The legal profession saw the largest net gain in terms of hiring expectations for the upcoming quarter, according to a survey from a Menlo Park-based specialized staffing firm.

Specifically, 31 percent of the more than 4,000 C-level executives polled stated they expect to add positions during the first three months of 2012, as opposed to just 4 percent who said the opposite, resulting in a 27 percent net increase.

Furthermore, a survey in the December edition of The American Lawyer found that some firms are turning to "nontraditional staffing models" to increase efficiency. These include hiring contract workers, a tactic that increased from 55 percent to 67 percent over the last year, reports.

Overall, however, HR administration is still having trouble finding top talent.

"The common wisdom is that jobs are simple to fill in this market, but many employers are struggling to find the talent they need," said Brett Good, senior district president. "Professionals with highly specialized skills are in short supply – particularly in the information technology and finance fields."

According to the study, 67 percent stated it was somewhat challenging to find skilled employees, up from 59 percent last quarter.  

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