The 2012 Executive Employer Survey, released by Littler Mendelson, P.C. found that the majority of respondents (71%) plan to hire more workers, either cautiously or aggressively, during the next 12 months, while just eight percent plan to lay off full-time employees.
Respondents noted other relevant findings related to the nation's job market:
- Executives indicated the leading challenges facing their workforce due to current economic conditions are demands for employees to do more with less (91%), remaining in a job due to inability to find employment elsewhere (85%), and underemployment (67%). Despite this, respondents chose employee retention as the issue presenting the most difficulty for their company when managing its workforce.
- Regardless of the presidential election's outcome, respondents think the next president will assign a very high priority to job creation. Mitt Romney is considered more likely to assign a high priority to this issue than would a second-term President Obama, with 85% saying they think Romney would assign a high priority to job creation compared with 70% for President Obama.
"The job market appears to be heading in the right direction for America's skilled workers," said Garry Mathiason, chairman of the board at Littler. "However, our findings do not reflect unchecked optimism. An overwhelming majority of respondents say today's workers are being asked to do more with fewer resources. Additionally, job immobility and underemployment are keeping the nation's labor force from maximizing productivity."
Mathiason added, "The mix of optimism and concern reflects the disruptive factors of an election year, including uncertainty over regulatory issues in healthcare reform and union organizing, as well as the ever-changing impact of social media in the workplace."
In addition to prioritizing policies intended to create jobs, respondents weighed in on the priority they expect candidates Romney and Obama to place on a variety of issues impacting the workplace. The top issues expected to receive a high priority from President Obama were healthcare reform (81%), union organizing (64%) and workplace discrimination matters (59%). Respondents anticipate that Republican presidential candidate Romney will place a high priority on immigration reform (50%) and healthcare reform (48%).
Executives also clearly expect that a variety of regulatory issues will continue to impact the workplace during the next 12 months, with healthcare reform (64%), National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)/union organizing matters (41%), immigration reform (22%) and anti-discrimination employment laws (21%) expected to have the most significant impact.
Culture of Compliance
The examined executives' perceptions on compliance.
- A majority of respondents (52%) believe that companies view compliance as important but do not devote adequate resources to it, while 34% feel companies have made compliance a priority and have realized the impact of ethical business practices on the bottom line.
- Respondents from highly-regulated industries (energy, financial services/banking and healthcare) were more likely to say that their companies commitment to a culture of compliance is genuine, while respondents from the nonprofit and professional services sectors were more likely to say that such commitments are purely lip service.
- Recognizing the importance of preventing employee misconduct, companies are planning to conduct training in the next 12 months in a variety of high-risk areas that can impact the companys bottom-line, including employee discrimination and harassment (84%), workplace safety (68%), encouraging employees to report misconduct internally (65%) and wage and hour requirements (51%).