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Almost half (46%) of U.S. companies plan to add new permanent positions during the second half of 2022, according to a new survey from Robert Half. An additional 46% say they will fill vacated positions, while only 8% anticipate hiring freezes or layoffs.

Contract workers and entry-level talent will be in high demand. Just under half (45%) expect to bring in more contract professionals by the end of 2022, particularly in the technology (60%) and finance and accounting (54%) fields. Almost three-quarters (72%) plan to hire more entry-level or early career workers.

The majority of managers (88%) said that it’s challenging to find skilled professionals, citing a lack of qualified talent (38%) and candidates’ salary expectations exceeding what the company is willing to offer (22%). Additionally, almost 8 in 10 (78%) are concerned about more employees quitting.

The top hiring strategies companies are using to attract skilled labor are:

  • Increasing starting salaries (46%)
  • Providing signing bonuses (34%)
  • Offering remote options (33%)

“Despite talk of an economic slowdown, many companies remain in hiring mode,” Robert Half senior executive director Paul McDonald said in a press release, adding that “professionals with in-demand skills continue to have options.”