Respondents came from top management with direct role in staffing decisions, the survey being carried online and by phone. Workforce reduction is only one of the measures adopted by the companies in 2009 in the wake of financial crisis. Only 16% of respondents said their companies would continue hiring for the reminder of the year.

The results of the Mercury Research survey showcase how organizations, depending on their size adopted various measures to cope with a down economy. Small companies with 1-2 employees feel the least impact from the financial crisis, over 62% of them not having taken any measure. The smaller the company is, the more the strategy is oriented toward freezing investments.

On the other hand, the larger the company, the more prone to job cuts. To all companies, freezing salaries or perks, or chopping training teambuilding budgets are important widespread anti-crisis measures, especially among medium companies.

Some of the widespread solutions to cut costs in view of financial crisis are pay freeze, reduction of investment budget, as well as expenses associated to staff training or teambuilding, and halt in the recruitment process.

However, there are companies that didn’t adopt any of these measures. For example, 20% of the large organizations (over 50 employees) and 40% of the medium companies (10-49) didn’t pursue any of these paths.

If in case of the large companies, 52% of them reduced workforce, things look different at companies with employees below 50. Only 24% of the companies with 10-49 employees had workforce reduction and 23% of the companies with 3-9 employees.

Another measure to cope with the crisis was pay freeze, with 21% of the respondents reporting to have resorted to this. The number of companies reported to have put pay packages on ice differs depending on their size: in 2009, 33% of the large organizations, 23% of the companies with 10-49 employees and 42% of those with 3-9 employees.

Another cash-strapped segment in financial crisis is investments, with 20% of the respondents reporting to have cut or frozen investment budgets.

Two out of ten companies cut expenses related to teambuildings as well as employee’s perks.