Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

Posts Tagged ‘Compensation’

Annual Study From Robert Half International and CareerBuilder Provides Preview of Post-Recession Job Market

Posted by sweens on September 2, 2009

Key Findings:

 In the next 12 months, more than half of employers polled plan to hire full-time employees, four in 10 will hire contract, temporary or project workers, and four in 10 will hire part-time employees.
– Technology, customer service and sales are the top three areas in which employers expect to add jobs first once the economy rebounds.
– The average time to fill open positions, depending on the job level, is 4.5 to 14.4 weeks, the same time range as last year.
– Despite an abundant labour pool, six in 10 employers are willing to negotiate with qualified candidates for higher compensation.
– Four in 10 employers expect the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to create jobs in their organizations over the next two years.
– More than half of employees polled plan to make a career change or go back to school when the economy recovers.
– Forty percent of hiring managers said that when the economy improves, giving pay raises will be their primary method for retaining top performers.

TORONTO, Aug. 27 /CNW/
– The economy has posed many challenges for businesses – including the need to make sure they are prepared for the upturn. According to a new U.S. survey, managers are planning to hire a combination of workers to support both long- and short-term initiatives. Fifty-three per cent of employers expect to hire full-time employees over the next 12 months while 40 per cent will hire contract, temporary or project professionals and 39 per cent will add part-time employees.

Now in its fifth year, The Employment Dynamics and Growth Expectations (EDGE) Report provides an overview of the current employment situation, as well as a glimpse of the future hiring landscape. The report offers information on what types of professionals employers will be looking for when economic conditions improve and the strategies businesses plan to implement to recruit and retain talent. The EDGE Report is based on an annual survey by Robert Half International, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm, and CareerBuilder, the global leader in human capital solutions. More than 500 U.S. hiring managers and 500 workers participated in the study, which was conducted by International Communications Research from April 30 to May 31, 2009.

 “Companies already are identifying the key skill sets they will need in new hires to take advantage of the opportunities presented by improving economic conditions,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. “Firms that cut staffing levels too deeply may need to do significant rebuilding once the recovery takes hold.”

Where Jobs Will Be Added First
Customer-facing roles are indispensable in good times and bad. In the current economy, hiring managers consider customer service the function most critical to their organization’s success, followed by sales, marketing/creative and technology. Public relations/communications, business development and accounting/finance round out the list.

Looking ahead, respondents cited technology, customer service and sales as the departments that will add positions first. Marketing/creative, business development, human resources and accounting/finance also were cited.

When the pace of hiring begins to accelerate, entry- and staff-level workers can expect to benefit the most in terms of new opportunities. Thirty-two per cent of hiring managers plan to hire staff-level professionals, while 28 per cent will hire entry-level workers. Companies may be looking to restore positions affected by layoffs or hiring freezes while continuing to rely on existing staff to occupy leadership positions.

Because companies are operating with fewer resources, hiring managers further appreciate the value of team members who can wear many hats. Asked to identify the most valuable characteristics in an ideal new hire, employers cited multitasking, initiative and creative problem-solving.

Continued Challenges in Recruitment and the Impact on Compensation
Despite high unemployment rates across the United States and an expanded pool of available talent, employers continue to report difficulty locating skilled professionals for open positions. Employers said that, on average, 44 per cent of resumes they receive are from unqualified candidates. Forty-seven per cent of hiring managers cited underqualified applicants as their most common hiring challenge, followed by the reluctance of qualified candidates to leave secure positions (22 per cent).

As they lay the groundwork for growth in their organizations, employers are open to paying more for hard-to-find talent. Sixty-one per cent of hiring managers said their companies are willing to negotiate higher compensation for qualified candidates.

What employers are unwilling to do is accelerate the hiring process. The average time it takes to recruit a new full-time employee is the same range as this time last year: 4.5 to 14.4 weeks. In addition to spending time reviewing and screening out a high volume of resumes from unqualified applicants, employers also are more carefully evaluating those job candidates who are invited for interviews in order to avoid costly hiring mistakes.

Holding on to Talent: Money Talks
“As businesses look to the future, they also have to consider how tough decisions made during the financial crisis have impacted job satisfaction and loyalty of their current staff members,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “Fifty-five per cent of workers plan to make a career change, seek out new employers or go back to school once the economic recovery is underway. In addition to competitive pay and benefits, showing a committed investment in the professional development of employees will play a key part in retaining critical talent.”

Nearly half of workers polled (49 per cent) said that after the economy improves, the most effective way to keep them on board will be pay increases. In fact, 28 per cent plan to ask for a raise. Employers seem amenable, with 40 per cent stating that increasing pay will be their primary method for retaining top performers.

Another 20 per cent of employees said they hope for better benefits and perks once the economy turns around. The top perks workers expect are technology upgrades, followed by tuition reimbursement or subsidized training.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted by International Communications Research on behalf of Robert Half International and CareerBuilder among more than 500 employers (employed full-time; have employees who work for them if self-employed; involvement in hiring decisions) and more than 500 employees (employed full-time; not self-employed; no involvement in hiring decisions) ages 18 and over within the United States between April 30 and May 31, 2009.

About Robert Half International
Founded in 1948, Robert Half International (NYSE: RHI) is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm, with more than 360 offices worldwide. The company’s professional staffing divisions include Accountemps(R), Robert Half(R) Finance & Accounting and Robert Half(R) Management Resources, for temporary, full-time and senior-level project professionals, respectively, in the fields of accounting and finance; OfficeTeam(R), for highly skilled office and administrative support professionals; Robert Half(R) Technology, for information technology professionals; Robert Half(R) Legal, for project and full-time staffing of lawyers, paralegals and legal support personnel; and The Creative Group(R), for creative, advertising, marketing, web and public relations professionals. For more information about the specialized staffing and recruitment divisions of Robert Half International, visit

About CareerBuilder
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset – their people. Its online career site,, is the largest in the United States with more than 23 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 32 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world’s top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis to talent acquisition. More than 9,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder’s proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit

Available online at –

Posted in Recruitment | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Grads: Struggling to get hired??

Posted by sweens on February 25, 2009

I was sitting here in my office today wondering what I could blog about. I got to thinking and what I ended up focusing on was how ‘new grads’ are likely the largest group within the candidacy pool who will have the greatest struggle finding IT employment in the coming months or years. I personally do not monitor a lot of ‘new grad’ opportunities as it is not an area of focus for my firm, however from a business perspective, I can see this group having a difficult time.

As the candidacy pool grows during the recession – the volume of experienced professionals will clearly rise in correlation. And of this increased candidacy pool you will have two types of candidates:

1. Those who are unwilling to lower their salary expectations to compete in the market
2. Those who are willing to lower their salary expectations to compete in the market

Those who are willing to take a pay cut and are already of the beginner/intermediate experience level will directly challenge new grads for entry level positions.


Honestly I do not really know. I can see both sides of the coin here. First, it would seem beneficial to take the experienced professional over the new grad. The experienced professional will take less time to ‘ramp up’ and will likely make a greater impact on your organization in a shorter time. I would suspect that these candidates who are going to lower their salary expectations during the recession will also be the first people to leave for higher paying jobs when the recession is over.

That is where I see the problem of hiring the experienced professional over the ‘new grad’. Employee retention has to be on the mind of every hiring manager. Opting for the quick impact may not be the best long-term investment to make when a hiring decision is made. Employers also need to be cognisant of this situation and not take advantage of the recession in terms of compensation packages.

While offering a candidate a weak compensation package may help the company out now, it will likely send the employee out looking for a new opportunity once the market comes back around. The labour market certainly has changed in the sense that it is not uncommon for candidates to switch positions 4 or 5 times within their careers, rather then sticking it out with one company for 20 or more years. Employers need to be thinking about how to keep their employees rather satisfying their current needs.

Filling a small leak now with larger then required plug may cause a bigger leak once the plug is removed…

Posted in Recruitment | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Compensation Packages: Let’s talk…

Posted by sweens on February 10, 2009

Further to my entry yesterday, candidates should be prepared to discuss with a recruiter what their ideal compensation package would be.  This means, aside from your base salary, what other compensation factors are you looking for:


         Benefits package

         RRSP Matching

         Stock Options

         Vacation Time

         Closed over Christmas


While many of these may seem trivial or miniscule for most people, these elements can make or break a successful offer from employer to employee.  These factors can also be used as a way to offset a bridge that can not be crossed when it comes to agreeing on a base salary.  What I mean by this is that if you get an offer of $5000 dollars less then what you were hoping for and the employer is unable or unwilling to give you that, you may consider asking for another week of vacation to offset that monetary difference. 


The ability to negotiate RRSP matching is likely non-existent – as it is generally a company policy – however the ability to negotiate the start of benefits, or your eligibility to acquire stock options are often based around the level of your position or seniority in the company and can be tweaked on an individual basis.  These small changes may sweeten an offer for you or allow you to accept a position that is going to pay you a lower base salary then you had hoped for. 


Most offers can work out to be beneficial for both sides; it is just a matter of finding the right combination that keeps everyone happy. 

Posted in Recruitment | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »