Hiring Managers Upbeat

DOL says hiring fell off last month. But a new survey says companies are planning to rev up hiring.

How high will the unemployment tide rise?

On Friday, the Labor Department reported that the jobless rate jumped to 5.8 percent, as companies cut an unexpected 300,000 jobs in February. That was the biggest drop in hiring since the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

In a survey completed just a few days prior to this announcement, however, more than half of hiring managers said they plan to hire new employees in 2003, according to CareerBuilder.

Of those who planned to hire, 13 percent expected to add 100 employees or more, while 48 percent expected to hire 10 employees or fewer.

The top three reasons given for hiring new employees: to increase productivity and the numbers of customers served, improve customer service, and improve efficiency.

“Companies are adjusting their staffing levels to meet market demands and deliver organizational objectives,” said Eric Lochner, vice president of corporate marketing for CareerBuilder. “With these goals in mind, hiring managers continue to be highly selective in the recruitment process to fill open positions with the best candidates.”

More than two-thirds of hiring managers said they anticipate filling open positions in 30 days or fewer with one-third of these managers expecting to fill open positions in 14 days or fewer.

On the other hand, eight percent of hiring managers said the process is expected to take three months or longer. For the survey, Careerbuilder received more than 2,600 survey responses, including those of 290 hiring managers.

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