HR Managers Report Hiring Will Inch Up in Second-Quarter 2010

Apr 23, 2010

Alexandria, Va. − HR managers are more optimistic about hiring in the second quarter of 2010 than they were a year ago, according to the SHRM Labor Market Outlook (LMO), a quarterly report published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Though widespread hiring is not expected, an uptick is expected with more HR professionals reporting optimism than pessimism.Nearly one-third (29 percent) of respondents have some level of concern about the U.S. job market this quarter, down from 70 percent who expressed concern last year.

Roughly 24 percent of HR managers surveyed expect their companies to hire in the second quarter of 2010, up from 18 percent who said so one year ago. A majority (59 percent) will maintain staffing levels while 11 percent cite plans to cut jobs.Six percent were unsure at the time the survey was fielded.

“The findings mirror government employment data that show though some sectors are adding jobs, most organizations are holding steady at their current staff levels” said Jennifer Schramm, manager of workplace trends and forecasting at SHRM.“Still, HR professionals are growing more optimistic that the job market will improve in the coming months.”

What’s the outlook by company size?

When examined by size, HR professionals in small organizations (32 percent) said they were likely to increase staff during the second quarter, followed by medium-size groups (24 percent), then large organizations (21 percent).

The biggest trend continues to be maintaining staff levels, with 67 percent of HR professionals in medium organizations reporting such plans for the second quarter followed by 61 percent in small organizations, and 59 percent in large establishments.

The SHRM LMO defines small organizations as those with fewer than 100 employees and medium-sized organizations as employing 100 to 499 employees.Large organizations are those with more than 500 workers.

What sectors will hire?

A look at second-quarter SHRM LMO data by organizational sector shows that privately owned for-profit companies (29 percent) plan to conduct the most hiring closely followed by the government sector (24 percent), then the nonprofit sector (22 percent).Publicly owned for-profit organizations plan the least hiring (20 percent).

Nonprofit organizations (66 percent) are most likely to maintain staffing levels during the second quarter, followed by the privately owned for-profit sector (64 percent), publicly owned for-profit companies (62 percent), and the government sector (55 percent).

Does region make a difference?

Regionally, HR professionals expressed varied levels of optimism for second-quarter hiring. Seven percent of respondents in the West reported being very optimistic as did the same number in the Southeast.Five percent from the Midwest reported such while only two percent in the Northeast described their outlook as very optimistic.

Most HR managers are somewhat optimistic with 42 percent in the Midwest reporting such closely followed by 40 percent in the West, 36 percent in the Southeast, and 35 percent in the Northeast.

Who’s likely to be laid off?

During the second quarter, managers and professionals (49 percent) will be those most affected by layoffs while senior executives (seven percent) will be the least laid off group.In between the two groups are: hourly service workers and contract/temporary employees (both groups at 27 percent); laborers/unskilled manual workers (24 percent); and skilled manual workers (22 percent).

The SHRM Labor Market Outlook launched in January 2009. The SHRM LMO examines hiring and recruiting trends based on a quarterly survey of more than 400 HR professionals managing company staffing issues from a broad range of public and private entities. Visit:


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


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