Alaant Hiring Index - Fall 2020: Reveals Optimism Among Capital Region Employers, With Plans to Increase Hiring in 2021

Alaant Hiring Index: Fall 2020

Workplace shift accelerated by COVID-19 continues: more employees are returning to offices but most still work remotely, and employers are more open to hiring remote workers; The new presidential administration is not expected to impact hiring plans

Albany, NY – Despite a challenging year upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, Capital Region employers are optimistic that 2021 will bring additional hiring and job growth, according to the Fall 2020 Alaant Hiring Index released today. Prepared twice yearly by Alaant Workforce Solutions, the Capital Region’s leading professional workforce services firm, the index also reveals a continuing shift in the workplace, with remote work remaining prevalent and gaining increased acceptance among employers.

Of the 72 human resource and hiring managers surveyed between November 17 and December 11, 54% expect hiring to increase over the first 6 months of the new year, led by jobs in healthcare and information technology; 43% see no change in hiring; and only 3% forecast a decrease. When asked about expectations for job growth in 2021, 61% of employers were either very optimistic or optimistic – a significant increase from 42% during the previous survey in May – and the number of employers that were pessimistic fell from 13% in the spring to 4% in the fall. 

“While the pandemic is not yet over, it’s clear that employers see light at the end of the tunnel,” said Miriam Dushane, Managing Partner of Alaant Workforce Solutions. “We’ve seen an uptick in hiring this month, which is consistent with the optimism employers are expressing for the new year. And we’re encouraged that savvy employers are being creative, including by hiring remote workers, to address the challenges of recruiting in what remains an employees’ job market.”

The latest Alaant Hiring Index portrays a continuing shift in Capital Region workplaces. A majority of employers, 56%, said more than half of their employees are still working remotely – though down from 85% in the early months of the pandemic – and 88% said productivity has increased or stayed the same, up from 72% in May. Further, 57% of employers now consider hiring remote workers to fill open roles, the highest level ever recorded.

While 55% of employers said hiring remains a significant challenge or challenging, 40% believe it is improving. The biggest challenge affecting the ability to hire is the economic impact of COVID-19, which was cited by 47% of employers. And employers don’t expect a new presidential administration to affect their hiring plans, with 82% seeing no change or taking a wait-and-see approach.

Looking back at 2020, employers were split on the hiring impact since the pandemic hit in March: 36% said hiring increased, 33% saw no change, and 31% reported a decrease. Nearly 7 in 10 employers did not put hiring on hold this year, and of those who did, the largest portion expect to resume early in 2021.

Used by organizations to inform their recruiting strategy to attract top employees, the Alaant Hiring Index is now in its 6th year of measuring the Capital Region’s labor market. The human resource and hiring managers answering the Fall 2020 survey were evenly divided between companies having more or less than 100 employees. The next index is scheduled for Spring 2021.

Alaant Workforce Solutions has helped hundreds of Capital Region companies attract, acquire, engage and retain thousands of elite employees over the past decade, offering innovative practice areas such as Talent Acquisition Partnerships and Employer Brand Strategy. For each of the past four consecutive years (2017 through 2020), Alaant has received national recognition from two prestigious organizations: named by Forbes as one of America's Best Recruiting Firms, and by ClearlyRated with the Best of Staffing® Client Award and Best of Staffing® Talent Award. Last fall, Alaant was selected by HR Tech Outlook as one of the nation’s Top 10 Employer Branding Consulting/Services Companies for 2019.

The full survey results can be found here!

Additional Coverage:

Local Hiring Index Shows Optimism as Vaccine is Deployed via Times Union

Survey: Capital Region Employers Optimistic About Hiring in 2021 via The Albany Business Review

About Alaant Workforce Solutions. For nearly two decades, Alaant has delivered a full suite of consulting and recruitment services that enable employers to attract, hire and retain the best employees, strengthen business performance, and accelerate growth and profitability. Alaant’s team of employment experts uses innovative recruiting tools and solutions, creates effective Employer Brand Strategies, and provides exceptional RPO capabilities, always guided by a personal engagement with both candidates and employers, and a recognized commitment to integrity and excellence. To learn more, visit

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