By Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder
CareerBuilder’s first annual global job forecast looks at hiring plans and financial positions of employers in the 10 largest world economies. When it comes to areas of job growth, the U.S. will focus hiring on sales, information technology and customer service positions, while China’s attention will be on sales, research and development and production. From a fiscal perspective, India, Brazil and China have the highest number of employers in a better financial position than one year ago, while France, Japan and Italy report the lowest numbers. The overall hiring picture is improving, but companies will remain watchful as they navigate headwinds and maneuver through somewhat precarious economic terrain.
The comprehensive global forecast, which surveyed more than 6,000 hiring managers in the top 10 economies across the world, presents varying degrees of growth and deceleration, as governments and businesses strive to rebuild and expand and deal with large deficits. Hiring activity in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) is projected to be significantly higher than other markets, while recruitment in Europe remains sluggish as leaders struggle to resolve a debt crisis with global implications.
Top jobs in 2013
The forecast points to all major markets putting an emphasis on positions that help create revenue and innovation. Interestingly, China was the only market that lists research and development in its top three areas for recruitment. Most markets name sales, customer service, IT and production as top roles for which they’re hiring.
When asked to identify the top areas their organizations will be hiring for, employers pointed to:
- U.S. – Sales, IT, customer service
- China – Sales, research and development, production
- Japan – IT, engineering, customer service
- Germany – IT, sales, production
- France – Production, sales, IT (IT tied with customer service)
- U.K. – Sales, administrative, customer service
- Brazil – Customer service, IT, administrative
- Italy – Production, sales, administrative
- Russia – Production, customer service, engineering
- India – IT, marketing, customer service
Plans for full-time, permanent hiring in 2013
Though not all major economies are optimistic, hiring activity in the BRIC countries is projected to be significantly higher than other markets. Brazil’s aggressive hiring projections may be partially attributed to their plans for hosting the upcoming World Cup and Summer Olympics and a better performing manufacturing sector, with 71 percent of employers reporting plans to increase their full-time, permanent headcount.
European nations continue to grapple with another recession, with global decline occurring as a side-effect of managing down debt. Employers in Italy reported the lowest numbers for hiring plans, with only 19 percent of employers planning to hire full-time workers, while 33 percent of employers plan to downsize staff.
When asked to identify plans for their organization’s full-time, permanent hiring, employers report*:
- Brazil – 71 percent increase, 5 percent decrease, 20 percent no change
- India – 67 percent increase, 13 percent decrease, 17 percent no change
- Russia – 48 percent increase, 15 percent decrease, 36 percent no change
- China – 52 percent increase, 27 percent decrease, 21 percent no change
- U.S. – 26 percent increase, 9 percent decrease, 55 percent no change
- Germany – 29 percent increase, 15 percent decrease, 53 percent no change
- U.K. – 30 percent increase, 21 percent decrease, 46 percent no change
- Japan – 22 percent increase, 19 percent decrease, 56 percent no change
- France – 24 percent increase, 24 percent decrease, 48 percent no change
- Italy – 19 percent increase, 33 percent decrease, 43 percent no change
Current financial state of employers
Employers in the U.S. and BRIC countries are feeling optimistic about their finances, with more than 60 percent of employers reporting that their company’s financial position is stronger compared to this time last year. Italian, Japanese and French companies, however, don’t share those feelings and were the most likely to report that their financial situation has stayed the same or worsened.
Number of employers who are in a better financial position than one year ago:
- India – 81 percent
- Brazil – 80 percent
- China – 67 percent
- Russia – 63 percent
- U.S. – 62 percent
- U.K. – 50 percent
- Germany – 45 percent
- France – 38 percent
- Japan – 34 percent
- Italy – 25 percent
As the top economies of the world continue to focus on sales, IT, production and customer service, the job outlook will vary as these businesses rebuild and expand. Many economies are battling large deficits and recession recoveries, but the overall hiring picture is improving.
*Remaining percentage is undecided.
Matt Ferguson is the CEO of CareerBuilder.