December 30, 2020
To address the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, countless organizations implemented hiring freezes. In such a context, boosting employee retention has never been more important.
A Universal Response
In addition to paying the salaries of employees, hiring workers is an expensive and time-consuming ordeal. As a result, many organizations restricted new hires in response to the COVID-induced economic recession.
Candor—a company that helps workers negotiate better salaries—published a crowdsourced list of prominent entities that introduced hiring freezes due to budgetary concerns. From Westinghouse to Walmart, virtually every large employer in the United States turned to hiring freezes in order to boost solvency.
Accordingly, job application platform Glassdoor recently reported that the number of openings listed on its site dropped by 20.5 percent between March 9 and April 6. According to Glassdoor, this trend affected all fifty states and every major industry.
“As employers react to the outbreak, Glassdoor data shows the labor market coming to a virtual standstill as it’s pinched by both rising layoffs and declining job openings,” concluded the report.
Retention as a Priority
As companies decide to refrain from hiring new employees, many are trying to prevent employee turnover.
The Conference Board of Canada—an organization that researches workforce trends—found that Canadian firms responding to the downturn vastly preferred hiring freezes and temporary layoffs over terminations.
Michael Burt, executive director at the Conference Board of Canada in Ottawa, told HR Reporter that a desire for preventing employee churn motivated such decisions.
“This suggests that [they are thinking] ‘We know we’re not bringing any new people in the current environment, but we’re still looking for ways to take care of key people internally,’” explained Burt. “That’s really a retention thing.”
The need to maintain solvency led executives toward many difficult decisions about hiring freezes, layoffs, and terminations. In spite of the chaos, one trend remains clear: executives see the value of retaining top talent by delighting their employees.
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