Predictions for 2011 Employment

predictions for 2011 Every year at about this time, Roger Herman and Joyce Gioia, strategic business futurists and publishers of The Herman Trend Alert, issue their annual forecast. Here are their 2011 employment predictions.

1. Recruiting will intensify.

We are already seeing large companies looking to increase their staffs. Later in 2011, the small and medium-size companies will join the scrimmage. More companies that had eliminated their in-house recruiting operations will hire people to offset the expenses of headhunter fees.

2. Unemployment will remain relatively high.

We expect unemployment to remain at over 8 percent for the coming year. The challenge for employers is that many of the unemployed do not have the skills they are looking for.

3. Work-force development will increase in importance.

As communities realize the disparity between desired skills and those that the local population actually possess, the issue of work-force development will become more important, and the federal government will pass legislation to assist in this process.

4. More employers will embrace technology to manage processes and keep track of relationships.

Many companies providing software to employers will see their businesses grow. Subsequently, employers will face the challenges of training their people in the use of these new systems.

5. More companies will tap women for executive positions.

With increases in the percentage of women in colleges, universities, and graduate schools, the world is graduating more capable, qualified women who will soon move into positions of authority in many corporations.

6. The levels of corporate growth will depend on the region.

The United States and Europe will lag behind Asia and South America in terms of both job growth and profits. Lingering high levels of unemployment and issues in the housing market will continue to hamper expansion.

7. Any remaining companies that had not restored sales incentives will do so next year.

Recognizing the competitive disadvantage they have been creating, employers will not only restore incentives to previous levels, but will also look for innovative ways to augment these programs with meaningful, non-financial incentives, keyed to the individuals' social circumstances.

8. The repeal of the Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell law will have far-reaching repercussions.

This law, governing gays openly serving in the U.S. military, will open the door to more recognition for domestic partners. As a result, more employers will acknowledge these partnerships as civil unions, and therefore provide the attendant benefits.

9. Employers will pay increasing attention to retention.

High employee turnover and greater difficulty in recruiting will again challenge many employers. By necessity, employers will once again be forced to develop innovative strategies aimed at employee retention.

10. The escalating regulatory environment will cause employers to need employment lawyers.

With OFCCP (The US Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs) inspections on the rise and the addition of other regulations affecting employers, many companies will have no choice but to retain more employment lawyers as part of their full-time staff.

For more predictions, check out our Top Job Trends of 2011.

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