report that they have jobs that stay open for 12 weeks or longer.

Employers will also have a harder time holding on to current employees, with 40% of workers planning to change jobs in the New Year, the survey said.

Senior executives say it is a matter of making the job appealing in order to attract the right worker.

“As a technology company, we know the people we hire are highly qualified and have the choice of where they want to work,” Alex Robbio, president of Belatrix Software, told FierceCEO. “To attract and retain these individuals, we have to make sure we provide an attractive work environment, but also make sure we have interesting projects with the latest technologies, so they can continually improve their skills.”

Belatrix has built “a high-performance culture, where there is an emphasis on continual learning and education,” Robbio said. “As we grow rapidly, and hire new people, we're having to consider how we can best maintain and improve this culture. For example, now when we hire new individuals, we start the on-boarding process much earlier, so our employees already have an understanding of the culture before they even step foot into our offices.”

"Diversity will continue to be a critical recruiting trend in 2018,” said Mike Slagh, CEO of Shift.org. This could include hiring veterans, he said.

Perhaps not the cheapest way of going but one to produce an abundance of employees is buying a company. “By cobbling together a deep, expansive database of outsiders, a chief human resources officer can see trends in hiring and steer a CEO toward startups that have the best talent in developing fields,” said Dominic Barton, managing partner of McKinsey & Co. “This is every bit as valuable as your CFO’s ability to pinpoint companies that seem to be a good match for financial considerations.”

Five employer trends to watch

With companies struggling to fill openings, the CareerBuilder survey identified various techniques employers are using to find job candidates and increase compensation in 2018:

  • Bringing in new talent early: Sixty-four percent of employers plan to hire recent college graduates this year.
  • Importing talent: Twenty-three percent of employers plan to hire workers from other countries to work in the U.S. 
  • Re-engaging past employees: Thirty-nine percent of employers plan to rehire former employees in 2018.
  • Hiring for potential: Sixty-six percent of employers plan to train and hire workers who they feel have potential even if they don't have all the skills they need, and 44% plan to train low-skill workers who don't have experience in their field and hire them for higher-skill jobs.
  • Boosting compensation: Thirty percent of employers plan to increase starting salaries for new employees by 5% or more, while 36% will do the same for existing staff.