16 per cent of execs planning staff additions next quarter

Transportation sector most optimistic: Robert Half
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 12/08/2011

Sixteen per cent of executives expect to increase hiring for professional-level positions in the first quarter of 2011 while two per cent foresee declines, according to a survey by Robert Half. The resulting net 14 per cent planning staff additions is down one point from the fourth-quarter forecast but indicates continued hiring activity in the new year.

And the portion (79 per cent) of hiring executives saying they anticipate no change in staff levels is up from 75 per cent three months ago, said the Robert Half Professional Employment Report.

"Companies are continuing to invest in professionals who can help them grow," said Lara Dodo, a Canadian regional vice-president at Robert Half. "Although the numbers aren't quite as robust as they were in the previous quarter, they show sustained hiring activity with few companies anticipating decreasing staffing levels."

Eighty-seven per cent of respondents said they are at least somewhat confident in their organization’s ability to grow in the first quarter of 2012, found the survey of more than 1,000 C-level executives (including more than 270 CFOs, 270 CIOs, 150 senior HR managers, 75 lawyers at law firms, 75 corporate lawyers, 50 advertising executives and 200 marketing executives, all of whom have hiring authority.

In HR, a net 12 per cent of respondents plan to make staff additions. First-quarter professional-level hiring is anticipated to be strong in the transportation sector, where a net 34 per cent of respondents said they expect to make staff additions. Hiring projections were also optimistic in the legal field, with a net 32 per cent planning to add professional-level staff, found Robert Half. A net 22 per cent of executives in the construction industry also indicated they will hire during the quarter while sales and business development, and advertising and marketing, with a net 21 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively, plan to hire in the next quarter.

Hiring expectations

Profession

Increase

Decrease

Net increase

Accounting, finance

10%

1%

9%

Advertising, marketing

21%

6%

15%

Human resources

13%

1%

12%

Information technology

10%

2%

8%

Legal

36%

4%

32%

Sales, business development

24%

3%

21%

Total

16%

2%

14%

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