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Survey - Employers, employees have it tough

August 26 2008

Both employers and potential employees face challenges in this tough economy, according to a survey released by Careerbuilder.com and Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE: RHI).

"Job seekers in some fields are competing aggressively for open positions, giving employers the edge in those segments of the hiring market," said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half. "At the same time, however, companies continue to face a shortage of highly skilled professionals in fields such as technology and accounting."

Employees ranked the level of challenge in finding a job at 3.56 on a one-to-five sliding scale. Employers rated the challenge in finding qualified candidates at 3.47 on the same scale.

Fifty-nine percent of hiring managers cited a shortage of qualified candidates as their primary recruiting challenge, up from 52% in last year's study. Thirty-one percent said more than half of the applicants they get are not qualified.

Hiring managers reported it takes anywhere from four weeks to 14 weeks to fill open positions. And 56% said Generation Y employees (those born between 1979 and 1999) are the most difficult to recruit.

Twenty-nine percent said high fuel prices and commuting expenses have hurt their ability to recruit some candidates.

The survey included responses from more than 500 hiring managers and 500 workers.

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