Hiring Chesco: Job Insights for the First Half of 2022

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To provide accurate and timely employment forecasts for business leaders, Express Employment Professionals International Headquarters commissions an ongoing Job Insights survey to track employment and hiring trends across a wide range of industries.

INSIGHT: Hiring Rebounds as Outlook for the First Half of 2022 Trends Upward

As the economy moves past challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. hiring decision-makers are becoming more positive about the future of the workforce, with the most common feelings attributed to hiring in 2022 being optimistic (44 percent), hopeful (43 percent), and confident (43 percent). According to hiring decision-makers, in the first half of 2022:

  • 60 percent plan to increase the number of employees at their company
  • 33 percent expect no change to the number of employees
  • 4 percent anticipate a decrease in employee count

INSIGHT: Soft Skills Are Deemed Essential with Candidates, Reskilling a Focus for Employees

With a hiring push expected in 2022, hiring managers turn their focus to looking for candidates with specific soft skills. When asked what soft skills were absolutely essential or very important, more than 8 in 10 U.S. hiring decision-makers look for a willingness to learn as the top trait (86 percent), while dependability (85 percent) is the second most important skill.

Other sought-after soft skills hiring managers look for are:

  • Communication skills (84 percent)
  • Problem solving skills (82 percent)
  • Adaptability (81 percent)
  • Initiative (79 percent)
  • Critical thinking (78 percent)

A new trend growing among organizations is the preference of reskilling current workforces for new challenges. Three-quarters (75 percent) say they would prefer to reskill current employees for new roles than hire brand new talent. To that point, nearly two-thirds of U.S. hiring decision-makers (65 percent) say their company plans to reskill any employees (i.e., train a current employee for a new position or teach them new skills for their current role) in 2022.

Companies planning on reskilling in 2022 will do so through a range of options, including:

  • Offering company-led training sessions or programs (68 percent)
  • Providing on-the-job training by other employees (54 percent)
  • Partnering with a third-party that offers trainings or courses (46 percent)

INSIGHT: Companies Continue to Battle Supply Chain Woes

While organizations were forced to adapt to navigate the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, they also faced global supply chain issues causing a bottlenecking of goods as demand rebounded. However, this continued battle is now affecting the hiring process.

Around 3 in 5 U.S. hiring decision-makers (61 percent) say their company has had to alter their hiring practices because of the national supply chain issue and report it will negatively impact their company’s growth. In an effort to counteract the new hurdle for hiring, more than half (56 percent) report they have had to relax their hiring requirements due to the supply chain issue. And, around a third (32 percent) say they have hired specifically for logistics/supply chain positions this year.

The manufacturing industry has been hardest hit by continued supply chain woes, as 74 percent of hiring managers say their company has had to alter their hiring practices because of the national supply chain issue. The service industry was a close second with 71 percent reporting similar issues. Both industries are also having to relax their hiring requirements during the ongoing supply chain crisis, with 68 percent in manufacturing and 64 percent in the services industries.

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals between Nov. 10 and Dec. 2, 2021 and among 1,009 hiring decision-makers (defined as adults ages 18 and older who are employed full-time or self-employed, work at companies with more than one employee, and have full/significant involvement in hiring decisions at their company). Data were weighted where necessary by company size to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.


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Maria O’Connell owns the Chester County – Main Line, PA office of Express Employment Professionals. If you would like to arrange for an interview with her, call 484-329-7930.

Express Employment Professionals, the sponsor of VISTA Today’s Hiring Chesco, is in the business of people. From job seekers to client companies, Express helps people thrive and businesses grow. Its international network of franchises offers localized staffing solutions to the communities they serve across the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, employing 526,000 people globally in 2020. Learn more.

The Chester County – Main Line, PA Express office is located at 215 Lancaster Avenue in Malvern and serves the southeastern Pennsylvania region. Local businesses and applicants are encouraged to stop by, visit the website, or call 484-329-7930.