12 Recruiting Trends for 2023

Wooden blocks spelling out trends with a notebook underneath that has 2023 written on it

What are the recruiting trends for 2023 that we can plan for?

There’s one word that describes the labor market as we head into 2023: uncertain. 

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in two decades and are expected to continue their climb, prompting some of the nation’s most prominent employers to announce layoffs. And yet, unemployment remains persistently low–under 4% and still dropping as of the latest jobs report. 

If we look at job vacancies alone, all signs indicate a continuously hot labor market starting the new year. The Secretary of Labor says he expects job growth to continue into 2023. But the Federal Reserve has made it abundantly clear it’s working to cool the economy to slow the inflation that has driven prices through the roof over the past year. 

It’s a wacky environment to analyze, even for the experts. We’re in uncharted territory. 

So how can recruiters prepare and ensure their hiring needs are met in 2023? Here are some 2023 recruiting trends and changes we can expect. 

Recruiting Trends For 2023 To Expect and Prepare For

1. Fewer openings

Make no mistake, it’s still an incredibly tight labor market for companies looking to fill jobs, especially specialized roles. But we can expect the massive number of openings–almost two per unemployed person in 2022–to drop a bit. 

We’ll see employers put off hiring or choose to keep vacancies open longer as they wait to see what the economy does, or they may hire just one or two people from a job posting where they’d previously hired five or six. 

Fewer vacancies across the board may bring a bit of relief for companies that have struggled to bring in applicants. 

2. Increased demand for infrastructure labor

Despite fewer openings overall, we’ll still see growth. We can expect strong demand for infrastructure jobs, like transportation. 

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which became law in late 2021, will be rolled out over the next 10 years. It focuses on improving our nation’s aging infrastructure and is expected to create good-paying jobs working on ports, airports, rails, and roadways. Companies and public agencies will be looking for workers in the skilled trades to fill those roles–and enjoy the lucrative pay that comes with them. 

3. Unions gain ground

Unions were once exclusively associated with certain professions, like public safety, skilled trades, and education. In recent years, however, we’ve seen successful or nearly successful attempts to unionize at companies across sectors, from Amazon to Starbucks. 

While those efforts haven’t contributed to an overall increase in union membership, the seeds have been planted, which means smart recruiters need to consider what unionization could mean for the industries in which they operate. 

When employees unionize, companies’ costs go up. They have to increase wages and other benefits and may need to cut costs elsewhere as a result. Candidates in union-dominated fields place a premium on fair compensation and optimum working conditions beyond salary, like flexible schedules. 

4. Family priorities take a front seat

Parents, primarily mothers, left their jobs by the millions during the pandemic. Those workers are slowly trickling back into the workforce, but they have demands: mainly flexibility that allows them better to balance the requirements of personal and professional life. 

Many candidates now say flexibility is more important to them than pay when weighing job opportunities. Companies looking to attract top talent must ensure their policies reflect these post-pandemic preferences. 

5. Changes in remote roles

Candidates still want remote positions, but they’re fewer and farther between. 2022 saw workers return to the office en masse, and many employers pulled back on the generous work-from-home policies of the year prior. Positions that are either fully or partially remote will see a high level of interest through 2023. 

6. Remote recruiting will remain popular

Though employers may have cooled a bit on workers being completely remote, recruiters have fully embraced the conveniences of recruiting remotely. 

Seventy-seven percent of recruiters believe in-person interviews are the most effective way to qualify a candidate, but 61% say they believe video interviews will be the default interview mode moving forward. Between 25 and 50% of positions can be onboarded without the employee ever visiting the company’s physical headquarters. Sometimes, this will be a make-or-break factor in a candidate choosing whether to accept a role. 

Related: Virtual Job Interview Tips for Hiring Managers

7. Quality of recruits is paramount

Fifty-two percent of recruiters say improving the quality of their hires is one of their most important goals.

So how does that differ from previous years? While recruiters are interested in growing their talent pipelines, they’re more interested in ensuring their talent is quality. This contributes to higher retention rates, which aids companies in their widespread efforts to reduce costs. 

8. Mental health benefits go mainstream

One of the most troubling implications of the pandemic is its effect on our collective mental health–implications we probably won’t fully grasp the scope of for some time. And yet, it’s become commonplace for candidates to weigh companies’ approach to mental well-being into their decision whether to accept a job. Almost half of the recruiters say job seekers are asking about mental health benefits more frequently since the onset of Covid-19. 

It’s worth pointing out, too, that candidates aren’t the only ones grappling with increased demands and the resulting stress; 61% of recruiters say their stress has increased by some level since the pandemic began, while nearly 20% say the amount of stress they’re under has increased drastically. 

Related: Ways to Improve Employee Mental Health and Why It Matters

9.  AI offers assistance

The use of artificial intelligence in recruiting has been on the rise for several years now, and the trend continues heading into 2023. Hiring managers’ top uses for AI include job candidate matching, candidate screening, and recommendations for job descriptions. 

AI-powered tools, like smart applicant tracking systems, are increasingly being used to offload repetitive tasks like sending automated communications to candidates and scheduling interviews. AI and machine learning have the potential to save recruiters time and cut down on tedious tasks while helping companies tighten their belts and reduce recruiting costs.

10. Retention, retention, and retention

The Great Resignation isn’t in the rearview mirror yet. There’s one goal that should be a top priority regardless of what happens with hiring: holding onto the workers you’ve already invested in. 

Prioritizing retention eliminates many of the struggles that come with vacancies, like attracting qualified candidates and the heavy resource drain of conducting interviews.  

Companies can’t drop the ball when a candidate accepts an offer. Instead, that should be when a new strategy comes into play, creating an excellent employee experience that keeps strong workers around. 

Related: Highly Effective Strategies for Employee Retention

11. More organizations adopt diversity hiring goals

More companies are working toward specific goals for diversity in hiring concerning race/ethnicity and gender, with 22% of employers naming it as their top objective. 

It’s a topic of growing interest for candidates, too. A third of recruiters say more applicants are asking about diversity and inclusion initiatives than they did in the previous year. 

More diverse organizations tend to be more creative and have stronger bottom lines than their more homogenous counterparts, but that’s not the only upside to setting and working toward diversity hiring goals. Prioritizing diversity hiring can help you stay competitive, especially in fields like tech, where the struggle to win top talent has become ultra-fierce in recent months. 

Related: How to Hire for Diversity

12. Reaching passive candidates is more important than ever

The fierce competition for workers will continue into 2023, so recruiters must spend more time reaching passive candidates. This is especially important for highly niche roles and positions that are in high demand, like developers and social media strategists. Recruiters should work to build a pipeline of passive candidates who are open to hearing about new opportunities.

Related: How to Attract Passive Candidates

Achieve Staffing Success in 2023 With Help From the Recruiting Experts

From new technology to shifting social trends, the staffing landscape is evolving more rapidly than ever before. Do you have the infrastructure in place to keep up with the recruiting trends for 2023? Stay ahead of the hiring curve by enlisting our team of dedicated professionals for your 2023 staffing needs. 

We can help you hire the right person for the job the first time around, saving you time and money. But our services don’t end there; when you work with our team of pros, you’ll get expert recommendations for improving your hiring efficiency and prioritizing the roles that will impact your organization. 

Start the conversation by scheduling your complimentary consultation today.

Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete is a seventh-generation Floridian whose career in technical recruiting began immediately following his graduation from Florida State University. After serving in leadership roles for two Fortune 500 companies, he founded 4 Corner Resources in 2005 to pursue a dream of building a business that prioritizes people over processes. In the years since, 4CR, the top-rated staffing company in Central Florida, has won numerous awards; most recently Forbes’ Best Recruiting Firms in America, The Seminole 100, and The Golden 100. Pete and his team recently launched zengig, with the goal of offering the most comprehensive advice, tools, and resources for every career journey. He’s the host of two podcasts; Hire Calling and Finding Career Zen, and blazing new trails in recruitment marketing with the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology.