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SHRM Research Findings: 2011 Edition 
 

 
   
 
 

Throughout the year, SHRM's Research Department studies trends affecting the HR professions. Here are ten significant findings from research conducted in 2011.

  • Confidence in labor market declines. HR professionals’ faith in the strength of the U.S. labor market dipped considerably as 2011 progressed. (See: SHRM Jobs Outlook Survey)
  • Hiring rate slows, but recruiting difficulty rises. Jobs were created at a slower rate as the year progressed, but organizations continued to have difficulty filling many positions. (See: SHRM Leading Indicators of National Employment)
  • Difficulties finding skilled workers. Organizations are having difficulty finding skilled workers for specific job openings, with engineering, medical, technical and executive positions especially hard to fill. (See: SHRM Recruiting and Skill Gaps Poll)
  • Recruiting costs are on the rise. The average cost per hire (costs associated with the sourcing, recruiting, and staffing activities) was $3,196, a 62% increase over the past year.  (See: SHRM Human Capital Benchmarking Survey)
  • Health care costs continue to skyrocket. The average annual cost of health care per covered employee was $9,531, a 19% increase over the past year.  (See: SHRM Health Care Benchmarking Survey)
  • Employers continue to remodel their benefits plans. Given that the benefits allocation in HR budgets is typically fixed, or marginally flexible, it is not surprising that employers continue to remodel their benefits plans so employees are given greater responsibility to manage their health care costs, retirement and financial security, and leave. (See: SHRM Employee Benefits Research Report)
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