Thirteen per cent of Canadian executives will add full-time, professional-level staff in the fourth quarter of 2012, while another three per cent will make personnel reductions, resulting in a net 10 per cent who plan to hire, according to the quarterly Robert Half Professional Employment Report.
This is up five points from last quarter's projections. Eight in 10 (80 per cent) executives said they anticipate making no changes to the size of their teams in the next three months, found the survey of more than 1,000 executives (including CFOs, CIOs, senior HR managers, lawyers and advertising and marketing executives).
Business optimism remains high, found the survey, as 34 per cent of respondents said they are "very confident" in growth prospects for their companies in the fourth quarter, while an additional 52 per cent said they are "somewhat confident." The overall confidence number, 86 per cent, remains unchanged from last quarter.
Thirty-nine per cent of executives said they expect to encounter recruiting challenges in the fourth quarter, down two percentage points from the prior quarter's results.
The legal profession topped the survey in anticipated hiring, with a net 31 per cent of lawyers saying they plan to add staff in this field. This is down eight points from last quarter. A net 15 per cent of executives indicated they will hire sales and business development professionals during the fourth quarter.
Hiring expectations by profession
Sales, business development
Fourth-quarter professional-level hiring is anticipated to be strongest in the professional services industry, where a net 17 per cent of respondents said they expect to make staff additions. Finance, insurance and real estate followed closely, with 16 per cent of respondents reporting hiring intentions, found the survey.
"Professional-level hiring remains active, as companies are bringing in full-time professionals to help support additional business needs," said Lara Dodo, regional vice-president of Robert Half International. "However, many employers continue to face difficulties finding the talent they need. Professionals with highly specialized skills are in short supply — particularly in the information technology, and advertising and marketing fields."
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