Recruiting News

2019 Hiring Expected to Increase for Many Employers

Now that we’re starting to settle into the new year, it’s time to start planning your talent needs. Do you plan on increasing staff over the next 12 months? If so, you’ll be on par with nearly 55% of companies who say they plan to hire in the coming year, according to a survey conducted by global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.


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Compared to last year, only 46% of companies reported they would be hiring in 2018. Meanwhile, fewer companies reported that economic fears and soft demand would negatively impact hiring. Nine percent of companies stated low demand and economic uncertainty would slow hiring, compared to 24% of respondents who reported this in the 2017 survey.

The survey was conducted in November among 150 companies of various sizes in all industries nationwide.

“Companies are currently locked in a war for talent. With the market at near full employment and companies making plans to expand or invest in technologies requiring workers with new or differing skill sets, it’s no wonder the hiring outlook is so positive,” says Andrew Challenger, Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.—in a press release announcing the survey findings.

Confidence in the Economy, Despite Job Cuts in 2018

Employers also report confidence in the economy this year, according to the survey. Over 63% of employers feel the economy is stronger than last year. That’s compared to 47.6% who reported this in 2017. Another 26.2% feel the economy is on par with last year, versus 49.2% who reported this in 2017.

“We are beginning to see an increase in job cut announcements, and CEOs are leaving their posts at the highest rate since 2008. However, for the moment, many companies are increasing hiring plans in light of the strong economy and tight labor market,” says Challenger.

In fact, employers at U.S.-based companies have announced 494,775 cuts through November, according to Challenger tracking. That’s compared to 386,347 cuts announced through the same period last year. Meanwhile, 1,323 CEOs have left their posts through November, the most since 2008, when 1,361 CEOs left their posts through the same month.

“Some indicators suggest a coming downturn, but at the moment, companies are looking to get staffing levels to a place where they can fully capitalize on the strong economy,” said Challenger.

Additional Survey Findings

According to the Challenger survey, fewer employers (3.90%) have been holding off on hiring, but expect it to increase significantly, compared to 4.88% of employers who said the same thing last year. Demand is still soft, according to 9.09% of respondents, who also have concerns about the future economy. These employers expect hiring will be slow compared to 24.39% of respondents who felt this way last year.

Only 11.69% of respondents said they would love to hire more, but are experiencing a skills shortage, which is less than the 12.20% of respondents who felt this way last year. However, more employers (10.39%) are likely to decrease hiring intentions, compared to just 7.32% who said they would be decreasing hiring, in last year’s survey.

While hiring may be down for some, others (3.90%) are turning to hiring temporary workers to help fill the void, which is slightly less than last year (4.88%). Hiring temporary workers is a great way to fill your talent pipeline for smaller projects. These temp workers can also become full-time employees if they make the cut, which helps to fill vacant positions in the long run.

Hot Industries for 2019

Challenger offered the following list of hot industries for 2019:

Technology. The tech sector is constantly changing and with that comes opportunities. Many longstanding tech companies are themselves pivoting to artificial intelligence and virtual or augmented reality. Unsurprisingly, the industry will see big growth next year.

Health Care. Health care is a perennially hot sector, as care is always in demand, especially as more Baby Boomers begin to retire. Meanwhile, the increasing use of technology and the uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and Medicaid disbursements could create new or different opportunities.

Business. Big data and those who can properly analyze it will be in high demand next year, finds Challenger research.

Energy. The energy sector will see serious changes in the coming years, as innovations continue. Meanwhile, legislation on climate change will likely impact which sectors within the energy industry will see the most opportunities.

Education. Challenger finds that the largest growth in the education sector will be related to changes in technology and big data.