Employers Express Concerns About Skills Gaps and Work Visa Shortages

Employers Express Concerns About Skills Gaps and Work Visa Shortages

The skills shortage is the most pressing recruiting concern employers face, especially as many talent acquisition leaders are becoming increasingly worried that a shortage of work visas will make recruitment more challenging than in the past, a report released by talent acquisition technology provider Talent Tech Labs has warned.

The report’s findings, which are based on a survey of 189 senior HR and talent acquisition professionals, was conducted April 11-May 5, 2017. The results indicated that 69% of all respondents—and 80% of those professionals who fill more than 2,500 roles per year—report that their greatest recruiting concern is the skills shortage.

Reflecting on the current political landscape in the U.S., 80% of the professionals surveyed voiced concerns that a shortage of work visas could make talent acquisition more difficult, while 63% said they are worried that political rhetoric could add to their talent acquisition challenges.

According to researchers, these challenges have led many talent acquisition leaders to reconsider their HR strategies. The findings showed, for example, that the utilization of the independent workforce continues to rise, with 79% of the talent acquisition leaders surveyed saying they expect that their role in securing non-employee talent—which has historically been filled by corporate procurement—will increase over the next 1-2 years.

The report also observed that the widening skills gap and the increased reliance on contract workers is driving demand for technology investment to address these market shifts, with the largest share of survey respondents identifying candidate sourcing technology as the area of talent acquisition most likely to undergo rapid investment and development. When asked about the barriers to implementing new technology solutions, 58% said a lack of budget is the biggest hurdle, while 51% cited the need to develop a business case and explain the return on investment.

In addition, the survey found that the most widely used talent acquisition tools are applicant tracking systems (88%), followed by tools related to job advertising (66%), social networks and search (61%), assessment (55%), and employer branding (53%). When asked which technology tools introduced in the last two years they believe offer the most innovative solutions to recruitment challenges, the largest share of respondents (33%) chose employer branding tools, followed by mobile recruitment (27%) and analytics platforms (17%), By contrast, much smaller shares cited very new and relatively untested technologies like chat bots and artificial intelligence tools (11%).

From Benefit Trends Newsletter, Volume 60, Issue 9

The information contained in this newsletter is for general use, and while we believe all information to be reliable and accurate, it is important to remember individual situations may be entirely different. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. This newsletter is written and published by Liberty Publishing, Inc., Beverly, MA. Copyright © 2017 Liberty Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

Employers Plan to Hire Full-Time Workers in the Second Half of 2017

Employers Plan to Hire Full-Time Workers in the Second Half of 2017

In the last six months of 2017, a majority of U.S. employers anticipate hiring full-time, permanent workers, with more than half saying they expect to offer higher starting salaries to new employees, according to a 2017 midyear job forecast released by recruitment website CareerBuilder.

The report’s findings are based on national surveys conducted May 24-June 16, which included representative samples of 2,369 hiring managers and human resource managers and 3,642 full-time U.S. workers. The survey found that in the second half of 2017, 60% of employers plan to hire full-time, permanent workers, up from 50% in the same period last year; 36% of employers plan to hire part-time, permanent employees, up from 29% in the same period of 2016; and 46% of employers plan to hire temporary or contract workers, up from 32% in the same period last year.

A majority (53%) of the employers polled said they intend to offer more generous starting pay to new employees in the last six months of 2017, up from 39% in the same period last year. The results further indicated that 32% of employers plan to increase starting salaries on job offers by 5% or more. In addition, 66% of the employers surveyed said they expect to increase compensation for current employees before year end, with 34% saying they anticipate an increase of 5% or more.

A subset of respondents in the employer sample were asked about their motivations for offering higher pay. The findings showed that 72% of the employers feel they have to start paying higher wages because the market for talent has become increasingly competitive, with the majority saying this pressure applies to entry-level as well as experienced workers. While 17% of these respondents said they have to pay more only if the entry-level worker has a college degree, 24% said they have to pay more even if the entry-level worker has no college or training.

The study also looked at which industries are most likely to add to their full-time, permanent headcount in the second half of 2017. The results indicated that 72% of employers in information technology, 66% of employers in manufacturing, 64% of employers in health care, and 62% of employers in financial services intend to recruit additional full-time staff in the last six months of the year.

Moreover, the study found that across industries, the types of roles employers are most likely to recruit for in the second half of 2017 are those tied to skilled trades (15%), software as a service (14%), cybersecurity (13%), sales enablement (13%), talent management (13%), providing a good user experience (12%), managing and interpreting big data (11%), creating digital strategies (11%), social marketing (10%), e-commerce (10%), developing apps (10%), and healthy living (9%).

Looking at hiring patterns across geographic regions, the study observed that all regions are showing a year-over-year gain in the percentage of employers expecting to hire full-time, permanent employees in the last six months of 2017. Hiring activity was found to be strongest in the West, where 67% of employers said they are planning to add workers; followed by in the South, where 61% of employers reported plans to hire more workers.

From Benefit Trends Newsletter, Volume 60, Issue 8

The information contained in this newsletter is for general use, and while we believe all information to be reliable and accurate, it is important to remember individual situations may be entirely different. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. This newsletter is written and published by Liberty Publishing, Inc., Beverly, MA. Copyright © 2017 Liberty Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

College Graduates Want a Job with  Good Pay and a Collaborative Environment

College Graduates Want a Job with Good Pay and a Collaborative Environment

A majority of college graduates entering the job market this summer want to work in a collaborative rather than a competitive workplace, but care most about compensation when applying for jobs after graduation, according to a report released by student loan marketplace LendEDU.

The report’s findings are based on a series of surveys of between 1,808 and 3,776 college students conducted nationwide from July 8, 2016, to June 5, 2017. When asked what type of company culture they prefer, 62% of the respondents said they would rather work in a collaborative environment, while the remaining 38% said they would prefer to work in a competitive atmosphere. Men were more likely than women to say they prefer a competitive environment: 43% of the male respondents, but just 34% of the female respondents, said they would rather work in a competitive than in a collaborative workplace.

Moreover, when asked whether they would rather work for a company with excellent benefits/perks but less job security, or fewer benefits/perks but more job security, 52% of respondents chose the latter option, while the remaining 48% said they would prefer to be employed at a company with more job security and fewer perks. Broken down by gender, 58% of the male respondents, but only 46% of the female respondents, chose benefits/perks over greater job security.

Students were also asked whether they would rather work for a very small startup or a larger, more established company. More than two-thirds (69%) of respondents said they would prefer to work for a larger company than a small startup, with a larger share of the male respondents (35%) than of the female respondents (28%) saying they would rather work for a small startup.

In addition, the college students were asked which aspect of a company they consider most important when deciding where to apply. Not surprisingly, the overwhelming majority of respondents (72%) said whether the employer offers good pay is the most important factor, with much smaller shares saying their main concern is whether the employer has a strong ethical culture (14%) or a good training program (8%).

When asked how much money they expect to make at their first job after college, 36% of respondents said they expect to earn $40k to $60k per year, 26% said they expect to make under $40k annually, 21% said they anticipate earning $60k to $80k per year, while 17% indicated they expect to make over $80k annually.

From Benefit Trends Newsletter, Volume 60, Issue 6

The information contained in this newsletter is for general use, and while we believe all information to be reliable and accurate, it is important to remember individual situations may be entirely different. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. This newsletter is written and published by Liberty Publishing, Inc., Beverly, MA. Copyright © 2017 Liberty Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

Most Large U.S. Companies Choose Their CEO From Within Their Ranks

Most Large U.S. Companies Choose Their CEO From Within Their Ranks

The role of the chief executive officer at large companies is more likely to be filled through internal promotion in the U.S. than in Germany, the UK, or France, the findings of a study by executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles indicated. Released on April 20, the fourth annual “Route to the Top” study examined the backgrounds and experiences of the CEOs of the largest companies in the United States (the largest 100 companies in the U.S., as reported in the Fortune 500), France, Germany, and the UK. The results showed that 85% of the CEOs of the companies in the U.S. were promoted from within the company ranks, compared to 68% in Germany, 61% in the U.K., and 48% in France.

The findings also indicated, however, that the internally promoted CEOs in the U.S. waited longer than their counterparts in Europe to ascend to the top position, and that the European CEOs tended to be younger when promoted. Prior to being tapped as CEO, the U.S. executives had been with the company for an average of 20 years, compared to an average of 14 years for their European counterparts. Meanwhile, internally promoted CEOs in the U.S. were, on average, 53 years old when appointed to the top job, compared with 50 years old in Germany and 48 years old in France and the UK.

Looking at the advancement of women, the study found that there has not only been no progress in the percentage of CEO roles held by women among these large companies, but that in the U.S., the number of female CEOs among the largest 100 companies actually declined over the past year. While the results showed that the share of female CEOs is, at 8%, higher in the U.S. than in the UK (6%), France (2%), or Germany (1%); researchers pointed out that the share in the U.S. is down by one percentage point from the previous year.

Somewhat surprisingly, the analysis revealed that the number of CEOs at the largest companies who have a master’s degree in business administration has declined sharply over the past five years in the U.S. The results showed that in 2017, only 35% of the U.S. CEOs hold an MBA degree, down from 42% last year and 49% five years previously. The study found a similar trend in France, where 26% of the CEOs have an MBA in 2017, down from 37% five years previously; while in the UK, 30% of the current CEOs have an MBA, unchanged from five years previously. In Germany, where advanced technical degrees are more common than MBAs among top executives, the share of CEOs with an MBA has declined to 11% currently from 16% five years previously.

The study also looked how many of these companies are led by a foreign national. The results showed that just 13% of the companies in the U.S. currently have a non-national CEO, up slightly from 11% five years previously. The analysis further indicated that the shares of companies with foreign nationals serving as the CEO in 2017 are similarly low in Germany (at 17%) and France (at 10%); but are much higher in the UK, where 40% of the CEOs are currently non-nationals.

A breakdown of the professional backgrounds of the CEOs currently heading up the largest companies showed that finance is the most common type of background for the CEOs in the UK (36%), the U.S. (31%), and Germany (26%); while engineering is the leading professional background of the CEOs in France (24%).

From Benefit Trends Newsletter, Volume 60, Issue 6

The information contained in this newsletter is for general use, and while we believe all information to be reliable and accurate, it is important to remember individual situations may be entirely different. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. This newsletter is written and published by Liberty Publishing, Inc., Beverly, MA. Copyright © 2017 Liberty Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

Job Candidates Are Increasingly Informed about Job Openings before Applying

Job Candidates Are Increasingly Informed about Job Openings before Applying

Just as employers are finding it easier than in the past to get information about job applicants, job seekers have more information than ever about the company and the position they are applying for at relatively early stages of the job search process, according to the results of a global study of the strategies used by job candidates conducted by recruitment process outsourcing provider ManpowerGroup Solutions.

The study’s findings, released on April 26, are based on the findings of a global survey of nearly 14,000 job seekers in 19 countries. The study reported that there has recently been a shift in the balance of power from employer to candidate, as job seekers are increasingly collecting detailed information about the position they are applying for before making a career decision, including information about compensation, benefits, company mission/vision and culture, corporate brand, and corporate social responsibility.

The survey results indicated that the factors the prospective candidates are particularly interested in knowing more about when applying for a position are the compensation and the type of work, followed by schedule flexibility. When asked to rank the factors they consider most essential, job seekers in the U.S. were most likely to cite compensation (55%), followed closely by the type of work and benefits (both 51%), and schedule flexibility (45%). U.S. candidates expressed somewhat less interest in opportunities for advancement (35%), the geographic location (31%), and the company’s brand or reputation (14%).

However, researchers noted that in previous research on candidate preferences, 58% of global candidates surveyed stated that company brand is more important to them now than it was five years ago, and that this was especially true among younger millennial and Gen Y candidates (ages 18-35). The survey found that 28% of candidates globally and 27% of candidates in the U.S. reported having information about an employer’s brand pre-application.

The study also revealed that 44% of the candidates polled globally said they have been able to get the compensation details of a position prior to applying, and that in the five countries with year-over-year data, this percentage had increased by more than 10% between 2015 and 2016. For example, 45% of the U.S. job candidates surveyed in 2016 said they had information about the compensation range for a job before applying, up from 31% in 2015. The survey also showed that 41% of job candidates globally, and 42% of job candidates in the U.S., have obtained information about the benefits offered by a prospective employer prior to applying for a job.

In light of these findings, the study’s authors recommended that companies take action to ensure that they can attract the best candidates, including recognizing the importance of the content on their website and the potential of their HR portals to build their employer brand and provide candidates with access to the information they are seeking.

From Benefit Trends Newsletter, Volume 60, Issue 6

The information contained in this newsletter is for general use, and while we believe all information to be reliable and accurate, it is important to remember individual situations may be entirely different. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. This newsletter is written and published by Liberty Publishing, Inc., Beverly, MA. Copyright © 2017 Liberty Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

A Late Career Job Change Is Associated With Staying In the Workforce Longer

A Late Career Job Change Is Associated With Staying In the Workforce Longer

While changing employers at a later career stage involves risks, older workers who change jobs voluntarily are significantly more likely to remain in the labor force until reaching age 65 than workers who stay with the same employer until retirement, regardless of their educational level, according to a study recently released by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

Published in February 2017, the study brief, “How Job Changes Affect Retirement Timing by Socioeconomic Status,” was written by Geoffrey T. Sanzenbacher, Steven A. Sass, and Christopher M. Gillis. The authors noted that the question of whether a late-stage job change lengthens or shortens a worker’s career is important because workers generally need to remain in the labor force longer than they have in the past to gain a secure retirement. The study also pointed out that this issue is especially acute for workers with less education, who face an elevated risk of having an inadequate retirement income, in part because they tend to retire early.

The authors observed that since workers presumably change employers to improve their well-being, moving to a job that they consider better could lead them to work longer. The researchers also noted, however, that moving to a new job could reduce workers’ job security, because tenure protects older workers against involuntary job loss, and workers who change jobs risk a bad match. Thus, changing jobs could be associated with an increased risk of a layoff or an early labor force exit.

The brief presents an analysis of how voluntary job changes made by workers in their fifties affected their retirement timing, and of how these patterns differed by socioeconomic status, as measured by educational attainment. The analysis was based on data for the 1992-2012 period from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a biennial survey that follows respondents when they first enter the survey at ages 51-61 until they reach age 65.

The final estimates indicated that voluntarily changing jobs was associated with a statistically significant increase (9.1 percentage points) in the likelihood of remaining in the labor force until age 65, with this effect being slightly larger among workers with at least some college (10.9 percentage points) than among less educated workers (7.5 percentage points). The authors described this effect as large, given that only 44% of all workers in the sample were still in the labor force at age 65.

The findings further indicated that certain characteristics were associated with staying in the labor force longer, such as having a mortgage to pay off or having a later planned retirement age. The analysis also showed, however, that other characteristics were associated with earlier retirement, including having a long tenure at a job with a defined benefit pension, having more adverse health conditions, or having initially held a blue-collar job.

From Benefit Trends Newsletter, Volume 60, Issue 5

The information contained in this newsletter is for general use, and while we believe all information to be reliable and accurate, it is important to remember individual situations may be entirely different. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. This newsletter is written and published by Liberty Publishing, Inc., Beverly, MA. Copyright © 2017 Liberty Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.