- A growing number of organizations are responding to economic volatility by slowing or outright freezing hiring, according to the results of an Aug. 31 Gartner webinar poll of more than 330 HR leaders. More than one-third, 37%, said their organizations had slowed hiring, compared to 32% in Gartner’s July polling and 27% in its June polling.
- Gartner also found that a plurality of respondents appeared to embrace some form of flexible work. Per the data, shared with HR Dive in an email, only 5% of respondents said they required employees to report on-site five times per week, while 31% had no on-site requirements whatsoever. Among those that did have some form of requirement, the most common was three days per week at 25% of respondents.
- Location requirements also have relaxed; 58% of HR leaders said they had removed geographic requirements in order to expand their organizations’ external talent pipelines. Other recruiting strategies included reducing or eliminating degree, education or work experience requirements.
Gartner’s findings on the state of hiring repeat other analysts’ discoveries. Last month, a PwC survey of U.S. execs found that 83% of CHRO respondents said their organizations had reduced headcount or were considering doing so. Throw in anxiety around a potential downturn in the broader economy, and it’s clear employers are in the midst of a strange situation nearing 2022’s end.
Namely, hiring freezes are occurring even as many positions continue to go unfilled. This has caused employers to refocus on retention of existing talent in some cases, with media outlets throwing around phrases such as “labor hoarding” to describe the phenomenon.
But the Gartner poll’s findings on flexible work arrangements are equally notable, particularly given that return-to-office mandates — many going into effect this month — may not be having the desired effect.
The perceived benefits of remote and hybrid work are well-documented, from improved work-life balance to savings on commutes. These strategies may also help individual workers function in their larger teams, according to meQuilibrium, which found in a recent survey of workers that those in hybrid or remote arrangements were more likely to say they felt at ease discussing difficult issues and safe to take risks, among other indicators.
Physical workplaces have a role to play even in a hybrid environment, but it may be up to HR teams and management to articulate exactly what that role is. There also may be a push to create more flexible spaces and office arrangements moving forward, according to a JLL survey.