Hiring Managers 'Cautiously Optimistic' About 2012 - Modern Distribution Management

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Hiring Managers ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ About 2012

Survey results reveal some signs that employment trends may be moving in the right direction.

As we move into 2012, we’re starting to see signs that people are starting to believe in the recovery. The Conference Board reported that consumer confidence climbed in December, and the Institute for Supply Management reports that the outlook for the manufacturing sector is still positive.

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And unemployment – one area still seeing significant challenges in this recovery – fell in November to 8.6 percent. While there’s some debate as to whether that’s actually good news – a large number of people simply stopped looking for work during the period – it’s a signal that maybe, just maybe, some things are changing.

Recruiting firm Careerbuilder released its annual job forecast this week, and the outlook isn’t too shabby. Of course it could always be better, but small businesses in particular are reporting more confidence in both hiring and retention in 2012. Sixteen percent of companies with 50 or fewer employees said they expected to add full-time, permanent staff in 2012; for companies with 250 or fewer employees, the figure jumps to 20 percent.

While they may not be huge increases – last year expectations for hiring were at 14 and 19 percent, respectively – both categories also had lower expectations for reducing staff.

And, respondents tend to be more conservative when thinking about hiring than when actually executing on that plan, says Matt Ferguson, Careerbuilder CEO. Hiring managers seem to approaching hiring in 2012 with cautious optimism, he says.

Distributors who want to hire are also facing challenges of their own. Click on the video below to hear what some distributors are seeing:

Read more about Careerbuilder’s annual jobs forecast.

Related from MDM: Be Strategic About Human Resources in 2012

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