02 Jul 2020

New Survey Data From Lab Directors on COVID-19 Business Effects

It is a well-known fact that COVID-19 has had a major impact on the world and on most businesses. To gain insight into exactly what the effect has been for individual companies, Connexis Search Group conducted a survey of lab supervisors, directors, and VPs who manage CLIA, hospital, pharmaceutical, and environmental labs. 

50% of those taking part in the survey supervise up to 5 employees, 7.14% manage 6 to 10, 14.29% manage 11 to 15, and 28.57% oversee more than 20 employees. 

85.71% of the respondents reported some type of negative impact on their businesses. Here are the main effects that are currently being seen by those in supervisory positions.

Loss of Business

Of those surveyed, 57.14% said that it is not possible for their employees to work remotely, and 35.71% reported that stay-at-home ordinances have prevented their team from working at all. As a result of these issues, 21.43% reported up to 15% loss in business. 35.71% experienced a business loss of between 16 and 25%, and 14.29% lost 26 to 35% of their business. Business is down by more than 35% for 28.57%.

As a result of business loss, 21.43% of companies had no choice but to reduce some base salaries. 42.86% actually wound up laying-off employees.

Getting Back to Normal

As far as how soon companies expect that they can get back to business as usual, some were fairly optimistic and others, not quite so. 23.08% of respondents said they expect their company to get back to normal operations within one to two weeks. 15.38% are looking at a time span of three to four weeks before that begins to happen. 23.08% said they won't see normalcy until about five to six weeks, and 38.46% reported that it would be at least another six to eight weeks before things are normal again for them.

Some expect that things will never be as they once were and are considering that they will have to adopt a new business model in order to adapt to the changes at hand.

Hiring Practices

Hiring is probably on hold for most companies for the time being. 61.54% reported no hiring plans for the immediate, or foreseeable, future. 38.46% said that they definitely plan to get back to hiring as soon as possible. 78.57% of those hiring, however, will bring on no more than two new employees. 14.29% plan to hire three to four people and 7.14% expect they will need to hire more than seven.

The hiring timeline varied by business, but 50% said they would be hired immediately as that would be the only way they could see getting back to normal as quickly as possible. 16.67% said they will be hiring in the third quarter, and 25% will bring on new hires in the fourth quarter. 8.33% won't be hiring again at least until the first quarter of 2021.

Of those hiring, half will meet candidates in person and the other half will do it remotely. 53.85% are comfortable conducting a final interview and making a hiring decision via video conferencing. 46.15% feel they need to meet potential employees in person before bringing them on. Only 33.77% have the ability to onboard candidates remotely. For the remaining 69.23%, onboarding will have to wait.

Permanent Business Changes as a Result of COVID-19

Most businesses expect lasting changes after COVID-19 and feel that operating a business will never be the same again.

Predicted changes include:

  • Continued social distancing
  • More remote work policies that will alter company landscapes
  • No more merit raises
  • The removal of the 401K match by the employer
  • More direct approaches to solving issues using fewer people

Because of the crisis, businesses were required to learn more efficient ways to be productive by working with a fewer number of people. Therefore, some managers are thinking that they may not need to bring everyone back to their usual hours. Getting by with fewer people has shown that it can be done and for now, there may be no other way.

The Future of Business  

One respondent of the survey felt certain that business will get back on track fairly quickly. Another said that getting back to normal would depend on when a vaccine becomes available. Companies as a whole expect that no matter how soon they can get things running at a normal pace, there will be some major adjustments.

Whether those changes are for the long-term or of a shorter duration remains to be seen.

Click here to Download the Survey



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