Guilford County Talent & Workplace Survey

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2023 Report

Letter from Action Greensboro

For more than twenty years, Action Greensboro has responded to Greensboro’s greatest challenges and opportunities by leveraging the collective thought leadership and financial support from our local philanthropic sector. Through this work, transformational investments have been made in Greensboro’s center city, public education system, entrepreneurial ecosystem and most recently, strategic investments in the cradle to career pipeline.

As our community emerges from the economic turbulence of the COVID-19 pandemic, we believed it was time for a checkin to understand the landscape of our workplaces, staffing and human relations challenges, skillset needs and connectivity to local resources. Thank you to the 600+ respondents who participated in the survey and provided critical information. With this understanding, we can design (and perhaps redesign!) workforce and talent development systems and programs, strengthen our workplaces and better the educational pipeline for generations of economic growth.

In order to benchmark our community’s progress, Action Greensboro’s Talent and Workplace Survey was designed to be conducted annually. As Greensboro and Guilford County’s existing businesses continue to grow, new employers arrive and technical skillset needs rapidly evolve, this annual check-in will assist in better meeting talent and workplace demands.

We all want our community to be a great place to live and work for everyone. Let’s work together to leverage our tremendous assets and opportunities.


The Action Greensboro Talent & Workplace Survey Report is offered as a trusted source of data on industry, talent and workplace trends. The report provides the outlook and perspective of hiring organizations operating in Guilford County. The online survey captures insights from more than 600 respondents on the industry and talent landscape of the Triad.

The Guilford County Talent and Workplace Survey seeks to inform the efforts of community stakeholders, policymakers and employers as we look to strengthen our talent pipeline.


• Better understand Guilford County’s 2023 postpandemic workplace landscape

• Better understand the hiring needs of our region’s employers

• Better understand the essential skills for today’s local workforce

• Inform and connect regional stakeholders and policymakers with current talent and workplace information

Key Findings ............................................................................ 1 Talent Workplace Outlook About Survey Respondents ....................................................... 2 Current Talent 5 Employee Turnover Generations in the Workplace Workplace Landscape .............................................................. 7 Benefits Upskilling and Career Mobility Flexible Work Internships Corporate Community Involvement Talent Attraction and Selection ................................................ 10 Target Candidate Market Recruiting Budget, Timeframe and Candidate Quality Essential Skills Today’s Workplace Challenges .................................................. 12 Summary and Future Considerations .........................................13 Responding Organizations .......................................................14 Table of Contents


Guilford companies have an average annual turnover rate of 20%. The top three drivers of turnover are employees finding other roles, involuntary layoffs and low pay.


A majority of responding organizations experienced positive annual growth last year.

Pay rate tops the list for reasons a candidate declines a job offer.

Gen X and Millennial talent represent the majority of local employees.

Career growth and upward mobility top the list of desired features for Guilford County job seekers. The average number of jobs that organizations fill annually is 38.


The majority of respondents indicate that their staff is working fully in person.

39% of new hires hold either a college or university degree.

The top benefits offered by Guilford County employers include health insurance, paid time off and retirement benefits with company matching. 40% of companies offer formal internships.

Respondents identified these most essential skills for today’s new hires are:

1. Work Ethic

2. Teamwork

3. Verbal Communication

Respondents indicated that the most difficult skills to find today in new hires include:

1. Problem Solving

2. Analytical Thinking

3. Leadership

4. Adaptability

5. Work Ethic Key Findings

About Survey Respondents

Participating respondents represented both for-profit (35%) and not-for-profit (65%) entities. 600+


of respondents’ organizations are headquartered in Guilford County


of respondents represent organizations with less than 250 employees in Guilford County.


of respondents participated in a hiring process in the last 12 months.

businesses and organizations
0% Nonprofit 26% Professional Services Manufacturing Financial Services/Insurance Healthcare Retail/Restaurants Creative Arts/Design Automotive Information Technology/ Software Distribution & Logistics Chemicals/Advanced Materials Food Processing Aerospace Manufacturing Aviation/Airport Services Furniture Bioscience 10% 20% 30% 40% 19% 10% 7% 6% 6% 2% 2% 2% 2% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 0%

top respondent management profiles

Top Management (CEO, CFO, COO, Founding Member, Owner)

Mid-Level Leader or Manager (Department Head, Director, Area Manager)

HR Manager/Director/Senior Business Partner 33%


Of responding organizations headquartered in Guilford County, 87% are nonprofits, 77% are healthcare organizations, 28% are financial institutions, 55% are manufacturing organizations

Respondent’s Business/Organization
20% 44% 36%
% Guilford
Organizational Size in Guilford County Companies with local headquarters Company size globally 0% <10 Employees 10-49 Employees 50-249 Employees 250-1000 Employees 1000+ Employees 10%20% 30%40% 21% 16% 16% 16% 31% 0% <10 Employees 10-49 Employees 50-249 Employees 250-1000 Employees 1000+ Employees 10%20% 30%40% 29% 24% 22% 11% 14% 3


Responding Organizations reported an average of 58% growth over the past 12 months.

0% 25-100K 100-250K 250K-1M 1M-5M More than 5M 10%20% 30%40% 50% 5% 1-25K 2% 7% 11% 31% 44% 0% 0-100K 100K-1M 1-5M 5-25M Over 25M 10%20% 30%40% 50% 8% 13% 18% 18% 43% Average Operating Budget of NonProfit Responding Organizations Annual Revenue of For-Profit Responding Organizations

Current Talent

79% of the respondents’ workforce is permanent staff, 21% is temporary. Nonprofit and distribution/logistics organizations indicate the highest rates of temporary employees.

Employee Turnover

Guilford County organizations average a 20% turnover rate, meaning for every 10 employees 2 left the company. Manufacturing, professional services and financial services show the highest rates of turnover among for-profit sectors.

The most cited reasons for employee turnover are:

• Found a Position Elsewhere

• Involuntary Turnover

• Low Pay

• Family Reasons

• Other *retirement was frequently noted in this category

Excluding “Found a Position Elsewhere” and “Involuntary Turnover” the following reasons for turnover stand out among industry sectors.

• The top reasons for turnover within nonprofits, including education, healthcare and government, were low pay (37%), no opportunity to advance (28%), burnout (23%) and family reasons (22%)

66% of respondents use a formal exit interview process to help understand turnover.

• Top reasons for turnover within professional services, including financial services, insurance, information technology, were family reasons (28%), issues with fit (16%) and low pay (13%)

• Top reasons for turnover within manufacturing, including aerospace, automotive, aviation, bioscience, chemicals and advanced materials, distribution and logistics and food processing, were low pay (21%), family reasons (16%), issues with fit (14%) and lack of flexibility/work life balance (12%).


Efforts to reduce turnover include:

Top Five E orts to Reduce Turnover

Generations in the Workplace

Gen X (born between 1965-1980) employees currently occupy the largest number of roles in the Guilford County workforce, followed by Millennials (born 1981-1996). The number of GenZ employees is approaching that of Baby Boomers.

Industries with the largest number of Gen Z employees are hospitality (41%), retail (29%), food processing (27%), recruiting (23%) and automotive (22%)

Industries with the largest boomer population were distribution and logistics (37%), education (36%) and real estate (31%)

About 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day, and the entire generation is expected to reach retirement age by 2030.

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80%
Improving Training and Employee Development O ering Better Pay Improving Workplace Culture Improving Onboarding Improving Work-life Balance 6

Workplace Landscape Benefits

The most offered employee benefits provided by companies include Health, Dental, Paid Time Off, Vision and Retirement benefits.

The least offered benefits include immigration sponsorship for families (3%), on-site childcare (4%), student loan debt relief (6%), immigration sponsorship for the employee (11%) and recharge days (12%).

Millennial workers now represent more than Baby Boomers in Guilford County’s workforce. However, only 6% of local companies offer student loan debt relief as a benefit. Industries with the highest percentage of student loan relief were aerospace (50%) and healthcare (43%)

While only 45% of respondents offer pay for continuing education, several industries stood out in this category. Aerospace (100%), Chemicals and Advanced Materials (100%), Education (78%), Food Processing (75%), Government (75%) and Financial Services (73%)

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Gen Z employees need to be provided support, freedom and flexibility.

Young Professional Friendly Employee Benefits Offered Locally

7 Aerospace Manufacturing Pay O Student Loan Debt 7% Pay For Higher Education/ Continuing Education Onboarding Internal Training Oppor tunities Formal Mentoring Remote Work 1% 1% 1% 0% 0% 0% 2% 1% 2% 3% 1% 7% 3% 2% 2% 3% 4% 0% 3% 2% 1% 0% 1% 0% 1% 1% 2% 4% 4% 0% 2% 3% 2% 3% 0% 20%12% 10%10% 14%14% 0% 2% 1% 1% 1% 1% 20%5%4%4%3%3% 0% 2% 2% 2% 3% 1% 27%23% 16%17% 13%6% 0% 20% 21% 22%30% 28% 0% 9% 7% 7% 4% 6% 20%14% 28%27% 19% Hybrid Work 1% 0% 3% 2% 2% 2% 16% 1% 3% 2% 10% 22% 3% 34% 30% Automotive Aviation/Airpor t Services Chemicals/Advanced Materials Creative Ar ts/Design Distribution and Logistics Financial Services/Insurance Food Processing Healthcare Information Technology/Software Manufacturing Professional Services Retail/Restaurants Nonprofit 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Most Frequently O ered Employee Benefits Health Benefits Dental Benefits PTO Vision Benefits Retirement Benefits/ Matching Bonuses/ Incentives Training Opportunitites Published Mission and Value Statements Physical O ce Environment Health Spending Account

Family Friendly Workplace Benefits Provided Locally

Upskilling and internal workplace mobility

On average, organizations are filling 32% of their open roles with internal promotions and hires.

96% of responding organizations provide some internal or external opportunity for employee training and skill development.

for Today’s Workforce

A majority of respondents indicate that their annual internal training budget is less than $10,000 The average organization spent $1,280 per employee on workplace learning in 2021, according to the Association for Talent Development’s 2022 State of the Industry report. (

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70%
Communication/ Feedback and Listening Design Thinking/ Innovative Problem Solving Conflict Resolution Conflict Management Self Awareness 8 Aerospace Manufacturing Wellness Room 2% Parental Leave Paid Childcare Benefits Childcare On-site Family Leave (e.g., Elder Care) Flex-time (e.g., Schedule) 0% 3% 0% 1% 1% 0% 1% 0% 0% 1% 1% 5% 2% 5% 0% 3% 2% 3% 3% 0% 0% 2% 2% 0% 2% 0% 0% 0% 4% 0% 2% 0% 0% 3% 2% 17%15% 14%0%14% 11% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 1% 3% 2% 5% 11% 3% 3% 2% 1% 3% 0% 1% 2% 20%12% 19%22% 15% 11% 18%25% 16%0%19% 22% 8% 6% 8% 0% 8% 5% 22%30% 27%67% 30%34% Automotive Aviation/Airpor t Services Chemicals/Advanced Materials Creative Ar ts/Design Distribution and Logistics Financial Services/Insurance Food Processing Healthcare Information Technology/Software Manufacturing Professional Services Retail/Restaurants Nonprofit
Most Critical Skill

Workplace and Schedules

72% of workplaces are full-time in person, while 21% of workplaces are hybrid (work partly from an office and partly from home). Of those, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the days of the week most often worked in the office. Only 7% of organizations are fully remote.

More than 60% of respondents are offering full-time employees some type of flexible work schedule (employees that have flexibility for their own schedule and workplace location). On average those full-time employees working a flexible schedule are working 36 hours a week.

When broken down by industry, few differences appear.

• Aerospace, automotive, aviation and airport services, chemical and advanced materials, distribution and logistics, food processing, furniture and manufacturing spend an average of 36 hours per week in the office

• Healthcare and biosciences: 36 hours per week in the office

• Professional services, Informational Technology, Finance and Insurance: 35 hours per week in the office

• Nonprofit and arts : 34 hours per week in the office

• Retail and restaurants : 36 hours per week in the office


59% of respondents indicate that they hire interns on a regular or as needed basis with the majority of interns working in the summer.

Corporate Community Involvement

A majority of respondents believe their organization is either “somewhat” or “highly connected” to the local community.

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% How are Organizations Engaging with Greensboro Community Corporate/ Charitable Giving Board Leadership Corporate Volunteer Activities Paid Time for Volunteering Partnership with Guilford County Paid Time for Voting Advocacy Mentoring
In a recent National Association of Colleges and Employers poll, four out of five employers said their internship program provided the best return on investment as a recruiting strategy, giving them the best means for identifying and building relationships with potential employees.

Talent Attraction and Selection

Target Candidate Market

Where companies are recruiting by geography:

• 80% of respondents recruit for open roles in Greensboro

• 60% recruit across the State of North Carolina

• 36% recruit nationally

• 8% recruit globally

How Employers are Sourcing New Hires

Recruiting Budget, Timeframe and Candidate Quality

On average, respondents spend 4% of their annual operating budget on talent attraction and recruitment. Industries with the largest recruitment budgets are manufacturing including aerospace, automotive, aviation, bioscience, chemicals and advanced materials, distribution and logistics and food processing at 13% and professional services, including financial services, insurance, information technology at 11%

40% of respondents indicate it takes 1-2 months to hire for Guilford County positions.

Over the last year, the average offer acceptance rate was 74%.

• 62% of respondents indicate pay rate was the reason a candidate declined their offer.

• 2% of respondents indicated that Guilford County’s community amenities were a factor in declining a job offer.

• Career growth and upward mobility top the list of desired features for Guilford County job seekers.

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 80% 70%
Word of Mouth Job Aggregator Websites Social Media Greensboro’s Universities and Colleges Universities and Colleges Outside of Greensboro

Employers find the quality of their new hires to be:

Essential Skills

Professionalism/Work Ethic


Verbal Communication Skills

Problem Solving/Critical Thinking


Interpersonal/Relationship Building

Organization/Time Management

Logical/Analytical Thinking

Emotional Intelligence

Written Communication Skills

Cultural Intelligence

Leadership/Personal Growth


Negotiating/Conflict Management

Presenting/Persuading (Weighted Average)

These options best describe the educational level of a typical Guilford County hire:

The most essential skills for new hires are:

0% Somewhat High Somewhat Low Excellent! Terrible! 10%20% 30%40% OK 40% 32% 16% 11% 1% 0% Master’s Degree Associate Degree Industry Cer tifications Professional License Doctoral Degree 10%20% 30%40% 7% Some College/University 18% High School Diploma 27 % College/University 39% 5% 3% 1% 0% !
00.5 11.5 22.5 33.5 44.5 5

Problem Solving/Critical Thinking

Logical/Analytical Thinking

Leadership/Personal Growth


Professionalism/Work Ethic

Organization/Time Management

Negotiating/Conflict Management

The most difficult skills to find in new hires:


Today’s Workplace Challenges

Greatest challenge as a company: Hiring, growth, costs, retention, economy, growing awareness of our business, connecting with customers.

Most pressing talent and workplace challenges: Finding experienced talent, resources to pay competitively, able to self-manage, finding workers who know how to work with their hands, finding talent who want to work in person versus hybrid, training employees to work collaboratively among different generations.

Chronically unfilled positions: Maintenance, engineers, drivers, operators, managers, housekeepers, sales, productions, accounting/finance, mechanics, technicians.

Most pressing needs to find or upskill talent: Continue to focus on technical jobs/ trades, connect us with local universities, attract more highly trained accredited young professionals back to this area, training on conflict resolution and effective networking, amplify opportunities for good jobs to potential employees.

2.32.4 2.52.6 2.72.8 2.93 3.1 Verbal Communication Skills (Weighted Average) Teamwork/Collaboration
Building Written Communication Skills
Cultural Intelligence

Future Considerations

1 2 3 4 5

58% of respondents expect business growth despite current labor shortages and inflation. North Carolina and the Triad are poised for tremendous economic growth and talent, and workforce development plays a critical role. Our community has invested significantly in institutions, programs, and systems to enhance the cradle-to-career pipeline of talent to fill today’s jobs and those of the future. Increased employer engagement in local talent development programs will strengthen the talent pipeline for employers and better the future of our youth.

Problem solving and critical thinking are ranked highest in essential skills needed in the workplace and also high in difficulty to find in candidates. Our community should continue to invest in programs to strengthen essential workforce skills. Local business investment in internal training lags behind the national average. Workplace training and upskilling in essential skills will increase internal upward mobility and talent retention. This is a win-win for our local employees and the Greensboro community.

The majority of employers are relying on word of mouth for talent recruitment, followed by national online job boards and social media. Guilford County has top ranked programs within Guilford Technical Community College and our eight four-year universities. Yet, more than 50% of employers are not recruiting from these institutions and many are not aware of existing workforce development programs. Strengthening awareness and connection between businesses and our local education resources will open doors to less-connected college students, create a more accessible pathway to local employment and deepen our workforce base.

Respondents indicated that low pay and family reasons are among the top drivers of employee turnover. As generations in our workplaces continue to change, so do the benefits that are most valuable to job applicants. Competitive benefits can increase employee retention and help with talent attraction. Employee support, freedom and flexibility are most valuable to new generations in the workplace. Some examples include parental leave, predictable scheduling and hybrid work. Our workforce will invest more in their jobs and community if they are provided the support needed to thrive.

As more affordable mid-sized communities across the nation become attractive to young talent, it is increasingly important for business to play a role in local community development. While talent consistently makes relocation decisions based on salary and the city’s cost of living, a community’s quality of life is increasingly a top motivator.

Greensboro and Guilford County have made extraordinary strides in the community to grow our center city, build and remodel public schools and expand our award-winning parks and trails system. A majority of survey respondents believe their organization is either “somewhat” or “highly connected” to the local community. Our community will attract more talent with greater investment in corporate charitable giving, increased voter turnout and partnerships with Guilford County 13

1st Aide Restoration, Inc.

33 & Elm Coffee House


Adams Electric Company


Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education

Allegacy Federal Credit Union

ALT HR Partners

American Signs

Arch MI

Assured Partners

AuthoraCare Collective



Baltek, Inc/3A Composites


Berkshire Corporation

Bernard Robinson & Company, LLP

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Piedmont


Black Lamb Development Corporation

Blue Ridge Companies

Bonset America Corporation

Boulton Creative

Brady Services


Brown Investment Properties

C2 Contractors, LLC

Captivate Media

Carlton Scale

CBT Counseling Centers

Center for Creative Leadership

Charles Aris

Children and Families First

City of Greensboro

Community Foundation of Greater


Core Technology Molding Corp.

CPR 4 Your Heart & AED Safety Solutions, LLC


Cross Company

Deep Roots Market Cooperative

Double Hung

Downtown Greensboro Inc

Eastern Music Festival, Inc.

Elaka Treats

Family Service of the Piedmont

Fellowship Hall

First Bank

Forge Greensboro

Four Oaks Insurance Agency

Four Saints Brewing Company

Go Green Plumbing, Heating and Air

Goodwill Industries of Central NC

Graham Personnel Services

Greensboro Cerebral Palsy Association

Greensboro Convention and Visitors Bureau

Greensboro Montessori School

Greensboro Police Department


Guerrilla RF

Guilford County

Guilford County Schools

Guilford Technical Community College

GuilfordWorks Workforce Development Board

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro, Inc

HAECO Americas

Helps Education Fund


High Point Discovered

High Point LEAP

High Point Tire & Automotive

Honda Aircraft Company

Hudson Financial Services

Industries Of The Blind

JD Financial Group and Associates Inc

jim gallucci sculptor ltd.

Karma Contracting

Kellin Foundation

Kingdom Builders Associates

Kontoor Brands

Landmark Builders

M. G. Newell Corporation

Mickey Truck Bodies

Morrisette Packaging, Inc.

Mother Murphy’s Laboratories

North Carolina A&T State University

North Carolina for Community and Justice

NXT Level Construction LLC

O’Neal Manufacturing Services

Old North State Council Boy Scouts of America

Old North State Trust


Parker Hannifin

Pathways Career Testing

Phillips Management Group

Pinnacle Financial Partners


Procter & Gamble

Pulmonix, LLC

Qualified Staffing

Radwell International

Ready for School, Ready for Life

Replacements, Ltd.


Richardson Properties

RLF Communications


Savor the Moment, LLC

Schell Bray PLLC

Sharpe Pursuits Inc.

Sheraton Greensboro


Smith Leonard

Smoothie King

Spears Family YMCA

St. Johns Packaging (USA) LLC

STITCH Design Shop

The Brooks Group

Thomas Built Buses

Thomas Enterprises of Greensboro Inc

Torres Transformations


Triad Adult and Pediatric Medicine Inc.

Triad City Beat

Tru by Hilton

United Piedmont Center for Educational Excellence

United Way of Greater Greensboro

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

VanderVeen Photographers

Xtern Software

YMCA Camp Weaver

Thank you to all of our survey participants, including the following who agreed to be published.

Thank you to the local organizations who supported survey distribution:

Business High Point

City of Greensboro MWBE Office

East Greensboro Now

Greensboro Chamber of Commerce

Guilford Nonprofit Consortium

Guilford Merchants Association

Human Resources Management Association of Greensboro (HRMAG)

Leadership Greensboro

East Greensboro Now

Thank you to our research contributors:

Madelynn Stackhouse, Stackhouse Management Solutions

Bret Mazei, Community Volunteer

Lead Writers:

Bramley Crisco

Director of Talent Development

Action Greensboro

Sarah McGuire

Director of synerG Young Professionals

Action Greensboro

Cecelia Thompson

Executive Director

Action Greensboro

Special Thanks to Action

Greensboro’s Supporting Foundations:

The Cemala Foundation

The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro

The Cone Health Foundation

The Edward M. Armfield, Sr. Foundation

The Joseph M. Bryan Foundation

The Stanley & Dorothy Frank Family Foundation

The Tannenbaum Sternberger Foundation

The Phillips Foundation


Get Engaged in Action Greensboro’s Talent Programs!

Campus Greensboro

Greensboro’s ability to grow, retain and attract a well-educated and skilled workforce is essential in today’s knowledge-based economy. Campus Greensboro improves connections between talented college students and our business and leadership community, and works to prepare these students for the 21st century workforce.

For more information, contact Jay Cannon, Campus Greensboro Student Engagement Manager, at

synerG Young Professionals

synerG Young Professionals is a thriving network that gives the city’s under-40 community opportunities to strengthen their leadership skills, promote diversity and accessibility, and shape the future of Greensboro for the better.

For more information, contact Sarah McGuire, synerG Young Professionals Director, at

Boomerang Greensboro

Boomerang Greensboro is a creative and ambitious campaign aimed at recruiting young professionals back home to live in Greensboro. Boomerangs are people who grew up in Greensboro or attended a local college and then moved back after spending time away.

For more information, contact Cecelia Thompson, Executive Director of Action Greensboro, at

Guilford Talent and Workforce Guide

The Guilford County Talent and Workforce guide provides a directory of area resources that support our labor market at all stages of employee development. Use it to grow your team or find ways to more deeply engage the workforce you already have. Each organization includes a direct contact to deliver help quickly and answer any questions you may have. For more information, contact Megan Mabry, VP of Marketing and Communications, Chamber of Commerce at

For other talent development questions and solutions, contact Bramley Crisco, Director of Talent Development, at

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