62% of Firms Plan to Refill Pandemic Vacancies in Less Than 6 Months

62% of Firms Plan to Refill Pandemic Vacancies in Less Than 6 Months

6 in 10 employers plan to offer bonuses this year
Empty desks in an office

There is a glimmer of good news for workers who have lost their jobs during the pandemic: Some may soon be rehired.

As recently as September, nearly 7 in 10 organizations (68%) said they planned to refill job vacancies resulting from furloughs and layoffs due to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to recent data from the Adecco Group, a staffing and recruitment company.

So although job cuts and hiring freezes have helped some companies weather the storm, many employers may be looking ahead to future growth.

Jobs could rebound in the next 12 months

Since the pandemic began, employers have balanced downsizing staff with bringing on new workers they need to adapt to the pandemic. In fact, an earlier survey found that as of August, 60% of companies had hired employees since the start of the pandemic.

Of the employers in the Adecco Group survey who said they would refill their vacancies…

  • 87% said they would do so within a year
  • 62% said they would do so within 6 months

While 40% of employers surveyed said a hiring freeze was the most important cost-saving strategy their company had enacted during the pandemic, many are realizing that they need employees with specific skills to get ahead.

Among those skills found by hiring decision-makers to be most essential during the pandemic are:

  • Adaptability/creativity (45%)
  • Critical thinking/problem-solving (41%)
  • Financial management (40%)

In order to ensure their organizations have employees with the right capabilities, 45% of decision-makers said their organization is upskilling their current employees. On top of that, 35% of respondents said their organizations are retraining current employees so they can be redeployed in different roles.

Bonuses, merit increases still on the table

For those employees wondering whether the pandemic would jeopardize their annual bonus, the survey turned up some positive news.

More than 6 in 10 respondents (61%) said their companies will offer bonuses this year. Among those who expect to offer bonuses, 54% believe the bonus payments will be larger than last year’s, while roughly 25% believe they will be smaller.

Respondents from companies with 500 or more employees were more confident about larger bonuses this year than those from smaller companies.

An even larger segment of respondents (79%) believed their companies would still be offering merit increases this year. However, more than a third of those (39%) said the increases will likely be smaller than in previous years.

Companies also appear to be finding money to attract new talent. An earlier survey conducted in July and August found that 28% of senior managers had increased starting salaries for new hires since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methodology: The Adecco Group’s Professional Recruitment and Solutions unit surveyed 1,152 hiring decision-makers, defined as “managers and above.” Of the survey sample, 576 were from companies with fewer than 500 employees, and 576 worked at companies with 500 or more employees. The survey took place in September 2020.

Tamara E. Holmes

Tamara E. Holmes is a Washington, DC-based writer who covers personal finance, entrepreneurship and careers.