Larger Companies More Optimistic About Hiring in Second Half of 2020

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A new survey from The Harris Poll, commissioned by Express Employment Professionals, reveals which companies are most likely to hire in 2020 by size and sector.

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"While they may not look exactly the same as before the pandemic, jobs are coming back strong, and we need workers to fill them." - Express CEO Bill Stoller

Companies with 50-99 employees are the most likely to increase employee count in the second half of 2020, according to a recent survey from The Harris Poll.

Largely following the same pattern as the first half of the year, hiring decision-makers at companies with just a handful of employees remain doubtful staff size will increase any time soon.

Just 18% of companies with 2-9 employees anticipate hiring more staff, while 34% of companies with 10-49 workers said they would bring on more people. Businesses with 50-99 employees display the most optimism at 53%. Forty-nine percent of larger companies with 100-499 employees see hiring increases, as well as 40% of companies with 500+ workers.

Express experts agree small businesses have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic shut down and may not have the capital to come out on the other side.

“The pandemic had a very big impact on small businesses, and most do not have the financial stability to suffer such a downturn,” Express Corporate Developer Patty O’Connor said. “Three-to-four months with minimal business has left many in a very questionable state. They will be lucky to keep their doors open, much less hire.”

Larger businesses, on the other hand, are seeing business ramp back up and need additional employees to meet demand.

“Larger businesses have to catch up from being shut down during COVID-19 or if they were an essential provider, they are busy with additional business due to the pandemic,” said Janis Petrini, Express franchise owner in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “They are also dealing with their employees not being able to return to work due to caring for family members and may need to make adjustments in their schedule. With all these variables, companies need to add employees.”

Companies in the technology industry intend to increase employee count more so than other industries, according to hiring decision-makers. Those in the tech industry are most likely to report these increases at 53%, as compared to other industries like retail (29%), banking/finance (38%) and manufacturing (36%).

This comes as no surprise to Utica, New York, Express franchise owner John Calabrese, as a large majority of the workforce pivoted to remote earlier this year.

“Remote work is a main driver here,” he said. “Many IT firms needed to ramp up support for their business clients’ remote needs. Technology has been an overall winner in this economy due to the shift in companies’ business models and ways of doing business.”

Calabrese adds he’s seen an uptick in requests for help desk technicians, network administrators, digital media developers and software developers.

“Overall, we are seeing a steady recovery in our market with hundreds of jobs open across a variety of business sectors,” he said.

In Michigan, Petrini also sees the manufacturing, auto and food and medical packaging industries booming to support necessary supplies.

“However, restaurants and gyms are still struggling under current state closures,” she said. “Michigan has a very strict closure order that is preventing the state from fully functioning.”

As the unemployment rate continues to drop, Express CEO Bill Stoller is optimistic business will continue to pick up across the country.

“While they may not look exactly the same as before the pandemic, jobs are coming back strong, and we need workers to fill them,” he said.

Survey Methodology
The survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals between April 21 and May 6, 2020, among 1,005 U.S. hiring decision-makers (defined as adults ages 18+ in the U.S. who are employed full-time or self-employed or have been laid off, furloughed, or given a zero hour schedule in the past 60 days but worked full-time or were self-employed full-time prior, work at companies with more than 1 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.

If you would like to arrange for an interview with Bill Stoller to discuss this topic, please contact Sheena Karami, Director of Corporate Communications and PR, at (405) 717-5966.

About Bill Stoller
William H. "Bill" Stoller is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 825 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa, and beginning in 2020 will expand to Australia and New Zealand. Since its inception, Express has put more than 8 million people to work worldwide.

About Express Employment Professionals
At Express Employment Professionals, we’re in the business of people. From job seekers to client companies, Express helps people thrive and businesses grow. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK, our international network of franchises offers localized staffing solutions to the communities they serve, employing 552,000 people across North America in 2019. For more information, visit

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