SHRM Report: Though Many Unemployed, Recruiting Difficulty Remains High and November 2011 Hiring Will Fall

Nov 3, 2011

SHRM Report: Though Many Unemployed, Recruiting Difficulty Remains High and November 2011 Hiring Will Fall

Alexandria, Va. Nov. 3, 2011 – Despite the record number of people looking for work in the weak economy, human resource professionals report rising recruiting difficulty according to a monthly survey of HR professionals at more than 1,000 companies across the U.S.

The report, a snapshot of national hiring trends, also shows that November 2011 net hiring will fall in the manufacturing and service sectors, and new-hire compensation inched up for those able to land a job last month.

The findings are featured in the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Leading Indicators of National Employment® (LINE®) Report. LINE is the only national employment index capturing HR professionals’ month-ahead hiring expectations, and recruiting difficulty during the past month.

The SHRM LINE recruiting-difficulty index shows that a net of 14.5 percent of HR managers in the manufacturing sector reported more difficulty with recruiting in October 2011 compared with 8.6 in October 2010 — a net increase of 5.9 points. In the service sector, a net of 7.9 percent of respondents reported more difficulty in recruiting for key positions during October 2011, marking a 3.4 point increase from October 2010.

“Finding candidates to fill critical positions in the company may be increasingly difficult because of new skills required or enhanced skill sets needed for available jobs, especially high-level jobs,” said Jennifer Schramm, GPHR, and manager of workplace trends and forecasting at SHRM. “The small differences marking these trends are notable against the weak economy.”

New-hire compensation also inched up in both sectors amidst a rising recruiting-difficulty index.

A net total of 9.9 percent of service-sector companies increased new-hire compensation in October 2011 — 11.1 percent increased and 1.2 percent decreased new-hire compensation. The numbers mark a slight increase of 3.6 points from last year.

In the manufacturing sector, a net total of 5.3 percent of respondents reported increasing new-hire compensation last month. Specifically, 6.1 percent of HR professionals said their organizations increased new-hire compensation in October 2011 while 0.8 percent decreased it. The difference marks a 2.1 point increase from one year ago.

What will November 2011 hiring look like?

The month-ahead hiring expectations for November 2011 show manufacturing sector hiring will fall by 1.2 points on an annual basis. A closer look shows that a net of 27.3 percent of manufacturing companies will hire during November 2011 compared with a net of 28.5 percent that added jobs one year ago.

In the service sector, hiring will decrease on a year-over-year basis by a net of 9.8 points. The survey shows that a net of 17.3 percent of companies will add jobs during November 2011 compared with a net of 27.1 percent that added workers one year ago.

Released the first Thursday of each month, the LINE Report provides a snapshot of anticipated hiring for the month ahead and also examines data from the previous month.

The LINE Employment Report examines four key areas: employers’ hiring expectations, new-hire compensation, difficulty in recruiting top-level talent and job vacancies. The LINE Report is based on a monthly survey of human resource professionals at more than 500 manufacturing and 500 private service-sector companies. Together, these two sectors make up more than 90 percent of America’s private-sector employment.

Highlights of SHRM LINE year-over-year findings:

Employment Expectations



In November, hiring will drop slightly in manufacturing and fall moderately in services compared with a year ago.

-1.2 points

-9.8 points

Recruiting Difficulty

In October, the index for recruiting difficulty rose slightly in both sectors compared with a year ago.

+5.9 points

+3.4 points

New-Hire Compensation

The rate of increase for new-hire compensation in October rose marginally in both sectors compared with a year ago.

+2.1 points

+3.6 points

Source: SHRM Leading Indicators of National Employment

To read the SHRM LINE Report, visit: and click the “Latest LINE Report” button. Follow SHRM Research on Twitter @SHRM_Research.

Media: The SHRM LINE Report is released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time on the first Thursday of each month. The SHRM employment expectations index describes the same time period referenced approximately one month later in the Employment Situation Report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at and follow us on Twitter at


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