CareerBuilder's Small Business Job Forecast Points to Improved, But Cautious Hiring in the Second Half of 2011
PR Newswire

CHICAGO, July 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Small business hiring in the back half of 2011 is expected to be better than 2010, but caution continues to steer the pace of job creation post-recession.  This is according to CareerBuilder's nationwide survey of more than 1,400 small businesses (defined as companies with 500 or fewer employees), between May 19 and June 8, 2011.

"Right now there is a multi-speed labor market with smaller organizations slower to add new headcount," said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder.  "There was a chill effect on confidence levels coming out of the last recession and small businesses are still waiting to see how the market will unfold before committing to fully expanded staffs.  Hiring in this segment will continue with modest gains in the second half of the year."

Full-time Hiring

The number of small businesses planning to hire full-time, permanent employees from July through December rose six percentage points over last year.  As small companies gradually increase headcount, larger companies are hiring at a more accelerated pace.

  • Companies with 50 or fewer employees – 20 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 14 percent last year.
  • Companies with 500 or fewer employees – 27 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 21 percent last year.
  • Companies with more than 500 employees – 46 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 38 percent last year.

Part-time Hiring

Small businesses expect part-time hiring to be on par with last year. Larger organizations are slightly less likely to hire part-time workers than last year, focusing more on adding full-time staff.

  • 50 or fewer employees – 9 percent hiring part-time employees, same as 2010
  • 500 or fewer employees – 11 percent hiring part-time employees, same as 2010
  • More than 500 employees – 19 percent hiring part-time employees, down from 21 percent in 2010

Contract or Temporary Hiring

Companies of all sizes are planning to increase their use of contract or temporary support to fill in employment gaps before turning up the dial on permanent placement.

  • 50 or fewer employees – 6 percent hiring contract or temporary employees, up from 4 percent last year
  • 500 or fewer employees – 8 percent hiring contract or temporary employees, up from 6 percent last year
  • More than 500 employees – 16 percent hiring contract or temporary employees, up from 13 percent last year

Top functional areas for hiring

Similar to last year's study, the functional areas for which small businesses plan to hire first are those on the front lines with customers and those driving innovation.  Customer Service, Information Technology and Sales remain in the top three spots for recruitment in the second half of 2011 with Administrative and Business Development rounding out the top five.

Burn-out and Turnover

With smaller staffs handling growing workloads, small businesses are voicing concerns over whether productivity can make up the differential.  More than one-third of small businesses (36 percent) believe their workers are already burned out.  One-quarter (25 percent) are worried that workers will leave their organizations as the economy improves, with 10 percent reporting that top workers left their organizations in the second quarter.

Small businesses also reported challenges in competing with larger organizations for skilled talent.  Nearly one-in-five (18 percent) said they currently have open positions for which they can't find qualified candidates.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 1,455 U.S. employers (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government) ages 18 and over with 500 or fewer employees between May 19, 2011 and June 8, 2011 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 1,455 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 2.57 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder®

CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset - their people. Its online career site,®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 40 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world's top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis to recruitment support. More than 9,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder's proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Jennifer Grasz

SOURCE CareerBuilder