CSPs Escape Hiring Crunch in Slow Economy

While a sluggish economy has slowed hiring in the construction and manufacturing industries, companies continue to hold certified safety professionals (CSPs) in high demand to reap the business and public perception benefits provided by safety programs.

According to Cindy Lewis, principal owner of Creative Safety Solutions, the recent economic downswing has not negatively affected the hiring climate for safety professionals within the Houston area.

“Right now I would say there is no impact,” Lewis told OccupationalHazards.com. “Companies are so focused on safety and health for their industries and for their facilities that they aren’t going to go away from hiring safety and health people.”

She attributes part of the high demand to new national programs and initiatives, such as OSHA’s National Emphasis Program for refineries, as well as public outcry over major safety-related incidents that occurred in recent years.

“I think some of it is from public demand because of incidents that have gotten so much media attention and because of the community impact,” she said. She also cited her involvement with community groups that carefully follow occupational safety issues with the understanding that an incident at a facility could affect the greater community.

Lewis added that businesses are encouraged to hire safety professionals not only to develop a favorable public perception, but also because they realize the role safety plays in business dynamics.

“I think that everybody’s got that heightened awareness now that safety is good business and is important to having a good bottom line,” she said.

Nursing, Skilled Professions in Demand

In addition to CSPs, nurses, sales representatives, software developers and other skilled professionals also remain in high demand despite the struggling economy. A recent Jobfox survey reveals that hiring rates for these skilled employees will remain strong to help U.S. companies fulfill critical roles.

"These are professions that are thriving and will continue to be in demand for the foreseeable future," said Rob McGovern, Jobfox CEO. "While hiring activity is reportedly slow in some industry sectors – construction and manufacturing, for example – companies continue to go after a host of high-impact professions requiring degrees or specialized skills."

The March 2008 Jobfox Top 25 Most Wanted U.S. Professions rankings listed software design/development, nursing, accounting/finance executive, sales/business development representative and administrative assistant as the top five most active professions. The report reflects professions most often targeted by employers and recruiters who used Jobfox to search for new or replacement workers during a 120-day period ending in February 2008.

In addition, an online Jobfox poll of 100 corporate recruiters indicates that for the most part, the hiring climate remains steady. Approximately 20 percent of recruiters expect their staffing levels will remain about the same in 2008, while 43 percent said staff levels will slightly or significantly increase during the year. Twenty-one percent said staffing levels will significantly or slightly decrease.

McGovern pointed out that workers in any industry should be prepared with career options, even if they are comfortable and content with their current jobs.

"The best time for professionals to uncover great opportunities is when they don't have to look," McGovern said. "Once you're in a position where you have to find a new job, you are no longer in the driver's seat. When you are forced to taking a new job because you have to, it can be real damaging to long-term career goals."

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