To provide accurate and timely employment forecasts for business leaders, Express Employment Professionals International Headquarters commissions an ongoing Job Insights survey to track employment and hiring trends across a wide range of industries.
INSIGHT: Hiring Demand Continues Through Challenging Conditions
U.S. hiring decision-makers are more positive about the future of the workforce, with the most common feelings attributed to hiring in 2022 being positive (85%) – including being hopeful (51%), and optimistic (49%). According to hiring decision-makers, in the second half of 2022:
- 61% plan to increase the number of employees at their company
- 34% expect no change to the number of employees
- 3% anticipate a decrease in employee count
INSIGHT: Inflation Affecting Wages, Revenue, and Future Gains
Companies have been faced with many challenges over the past few years. Unfortunately, there continue to be new issues companies face – most recently, a generational rise in inflation. Over the past two years, the inflation rate has increased to a level last seen in the 1980s. Nearly all U.S. hiring decision-makers (92%) say their company has been impacted by this rise in inflation, with nearly two-thirds (65%) reporting it has had a major or moderate impact on their company.
The high inflation rate has caused companies to make difficult decisions, including:
- Raise prices (40%),
- Absorb additional costs (39%)
- Adopt new technology to automate tasks/processes (27%)
- Reduce transportation (24%)
- Outsource work (18%)
- Turn down work opportunities (16%)
Hiring costs look to be a trend moving forward, with expectations for wage increases has been steadily increasing over the past two years:
- 52% in the first half of 2020
- 63% in the first half of 2021
- 70% in the first half of 2022
INSIGHT: Soft Skills Essential for Workers, Leading to Reskilling
In the search for potential applicants with their companies, U.S. hiring decision-makers commonly look for certain soft skills in their applicants. Among the top skills deemed essential or very important are dependability (90%), communication skills (89%), and a willingness to learn (88%).
Other important skills companies look for include:
- Problem-solving skills (85%)
- Adaptability (85%)
- Critical thinking (84%)
- Initiative (84%)
More than 7 in 10 feel fitting the company culture (79%), creativity (72%), and/or leadership skills (71%) are also of high importance to them.
However, reskilling current employees has been continuing to entice U.S. hiring decision-makers since 2021. Nearly 4 in 5 (77%) would prefer to do so with their current employees for new roles before venturing outside the organization for brand new hires – 75% in the second half of 2021 and 72% in the first half of 2021.
The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express between May 3 and 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.