Compiled By Tonya Vinas Mid-to-upper level executives and managers will be in greater demand the first half of this year, according to a hiring survey conducted by Cleveland-based Management Recruiters International Inc. (MRI). The company surveyed 630 executives in a variety of industries on their hiring intentions for 2003. Overall, 45.2% said they plan to add to their staffs in the first half of this year, up 2.8 percentage points from the second half of 2002. Plans to hire by sector include: health care, 62.1%; finance, 61.7%; non-profit/government/education, 48.3%; construction, 46.4%; manufacturing, 41.6%; machinery, 37.5%; business services, 37.0%; advertising/marketing, 35.2%; telecommunications, 30.0%; technology, 21.7%. "Most companies today are running lean in all areas, and especially so when it comes to employees," says MRI President and CEO Allen Salikof. "They have cut their staff, they have avoided replacing people lost through attrition, and they have increased the workload of remaining staff. We believe that they are now at the point where they have to rebuild and strengthen their organizations to survive and prosper. They are, in fact, already anticipating the return of candidate shortages in key areas."