With a recession looming, layoffs in the technology sector, and a general sense of uncertainty going forward, it is natural to be concerned about the job market. However, talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half believes there isn’t too much to worry about.
The consultancy spoke to more than 1,500 managers between June 17 to July 14, 2022, and found that many companies in the US intend to continue hiring in the next six months.
46% of respondents intend to add to their permanent workforce in the second half of 2022, and the same figure is hopeful that they will fill their current vacant positions. On the other side of the hiring spectrum, 8% foresee a hiring freeze or layoffs.
Surprisingly, the technology sector was the most eager to get more contract professionals in the door, with 60% of respondents in the sector being keen to hire. The tech sector was closely followed by finance and accounting (54%).
A changing situation
Robert Half’s senior executive director Paul McDonald discussed the findings: “Despite talk of an economic slowdown, many companies remain in hiring mode — and professionals with in-demand skills continue to have options.
“In addition to staffing critical functions, employers are increasingly turning to contract talent to stay nimble while keeping projects moving forward and productivity high.”
While the statistics are more positive than some would expect, it is worth noting that hiring plans have seen a decline of 5% since the second half of 2021, and a significant 19% fall from the beginning of 2022.
What’s more, the number of companies not adding staff has tripled, and those offboarding staff has doubled.
72% of employers said they wanted to hire candidates who are early in their career. To do this respondents are increasing their starting salaries (46%), providing signing bonuses (34%), and remote work options (33%).
In addition, 28% are loosening education, skills, or experience requirements. While this move may be partly out of pragmatism in a competitive talent market, there is also a benefit to upskilling junior staff to get them the specific skills required for an organization. Particularly, when mid-level and senior staff may be considering their employment options.
On this note, MacDonald said: “As long as the job market favors workers, staff retention will continue to be a big concern for businesses. Doubling down on employee wellbeing, empowerment, and development initiatives can go a long way toward building staff satisfaction and loyalty as the market fluctuates.”
Of course, building programs for existing staff and improving offers for new talent can be a financial challenge. With that in mind, organizations will need to strike a balance of retaining talent with engagement initiatives and appealing to talent as part of a sustainable growth strategy.
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