The Outdoor Industry Workforce Assessment looks to identify major trends in workforce hiring and retention, help further educational and up-skilling initiatives, and provide a snapshot of where the industry stands in its efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion. Key findings from the survey include the following:
- New hires: The industry expects to hire for a high volume of entry and skilled professional positions over the next year.
- Work/life balance: Outdoor companies are prioritizing flexible work arrangements and work-life balance as attraction and retention strategies ahead of employee benefits and financial rewards.
- Qualified applicants: 66% of survey respondents report having difficulty finding qualified applicants. The largest barriers to recruiting hard-to-fill jobs are finding qualified applicants, and lack of affordable housing options proximal to the job location.
- Increasing DEI: Companies who have a diversity plan in place are utilizing a wide variety of methods and tactics to achieve their goals. However, companies that do not currently have a diversity plan in place largely do not plan to implement one or do not know where to start.
The Outdoor Industry Workforce Assessment was conducted by Oregon State University’s Center for the Outdoor Recreation Economy with input and support from Outdoor Industry Association, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, Basecamp Outdoor, Path to Peak Education + Consulting, and the Confluence of States. Financial support for the development and execution of this survey was provided by a grant from The VF Foundation.