'Hyper-Employment' Challenging Human Resource Managers

For the second straight year, the tight labor market is the top challenge for human resources managers at America's largest companies. They're calling the condition hyper-employment. So says the recently released 1998 Human Resources Practices Survey, by the Deloitte & Touche Human Resources Strategies Group and the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. The survey found four out of five firms pinpoint recruiting qualified workers as a major challenge; two of five say it's their No. 1 human resources challenge. In 1998 the surveyed human resources departments spent 18% of their budget on recruitment activities, up 5% over last year's results. Add training and development, and they're spending nearly one-third (31%) of their budgets on recruitment and retention. Innovations to keep employees: flexible hours in 92% of the firms surveyed; employee counseling, 86%; child-care services, 57%; and elder-care services, 37%. Employee training efforts: team building skills, about 80%; diversity, 75%; formal job skills programs, 73%.

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