Top 10 U.S. employment trends for 2011

42 per cent of companies have shifted direction and one-third are working with reduced headcount

The recession changed how companies and workers in the United States view the market and there are many changes on the horizon for 2011, according to a new survey by CareerBuilder.

The survey of 2,400 employers and 3,900 workers identified ten key trends in business, hiring, work culture and job search.

“Businesses are becoming more agile and changing direction. They’re operating leaner and recruiting for opportunities in emerging areas. Workers are transitioning to new fields, are more open to relocation and are more apt to consider opportunities outside of their current employers," said Brent Rasmussen, president at CareerBuilder North America.

Top 10 trends for 2011

1. Shifting business direction – Forty-two per cent of employers said their company changed its business direction as a result of the recession. The majority of these employers kept their core business, but added new revenue streams. More than one-quarter (27 per cent) of those who shifted business direction reported they changed their core business altogether or expanded into areas that will eventually become their core business.

2. Working leaner – Thirty-five per cent of employers reported that their current staffs are smaller than pre-recession levels. Of those employers, most anticipate no adjustments to staff levels in 2011, with 57 per cent reporting that they have become accustomed to handling the workload with less headcount. Others pointed to their business changing focus and hiring in other areas.

3. Changing jobs – Workers are becoming more optimistic about their job prospects in the New Year. Fifteen per cent of full-time, employed workers are actively seeking a new job. Seventy-six per cent reported that, although they are not actively looking, they would change jobs in 2011 for the right opportunity. Workers aren’t necessarily focused on a bigger paycheque. Sixty-eight per cent reported that affordable benefits are more important to them than salary.

4. Creating new functions – Along with more traditional job opportunities, employers are also adding new functions within their organizations in response to popular movements. Jobs centered around social media, green energy and healthcare reform are being added in the New Year. Hiring managers also reported demand for “cyber warriors” to protect Internet sites from security breaches or fraudulent activity.

5. Video interviewing – With smaller recruiting staffs facing larger amounts of job applications, employers are turning to technology to help identify viable candidates. Six per cent reported they have conducted video interviews with potential job candidates while 11 per cent plan to do so in the New Year.

6. Less moonlighting – While making ends meet continues to be a challenge for many U.S. households, fewer workers are reporting the need to work more than one job. Twelve per cent plan to take on second jobs in 2011, compared to 19 per cent last year.

7. Taking a global perspective – Eighteen per cent of U.S. employers reported they will be hiring for their operations in other countries in 2011. Five per cent stated they will likely recruit workers from other countries to work in the U.S.

8. Relocating talent – Of workers who were laid off in the last 12 months and found new jobs, 23 per cent relocated to a new city or state. Looking to the New Year, 33 per cent of employers stated they would be willing to pick up the moving tab for select candidates.

9. Promoting without pay – Forty-one per cent of employers are concerned about losing their top talent as the economy improves. While the majority of employers plan to increase salaries for existing staff in 2011, 39 per cent will not be providing raises. As a gesture of recognition to employees, 13 per cent are offering higher titles without pay increases.

10. Going casual
– Employers are becoming more relaxed about set schedules and dress codes as they take measures to enhance the overall work experience. One-third (33 per cent) of employers expect to offer more flexible work arrangements such as telecommuting and alternate schedules in 2011. Fifteen per cent reported they will provide a more casual dress code.

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