"They're filling these vacancies now because business has come back or is in the process of coming back, and many firms don't have the infrastructure to support the revenue growth," said Andrea Jennings, chief executive of The Lucas Group, which specializes in middle- and senior-management placements in the $100,000 to $250,000 annual salary range.
firm's year-to-date performance has well exceeded company goals.
In the management world, she
is seeing the beginnings of a run-up in employment.
reported shortages of qualified applicants across most of her
divisions, except for the still-lagging construction sector, and added that Lucas Group
is actively hiring recruiters.
Employers, meanwhile, have been steadily adding human resources professionals, typically one of the first departments to see cuts in a downturn, she
"Hiring in HR means they're adding headcount elsewhere in the firm," Jennings
In March, the Lucas Group
's best-performing division has been manufacturing and related industries, with placements in supply chain, logistics, engineering and production supervision and management positions.
Durable goods, consumer product and food manufacturers are hiring, she
That sector had seen some growth in 2010, but this year its recovery has legs, Jennings
"Because they need people, they're willing to pay a candidate with less mainstream experience and train them," she
firm has a program that places junior military officers in management positions, and she
said manufacturers are now filling some of their open slots with these applicants.
company is faring best in the middle of the country and the South, though there's a measure of manufacturing hiring also in the Northeast.
Despite the palpable shift in the market, Jennings
said, management compensation has not moved much.
Candidates are now emboldened to ask for more, but thus far employers have responded only by edging higher within existing pay ranges.
A staffing executive in the Midwest agreed that manufacturing hiring is roaring back, but most of what she
has seen has been on a contingent or temporary-to-permanent basis.