- As U.S. employers grapple with economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many are focused on building talent pipelines, according to Adecco Group's Professional Recruitment and Solutions division in North America. Survey results released Oct. 27 by a division of the HR solutions company found that talent management, upskilling employees and even salary increases remain priorities for many organizations. The respondents represented more than 1,150 professionals in HR, administrative, marketing or legal roles who make hiring decisions at U.S. companies.
- About 68% of respondents who said their organizations have furloughed or laid off workers plan to back-fill or restore eliminated roles. The majority (87%) of these respondents said they plan to restore those roles in less than a year. More than half (62%) of all respondents and 69% of HR professionals plan to do so in less than six months. The majority of respondents (79%) also said it is likely that their organization will make salary increases this year. But 39% of those said the increase will likely be smaller than previous increases. Meanwhile, more than half (61%) said their organizations will still offer monetary bonuses to employees this year.
- Amid the pandemic, essential skill sets for organization have included adaptability, critical thinking and financial management, according to Adecco. Almost half of respondents indicated that their organization is upskilling current employees, and 35% said they are reskilling employees to be redeployed to other areas within the organization.
The pandemic has made clear that effective talent management includes a focus on learning and development (L&D).
More than half (64%) of L&D professionals who participated in a May survey from LinkedIn Learning said training workers to fill skill gaps is even more of a priority for organizations now than it was before the pandemic. The crisis has forced U.S. employers to re-imagine ways to hire, upskill and reskill employees, industry experts said during Talent Forward, an event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Oct. 30. In taking a skill-based approach for an employees' upward mobility, employers must effectively articulate the skills desired for a particular role and provide information on how to obtain the skills, Peter Beard, senior vice president of regional workforce development at Greater Houston Partnership, said during the event.
Moving toward a skills-based economy also means providing a path for lifelong learning, Sean Murphy, senior manager of opportunity at Walmart.org, said. The organization is working to define the skills needed for in-store associates as well as provide skill validation for techniques learned on the job, Murphy said. The company announced in June the expansion of its Live Better U employee benefit program to include digital skills programs.
"It's encouraging to see that employers are thinking about the future and approaching talent management and acquisition in thoughtful ways," Laurie Chamberlin, president of the Adecco Group's Professional Recruitment and Solutions unit in North America, said in a statement about the survey. However, "making decisions about furloughs or layoffs and reprioritizing what skills an organization needs to survive is not easy," Chamberlin said. Despite the tough decisions, employers "remain optimistic about their future talent pipelines," she said.