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Alaant Hiring Index - Fall 2021:

Recruiting Challenges Reach Record-High Levels, But Capital Region Employers Remain Bullish on Hiring for 2022

Alaant Hiring Index: Fall 2021

Even though 86% of employers expect recruiting to be difficult – the highest figure since the Index began in 2015 – 3 in 4 companies forecast hiring to increase in the new year

For the first time since the pandemic started, a majority of workers have returned to the office;  most companies that haven’t brought employees back have shifted to hybrid or remote teams

Albany, NY – Capital Region employers will keep hiring in the new year, but they’re not likely to find recruiting relief, according to the results of the Fall 2021 Alaant Hiring Index released today by Alaant Workforce Solutions, the region’s leading professional workforce services firm. The survey finds that while hiring top talent will remain a major priority for 2022, the new year will also bring the most difficult recruiting environment employers have seen in modern times. 

The latest survey, conducted between November 17 and December 10, included responses from 98 hiring and human resource managers from Capital Region companies. Of those, 53% employ 100 or fewer workers, and 47% employ more than 100. 

The percentage of employers that consider hiring either a significant challenge or challenging – 86% – was the highest figure recorded since the Index was launched in Fall 2015; it was also up from 78% in the spring, and far above the 55% recorded last fall. The biggest factor is a labor shortage, cited by 41% of employers, followed by a skills gap and the overall economic climate, each named by 19%, and salary/wage demands at 15%. In addition, just 13% of employers see recruiting as improving in the new year, the lowest level in two years.

Despite that difficult environment, hiring is expected to continue to surge in 2022, with 76% of employers expecting to increase hiring over the next 6 months, up sharply from 60% in the spring and 54% in fall of 2020. This builds on a strong year in 2021: 82% of employers reported a hiring increase in the fall, far above 51% in the spring and 36% last fall. Additionally, 67% of respondents said they were very optimistic or optimistic about job growth in the new year, which is on par with the spring and 6% higher than last fall.

“As we head into 2022, recruiting remains a good news, bad news situation: employers are itching to hire as the economy picks up, but the challenge of finding top professionals is more difficult than ever,” said Miriam Dushane, Managing Partner of Alaant Workforce Solutions. “We’re encouraged that nearly 4 of 5 companies say they adjusted their recruiting process this year, from improving the candidate experience and streamlining the interview and hiring processes to expediting job offers. Not only is that essential in the current environment, but employers will need to sharpen those strategies as the competition for employees heats up in the new year.” 

Of employers surveyed, 67% said they’re most successfully recruiting employees from within their region. Most companies, 53%, say they’re not considering remote employees – but nearly the same percentage, 54%, would consider remote workers if they lived locally. In terms of fastest-growing job opportunities, healthcare topped the list at 40%, followed by IT at 28%. 

For the first time since the pandemic started, the majority of employers, 59%, said fewer than half of their staff was telecommuting, and more than half of employers, 55%, said they had returned to a regular in-office schedule. Of those that haven’t, 82% expect to remain a hybrid or fully remote workforce.

Used by organizations to inform their recruiting strategy to attract top employees, the Alaant Hiring Index has been measuring the Capital Region’s job market since 2015. The next index will be released in Spring 2022. 

Alaant Workforce Solutions has helped more than 400 Capital Region companies attract, acquire, engage and retain over 4,000 elite employees over the past decade, offering innovative practice areas such as Talent Acquisition Partnerships and Employer Brand Strategy. For each of the past five consecutive years (2017 through 2021), Alaant has received national recognition from two prestigious organizations: named by Forbes as one of America's Best Recruiting Firms, and by ClearlyRated with the Best of Staffing® Client Award and Best of Staffing® Talent Award. Alaant was also selected by HR Tech Outlook as one of the nation’s Top 10 Employer Branding Consulting/Services Companies for 2019, and by NYS-SHRM in 2020 as one of the Best Companies to Work for in New York.  

For more information, visit

The full survey results can be found here!

Additional Coverage:

Capital Region Hiring In 2022 Expected to Be Toughest Yet, Survey Finds - via The Times Union

Capital Region Businesses Deal with Vaccine-or-Mask Mandate - By: John Cropley via Daily Gazette

Recruiting Challenges Reach Record High Levels - via Saratoga Today

Capital Region Companies Plan to Add Staff In 2022, But Nearly Nine in 10 Expect Hiring Challenges - via WAMC Northeast Public Radio 

Capital Region Employers Want To Hire In 2022, But Expect Recruitment Challenges - via CBS6 WRGB Albany

Recruiting Challenges Reach Record High Levels - via The Saratoga Business Report

Capital Region Workforce Outlook - via News Radio 810 and 103.1 FM WGY 

About Alaant Workforce Solutions. For nearly two decades, Alaant has delivered a full suite of consulting and recruitment services that enable employers to attract, hire and retain the best employees, strengthen business performance, and accelerate growth and profitability. Alaant’s team of employment experts uses innovative recruiting tools and solutions, creates effective Employer Brand Strategies, and provides exceptional RPO capabilities, always guided by a personal engagement with both candidates and employers, and a recognized commitment to integrity and excellence. To learn more, visit

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