Across all fields, most executives remain optimistic about the future of their companies. Nearly all respondents (86 percent) said they were confident in their firms’ growth prospects; four in 10 (40 percent) are very confident.
The Robert Half Professional Employment Report is the first quarterly executive survey of its size and scope to focus exclusively on professional-level hiring. The survey is based on telephone interviews with more than 4,000 executives from a variety of fields throughout the United States about their hiring plans and general level of optimism regarding the upcoming quarter.
- A net 5 percent of executives plan to add professional-level staff in the second quarter of 2011.
- Eighty-six percent of executives are at least somewhat confident in their organizations’ ability to grow in the second quarter; 40 percent are very confident.
- Thirty-seven percent of respondents said it is challenging to find skilled professionals today.
- Businesses in the Mountain states project the most hiring activity, with a net 11 percent of executives from this region planning to add professional-level staff in the second quarter.
- Companies in the wholesale sector expect the most active hiring in the second quarter. A net 15 percent of executives anticipate staff additions.
- The legal field is expected to see the strongest hiring, with a net 29 percent of lawyers planning to increase staff levels.
“While some firms remain conservative in their hiring outlook, others are finding they need to add staff to maintain adequate service levels,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. “The need for marketing and business-development professionals could be an indication companies are anticipating business improvement and renewed demand for their products and services.”
Professional-Level Hiring - By Region
Survey respondents in the Mountain states predict the strongest hiring activity, with a net 11 percent of executives interviewed planning to add staff. “Improving business and consumer confidence in many areas of the Mountain region is stimulating the hiring of professional-level employees, particularly in the healthcare and manufacturing sectors,” Messmer noted. “Companies in these states are increasing their use of temporary-to-full-time arrangements as a way to evaluate prospective new hires.”
Professional-Level Hiring - By Industry
Wholesale companies expect the most active hiring of any industry in the second quarter, with a net 15 percent of executives expecting to make staff additions. “As consumer demand steadily builds, wholesale firms need staff who can help manage the increased business volume,” said Brett Good, a Robert Half International district president. “In particular, companies are hiring employees to assist with financial transactions, such as accounts payable and receivable specialists and billing professionals.”