Finding and retaining top talent is a main driver that continues to reshape the economic landscape and ongoing business recovery post-pandemic. The impacts are evident in employment data and U.S. labor market analysis, but it doesn’t tell the full story. To better understand and navigate this terrain, we conducted our first Hiring Pulse Survey to gather insight from business leaders across the nation.

Responses came from organizations across the U.S. with multiple industries and organizations ranging from enterprises to small businesses represented. The survey measured changes in hiring, attitudes and perceptions of hiring difficulty, approaches utilized, and behaviors over time.

We wanted to find out not only how difficult it was to find top talent, but what were some of the reasons why, what trends they expect to have the most impact, and plans for moving forward.

Our report of the results provides insight into whether hiring plans and challenges are correlated across the board as well as the ability for organizations to benchmark goals and validate their standing among peers.

Keep reading for an executive summary of our analysis.

The Current State of Hiring

In recent years, a “talent crunch,” economic uncertainties, and slowing job growth have plagued the U.S. labor market. Countless articles and reports have indicated that hiring has been hard for some, but it wasn’t abundantly clear if this was a sentiment felt across all industries — or even most industries.

Labor economists and researchers are closely monitoring inflation rates, which are still uncomfortably high, leading to increasing talk of recession. And despite a healthy volume of jobs generated in 2022, those openings were challenging to fill.

However, it’s not just about whether or not organizations were hiring new employees — there’s a level of difficulty at play. Seventy-one percent said that hiring in 2022 had been more challenging, describing it as hard or very hard.

Why Hiring Challenges Will Continue

More than one-third of the respondents identified talent sourcing as the top challenge. Others identified challenges with essential components to a successful talent acquisition process.

It is clear that organizations will continue to face hiring challenges if they are not intentional on several different fronts.

  • Developing clearly defined hiring plans that include a complete picture of the capabilities and competencies required of candidates. Without defined criteria and an intentional strategy, the search and hiring process can also take longer.

  • Creating an intentional onboarding process so that new hires can make a faster impact on organizations.

  • Clarifying specific talent needs. Companies often struggle to find enough candidates to fill open positions because they are not specific enough or miss building a candidate pool that is large enough.

  • Understanding what incentives will truly attract and retain talent. Compensation is not a cure-all for hiring and retention issues.

The Creative Ways Employers are Attracting Candidates

In the current state of hiring and given the difficulties that many businesses are facing, employers are turning to creative ways to attract (as well as retain) top talent. Commonly used motivators focused on compensation, work-life balance, and business attributes.

Compensation packages often vary greatly depending on the company and position, but when the right elements come together, can be very effective in attracting top talent. However, it is important to remember that a compensation package includes more than just salary. It’s everything of value, monetary and non-monetary, that employers provide to employees.

Work-life balance consistently ranks as a top priority for employees who see the line between their professional and personal lives becoming increasingly blurred. It is here that employers can reevaluate their company culture and ensure employees know they are important factors in company success. People are increasingly acknowledging they are no longer solely defined by their job — they are multifaceted and organizations that not only attract but also retain top talent recognize this. Happy, well-balanced employees do their best work and want to stay with those kinds of companies.

Business attributes used to attract job candidates may include where a business is located, office design, and even if a company is privately held. They are secondary incentives however to compensation and work schedules as their perceived value can vary greatly between individuals and even between employers and employees.

The Hiring Landscape Moving Forward

The past few years have presented a series of daunting challenges for hiring professionals, and planning during times of uncertainty will be critical to see continued success throughout 2023 and beyond.

One way to consider hiring plans for 2023 is by asking the following questions:

  • What must-haves should we focus on in our recruiting process?

  • How can we find the right people in a challenging labor market faster?

  • How can we become more efficient while improving outcomes?

These questions may prompt your organization to reevaluate your EVP to understand whether you’re satisfying the expectations of top talent. They also the door to opportunities for employee development, career growth, and tightened processes.

Candidate and employee expectations continue to evolve. Yet, regardless of how things shift, it will be critical for organizations to make intentional strategic plans and partnerships to not only survive but thrive.

The reality is, companies are facing an unpredictable hiring and economic landscape that will have an impact on how organizations hire throughout 2023 and the level of difficulty they face. We are still recovering, learning, and growing post-pandemic. Meaning, the state of hiring will continue to shift in 2023 and beyond as we better understand the candidate and employee expectations as organizations plan for and achieve future growth.

Get our full report on the State of Hiring to learn what organizations have been facing, how they are adapting, and what they are expecting going forward.

State of Hiring 2023 Report detailing the challenges, adjustments, and expectations of hiring organizations today