New SHRM Poll Says Hiring Up for High Tech, Health and Federal Government Positions

Mar 29, 2010
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New SHRM Poll Says Hiring Up for High Tech, Health and Federal Government Positions

New products and lines of business create new jobs for majority of companies surveyed

Alexandria, Va. – Sixty-two percent of HR professionals from selected industries polled say their company is currently hiring full-time staff according to a poll released today by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

A closer look shows that among those hiring, 41 percent of the positions are described as a direct replacement of jobs lost during the recession while 47 percent represent completely new positions, and 12 percent mark new duties added to jobs lost during the recession.

When asked if their company was currently hiring full-time staff, HR managers overwhelmingly said yes in three industries: high tech (75 percent); federal government (76 percent); and health (84 percent).

The poll shows also a mix of ease and difficulty in finding qualified individuals to fill the positions that require a different skill set, post recession. Nearly half — 45 percent — of HR professionals say the search is “somewhat easy” while 36 percent describe the search as “somewhat difficult”. Finance and health industries were most likely to say it would be “somewhat easy.”

“The SHRM data is especially telling of an economic recovery puttering to jump start as also evidenced by the weekly BLS job numbers ping ponging between up, down, and flat.— or not,” said Deb Cohen, chief knowledge development and integration officer at SHRM.

When asked if their company’s overall financial health, in relation to the U.S. and global recession, is declining or recovering compared to 12 months ago, the responses reflect the starts-and-stops of a post-recession employment landscape:

  • Seven percent said – “in a significant recovery”;
  • 35 percent said – “in a mild recovery”;
  • 25 percent said – “no change compared with 12 months ago;
  • 24 percent said – “in a mild decline”; and
  • Nine percent said – “in a significant decline”

A closer look by industry shows that 14 percent of high tech companies and 11 percent of finance organizations represented in the poll are in a significant recovery. Other sectors showed single digit improvement.

Those industries in a significant decline include state and local government and construction said 22 percent and 11 percent of polled HR professionals, respectively.

The poll shows an employment market primarily in mild recovery compared to 12 months ago, or stagnant with no change. A little more than half — 53 percent — of HR professionals in manufacturing companies say their operations are in a mild recovery while 22 percent report no change. Roughly half, or 49 percent, of respondents working in high tech companies say the business is in a mild recovery while 19 percent report no change.

The varied responses continue across industries. Thirty-six percent of HR professionals in the health industry report a mild recovery compared to 12 months ago while 22 percent report no change. More than a quarter — 27 percent — report a mild decline.

Forty percent of respondents in the professional services industry report a mild recovery while 27 percent report no change, and 21 percent report a mild decline. The seven percent reporting a significant recovery are nearly countered by the five percent reporting a significant decline.

Reporters may read the complete SHRM poll, and other surveys, at: http://www.shrm.org/Research/SurveyFindings/Pages/default.aspx.

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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 www.shrm.org.

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