Alaant Hiring Index - Spring 2020:Shows Capital Region Employers Are Hiring, But Cautiously
Nearly half continue to recruit and hire amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but 6 in 10 express uncertainty about the future; Survey also reveals employees are productive working remotely
Albany, NY – The COVID-19 pandemic is not stopping Capital Region companies from hiring new employees, but the pace of hiring has slowed and employers’ expectations for the future are uncertain, according to the Spring 2020 Alaant Hiring Index. The exclusive analysis of the regional labor market is prepared twice yearly by Alaant Workforce Solutions, the Capital Region’s leading professional workforce services firm.
Of the 54 human resource and hiring managers that responded to a survey conducted from May 5 to 21 – just before the initial reopening of businesses – 46 percent said they were continuing to recruit and hire new employees; 15 percent were recruiting but holding off on hiring; and 39 percent had put both recruiting and hiring on hold.
When asked about hiring expectations for the rest of the year, the results were mixed: 42 percent said they were either very optimistic or optimistic; 43 percent were unsure; and 15 percent were either pessimistic or very pessimistic.
“There is no question the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the Capital Region’s job market,” said Miriam Dushane, Managing Partner of Alaant Workforce Solutions. “Though uncertainty about the future will continue to be a challenge for employers, we are encouraged that nearly half have continued to hire, and we are seeing hiring begin to pick up as businesses reopen. Employers should keep in mind the tightness of the labor market before the pandemic hit, and remain proactive in order to recruit, hire and retain the best employees.”
Of the employers that put hiring on hold during the pandemic, 19 percent expect to resume hiring this month, another 8 percent over the summer, and 20 percent during the fall. Only 9 percent believed they would postpone new hiring until next year.
The Alaant Hiring Index also gauged employers’ experiences in addressing the immediate pandemic-related challenges. Nearly two-thirds hired additional staff or kept staffing levels stable during the first two months of the pandemic, while 37 percent reduced staff. Of those who cut employees, 26 percent used furloughs and 8 percent used layoffs. Additionally, 20 percent of employers reduced employees’ hours, while another 17 percent cut salaries and benefits.
The vast majority of employers – 85 percent – reported that most of their staff has been working remotely during the pandemic. Asked how productivity has been affected, 72 percent said productivity either increased or remained the same, with 24 percent reporting a decrease.
“If employees are productive while working remotely, employers should strongly consider maintaining the work-from-home option,” said Dushane. “Not only is it another benefit companies can use to retain top performers, but it also expands the talent pool available to employers when hiring new employees.”
The human resource and hiring managers answering the Spring 2020 survey represented companies evenly split between having more or less than 100 employees. Now in its 5th year of measuring the Capital Region’s job market, the Alaant Hiring Index is a valuable tool used by organizations to help build top-performing workforces. The next index is scheduled for Fall 2020.
Alaant Workforce Solutions has been honored by Forbes for the past four consecutive years as one of America's Best Recruiting Firms, and for four straight years by ClearlyRated with the prestigious 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. Alaant 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.
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 www.alaant.com.