Hiring Struggle: Which Industries Are Increasing Headcounts?

The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics Jobs Report highlights just how difficult the hiring landscape has become. With more employers increasing headcounts throughout the remainder of 2019, the odds of finding qualified candidates becomes smaller. Kiss that candidate pool goodbye, we’re looking at three fields that anticipate a hiring increase.


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Recruiting in the creative and marketing fields is expected to intensify during the remainder of 2019, according to The Creative Group. A recent “State of Creative Hiring” report shows that 75% of advertising and marketing hiring decision makers anticipate expanding their teams in the second half of 2019, which is up from 60%, 6 months ago. In addition, 62% of employers plan to increase the number of freelancers they use, a 6-point jump from the first half of the year.
Web and mobile development remains the top area for recruiting among survey respondents. Advertising and marketing hiring managers also reported a strong need for professionals with expertise in user experience, web production, and user interface and interaction design.
A majority of advertising and marketing hiring decision makers (86%) said it’s somewhat or very challenging to locate the creative talent they seek. And when it comes to recruiting professionals with digital expertise, the job is just as tough: 75% reported difficulty finding and retaining these individuals. This may be one reason 45% of employers cited being understaffed in digital areas.
In order to make better hires, many creative managers are keen on partnering with their peers on the technology team. More than 9 in 10 survey respondents (92%) said it would be helpful to work with IT hiring decision makers when recruiting full-time professionals to support digital marketing initiatives, and 65% said they frequently do.


The legal field is expected to see an increase in hiring in the months ahead, as well, with litigation driving the greatest job growth. According to Robert Half Legal’s “State of Legal Hiring” report, nearly 6 in 10 U.S.-based lawyers (59%) said their law firm or company plans to expand their legal teams in the second half of 2019, up 12 percentage points from the last time the survey was conducted.
More than one-third of lawyers (36%) anticipate staffing only vacated positions, while 2% said they would neither staff vacated positions nor create new ones. Only 1% expect staffing reductions. More than one-quarter of lawyers (27%) predict litigation will generate the most employment opportunities during the next 6 months, followed by general business/commercial law, which received 21% of the response, and privacy, data security, and information law (15%).
Within the litigation specialty, commercial litigation is expected to yield the greatest number of legal jobs, according to 44% of lawyers surveyed. Securities and corporate governance ranked second, with 33% of the respondents expecting to hire in that area, followed by employment law (31%).

Business Professional

And last but not least, accounting, finance, and IT firms also expect to increase headcount. The Brilliant™ Q3 2019 Hiring Forecast indicates that businesses are reporting an increased number of open positions in these areas with plans to increase hiring over the next 12 months, especially for IT. According to the forecast, 43% of businesses are reporting unfilled positions in accounting and finance, and 28% are reporting openings in IT.
“More than 40 percent (43 percent) of the human resources professionals and hiring managers who participated in the study reported unfilled jobs in accounting and finance,” explains CPA Sagar Pandya, Practice Director for Brilliant Financial Search, in a press release. “This number is slightly above last quarter (41 percent) and above the 37 percent reported last year.” Pandya continues, “For IT, the number of open positions increased as well, up to 28 percent from 26 percent last quarter.”

Fear Not!

For recruiters looking to obtain creative talent in 2019, Diane Domeyer, Executive Director of The Creative Group, recently shared three tips in a blog post. We’ve outlined them here:

  1. Relax job descriptions. “Employers would be wise to relax job requirements,” Domeyer says. “Some employers are putting more emphasis on previous experience and digital portfolios than education level. The result is a larger candidate pool without sacrificing quality.”
  2. Turn to the gig economy. Domeyer suggests taking advantage of freelance talent to help fill vacant positions or for short-term projects. “This blended staffing strategy allows managers to quickly fill skill gaps without a long-term commitment,” Domeyer says. “In addition, using temporary staff is an excellent way to assess a creative specialist as a potential full-time hire.”
  3. Focus on culture. “The top drivers of happiness for creative and marketing professionals are doing worthwhile work, feeling appreciated, and taking interest in their work,” Domeyer says. “Focus on these for your team, and you’re sure to create an organizational culture where creative employees thrive and want to stay.”

If you’re looking to hire legal talent, Robert Half Legal provides these six tips, as well.

  1. Showcase corporate culture. A negative workplace is a deal breaker for many jobseekers, so it’s important to emphasize the positive attributes of your office environment.
  2. Promote professional development. Highlight mentorship and training programs that help employees hone critical skills and prepare for future leadership roles.
  3. Offer perks that matter. Work/life balance is top of mind for many jobseekers. Promoting benefits such as flextime, telecommuting, on-site amenities, and paid time off for volunteer or pro bono activities can attract top legal talent.
  4. Amp up staffing options. Engage legal professionals on a project or consulting basis to ease caseloads, access specialized skills, and evaluate candidates for full-time positions.
  5. Deepen the talent pool. Tap current employees, professional networks, and specialized recruiters to obtain candidate referrals and expedite hiring.
  6. Be willing to bend. Employers are challenged to find highly skilled legal professionals who meet all the requirements for an open position. To boost recruiting efforts, adjust your criteria to focus on the essential skills for success and emphasize on-the-job training.

And finally, if you’re looking to recruit and retain top talent in the accounting, finance, and IT fields, keep these tips in mind:

  • IT recruiting: Be more flexible on skills requirements and provide training to new hires. It’s important to be more flexible on the specific skills you’re looking for and if you can’t find these skilled workers, you should train new hires on these skills. Robert Half Technology says a lack of flexibility on candidate skills and experience, especially in a talent-short market, could be detrimental to hiring efforts.
  • Accounting and finance recruiting: Sharpen the job description. Accurately describe the skills needed for the position, but focus on three or four crucial responsibilities that top applicants must possess.
  • Tip for all three fields: When in doubt, work with a specialized recruiting firm to help fill vacant roles.