Eighty-eight percent of executives report that they do not plan on changing their staff levels in the next three months, according to the quarterly Robert Half Professional Employment Report.
The survey also finds that 5 percent of respondents say they intend to add full-time, professional-level staff in the third quarter, and another 5 percent of respondents say they anticipate cutting staff. Recruiting challenges also remain challenging for respondents as 69 percent of respondents say they are having trouble finding job candidates with the necessary. This is an increase of eight points from the second-quarter survey.
"One factor affecting hiring activity is a shortage of specialized talent – especially in technology and finance," says Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. "While general unemployment remains high, unemployment for key positions in these fields is low, leading to recruiting challenges for many firms."
Another 79 percent of respondents are optimistic regarding the growth prospects for their organizations in the next three months. Respondents from the Mid-Atlantic states are expected to conduct the most active hiring with a net 6 percent of respondents in the region saying they anticipate bringing in professional-level staff.
In 2012, respondents in the transportation sector are most likely to make add to their staff levels in the third quarter, and a net 6 percent of those respondents say they intend to hire. The transportation industry has led in hiring projections for three consecutive quarters.
The legal field is believed to experience the most hiring activity with a net 30 percent of lawyers say they expect to hire more employees in the third quarter. A net 11 percent of advertising and marketing respondents also plan to increase staff levels.
"To locate specialized skills quickly and keep workloads manageable, many firms are engaging temporary or project professionals,” says Brett Good, senior district president with Robert Half. “The flexibility of variable-cost labor provides an advantage to companies that seek greater control over their human resources budgets and appreciate having access to skilled talent when and for as long as they need it."