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12010 Employer Outlook 10 Top Trends

Many hope 2010 holds a brighter economic future than last year’s sliding profits and mass layoffs. A recent survey of 2,700 HR professionals conducted by shows companies are revisiting strategies, headcount and cost containment to position for measured growth in 2010. Channel Insider takes a look at the survey results and what it may foretell for businesses and employees in 2010.

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Underperforming employees beware of the chopping block. The survey finds that employers want to tap out-of-work talent in the job market to strengthen their work forces. 37% of employers said they plan to replace lower performing employees with new talent in 2010.

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In 2009, many companies made tough and very public decisions like slashing jobs and canceling benefits, negatively impacting their brands.In 2010, almost 40% of companies plan to harness the power of social media to create a more positive brand, and some plan to create new social media jobs to do it. 1 in 5 employers will give a current employee social media responsibility while 8% plan to hire a social media guru.

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Last year, 40% of surveyed companies reduced headcount through involuntary layoffs, but things may be looking up.Among companies who experienced layoffs last year, 32% plan to rehire, and 3 in 10 are already doing it or plan to rehire within the first six months of 2010.

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Flex schedules and telecommuting options will continue to become more widespread in 2010 in an attempt to maintain and create a better work-life balance.35% of employers plan to give flex options to employees, up from 31% in 2009, including job sharing, summer hours, and sabbaticals.

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Folks may get their jobs back, but they might not be enjoying any perks or benefits for a while. 37% of employers plan to continue to trim perks and benefits this year like bonuses, medical coverage, 401K matching and even free coffee-that number is up from 32% in 2009.

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Companies know that retirees and those close to retirement hold valuable knowledge and experience. In 2010, 16% of companies say they are likely to rehire retirees from other companies, while 10% are likely to provide incentives for workers at or approaching retirement age to stay on.

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The talented unemployed stand to gain in 2010. Employers remain cautious about upping full-time headcount exponentially, and 30% say they will turn to freelancers and contractors this year. That number is up slightly from 28% in 2009.

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11% of employers plan to add “green jobs” in 2010 – that is the same amount of companies that added green jobs last year. Green jobs include positions aimed at improving conservation and sustainability through environmentally conscious design, policy and technology.

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Job seekers with bilingual skills stand to gain in 2010. Diversity is an important measure of success in 2010, and nearly 40% report plans to hire bilingual candidates in 2010.50% of the total surveyed said they would be more inclined to hire a bilingual candidate if two equally qualified candidates were competing for one job.

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Business travel remains one of the largest discretionary costs to an organization. 43% of those surveyed say they plan to reduce business travel in 2010 even further to contain costs and focus on growth.