65% of US business plan to grow workforce in 2022

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The labor market will continue to recover through 2022, according to research from talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half. According to the company’s State of Hiring in the United States survey of more than 2,300 senior executives, 65% of respondents expect to add new permanent positions in the first half of the year, up 14 points from six months ago; 33% expect to fill vacancies.

Amid talent and skills shortages, employers are more willing to hire remote professionals — and they’re wise to do so.

Of the 24 U.S. cities in the survey, those with the highest percentages of employers planning to add permanent positions are Charlotte (75%), San Francisco (74%) and Detroit (72%). In addition, managers in the administrative and customer support (72%) and marketing (69%) departments have the greatest recruitment needs.

View an infographic of research highlights, including results by practice area and company size.

Contract hiring is also heating up: nearly three-quarters of senior executives (71%) expect to hire more contract professionals in 2022. Those in marketing and technology departments (78% each) are the most likely to increase the number of contract workers they use.

Main recruitment strategies

According to the research, companies use several levers to attract qualified candidates:

  • 55% raise starting salaries.
  • 50% offer remote options and assess candidates outside of their office location.
  • 44% offer signing bonuses.
  • 41% grant more paid leave.
  • 31% relax education, skills or experience requirements.

“Today’s professionals have more career options and bargaining power than ever before,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half. “To attract top talent, employers need to act quickly, create a positive candidate experience from first contact to job offer, and offer competitive salaries and flexible work options.”

Remote recruitment opportunities

Taking a remote-first approach can give employers a head start when competing for top talent: Previous research from Robert Half finds that more than half of professionals (54%) are interested in working in fully remote positions.

Findings from the State of Hiring in the United States survey show that many companies are recognizing the benefits of offering fully remote positions:

  • More applications from qualified candidates (54%)
  • Greater compensation flexibility (45%)
  • A faster hiring process (34%)

McDonald noted, “Amid talent and skills shortages, employers are more willing to hire professionals remotely – and they are wise to do so. But recruiting and managing remote workers can be easier said than done. a global footprint and an extensive talent network can save businesses time and money.”

Remote hiring and onboarding challenges

When asked to reveal the biggest barrier to hiring remote talent, top executive responses were:

  1. Assess candidate skills through virtual interviews
  2. Develop compensation packages for candidates outside of the company’s city or state
  3. Scheduling virtual interviews across multiple time zones

And when it comes to onboarding remote employees, HR leaders said the biggest challenges are:

  1. Strengthen engagement and connection
  2. Provide training and support
  3. Have adequate equipment and technology

“The first few days on the job are always a bit overwhelming, and even more so in a virtual environment. An effective remote onboarding process takes a lot of time and focus to plan and execute, but it pays off when done right. “said Lynne Smith, Robert Demi senior vice president of global human resources.


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