51% of engineering firms have halted new hires, reveals survey

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23rd October 2020 09:24 - Engineering

51% of engineering firms have halted new hires: A survey of engineers looking at the impact of coronavirus has found that more than half (51%) have seen the hiring of new staff paused at their organisation as a result of Covid-19 lockdowns. The survey also found that just over a third (34%) have seen workforce reductions and layoffs, with 33% reporting budget cuts to engineering departments.

The 2020 Machine Design Salary & Career Survey found that a quarter of companies have had to furlough staff (25%), while 29% said that the pandemic has had no effect on operations, good or bad. 

Just six percent (6%) said they have seen an increase in hiring. 

How Covid-19 has affected the day-to-day 

Asked how lockdowns or quarantines have affected the day-to-day elements of their job, more than three-quarters (78%) said they have been required to wear masks at work, with 65% noting corporate bans on travel. Sixty-three percent (63%) said they have been affected by work-from-home mandates, and 59% have been unable to attend live industry events. Just 7% reported seeing no changes due to Covid-19. 

Another area the survey looked at was pay, and how engineers expected their earnings to fall if it were to do so as a result of coronavirus.

Around three in five respondents (62%) said they expect to see no change to their compensation, while a third (32%) are expecting to see a decrease, and 6% are optimistic of an increase in earnings.

When asked where they believe cuts will be focussed, 65% said they expect to see freezes on raises, while more than half (54%) said they expect to see cancelled bonuses, and 42% expect salary cuts. Almost a quarter believe they will see compensation fall due to 'other' reasons, while 2% are expecting reduced value of stock options. 

Respondents were also asked about how their firm had handled the pandemic, with half rating their company between 8 and 10. However, around one in six (17%) rated it between 1 and 4.

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