This year's CareerBuilder study of prospective hiring and recruitment trends suggests that a large segment of employers expects to fill part-time and permanent full-time positions by the end of 2019.
Conducted online by The Harris Poll from Dec. 20, 2018 to Jan. 16, 2019, the study revealed that, of the more than 1,000 hiring and human resource managers polled, 40 percent said they planned to hire full-time employees. Approximately 47 percent of that same group of respondents said they were looking to fill part-time positions.
This year's figures are similar to the 2018 findings, which were 44 percent and 51 percent respectively.
"The employment outlook is positive," said Irina Novoselsky, CEO of CareerBuilder. "While a skills gap has created an environment where employers are having trouble finding qualified talent, employees' and companies' mutual dedication towards competency-based training indicates we have made leaps and bounds toward eliminating these obstacles."
According to the study, half of the human resource managers polled said they couldn't fill open positions due to a lack of qualified candidates, even though those candidates exist.
"We've found that 59 percent of employers plan to train and hire workers who may not be 100 percent qualified but have potential," Novoselsky said. "Technological innovation will continue to be a driving force in defining the labor market for both in-demand jobs and how companies recruit for open roles."
Workers' perspective of the job market
In addition to polling hiring and human resource managers, The Harris Poll surveyed more than 1,000 American workers about this year's job market. Officials said this survey group featured employees from "across industries and company sizes in the private sector."
Approximately 32 percent of the workers polled said they were looking to change jobs this year, with low compensation or a lack of benefits (15 percent) and poor company culture (10 percent) cited as the main reasons for entering the job market. The poll had good news for these workers, as 29 percent of polled employers said they expected their workers' average salary will be at least 5 percent higher than last year's figure.
While compensation was a chief reason for change among polled workers, that doesn't necessarily mean that's what they want in a new position. According to the study's findings, employees said "location (56 percent), affordable benefits plans (55 percent), job stability (55 percent), a good boss (48 percent), and good work culture (44 percent)" were more important than take-home pay.
People looking for a new job do not have to wait for a certain time of the year for better odds, as 51 percent of employers said they will be hiring throughout the calendar year as positions open up. Doing so lowers the time-to-hire, according to 55 percent of respondents, and 42 percent believe hiring throughout the year reduces the average cost per hire.
Employers looking for soft skills
Hiring the right person for an open position is important for any business. Survey respondents said they found that bad hires resulted in less productivity, hurt morale, and drove up recruiting and training costs. Last year, the average cost of a bad hire was more than $18,700, according to survey respondents.
To combat those negatives, respondents said they were paying more attention to soft skills when considering a prospective employee. Approximately 92 percent of employers said things like "interpersonal skills, communication abilities, and critical thinking" will play a major role in hiring moving forward. Potential employees should be "team-oriented," "have an attention to detail" and "have good customer service skills."
Roughly 55 percent of employers polled also reported that, on average, half of all available jobs require tech capabilities. To help employees move up in the ranks, approximately 56 percent of employer responders said they have shelled out cash to get employees the right training certifications outside of the office.
Approximately 66 percent of employees said their current employer doesn't offer them training opportunities outside of work. Of that same group of employees, approximately 73 percent said they would be "somewhat" to "extremely likely" to take part in such training programs. [Related: The Whole-Person Approach to Training]
Moving forward, 36 percent of HR managers said improving the user experience for employees, candidates and hiring managers was a top priority going into 2019. A more efficient hiring process was also among the top issues to be addressed.
Top hiring trends for 2019
Nearly a quarter of all human resources managers polled said they believed "technology will be most beneficial in helping manage and maintain regular communication with job candidates during the application process." In addition, 39 percent of that same group said tech would help sort through applicants who just don't meet the position's requirements.
To combat both problems, CareerBuilder said it has released its TD Companion App to help hiring managers communicate directly with candidates through text or email. The online job search engine also said it has implemented artificial intelligence and semantic search to break through the language barrier and thereby "halve the applicant-to-hire ratio."
As for which areas are the most in-demand for new candidates, officials said jobs requiring skilled labor were the most needed (25 percent). Other areas in high demand include jobs requiring data analysis (21 percent), digital marketing (12 percent) and cybersecurity (10 percent). [Related: 15 Jobs to Watch in 2019]
A large portion of employers hiring full-time employees were located in the American West (44 percent). Jobs were also predominantly found in the Southern part of the country (42 percent), with the Northeast (37 percent) and Midwest (35 percent) taking the third and fourth spots respectively.