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12 Hiring, Recruiting, and Talent Acquisition Trends for 2023

  • Human Resources
  • Article
  • 6 min. Read
  • Last Updated: 01/26/2023

a hiring manager interviewing a job candidate

Table of Contents

With 2023 here, attracting and retaining talent remains a top priority for many business leaders. That's largely due to lasting impacts on the professional landscape over the past few years: work environments have been greatly reshaped by the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees are continuing to reevaluate their priorities and values, and mass resignations and a highly competitive talent marketplace have created both challenges and opportunities for employers. With so much at stake, let's review what recent hiring and talent acquisition trends have emerged, and how leveraging them this year can help your business. Read on to learn more.

Recruiting and Talent Acquisition Trends

The future of effective recruiting will center around speed, proactivity, and intentionality. Recruiting trends shed light on the importance of actively searching for candidates for specific positions and creating groups or categories of candidates to be ready when specific jobs become available. Proactive recruiters will be first to the table with ready-now candidates in an attempt to make their placements quicker, beating out the competition. This will require building relationships, using all available channels to find and connect with potential new hires, making great first impressions, and building healthy and inclusive environments.

Focusing on More Efficient and Proactive Recruiting with HR Automation

Technology can be a great resource for everything from finding new employees to pushing out communications. While many businesses still struggle with finding great talent, there's a growing — and likely lasting — trend to use HR automation to help reduce costs and increase efficiencies in recruiting processes. Results from the 2022 Paychex Pulse of HR Survey echo these sentiments, finding that while half of respondents said their organizations were not effective at hiring, onboarding, and retention, HR technology is helping to accelerate key parts of the talent acquisition journey.

What makes this trend of using HR automation in recruiting so appealing is the level of integration across the hiring process and a faster process overall. Imagine how poorly a candidate might interpret slow or poor communication from a talent acquisition team, this is where HR automation can help. Some employers are speeding up the hiring process from end-to-end by:

  • Using application features that integrate with sites like LinkedIn to expedite the application process;
  • Leveraging recruiting technology such as automated screening forms and streamlined communication to quickly vet candidates and keep them in the loop; and
  • Video interviewing to connect candidates and hiring managers who would otherwise experience delays and expenses associated with scheduling in-person interviews and coordinating travel.

Please note that automated screening and video interviewing may be regulated by employment laws in some jurisdictions.

Including Social Media as a Recruiting Channel

As businesses use social channels to grow their brands and generate leads, digital recruitment via social media is equally valid for recruiting talent, especially younger hires. Platforms such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor can be integral to the future of hiring. Posting job opportunities and targeting social media platforms may be a very successful way of recruiting talent that can be targeted to your industry and the skills you're seeking in a new hire. You can even narrow searches to specific candidates who are actively seeking new employment opportunities. When your company uses modern recruitment tools like social media to build a relationship with your target audience, you are more likely to attract quality applicants and stay on top of hiring trends.

Creating Diverse and Inclusive Environments

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs can deliver positive business benefits, and HR leaders recognize this. Also, companies are trending toward focusing on their DEI initiatives to improve their company culture which has been shown to enhance talent acquisition. According to the Paychex Pulse of HR Survey, 71 percent of HR professionals said their companies are doing at least one of the following:

  • Offering bias and other DEI-related training
  • Ensuring that vendors and partners have a proven commitment to DEI
  • Making DEI guidelines and documents easily accessible to employees
  • Getting help from an HR or DEI consultant

Beyond aspects such as age, race, and gender, companies may also consider flexible work options and customized benefits as part of their diversity initiatives and ensure they are taking an equitable approach to give all workers a fair chance of doing their best work. Using AI and inclusive technologies may help you weed out bias so that you won't miss out on great talent.

Focusing on the Candidate Experience

Adept businesses that focus on the employee experience know that a great experience starts from the first contact as a potential job candidate. It's a phase of the employee cycle that recruiting teams are prioritizing since this experience often sets the tone for subsequent interactions, should the individual get hired. Whether an individual joins the business or not, the trend of prioritizing the candidate experience provides an opportunity for businesses to gather valuable feedback on the application process, interviews, hiring teams, and the efficiency of the entire process.

Building and Using Referral Programs

Knowing that it takes time and resources to find great talent, having strong employee referral programs can prove worthwhile for businesses that choose to build and leverage them. An employee referral program is a structured set of processes that allow current employees to recommend people they know to help fill open positions within their organization. The programs that are well-organized and implemented consistently in conjunction with a company's overall hiring strategy can be an integral part of finding and maintaining a high-caliber workforce. They can also create a win-win-win scenario: the business gets leads on job candidates for minimal recruiting costs, the employee is incentivized (usually through a bonus or monetary reward) for recommending someone who's brought on board, and the job candidate gets a lead on an open position from someone with a connection to the organization.

Hiring Trends

The future of hiring emphasizes a priority on looking for individuals with a range of skills, your brand's reputation, considering the talent you already have on your team, and benefits and work setups that demonstrate your commitment to employees. Knowing that finding great hires continues to be a challenge for many employers, these trends represent a broad range of approaches businesses can take to bring on and retain motivated and hard-working individuals.

Hiring for Soft Skills

When you're competing for talent in a tough employment market like the one we are in today, evaluate your approach and consider what skills are needed to align with your culture and employer brand, rather than just focusing on the specific job that needs to be filled. For instance, soft skills such as problem-solving, collaboration, and leadership can be more challenging skills to hire for than hard skills that could be learned like accounting, technical support, or cashier processes. A candidate's soft skills can significantly influence their ability to fit in with your culture. Identify some soft skills you want to bring into your organization, knowing you may be able to train a candidate on some of the hard skills required to execute on the job, such as learning your administrative processes and technology platforms.

Emphasizing Employer Branding and Company Values

To recruit and hire the best talent and stand out from the competition, employers may create a candidate experience that is compelling, positive, and distinct. Employees may be looking to join a company aligned with their purpose and values, one that will help deliver meaning in their work. In addition, employees evaluate companies based on their employer brand: what they stand for, how they treat their employees, their company values, opportunities to learn and grow marketable skills, and competitive compensation and benefits.

Tapping into Internal Hires

Looking at your internal talent pools can help fill talent gaps by focusing on upskilling and reskilling current employees to meet changing and future business needs. Often great candidates can be hidden in plain sight when recruitment efforts are focused outside of a company. Intelligent companies are focusing on their future by using internal recruiting as part of their strategic growth.

Providing ongoing opportunities for career development is one of the best benefits your organization can offer employees. It shows your commitment to their career well-being. Today's employees seek opportunities to develop skills that have marketable value both within the future of your business and outside of your employment. Help employees know what future skills are needed for success and provide opportunities to develop their skills sets and career paths to demonstrate you are invested in their growth and development. This will also help you stay abreast of current and impending recruitment and hiring needs to inform your talent acquisition strategy.

Offering Valuable Employee Benefits

Gaining a competitive edge in talent acquisition and retention means that valued and meaningful benefits are now table stakes. According to the Paychex Pulse of HR Survey, organizations largely recognize the role that benefits play in hiring and retention, and have increased the benefits they are offering by an average of 22 percent, compared to what they were offering prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health and retirement benefits, as well as financial and mental health counseling services are a great way to support the physical, emotional and financial well-being of your employees. Rewards and recognition programs, in addition to offering robust learning and development opportunities, can also help employees feel more engaged with your company. Consider conducting regular surveys to gauge which benefits are valued most by your employees, to give your business a competitive edge.

Embracing Remote and Hybrid Work Models

While working remotely became a common operating environment during the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers and employees have determined that it's here to stay — and it's proving worthwhile for business. In fact, the Paychex Pulse of HR Survey found that four in 10 HR leaders with a remote workforce said that remote/hybrid work improves employee emotional/physical/financial well-being, boosts retention, enhances quality of work, and increases productivity. That may be why the number of companies offering remote or hybrid work has increased by 124 percent since before the pandemic, and those offering flexible scheduling have increased by 50 percent.

As a result, the hiring of remote workers continues to place importance on digital hiring trends. Use modern recruiting techniques such as video interviewing, scanning social media channels, and other hiring practices that aren't limited by geographic proximity.

Providing Employee Wellness, Safety, and Support

Another significant hiring trend focuses on employee wellness, safety, and support. Communicating to employees about how you will provide a safe and healthy work environment is critical to bringing on great talent and maintaining a strong workforce. This includes building programs addressing employee work/life balance, mental health, and support for remote workers.

Start 2023 On the Right Foot By Staying Ahead of the Trends

The beginning of the year is a great time to refocus on hiring and recruiting goals, including evaluating work environments, current processes, and other aspects of the employee life cycle. Consider the recruiting and talent acquisition trends mentioned above, which may help you better align your goals as well as provide insights into new approaches to finding and bringing on great talent in 2023 and beyond. Take advantage of hiring services and HR expertise from third-party providers, which together can go a long way toward helping you meet your talent recruitment goals.


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* This content is for educational purposes only, is not intended to provide specific legal advice, and should not be used as a substitute for the legal advice of a qualified attorney or other professional. The information may not reflect the most current legal developments, may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct, or up-to-date.

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