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September 02, 2003
Survey: Nearly Half of Execs Say Firms Are Understaffed
Forty-six percent of senior executives at public companies say their company is understaffed, according to a poll by Christian & Timbers, an executive search firm. Yet, 42 percent do not expect to do significant hiring for U.S. operations in the next year.

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The firm polled 148 senior executives in August. Of those executives surveyed:

  • 10 percent expect to hire in the next 30-60 days
  • 19 percent expect to hire in the next three to six months
  • 10 percent expect to hire in the next six to nine months
  • 13 percent expect to hire in the next nine to twelve months
  • 6 percent expect to hire in the second half of 2004
  • 42 percent say they will not hire in the next year

Other findings revealed that 23 percent said that their company was staffed correctly, while 31 percent said their company was overstaffed.

"Despite the improved quarterly profits in the second quarter of 2003 and continued high unemployment, companies still cannot commit to hire," says Jeffrey Christian, chairman of the search firm. "Right now, most CEOs we have met with are conservatively building cash before they start hiring. When the jobs are created in this growth cycle, they will be added slowly and carefully, and these will be jobs that people can count on for three to five years. At the same time, many of the jobs that were filled in the U.S. in the last boom cycle are now being outsourced. For many, hiring in the U.S. is a very expensive option."

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