US COLLEGE graduates are less confident than last year’s that they will be able to find the jobs they want. According to a survey in more than 40 cities in the US conducted with soon-to-be college graduates, confidence levels have dropped since 2007. When asked how easy it would be to find a job the majority responded somewhat to very difficult. This was compared with 37 per cent in 2007 who thought it would be somewhat to very easy to find a job. Consistent with last year’s findings, the top three motivators for college graduates when considering employment are: opportunities to develop new skills, appreciation for work/life balance and establishing and maintaining a good rapport with managers.
HR expects weak hiring for September
HUMAN RESOURCE professionals report that hiring in the manufacturing and service sectors will fall sharply in September 2008, compared with one year ago. Respondents to a survey of Australian HR professionals reported a recruiting difficulty index at its lowest August level in four years.
Asian employers better prepared for downturn
EMPLOYERS IN the Asia Pacific are better prepared for a downturn than the United States. According to a survey of almost 1400 employers, more than eight in 10 employers in Asia Pacific (84 per cent) and Europe (80 per cent) have established contingency plans, while only 67 per cent of employers in the United States have adopted a contingency plan to be implemented in the event of further economic decline. Compared with US employers – who rank layoffs as the top choice for their contingency plans – Asian companies generally ranked organisational restructuring and hiring freeze as their top two choices.
Slowing rate of salary increase 46%
Hiring freeze 61%
Organisational restructuring 61%
Source: Watson Wyatt Worldwide
Companies continue to invest in HR technology
GLOBAL ORGANISATIONS continue to invest and find value in human resource (HR) technology systems. According to a recent study, although survey respondents expressed mixed views on the effectiveness of certain technologies, particularly around talent management, technology investment overall remains a clear focus for organisations in 2008. A reported 30 per cent of respondents have increased their investment in HR-related technologies. Further, only 15 per cent of respondents are decreasing their technology spend in 2008. The remaining 55 per cent are maintaining their technology budgets at 2007 levels.
Source: Towers Perrin
Permanent IT beats contract
EMPLOYERS PLAN to hire permanent ICT employees over contractors. Nearly 85 per cent of respondents to a recent survey indicated that permanent recruits would represent 41 per cent or more of their total hires. Only 3 per cent of respondents believed there would be no hiring of permanent ICT staff in 2008. When looking at contract hiring intentions, 29 per cent of respondents indicated that they intended to increase the proportion of contract staff, but as many as 37 per cent of respondents said they did not intend to hire any new contract staff in 2008.
Executive pay programs shareholder friendly
US COMPANIES are making their executive pay programs, as well as portions of their executive benefit plans and severance policies, more shareholder friendly. In an analysis of 75 large, publicly traded companies, it was found that 87 per cent now have stock ownership guidelines and requirements for executives – an increase from 75 per cent in 2007. Additionally, 38 per cent have a claw-back policy that enables companies to recoup incentive compensation if the financial measures underlying the incentive plans are restated. That compares with just 23 per cent in 2007.
Source: Watson Wyatt
Bumpy economy a boon for project work
PROJECT PROFESSIONALS are having no problem getting work in a tough economy, with 78 per cent indicating they have been busier in the past 12 months than in the year before. A recent survey found that the top reasons project professionals gave for clients engaging them were: clients not having the expertise in-house (55 per cent), staff shortages causing inability to execute projects (39 per cent) and helping clients with interim/backfill roles (16 per cent).
Source: Resources Global Professionals
Death of the lunch hour
SEVENTY PER CENT of workers eat at their desks on a daily basis – showing the lunch hour has become one of the biggest casualties of the softening job market. Cramming everything into an eight-hour stretch seems to be the main problem for Australian workers, with employers piling up the workload in response to tightening budgets. A US study found that 55 per cent of employees cut back on their lunch time, and even used their lunch break for work-related activities.
Telework on the up
EMPLOYERS IN the US and Canada are increasingly using teleworking (working from home) as an employee reward program. Telework has shown the most significant 12-month increase in both countries, in contrast to the use of other employee rewards programs, which inched up only slightly in recent years, and a few even declined. Telework grew considerably in the US, from 30 per cent of organisations saying they offered it to employees in 2007 to 42 per cent this year. In Canada, the increase was even more significant, from 25 per cent to 40 per cent. Other attraction and retention programs are:
Increase to base salary 65%
Employee referral bonus 69%
Hiring bonus 70%