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17% of comms leaders don't plan on hiring anyone in 2023, 44% say they will continue to hire new talent

As we head into 2023, how businesses continue to invest and offer support to their employees during the cost of living crisis is top of mind. 

The latest Insight Pulse examined both topics and heralded mixed results, with no unanimous agreements amongst respondents, perhaps reflecting the trying times facing the business world.

Which one of these, if any, best describes your hiring plans for 2023?

Uncertainty rules

The insight from our first question -‘Hiring Plans for 2023’ - acts as a clear symbol of the uncertainty colouring the business world. One director put it that while they will be pausing hiring, it won’t entirely preclude “business critical roles.” Another detailed their policy of “only recruiting when there is a business case; no speculative hires.” This view represents the majority of businesses, with 73% of comms and investor relations (IR) directors still hiring to at least some degree. That said, a sizeable 17% of leaders have completely halted their hiring plans which is arguably indicative of the “economic and political certainties we are facing”.

That said, 44% are committed to their hiring strategy so all is not yet lost!.

Cost-of-living issues

In terms of cost-of-living support for employees, another mixed bag of views prevails. Over one quarter (27%) of comms and IR leaders view their organisation’s support as “neither good nor bad”, with one commenting that they are “not in a position to assist other than to listen and advise”. On the other side 29% believed their company was doing “really well” when it comes to giving staff the reassurance they need. The positive impact of a one-off payment to the lower salary bands has been seen in several organisations with one director commenting that “all staff including senior account managers have received a one-off, cost-of-living payment of £1,000”.

Yet this has not been viable for everyone. One comms director noted that they would “rather protect jobs and look after the people we have than hike up pay and have to lose people”.

As with many economic crises, a little goes a long way, but some organisations remain cautious about sparing a little in the current climate.

How well, if at all, is your organisation supporting employees with the cost of living crisis?


Circa 780 comms and investor relations directors, based in the UK were surveyed by The Pulse Business

Written by Rebecca Whitney, managing director of Whitney Murray

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