What Did We Get Right and Wrong in 2023?

December 19, 2023

Matt Gainsford

Matt Gainsford

Back in 2022, we made some recruiting industry predictions ourselves, and as the year comes to a close, we’re revisiting those predictions to see how right (or wrong) we were.

Screen Shot 2023-12-19 at 1.10.55 PM

Reviewing Our 2023 Hiring Predictions and Looking Toward 2024:  

2023, few of us would have predicted the year we just had. Economists have been confounded by what’s taken place. Inflation has risen to record-breaking levels, talent shortages have walked hand in hand with mass layoffs, AI took jobs, and then itself has been replaced only to re-emerge more usable. It has been a year of change, fluctuation, and instability. Back in 2022, we made some predictions ourselves, and as the year comes to a close, we’re revisiting those predictions to see how right (or wrong) we were. We’re also casting an eye towards 2024, which promises to be more predictable, right? It is an election year after all…  

In 2022, we predicted six hiring themes that would define 2023, so how did we do?  

Employer Branding (we were right): 

The importance of employer branding has grown significantly as candidates are more discerning about the companies they work for. Companies with strong employer brands are better placed to attract and retain top talent.  

Insight Global shared that: 

  • 75 percent of candidates considering a job opening will research a brand’s reputation before applying. 
  • Companies with strong employer brands experience 28 percent less turnover and spend 50 percent less per hire. 
  • 62 percent of job seekers will research a company on social media to assess its brand reputation. 

A study by LinkedIn found that companies with a strong employer brand are two times more likely to attract top talent and that a strong talent brand can reduce your cost per hire by 50%. 

Candidates want to know what and who they are aligning themselves with, and whether the company can live up to the brand. Companies that are clear about their mission, values, and purpose and effective in communicating those details are in a much stronger position to attract top talent. 

Data-Driven Hiring (we were right): 

Data is playing an increasingly important role in the hiring process. Companies are using data to make informed decisions about candidates and improve their hiring outcomes.  

In a survey of nearly 700 talent acquisition professionals by Gem, it was clear that data was being extensively used to strategize, support, and simplify the recruiting process. 

A study by Indeed found that 75% of recruiters are using data to make hiring decisions.  

A study by Glassdoor found that companies that use data-driven hiring practices are 3 times more likely to make a successful hire.  

Data-driven hiring practices will continue to rise. By increasing the ability to evaluate findings companies will be able to significantly increase their success rates. From stats on branding to assessment tools to determine the environments candidates thrive in, the pursuit of answers through data will only speed up. 

Recruiters Transitioning into Business Leaders (we were somewhat right):

Recruiters are evolving from order-takers to strategic partners who can help companies achieve their business goals. They are becoming more data-driven and are using their expertise to identify and attract top talent.  

A study by LinkedIn found that 87% of recruiters believe that their role is becoming more strategic. According to the same study, the top 5 skills recruiters and hiring teams will need over the next 5 years are: 

  • Communication 
  • Relationship Building 
  • Adaptability 
  • Problem- Solving 
  • Business Acumen 

The talent acquisition (TA) and the traditional recruiter role have been hit hard by layoffs this year. TA’s are finding themselves on the other side of the table or have been repurposed into other roles in their organizations. The need to become more adaptable, more strategic, and more aware of the overall business goals of an organization has perhaps never been more important.  

Development in Candidate Experience Expectations and the Impact of Onboarding (We Were Right): 

Candidates have high expectations for the hiring process. They expect to be treated with respect and to be kept informed of the status of their application.  

  • A study by CareerBuilder found that 72% of candidates say that a positive candidate experience is important to them.  
  • The candidate’s experience doesn’t stop when the role is filled. The onboarding process is one of the greatest indicators of future engagement and retention.  
  • Peoplehum claims that 41% of candidates may refer a friend based on the onboarding experience they receive. 

In a tight talent market where there is a shortage of candidates, there is more competition for top talent. Think of the onboarding process as first impressions fulfilled, or the doorway to buyer’s remorse.  

Gen Z Entering the Workforce (we didn’t nail this one):

Gen Z is the most technologically savvy and diverse generation to enter the workforce. Companies need to be prepared to adapt their hiring practices to attract this generation of talent.  

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in American history.  

A study by Deloitte found that Gen Z is more likely to be interested in working for companies with a strong social responsibility commitment. According to Queros, “Gen Z actively advocates for causes they believe in. They participate in protests, grassroots movements, and online activism to raise awareness and drive meaningful impact. Gen Z’s passion for sustainability has made them a driving force in shaping conversations and pushing for a more eco-conscious society. 

According to Kadence, 73% of Gen Zers are willing to pay more for sustainable products. 

Flexibility, growth opportunity, and company integrity are considered great indicators of attraction and engagement. According to McKinsey’s article on Gen Z in the working world, a staggering 77% of Gen Z respondents consider work-life balance crucial when considering job opportunities. 

If you want to connect with Gen Z’ers, social media is your best bet. A Morning Consult study found that 54% spend 4 or more hours on social media, with YouTube being the leading form used. 

Proactive Candidate Engagement on entry-level roles (somewhat right):

Companies need to proactively engage with entry-level candidates to find top talent. This can be done through social media, employee referrals, and other outreach strategies.  

  • A study by Indeed found that 70% of entry-level candidates are open to being contacted by recruiters.  
  • A study by LinkedIn found that companies that proactively engage with entry-level candidates can fill open positions 15% faster.  

The adage of you need experience to gain experience. At Titus, we have seen a rise in companies using us for entry-level roles, particularly in positions like Field Sales or Project Management.  

The Results are In 

Overall, we were pretty spot on with our predictions, we’d give ourselves a B+. The one subject that has been top of mind for many companies has been the continued transition to a more remote workplace. Are employees more productive in a remote or hybrid environment? Do people want to come back to the office, or have they had a taste of a work-life balance that has turned a benefit into a necessity? As we look towards 2024, we predict that these conversations will only increase.  

So, what about 2024? Where are we headed, what do we need to look out for, and what is it going to take to succeed in this ever-evolving world of talent, hiring, recruitment, and people strategy?  

You’ll have to wait for part two to find out…  

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