Employer Outlook 2018

The talent source

Employer Outlook 2018
The unemployment rate is at its lowest level in over a decade. That’s good news, of course. But as employers, you might know that this is the kind of good news that makes your own jobs just that extra bit tougher.

It’s not just that competition for talent is fierce. But you’ve got to cope with lots of different things, too: whether or not it’s the economic ups and downs or the new technologies that are upgrading, resulting in demand for advanced skills whereas creating others obsolete.

And these changes cut across every industry, even if the impact isn’t always the same.

So how are employers preparing to face these challenges in 2018? Indeed surveyed 1,000 of them to find out. Let’s take a look at the results.

Get ready for a hiring boom
It turns out that employers are feeling pretty bullish.

How bullish? Well, 61% of respondents told us that they expect to hire more people in 2018 than they did in 2017. By contrast, just 10% of surveyed companies are planning to reduce their rate of hiring, while the rest plan to maintain current levels.

So if you think the hiring landscape is competitive now, just wait a few months.

What’s driving this? A lot of it is coming in response to current or projected business success. 56% of employers are hiring to support business growth, while 31% are hiring for a specific skill and only 13% are replacing lost staff.

Which industries are doing the most (and least) hiring
Most companies in nearly every industry will see a jump in hiring in 2018, but some will be more aggressive than others.

The most active sectors for recruiting are architecture and engineering where 82% plan to hire, IT and telecom companies (75%) and professional services firms (71%).

More than 40% of employers worry they won’t get the talent they need
So nearly everyone’s planning on doing more hiring. But when it comes to the question of filling those open roles, employers aren’t quite so bullish. In fact, 42% of those that we polled are concerned that they may fall short.

And while a lot of the conversation surrounding today’s talent shortages is focused on the need to find highly skilled workers, the truth is that this issue impacts hiring at all levels. In fact, 41% of companies say their entry-level positions are hardest to fill.

By contrast, 33% of companies are concerned about hiring middle management, 25% report challenges with senior management and 20% pointed to executive level positions as their most difficult hires.

With entry level workers, there just isn’t the same leeway. But the difficulty in attracting these candidates may be a sign that it’s time for companies to shift some of their incentives from experienced job seekers to the fresh talent that keeps businesses running.

Alternatively, it may be time to look at those job descriptions again. Are you really hiring for entry level jobs, or are you asking for one or two years’ experience? Indeed says that they frequently see employers listing jobs as “entry level” when in fact they are asking for one or two years’ experience.

If you can’t find that experience it may be time to switch your focus to core competencies and transferable skills, or consider internships or other indicators of effort.

The employer outlook on the economy is bright—for the most part
While most people are optimistic about their industry and business outlook, 27% have a general fear of economic slowdown. And professionals in certain industries are more concerned than others. For instance, the percentage of employers concerned about a slowdown jumps to 54% when we look at manufacturing companies, 52% when we look at finance companies and 50% when we look at travel and transportation companies.

Even with these looming fears, companies that are looking forward to a promising year of hiring should start taking steps to prepare for a more competitive landscape.

Looking ahead to 2018
The hiring pool has been extremely diverse spanning generations, gender, etc. Overall, the mantra in 2017 was to have a simple, quick, effective hiring and candidate experience.  As you get ready to vie for the candidates, it pays to be strategic about where you’re finding jobseekers and how you’re catching the eye of top talent.

Start by looking at your existing people. Employee referrals are the most common source of new hires, with 73% of companies using this method to hire new employees. Job sites came in at a close 71%, with recruitment industry and staffing firms coming in at 51%.

Advertising still plays a strong role as well, with 42% of companies getting hires through digital ads and 38% from print ads.

For companies that need to make strong hires under budget constraints, non-monetary benefits, flexible hours and work from home options can tip the scales for job candidates.

Are you challenged to find talent for freelancing or permanent job positions? Let’s talk about what makes sense for your organization.

Get a head start in 2018’s race for top talent. Happy hiring!

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