There have been plenty of headlines nail biting about how inflation, a possible recession, and higher interest rates will affect job seekers in 2023, but a new survey of staffing and recruitment professionals predicts a strong job market in the year ahead.
As the dust settles from the great resignation, Glider AI – a platform helping staffing professionals validate and hire qualified talent at scale – predicts that job openings are expected to remain high, even for tech positions. According to its 2023 Recruiting Trends survey, staffing professionals at leading companies are optimistic about their hiring plans and anticipate a strong demand for top talent in the months ahead.
“The data about layoffs is historically low, as shared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the layoffs at big tech reflect over hiring during a post-pandemic boom. The layoffs also show big techs refocus on a need for different skill sets based on new investment in AI,” Joseph Cole, VP of marketing at Glider AI.
“This doesn’t mean the job market will not cool or isn’t softening, but companies are still hiring, and this is supported by the healthy job pipeline from this recruiting and hiring audience.”
IS THE EMPLOYMENT GLASS HALF FULL OR HALF EMPTY?
Glider AI’s report paints a rosier picture than a lot of the headlines we’ve read about in the news or reported on ourselves. In November, Universum predicted that 2023 would be a year of rebalancing as talent demand softens and employers take back some of the perks offered the year before to compete for top employees. “Given the likely reduction in hiring and increased pressure on company resources in the coming year, we expect a return to more balanced employment deals, where what you ‘get’ as an employee is more evenly balanced against what you’re expected to ‘give’,” Universum CEO Mats Röjdmark said at the time.
Meanwhile, a series of high-profile tech layoffs (some 60,000 last month alone) had business schools scrambling to attract them to their MBA or other graduate programs. Northwestern Kellogg, Dartmouth Tuck, MIT Sloan, UC-Berkeley Haas and others offered a slew of concessions to laid off tech workers from GMAT/GRE test waivers, to extending admission deadlines, to waiving application fees.
According to Glider AI’s own report, layoffs.fyi tracked 143,000 job losses in the tech sector in 2022, but some of that can be attributed to rightsizing after a decade of hyper growth. While layoffs at tech giants like Facebook, Twitter, Salesforce, and Amazon grab headlines, tech workers are still in demand overall.
“The majority of open roles remain technical in nature. The demand for highly qualified technical and IT talent in the market persists, even in 2023,” Glider AI states.
2022: A LOOK BACK
Glider AI surveyed 130 staffing, recruitment, and HR professionals at the end of last year. Most of the respondents (65.1%) came from staffing firms, followed by enterprise buyers (9.3%), tech HR leaders (7%), independent recruiters (4.7%) and managed services providers (4.7%). The vast majority of respondents were optimistic about their staffing plans, despite dire headlines of late.
The report notes that 2022 was a year of continued growth in the employment market, despite the challenges. Some 4.4 million jobs were added in 2022, and unemployment remained low, fluctuating between 3.5 and 3.7%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The high demand for talent put candidates in the driver’s seat, but also led to “an explosion of candidate fraud,” with many individuals misrepresenting their qualifications and experience, the report stated. Talent quality remained a key hiring and retention challenge for employers.
RECRUITMENT TRENDS FOR 2023
Some decidedly good news for recent graduates facing a more uncertain job market: 58.6% of surveyed staffing and recruitment professionals reported that they expected a stronger job pipeline and/or headcount for open positions compared to 2022. Some 28.3% expected it to be about the same while 13.1% expected it to be worse than last year.
Survey participants will continue to focus on full-time hiring in 2023, but economic uncertainty and changing dynamics such as remote work is creating a growing trend towards hiring on a contingent or contractor basis. Some 79% of respondents say they plan to hire full-time and permanent positions, while 57% will utilize contractors and 50% will hire on contingency. Two percent of respondents will outsource recruitment processes to a third party.
TECH ROLES STILL IN HIGH DEMAND
So, what kind of jobs are employers looking for? According to the survey, employers are still looking to hire for technical roles.
In fact, 68% of hiring professionals said filling technical roles will be a high priority in 2023. Another 20% said it would be somewhat of a priority while just 10% said it would be a low priority. Meanwhile, just 34% of respondents said hiring for non-technical roles will be a high priority, compared to 45% saying it would be a medium priority, 15% saying it would be a low priority and 5% saying it would be a low priority.
“By far, technical skills across programming languages like Java, Service Now, and Salesforce; and expertise in full-stack development, AI, and data science are in very high demand. Non-tech skills, like healthcare (specifically nursing) and light industrial continue to be in very high demand for employees,” Cole tells Poets&Quants.
Data from Glider AI showed that talent quality remained a key challenge for all parties involved in the hiring process. “Accounts of candidate fraud or misrepresentation of skills have grown since the pandemic, necessitating skill tests and assessments to validate competency in remote / virtual settings,” the report says.
In fact, 66% of respondents said validating skill and fit will be a major priority for them in 2023 while another 32% said it was a medium priority. As far as upskilling the talent pool, 50% said it was a high priority, 33% a medium priority, 15% a low priority, and just 2% said it wasn’t a priority at all.
“For technical roles, many employers will use online skill tests like what Glider AI offers. With Glider, our skill tests can evaluate proficiency or fluency across 250-plus programming languages and expertise for hundreds of non-technical roles, like call center professionals, Amazon logistics managers, sales, etc.,” Cole says.
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