What types of workers are most in demand today? Employers are hiring employees who are experienced in their businesses, team-oriented, customer-focused, have a track record for achieving the results they want, and work smart.

So says a new survey from global talent management firm OI Partners/FS&F.

Companies are more frequently using social media sites to recruit employees than last year, posting jobs on their company Web sites, obtaining referrals from current workers, and hiring people first as contract or temporary employees.

Here are some key takeaways from the survey, which offers insights for small business owners looking to hire and people looking for their next job:

  • 54 percent of employers have increased hiring

  • 42 percent are amore concerned about retaining their current employees than they were last year

  • 33% of employers say it is taking longer to bring people on board this year as companies delay hiring to make sure that their business justifies the additional staff and conduct more interviews to confirm they are selecting the best candidates.

  • Employers are interviewing candidates by phone more often, having teams of employees conduct interviews, and are making greater use of behavioral interviews.


"Employers are being more selective in the types of employees they want, and the methods they are using to find and interview them," says Steve Ford, managing partner of OI Partners/FS&F. "Employers want workers who know their businesses and have accomplished goals similar to those they are seeking to achieve. Companies also are looking for people who work well together and realize how important customers are in this challenging economy.”

The survey also offers some job-search and interviewing advice for candidates.

"Employers in the survey are using LinkedIn and their company websites more than last year to find qualified workers, so these should have a higher place in a job search,” Ford says. “Also, practice for telephone interviews, being interviewed by several people at once, and responding to behavioral interviews with a variety of examples and situations from your experience to show you have the skills necessary to succeed.”