Hiring in 2012
Hiring in 2012

Several years ago, MSNBC ran an article, “Where Will the Jobs Be in 2012?”that predicted a world where the greatest demand would be for highly-skilled specialists in fields like health care and international business. Lawyers and financial experts would also be in demand, and engineers would be building nanobots. That hasn’t exactly come to pass.

Not only are lawyers not in demand, a new generation of fresh law-school graduates are finding work waiting tables and stocking shelves while wrestling with law-school debt. And forensic accounting, not derivatives trading, is the new hot job in finance.

One thing the article did get right (by talking with a staffing firm representative!) is that jobs in the skilled trades are in high demand, as a generation of skilled workers retires.

So what does hiring actually look like in 2012?

Job growth should stay about the same. CareerBuilder’s annual job forecast revealed that the percentages of employers who planned to hire regular full-time employees, who planned to decrease their workforce and who planned no changes were about the same this year as they were last year. About 23% planned to hire, 7% planned to reduce and 59% planned not to change their headcount. (The remaining 11% were unsure.)

It looks a bit like a resignation letter. According to CareerBuilder, about one-third of human resource managers nationwide reported an increase in voluntary turnover during 2011. Employers are worried that turnover will increase this year; 43% of them said they were concerned that their top talent would leave in 2012. This turnover is a golden opportunity for staffing; not only can we provide workers to fill in if and when people leave a company, we can show employers that our solutions can work for them to respond to any changes.

And it looks like contingent workers. Perhaps as a result of the turnover mentioned above, and perhaps as a natural choice to stay flexible during uncertain times, temporary workers are a major component of the workforce in 2012. While regular full-time hiring has lagged behind economic recovery, the hiring of temporary and contingent workers has surged ahead. Employers who aren’t sure what the future holds for interest rates, consumer demand or health care costs are hedging their bets by hiring only as their business needs it. Winning!

What do you think hiring will look like in 2012? Do you anticipate a great year or a year of uncertainty? Let us know in the comments!

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