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HR by the Numbers

HR by the Numbers

Here's a quick roundup of some HR survey data making headlines.


Over the past year, the pandemic has changed so many facets of the job market—but there is one area where job seekers may want to pay particular attention: what companies are looking for in job candidates. According to a survey out today from leading global RPO provider, PeopleScout, the overwhelming majority of hiring managers say the pandemic has changed what qualities they want to see in potential new hires. The most important quality they're hoping to see? A job candidate's ability to work independently.  

In the survey, 71% of hiring managers say the pandemic has impacted the qualities they look for in job candidates, with the vast majority noting "ability to work independently" (94%) as an essential quality. Meanwhile, 68% of hiring managers say they are having a hard time finding qualified candidates for their open positions.

"The job market has changed substantially over the past year, and so have the qualities that matter most to those who are hiring. We want to help people who are looking for work better understand those changes so that they can put their best foot forward on their resumes and in job interviews," said PeopleScout President Brannon Lacey. "PeopleScout works with companies across the U.S. and around the globe to help them find the best job candidates, and job seekers can use these insights to stay up to date on what employers are looking for in a quickly changing job market to help them stand out."

Since the pandemic's onset, the most critical qualities that hiring managers will be looking for in job candidates, in order of importance, are:

  1. Ability to work independently.
  2. Ability to handle stress.
  3. Flexibility.
  4. Communication.
  5. Being self-guided.

About the survey: the PeopleScout survey of hiring managers was conducted between Dec. 19, 2020 and Jan. 2, 2021. The margin of error is +/- 4%.


 Buck, an integrated HR and benefits consulting, technology, and administration services firm, released findings from its survey report indicating that nearly one-third (30%) of U.S. employees plan to take a "wait and see" approach to getting the COVID-19 vaccine, with members of the same group describing it as "not worth the risk."

The report, "Talking to employees about vaccine hesitancy" surveyed 820 full time workers at U.S. companies between February 25 and March 1. Leading Indicator Systems, which provides human capital research, conducted the study.  

According to the report, approximately two in five American workers have at least some "anti-vaxxer" sentiments and 40 percent "don't trust the government's oversight of this vaccine." Brand preference based on perceived effectiveness was also a concern: More than half (52%) say they are "waiting for their preferred choice of vaccine" from among the Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J options.

The study also identified misconceptions about the perceived cost of the vaccine, which is provided at no out-of-pocket charge to the recipient. The majority (55%) believe there is an out-of-pocket cost for getting vaccinated, with the median cost estimated at $7. Fully one-quarter (25%) believe this cost will be more than $60.


A new national survey* released in time for World Autism Awareness Month, finds 81% of Americans say companies should do more to remove barriers – discriminatory hiring policies or practices – that keep people from being hired or promoted. Kelly President and CEO Peter Quigley agrees and says employers are showing more interest in hiring and supporting neurodiverse talent than at any time in his career.

“Overlooked talent communities offer businesses a competitive advantage. Our Kelly Discover solution helps companies engage with undiscovered talent communities, including talent on the autism spectrum, to identify exceptional and available resources,” said Quigley. “A more inclusive workforce is central to our Equity@Work initiative aimed at connecting more people to enriching work.”

New survey results from Kelly show Americans overwhelmingly support opening doors to neurodiverse talent and they want employers to do the same:

  • 81% say companies should do more to remove barriers – discriminatory hiring policies or practices – that keep people from being hired or promoted.
  • Nearly 3 in 4 (74%) say they are more likely to support a business or company that makes employment opportunities available to individuals on the autism spectrum.
  • 4 in 5 (80%) agree individuals on the autism spectrum can perform and even excel in specific areas and work environments.
  • 77% find it unacceptable that 85% of college-educated adults on the autism spectrum are unemployed.

“With companies becoming more open to adjusting simple processes such as the type of interview questions they ask, we are seeing a path for dream jobs coming true for these talented candidates who previously had difficulty getting past the first hurdle in the employment process,” said Kathy Hardy, Kelly Discover Vice President. “It’s really exciting to see this. In addition, our research indicates that companies are experiencing a 21 percent increase in financial performance when they prioritize hiring a diverse and inclusive workforce.”


Despite worldwide travel bans and ongoing concerns about health and safety risks due to COVID-19, nearly 3 in 5 workers (59 percent) say they are more willing to relocate for work now than they were prior to the pandemic. In fact, 80 percent of workers would relocate during the pandemic, including 31 percent who would relocate internationally, according to a new survey of 1,000 workers in nine global markets by Wakefield Research for Graebel Companies Inc.

Post-pandemic, employee interest in corporate relocations will continue to grow, as workers are ready to pack their bags and explore a new world of opportunities. Eighty-four percent of workers say they would relocate for work when COVID-19 is no longer prevalent throughout the world, and nearly half (46 percent) would be willing to do so internationally.

To attract world-class talent, companies need to create strong talent mobility offerings and programs that create exceptional experiences for mobile employees. More than half of respondents (55 percent) would prefer their employer handle all the logistics for them and 92 percent say they’d need a financial incentive like a pay raise or promotion, a housing allowance and/or a reimbursement for moving expenses to accept the relocation.