SI Review: July 2010

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Short Takes, SI Review July 2010

A Push Up the Corporate Ladder
Seventy-six percent of executives are willing to sweeten the pot to avoid losing their best employees when economic conditions improve, an Accountemps survey reveals. Half of chief financial officers (CFOs) polled said they plan to promote top performers once the economy recovers, and 48% plan to give raises.

Additionally, 41% intend to increase their investment in professional development, 32% expect to enhance benefits and 26% plan to reinstate or increase bonuses. Twenty-four percent said they don't intend to take any steps at all.

"Indispensable workers who helped businesses stay afloat during tough times will have new career options as conditions improve," comments Accountemps chairman Max Messmer. "Employers need to make retention of top performers a high priority or risk losing these key players and, possibly, their competitive advantage."

Hiring Up, Particularly in High Tech, Health and Federal Government
Sixty-two percent of HR professionals from selected industries say their company is currently hiring full-time staff, according to a Society for Human Resources Management survey.

Among those hiring, 41% of the positions are described as a direct replacement of jobs lost during the recession while 47% represent completely new positions and 12% mark new duties added to jobs lost during the recession.

When asked if their company was currently hiring full-time staff, HR managers overwhelmingly said yes in three industries: high tech (75%), federal government (76%) and health (84%).

The poll also shows a mix of ease and difficulty in finding qualified individuals to fill the positions that require a different skill set, post-recession. Forty-five percent of HR professionals say the search is "somewhat easy," while 36% describe the search as "somewhat difficult."

"The SHRM data is especially telling of an economic recovery puttering to jump start as also evidenced by the weekly BLS job numbers ping ponging between up, down and flat -- or not," comments Deb Cohen, SHRM's chief knowledge development and integration officer.

When asked if their company's overall financial health is declining or recovering compared to 12 months ago, 35% cited a mild recovery and 7% cited a significant recovery. Meanwhile, 25% reported no change from a year ago, 24% cited a mild decline and 9% cited a significant decline.

A closer outlook by industry reveals that 14% of high-tech companies and 11% of finance organizations surveyed are in a significant recovery. Other sectors showed single-digit improvement.

The Moral Is Morale
The biggest takeaway from the recession for employers could well be to take better care of their workers, a Robert Half Management Resources survey reveals. Twenty-seven percent of chief financial officers surveyed said they learned not to overlook team morale. CFOs also cited the value of controlling costs early on (22%) and not cutting personnel too deeply (22%).

"Without a motivated workforce and adequate staffing levels, companies can be ill-equipped to take advantage of improving market trends," comments Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. "They may also risk losing top employees as the job market strengthens."

Employers, Employees Not in Synch When It Comes to Attrition
There's a disparity between how many employees say they plan to seek new jobs and employers' estimates of how many workers will stay, a Manpower survey reveals. Eighty percent of hiring managers polled indicated they expect less than 5% of their employees to leave the company voluntarily in 2010. By comparison, 60% of employees revealed they intend to pursue new job opportunities when the economy gains momentum. Manpower's survey found 31% of employers do not have a proactive process in place to capture employees' job knowledge.

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