90% of U.S. companies plan to hire workers in key departments through end of year
OKLAHOMA CITY—Hiring efforts continue to climb as 90% of U.S. hiring decision-makers say their company plans to hire employees in key departments through the end of the year and are looking to bring full-time, mid- or entry-level workers on board.
IT/technology support (29%), customer service (26%), general labor (25%) and sales (25%) are among the top positions companies plan to hire for in 2022. This is according to a new survey from The Harris Poll commissioned by Express Employment Professionals.
Hiring managers most commonly plan to hire full-time employees (84%), either hourly (59%) or salaried (48%). Interest in hiring full-time employees has been steadily increasing since the first half of 2020, when 66% said they planned to hire full-time employees in 2020, compared to now when 84% report their intentions to hire full-time employees in 2022.
When it comes to the job levels of open positions, mid-level (55%) and entry-level (52%) rise to the top. Around 3 in 10 companies are planning to hire senior-level employees (31%), about a quarter for individual contributors (26%) and/or a fifth for C-suite executives (20%).
Market hot for recent grads
To fill these entry- or mid-level positions, U.S. hiring decision-makers will often turn to recent grads, as more than half (51%) say their company plans to hire applicants from this group.
College graduates have been among the top segments of the workforce hiring decision-makers have sought over the past two years—52% in the second half of 2021, 48% in the first half of 2021, 43% in the second half of 2020 and 38% in the first half of 2020. Around 2 in 5 say they plan to hire vocational/career tech graduates (45%) and/or college students (39%) in 2022.
Yet given the current labor shortage, some companies may consider more temporary hires. A quarter of hiring managers (24%) report their company plans to hire seasonal, temporary or contract workers—an increase compared to 2021 (20%). Nearly 4 in 5 (79%) agree their company is willing to hire contingent (i.e., temporary or contract) workers to meet business needs.
Turnover a major factor
Most clients still prefer to hire full-time employees but have been forced to work with part-time or flex scheduling to meet their needs, according to Georgia Express franchise owner John Culpepper. As for what level of worker is needed most, Culpepper says it depends on the industry and region.
“This is subject to where each business is located,” he said. “In our area, light industrial is king, so entry level is most in demand because of the many distribution centers and manufacturing companies attracted to our area by the ‘business friendly’ perks provided by local government.”
In Texas, Express franchise owner Nancy Reed says entry-level positions are experiencing a lot of turnover, resulting in constant demand.
“Mid-level roles are the ones proving difficult for employers to bring back to the workplace,” Reed said. “Many of these employees do not want to return to in-person settings, so some employers are having to separate from them, or these employees are finding new jobs altogether.”
Contingent workforce as a solution
Heading into the holiday season with above-average demand for seasonal employees, one solution is to turn to the contingent workforce.
“Worker need is so high that any solution is welcomed,” Culpepper said. “Companies are using any means possible to attract and fill their labor needs. This is opening many doors to those who have not considered this pool of employees before.”
Employers should realize that contingent workers can provide the necessary coverage and can become their future workforce, Reed adds.
“Using contingent employees can assist companies in building a longer-term workforce for their organization,” she said. “Managers can evaluate applicants’ skills and identify the employees who best fit their companies while they are on a temporary assignment.”
Traditionally known as “gig work,” flexible staffing arrangements can benefit both employees and employers.
“Today’s workers are searching for flexibility and with the severe skilled workers shortage, these assignments allow individuals opportunities to gain experience in various environments,” Express Employment International CEO Bill Stoller said. “These shorter working stints can often lead to permanent employment, creating the perfect solution for today’s tight labor market.”
The survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals between May 3 and May 23, 2022, among 1,003 U.S. hiring decision-makers (defined as adults ages 18+ in the U.S. who are employed full-time or self-employed, work at companies with more than one employee, and have full/significant involvement in hiring decisions at their company). Data were weighted where necessary by company size to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.