Leadership Group Member Companies Eye Changes after COVID-19

Two months into the Bay Area shelter-in-place order, Silicon Valley companies and member organizations are adapting with an eye towards the future, according to a recent Leadership Group survey. 102 CEOs and C-Suite Officers responded to the five-question “pulse” survey conducted on May 12, 2020.

Members were asked about hiring practices, continuing a series of polls that have tracked this important question to gauge their economic health. Members were also asked about how employees will return to the workplace, and about the states of their internship programs for summer 2020.

Key Findings

Over 60% of member companies are still conducting some form of hiring during the Covid-19 shelter-in-place order. In this most recent snapshot, 13% of members are considering layoffs or in a situation where layoffs are necessary.

With this most recent survey being the third time members have been asked about hiring practices, we are able to provide a look at how the ripple effects of the coronavirus on the economy have affected members and employees. From March 30 (just two weeks after the shelter-in-place order across six Bay Area counties was issued) until May 12, members describing their hiring practices as “hiring for essential positions” has increased by nearly 5%. Trends for those considering or conducting layoffs have both dipped below 10%. The Leadership Group will continue to track this question and report on trends.

On transportation choices, members were highly receptive to encouraging telework for employees who are able to do so – a combined 92% agree with continuing this practice after shelter-in-place orders are lifted. Public transit faces an uphill challenge: 64% of employers disagree with encouraging employees to take transit. Other modes, including carpooling, employer shuttles and TNCs (such as Uber and Lyft) are seeing a high degree of uncertainty from employers at this time. Thematically, employers are concerned about the safety of their workforce upon a return to the workplace, and indicate they are empowering workers to make decisions most appropriate for their own health.

Over 50% of employers are continuing their summer 2020 internship programs in some form. Coinciding with reductions in hiring, many organizations have opted to reduce or forego their internships this summer. These internships are critical to organizations as the seed for future talent. Employers have found ways to adapt by shifting communications and the internship experience to a virtual environment.

View the complete survey with questions, breakdown of answers, and key takeaways

– Stephen Tu,  Director of Transportation Policy, Silicon Valley Leadership Group | May 26, 2020