29 Nov 2016

Employers More Cautious on Hiring in 2017 Citing Wage Pressure and Longer Fill Times

Employers in the U.S. are more cautious with hiring plans than in the past two years, according to our semi-annual hiring survey. More than half (56%) of hiring mangers anticipate increased hiring levels in the first half of 2017; however, this is a six point drop from when surveyed in June 2016 and a five point drop from when asked in November a year ago.

The survey was conducted spanning the recent U.S. election and therefore too early for substantive insight related to the election results, but the responses do paint a picture of employers being less bullish on hiring in 2017. A significant number (68%) of hiring managers who focus on recruiting technology professionals anticipate more hiring, however that’s a 10 point drop from November 2015, indicating waning confidence levels.

As employers appear more cautious with hiring in the year ahead, positions are taking longer to fill. Nearly half of hiring managers who recruit across industries state the time to fill open positions has lengthened compared to last year, the highest since the survey began. This is slightly more evident among tech-focused hiring managers who face increased competition as employers across the country increase their tech needs and skilled talent is becoming harder to find.

“Finding the right candidates for the right positions continues to be a challenge for America’s hiring managers as demand for highly skilled professionals creates tension and competition among employers,” said Michael Durney, President and CEO of DHI Group, Inc. “To combat the time a position remains unfilled, recruiters are turning to sourcing and services which speed efficiency. But, professionals remain ultimately in control and are asking for more money during the recruiting process.”

Pay expectations are trending upwards with 59 percent of hiring managers saying salaries for new hires will be higher in 2017.

The jockeying for new talent is pressuring recruiters to consider the whole employment package, including benefits outside salary. Paying for relocation (50%), offering sign-on bonuses (48%) or providing perks such as free lunches, gym memberships and unlimited snacks (44%) are some of the tactics hiring managers leverage to land the best candidates.  

Another good sign for professionals, hiring managers say layoffs are not likely in the next six months.

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