July CandE Pulse Results: A Super-What-the-What?!? World Right Now

It's a topsy-turvy time for recruiting right now.

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Aug 9, 2023

Moody’s downgraded some banks that tanked the markets this week, but corporate earnings have so far been better-than-anticipated. Layoffs continue with the latest being CVS laying off 5,000, but hiring held steady last month in July, with U.S. employers adding 187,000 jobs, while unemployment rate edging down to 3.5%.

And through it all, it continues to be rough for the recruiting industry. Last month I shared in the June CandE pulse results that TA professionals looking for work told me how bad their candidate experiences have been. For those still employed, TA budgets are tight, recruiting teams are leaner, solution providers are struggling and sponsoring less, and conference travel budgets are thinner than ever, or simply nonexistent. These have all impacted Talent Board this year and why we’re no longer running an in-person CandE Awards Conference. Instead, we’ll hold a virtual CandE Awards conference November 1-2, 2023. More information on this soon.

As we mentioned last month, we’ve been conducting benchmark research on candidate experience for 12 years now, and candidate resentment as we measure it is still stubbornly high at nearly 13% in North America and continues to climb in EMEA, APAC, and Latin America. This is the percentage of job candidates who said they would sever their relationship with an employer because of a poor candidate experience.

Also, candidates who are extremely likely to refer others is also still down from two months ago at 26%. And this month, 34% of the candidates so far this year tell us that they haven’t heard back from an employer 1-2+ months after applying, slightly down from June. That’s still a lot of candidates not hearing back.

Ugh. It’s a super-what-the-what?!? world right now.

However, in our latest CandE Community Pulse results for July, the good news is that hiring continues to be stable and reflects the bigger jobs reports the past few months. We had over 100 responses from companies big and small across industries (over 45% this time were 2,500-100,000+ in employee size, and the most represented industries were education, finance & insurance, healthcare, services, technology, hospitality, and manufacturing).

When we asked employers what their current hiring status was, 77% said “we’re hiring,” down slightly from June, but stable over the past five months (see Figure 1). Freezing hiring was down slightly from June, redeploying was up 86%, while laying off was up 300%. Ugh.

All job types being hired for were similar to June, except for professional and management hires, which were up (see Table 1). We also asked employers whether they’ve increased or decreased the size of their recruiting team this month, and for the past two months it’s stayed steady at nearly 70% (see Figure 2). Teams that were increasing in size were up slightly from June, and decreased didn’t change. Unfortunately, there are still many recruiters out of work and we do hope they all find jobs soon.

The job requisition load of up to 30 reqs each per recruiter decreased in July, down 10% from 69% to 63%. For those carrying up to 50 reqs each (83% of all the responses), it was down slightly from June. Of course, we understand that req loads always vary by job type, industry, and employer size, and again the fact that many recruiting teams are leaner these days.

As we’ve done over the past few months, we again highlight how employers rated their own recruiting and candidate experience. When we compare the July CandE Pulse results to June, those companies that felt like they were leading in their recruiting and hiring practices and their candidate experience dropped dramatically by 59% (see Figure 3).

This may be an anomaly based on the different mix of companies that responded in July, so we’ll have to wait and see if this trend continues in August. Those that said they were competing was slightly above June, but those that said they were lagging continues to increase.

Also, according to our July monthly CandE Pulse results, candidate experience again was the #1 recruiting and hiring initiative for those employers that responded and has been at #1 for five of the past eight months. While it may be a high priority, and we agree it should be, it is not easy to deliver and sustain a quality candidate experience.

Screening and interviewing jumped back up to #2, targeted sourcing jump up into the top 5 at #3, as did the application process to #4, and employer branding dropped to #5. Surprisingly again in July, diversity and inclusion has stayed out of the top 5 since May. We’ll have to monitor this over the next few months to see if it’s a continuing trend of deprioritization.

No matter what, recruiting budgets are tighter than ever, but technology investments continue. Recruiting tech is such a big part of recruiting and hiring today for companies big and small across industries. Leveraging new and current technologies to meet key recruiting and hiring priorities are both in the top five ways employers are accomplishing their priorities, and that aligns with the appearance of targeted sourcing and the application process above.

We again like seeing for the past seven months that candidate and employee survey feedback has helped inform employers where recruiting, hiring, and retention improvements need to be made.

While the employers that respond to our CandE Pulse survey each month vary, recruiting and hiring while sustaining a quality candidate experience continues to be a work in progress for many. We’ll keep sharing these key Pulse indicators with everyone each month, while all the monthly insights will be shared within our CandE Community. This is another benefit of participating in our benchmark research and you can learn more about all the benefits here.

Until the next monthly CandE Pulse results update, be safe and well. We wish you all the best in this super-what-the-what?!? world.