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January 03, 2006
Survey: Higher Starting Salaries, More Flex Time in 2006

More than half (51 percent) of hiring managers plan to increase salaries on initial offers for new employees in 2006, according to a survey by and America Online.

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Forty-eight percent of hiring managers say they are willing to provide more flexible work arrangements in 2006 to encourage recruitment and retention of employees.Twenty-seven percent of hiring managers say they will be more willing to allow employees to telecommute given rising energy costs.

The survey included more than 1,300 hiring managers and identified some workplace trends for 2006.

The survey found that 31 percent of hiring managers expressed concern over a shortage of skilled workers and intellectual capital lost due to the large segment of Baby Boomers approaching retirement.  

An even greater number--45 percent--expect to recruit retirees from other companies or offer incentives for workers at or approaching retirement age to extend their employment at their organizations.   While the vast majority of hiring managers report they are filling their open positions within six weeks, 42 percent say they will hasten the hiring process in 2006 in the face of increased competition for top performers.

According to the survey, the top five skills hiring managers say will be most critical to their businesses and most attractive in potential candidates in 2006 are:  

  • Customer service,
  • Critical-thinking (problem-solving and decision- making),
  • Technology proficiency,
  • Ability to improve productivity, and
  • Team-building and motivation.  

Thirty percent of hiring managers report they will be placing a greater emphasis on recruiting bilingual employees.  

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