Despite market volatility, companies across the country have plans to hire early this year and are scrambling to staff up, research from talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half shows. According to the company’s State of U.S. Hiring Survey of more than 2,000 hiring managers, 58% of respondents anticipate adding new permanent roles during the first half of the year, up from 46% six months ago. Another 39% expect to hire for vacated positions. Managers in technology (64%) and finance and accounting (62%) have the greatest full-time staffing needs.
Good Hires Are Still Hard to Find
While many companies are eager to hire, 9 in 10 managers said it’s challenging to find skilled professionals, on par with results from the prior State of U.S. Hiring Survey. Employers also reported it can take up to 11 weeks, on average, to hire for an open position, up from 7 weeks in 2021.
“Hiring tends to pick up at the beginning of the year, as budgets have been approved and teams seek additional support for initiatives that will drive business growth and customer retention,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half. “As job openings and turnover remain high, employers need to play offense – and be prepared to negotiate – in order to recruit and retain skilled talent.”
More Employers Will Leverage Contract Talent
According to the research, 72% of managers plan to hire more contract professionals in the first half of 2023, compared to 45% six months ago. Those in finance and accounting and legal (78% each) are most likely to increase their use of contract talent. “Contract professionals can quickly step in to help with critical projects and heavy workloads while companies continue their search for permanent employees,” McDonald added.
Interviewing Takes a Village
Despite hiring challenges, employers said they conduct about four interviews with a candidate before extending a job offer. Beyond skills, the top traits they look for in potential hires are:
- Knowledge of the company
- Timeliness and professionalism during interviews
- Passion for the company’s mission
McDonald noted, “Pressure to hire for open positions quickly can lead to hasty decisions – and mistakes. On the flip side, a drawn-out interview process or overemphasis on one or two priorities are barriers to bringing on top talent. Employers should aim to get a well-rounded view of candidates while remaining efficient and consistent.”