Nearly 70 percent of respondents to MDM’s recent survey on hiring expect to bring on new employees in 2013.
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Most of those cited growth in their businesses. Others are making plans to implement initiatives around e-commerce, social media and new markets.
Those that are not planning to hire new staff said uncertainty in the economy or downturns in key markets were to blame. One respondent said the sequester – about $85 billion in federal spending cuts – was expected to result in the laying off of 20 percent of his work force.
But overwhelmingly, the results of the survey – conducted the week of Feb. 24, 2013 – were encouraging and indicate positive expectations for business conditions this year.
We also asked in which areas distributors were planning to hire. About 68 percent are planning to hire in outside sales, and 43 percent are planning to hire in inside sales. Warehouse was third in line, with 36 percent of respondents planning to add staff. Customer service came in at 32 percent.
While distributors are planning to hire, some say they are still struggling to find qualified applicants to fill jobs. Respondents said that the biggest challenges include finding candidates with appropriate pay expectations, getting distribution on the radar of candidates that might come from outside of the industry and getting younger people involved. Experience in the industry was also hard to find, respondents said.
About 70 percent of the respondents to the MDM survey were distributors and 23 percent were manufacturers.
The results of this MDM survey matched the trend on the national level, where employment levels continue to rise. Total nonfarm payroll employment in the U.S. increased by 236,000 in February. Employment in construction increased by 48,000; since September construction employment has gone up by 151,000, according to the latest Employment Situation Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Manufacturing employment was up by 14,000, and wholesale trade ticked up by 5,900.
Watch for more analysis of the MDM Hiring Survey in the next issue of MDM Premium on March 25, 2013.