The nationwide collective hiring freeze that the pandemic created is expected to ease by December in Dallas, according to an HR consulting firm study.
Robert Half’s national staffing survey of senior level managers at 3,000 companies found that six of 10 Dallas companies foresee hiring by the end of the year.
“Not only are they going to be adding staff, they’re also going to be replacing the current staff that, for whatever reason, leave their organization,” said Mark Malone, senior regional vice president for Robert Half in Dallas. “There will be a lot of hiring going on.”
Dallas ranked second only to San Diego in terms of employer optimism at 61% and 62%, respectively.
“The talent in Dallas Fort Worth is very skilled so I think it’s easy to recruit companies that want to move here from California or New York,” Malone said. “Lower taxes and a diverse talent base plays a part.”
The study further found that the remaining 39% of companies are taking a wait and see approach.
“We didn’t find any companies that were going to reduce staff,” Malone said. “So, I think the 39% may end up hiring but they don’t have plans to do that today. I would venture to add that if they lost anybody, they would replace that person and hold their staffing levels where they are not reducing.”
Among the factors driving the growth is the reopening of the economy after months of lockdowns, according to Malone.
“When the pandemic started a lot of companies re-evaluated some of their positions and reviewed their cost structure from a compensation standpoint,” he said. “As businesses recover and the market continues to get better, companies are finding that they can’t continue to grow their business without staffing their organizations appropriately.”
Compared to other cities in Texas, the study revealed that Austin and Houston had high hiring numbers in the next six months as well but not as high as Dallas.
“Dallas does typically fare better than the state overall and that’s because Dallas is not dependent upon any one or two industries,” Malone said. “Houston is a very energy driven market so when energy is down, Houston may be down as well while Dallas is very diversified.”
The latest unemployment data shows 6.5% for the state overall compared to 6% in Dallas with some critics complaining that workers are resisting returning to employment because they are finding they can comfortably stay home while receiving pandemic benefits.
“Companies are having a hard time finding the right candidates with the right skill set they’re looking for,” Malone added. “Knowing that it is a job seekers’ market right now, a lot of candidates are leveraging that for better opportunities, higher salary and more flexible work situations. As a result of it being a job seekers’ market, a third of the candidates who we talked to are planning on making a move in the next few months.