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Hiring Trends for 2011 – Growing or Going?

February 01, 2011

Lauren Becker
Area Manager
Creative Financial Staffing an affiliate of BlumShapiro

As an Accounting and Finance staffing firm, every day we are asked about hiring and employment trends. While we have found most companies either laid off or did very little hiring in 2009 and 2010, we anticipate 2011 will look completely different. 

One reason for this is many organizations are in a better position to hire - some are creating new positions due to business demand. Other companies will be able to re-hire for positions that were downsized over the last 24 months and return to pre-2008 employment levels. For some, this will be due to growth, others may be impacted by new compliance and government regulations taking effect over the next few years. 

Another factor that will impact many companies in 2011 is that over the last two years employees who traditionally may have engaged in a job search or left their current position for a new opportunity did not do so. The majority of individuals were nervous about layoffs and were hesitant to become the "newest employee" at a new job. This year, however, those who were cautious to look for a new opportunity in 2009 and 2010 are feeling much more optimistic. According to a recent poll, 76% of currently employed workers will look to make a job change this year. 

Although some companies are hiring - many will continue to keep their staff lean in 2011. Having a lean staff may seem to be the best strategy; however, what happens when a critical employee leaves and there is nobody within the organization able to take on that individual's workload?  This movement within the marketplace will leave some companies scrambling to replace key people within their organization that they were not prepared to lose, and this will be especially true for the companies who are operating with a bare-bones staff. 

There are some things that can be done to prepare for the new hiring environment in 2011:

  • Make sure key employees feel appreciated and valued. From the candidates we have recently seen, the most common reason that they begin to look for another position is that they do not feel they have growth opportunities with their current companies. 
  • If a traditional promotion is not possible, you could slightly increase responsibility, give them a leadership role for a specific function and allow them the ability to make decisions about that task, or give an employee a title above their current one. 
  • Talk with key employees about where they would like to be in their careers, and let them know that you are committed to help them reach those goals and that you see those opportunities for them within your company. 
  • Recognition also means more to most people than they will admit, and publicly thanking an employee or recognizing their accomplishments will help to make them feel valued for the work they do.
  • Of course, raises and bonuses, when possible, are always a good idea in conjunction with some of these other strategies. 

If you do find your company in the unfortunate situation of losing key employees this year, one thing to keep in mind is that you do not want to overload the rest of your staff during this time. When someone leaves it has the potential to affect the morale of the entire department. That combined with the rest of the department having to do a lot of extra work can have a very negative impact. Bringing in interim help or temporary consultants will avoid burning out your staff, and allow you the flexibility to take your time with finding the right long-term employee. 

Although there is still much uncertainty in the market, there are companies hiring and employees will look for new opportunities this year. 


Advisors | Auditors | Consultants | CPAs - Blum Shapiro is one of the premier public accounting firms in the northeast and a Top 100 CPA Firm in the U.S. Our professionals serve businesses, individuals and organizations in Boston (MA), Hartford (CT), Cranston (RI), Shelton (CT) ,Quincy (MA) and Newton (MA) with audit, tax and business consulting services. Our firm has developed practice areas in automotive, construction, education, government, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, nonprofit organizations and professional service firms. New Haven CT, Fairfield CT, Norwalk CT, Waterbury CT.