Government Gridlock Killing Jobs? Not So, Yoh Workforce Planning Survey Shows

PHILADELPHIAFebruary 7, 2012—The political debate has raged for months: What is stifling employment in America? Now, a Workforce Planning Survey of executives at 100 Global 1000 companies shows that political gridlock and indecision have relatively little effect on employment decisions compared to economic uncertainty. In fact, in the survey, which was commissioned by Yoh, a provider of talent and outsourcing services, and conducted by Amplitude Research, only 9 percent of respondents said that political uncertainty will discourage them from adding personnel in 2012. On the other hand, 61 percent reported that economic uncertainty represents the greatest obstacle to increased hiring in the new year. Twenty-four percent of respondents said that lack of demand for products or services was the greatest impediment to more hiring in 2012. 

“While it might be politically expedient to reduce employment to sound bites during the election season, these findings suggest that political uncertainty and gridlock have little to do with driving the employment process,” says Lori Schultz, President of Yoh. “In reality, customer demand still trumps broader policy and political considerations.”  

While the survey found that political uncertainty has little to do with hiring plans, it also uncovered a number of troubling realities that actually do dampen employment. Many of these factors revolve around the uncertainty of a company’s own hiring practices and could serve to delay a rebound in hiring as the economy heals and opportunities present themselves.

“The evidence uncovered by Yoh’s Workforce Planning Survey about the problems poor workforce planning causes businesses and also how little attention it is given is startling,” says Dr. Peter Cappelli, professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and author of “Talent on Demand: Managing Talent in an Age of Uncertainty.”

As an example, the survey asked respondents how long it would take their organizations to recruit and train employees if the economy rebounded to pre-recession levels. Sixty-two percent reported that it would take three to nine months to find and train enough qualified employees to meet pre-recession demand from clients. 

“This institutionalized lag will delay our economic recovery and cost corporations billions of dollars in lost opportunities, as well as exacerbate government spending through unemployment benefits and lost tax revenue,” says Schultz. “In large part, this delay is due to poor workforce planning, an area of enterprise management that has not kept pace with other business practices, such as logistics, supply, or distribution.”

Schultz explains that the survey uncovers a number of workforce planning shortcomings, which deny corporations optimal profitability, particularly in the early stages of recovery when margins are greatest and opportunities abound. “Agility is vital during recovery, and the greatest impediment is talent. Smart companies must plan for workforce logistics with the same discipline and forethought as other business disciplines.” 

As proof, Schultz turns to a key finding of the Yoh Survey. When asked how frequently their organization evaluates staffing levels and workforce planning, 63 percent of respondents reported annually or quarterly while 16 percent said they do not evaluate staffing levels on a regular basis. Only 21 percent said they perform that analysis weekly or monthly. Yet continuous improvement is the rallying cry for many other areas of business, including quality, customer service, sales, and logistics. 

“The disconnect becomes clear through the survey’s findings. Businesses have been slow to apply truly proactive employment strategies, and without a change in direction, they will feel the consequences of this reckless approach,” says Schultz.

Adding further damage, many companies make recruiting decisions on the fly. A startling 24 percent of organizations reported that they only re-evaluate staffing levels as needs arise. Seven percent admitted having no plan at all. Such nearsighted policies could leave these companies scrambling to find qualified candidates and falling behind the competition as recovery takes hold.

But along with these risks, the survey also reveals a significant irony: only 26 percent of organizations were very confident in their workforce’s ability to optimally meet customer needs. Eighteen percent of respondents indicated they were not very confident or not at all confident, and 56 percent said they were somewhat confident but face challenges recruiting enough qualified candidates in some areas. Despite this uncertainty, organizations have yet to address the problems and plan accordingly.


The Workforce Planning Survey was commissioned by Yoh and conducted by Amplitude Research, Inc. ( in December 2011, and targeted 100 total online survey respondents. Half of the respondents were C-level and above, and half were business executives at the VP/Director level. All respondents came from U.S. companies with revenues greater than $750 million and workforces over 1,500 employees.

For over 70 years, Yoh has provided the talent needed for the jobs and projects critical to our clients’ success by providing comprehensive workforce solutions that focus on Aerospace and Defense, Engineering, Federal Services, Health Care, Life Sciences, Information Technology and Telecommunications. Yoh fulfills immediate resource needs and delivers enterprise workforce solutions, including Managed Services, Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Vendor Management Systems, Independent Contractor Compliance, and Payroll Services. For more information, visit

Yoh is a part of Yoh Services LLC, a Day & Zimmermann Company.

Day & Zimmermann’s 24,000 employees provide industrial, defense, and workforce solutions to a broad base of commercial and government customers. Operating from more than 150 worldwide locations with $2.2 billion in revenues, the Day & Zimmermann family of companies is currently ranked as one of the largest private companies in America by Forbes and is a former winner of the U.S. National Family Business of the Year award. Founded in 1901 and headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, Day & Zimmermann companies today provide engineering, construction and maintenance services, and staffing services to the commercial and government sector, and munitions products, security, logistics, equipment maintenance, and facilities management services to the Department of Defense, other government groups, and defense industry contractors. For more information, visit




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