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Half of U.S. Employers to Hire Temps in 2017

The demand for temporary labor will remain strong this year as employers strive to have more flexibility in their staff levels, according to CareerBuilder’s job forecast for 2017. The forecast’s survey found 51% of employers plan to hire temporary or contract workers in 2017, up from 47% in last year’s survey.

Additionally, 63% of these employers plan to transition some temporary or contract workers into permanent roles in 2017, up from 58% in the prior-year survey.

The survey also found that 40% of employers plan to add full-time, permanent headcount in 2017, up from 36% in the 2016 survey. Eight percent plan to decrease staff levels — down from 10% last year — while 44% anticipate no change and 9% are unsure of plans.

“Three in four employers reported that they are in a better financial position than they were a year ago, which is instilling more confidence in adding people to their payrolls,” said CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson. “Following a divisive election season, employers are entering the New Year with a watchful, yet optimistic approach. One of the key challenges for employers will be bridging the talent gaps within their own organizations by either offering better wages or by helping to reskill and upskill workers.”

Employers in information technology were the most likely to say they were adding new employees at 56%, a notable 12 percentage-point gain over the prior year.

Of the employers who plan to increase the number of full-time employees in the New Year, the top five areas they will recruit for include:

  1. Information technology: 28%
  2. Customer service: 27%
  3. Production: 26%
  4. Sales: 25%
  5. Administrative: 24%

The survey also listed five trends to watch in 2017:

  1. Companies will be under pressure to offer higher pay: Two-thirds of employers, 66%, plan to increase salaries on initial job offers; 30% of all employers will increase it by 5% or more. Nearly half of employers, 47%, expect to increase the minimum wage at their organizations and, of these employers, 44% will increase it by $3 or more; 20% will increase it by $5 or more.
  2. Job seekers will need to emphasize their soft skills: When evaluating who they will hire this year, 62% of employers rated the candidate’s soft skills as very important (for example, skills associated with one’s personality such as positive attitude, team-oriented or dependable).
  3. Employers will communicate with candidates via text: 41% of employers said they will follow a recent trend and reach out to candidates via text messages to schedule interviews.
  4. Workers in general will need to become more savvy on social media: 63% of employers said they expect employees across job functions to have some experience with social media.
  5. More companies will be open to hiring workers who are short on experience: 55% of employers said they will train workers who don’t have experience in their field and hire them in 2017.

The survey of 2,392 hiring managers and human resource professionals was conducted online within the US by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder between Nov. 16 and Dec. 6.

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