CareerBuilder Predicts Healthy Growth in Service, Sales, and Marketing Departments

CareerBuilder today released the results of its annual U.S. job forecast, revealing that employers remain confident in their hiring plans for the coming year and intend to bolster their customer-facing workforces. According to Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, the U.S. has added an average of 200,000 jobs each month over the past two years, and 2016 is expected to show similar, if not better, numbers.

The survey, which was conducted online by Harris Poll and included a sample of 2,338 U.S. hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries, found that 36 percent of employers plan to hire permanent employees in 2016, while 47 percent plan to bring on temporary, or contract, workers.

The employers surveyed indicate that these departments will be the top ones for recruitment of full-time staff:

  • Customer service—32 percent
  • Information technology—29 percent
  • Sales—27
  • Production—24 percent
  • Administrative—20 percent
  • Marketing—18 percent
  • Business development—16 percent
  • Human resources—16 percent
  • Accounting/finance—15 percent
  • Engineering—13 percent

Larger companies—those with 500 or more employees—showed a relatively negligible dip from last year in terms of how many intended to hire full-time staff. In 2015, 43 percent of enterprise-size companies intended to enlarge their permanent workforces; this year 42 percent indicated the same.

However, small to midsize businesses (SMBs) have grown more optimistic about expanding staff over the next 12 months. Of the businesses who employed 50 or fewer people, 27 percent claimed they plan to hire full-time employees, a 7 percent boost from last year. Those companies with 250 or fewer employees also showed increased intentions to grow, with 33 percent planning to hire full-time employees, up 4 percent from last year.

In terms of industry, those that were expected to present the most opportunities for full-time employment are financial services (46 percent), information technology (44 percent), and healthcare (43 percent).  

Overall, it is a good time to be an employee, as Ferguson noted in a statement that the market is shifting in favor of workers.

"The market is…showing signs of broader wage pressure. While employers have been more willing to pay a premium for high-skill labor, they now have to pay more competitive wages for entry-level positions."

One resulting trend, CareerBuilder notes, is long term investment in beginning workers. Increasingly, there is the tendency to hire, and cultivate low-skill workers for high-skill jobs. A quarter of the companies surveyed stated they would hire high-school students to serve as interns next year. In addition, they will make a concerted effort to keep their top performers: 83 percent of employers plan to lift the wages for their existing employees, and 66 percent will offer higher starting salaries for new employees. 

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