- Heading into 2022’s final quarter, most U.S. CHROs expect the hiring pendulum to swing back as employers scale back talent acquisition plans, according to an August pulse survey by PwC.
- The firm found that 83% of the 98 CHRO respondents — part of a larger group of 722 U.S. executives surveyed by PwC — said their companies had reduced overall headcount or were considering doing so. Hiring incentives took a hit, too, with 60% reporting that their companies had dropped or reduced signing bonuses. In all, 61% said they were rescinding offers entirely.
- PwC also found that CHROs are backtracking on some in-office policies, with 34% of CHROs stating they had dropped vaccine mandates and 33% stating they were prepared to do so. But most respondents indicated a desire to improve flexibility; 82% said they were working on expanding permanent remote work at their organizations.
Uncertainty has come to define the labor market entering September. Headlines on layoffs as well as hiring difficulties have created what one PwC analyst recently termed a “labor market paradox.” Meanwhile, worker sentiment has declined, with a recent Conference Board report finding that 41% of respondents said they felt that the U.S. had already entered a recession.
These findings come even as a recent Challenger, Gray & Christmas report found that U.S. job cuts declined in July compared to June, following an historically low number of cuts between the period of January and July 2022 as well.
Still, it is not too difficult to spot trouble in the labor market. For example, the U.S. continues to deal with the effects of a labor force participation rate much lower than that of pre-pandemic levels, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The U.S. recorded a rate of 62.1% in July, an increase from a pandemic low of 60.2% but down from 63.4% in February 2020.
A variety of factors may be contributing to this trend. In an analysis published earlier this month, the Brookings Institution estimated that as many as 4 million full-time equivalent workers may be sidelined from the workforce due to the effects of long COVID-19.
On the flip side, employers continue to struggle with retention. A recent KPMG study found that increased workloads had led many workers to consider leaving their current jobs.
Even as hiring cools, efforts to attract talent have not disappeared entirely. Indeed’s Hiring Lab found that 5.2% of the site’s job postings in July advertised a signing bonus, a rate three times higher than Indeed saw in July 2019. Topics such as flexibility also are top of mind, particularly given the changing role of the office in an era of hybrid and remote work.