Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Hiring Projections Gloomy

Having a job that’s critical and doing it well are apparently no longer enough to prevent you from being laid off. A recent Deloitte survey of about 400 large companies, Managing Talent in a Turbulent Economy, found “as layoffs get deeper and more difficult, even employees with critical skills filling key roles are at risk of losing their jobs.”

In March, 43 percent of the executives Deloitte surveyed said “role necessity” was a key factor in choosing who would go next. That’s down from 60 percent in a similar survey done in January. Nearly half, 47 percent, said “skill capability” was important, down from 55 percent in January.

“Past and current performance is no guarantee of job security with less than half of managers (45 percent) reporting this as a top factor, compared to 53 percent in January,” Deloitte found.

Those who survive layoffs can “expect to feel the impact of the difficult economy through lower compensation and benefit levels,” Deloitte predicted.

A quarter of the surveyed executives said they were likely to decrease compensation levels, 32 percent are ready to cut benefits and 39 percent plan to cut discretionary perks such as subsidized food and parking.

Financial services executives were most likely to say headcount reductions were their highest talent management priority, while life sciences, health care, energy and utility executives ranked layoffs as a lower HR priority.

The only ray of sunshine in the Deloitte report is that experienced recruits remain somewhat in demand. “Over the next year, 27 percent of executives surveyed plan to increase experienced hires…the only recruitment category showing a greater increase than decrease in focus, with campus hires, contract hires, part-time hires and offshore/outsourced hires all seeing net declines over the next 12 months.”

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