Companies with 100 or more employees are the most likely to increase employee count in the second half of 2020, according to a recent survey from The Harris Poll.

Largely following the same pattern as the first half of the year, hiring decision-makers at companies with just a handful of employees remain doubtful staff size will increase any time soon.

Just 10% of companies with 2 to 9 employees anticipate hiring more staff, while 29% of companies with 10 to 99 workers said they will bring on more people. Businesses with 100+ employees display the most optimism at 33%.

“It’s not surprising that some larger companies are optimistic,” said Bruce Hein, franchise owner of the Sarnia Express franchise office. “With people stuck at home these last several months, home renovations are on the rise, and large retailers and their suppliers have been busy trying to meet demand. On the other hand, it’s not uncommon for small business owners to live paycheque to paycheque, and the pandemic has pushed many small businesses over the edge.”

Express experts agree small businesses have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic shut down and may not have the capital to come out on the other side.

Although there is no one area that hiring decision-makers in Canada overwhelmingly say their companies plan to hire employees for in 2020, General Labour (20%), Customer Service (17%), Sales (15%), and IT/Technology Support (14%) top the list. And, as company size increases, they are more likely to report plans of hiring employees in IT/Technology Support this year (2 to 9 employees, 2%; 10 to 99 employees, 8%; 100+ employees, 30%).

“For the last three months, administrative and accounting/finance positions have been the most common roles we are filling in our region and they haven’t been confined to one industry,” Hein notes. “Whether it’s a law office, an insurance agency, or an industrial company, companies continue to have needs for essential roles like a controller, bookkeeper, payroll, and accounts payable and receivable.”

As the unemployment rate continues to drop, Express CEO Bill Stoller is optimistic and business will continue to pick up across the country.

“While they may not look the same as before the pandemic, jobs are coming back strong, and we need workers to fill them,” he said.