June CandE Pulse Article: Enough With Doing More With Less

Discover the latest insights from the June CandE Pulse research on hiring trends, recruitment challenges, and the technologies helping employers stay ahead.

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Jul 9, 2024

Since January of this year, our monthly CandE Pulse research has shown a steady trend of increased hiring among the companies that participate in our surveys (see figure below). Layoffs were the lowest in June over the past six months. While a different mix of employers each month, these are still trends we want to see and continue the narrative of a resilient employment outlook.

CandE Pulse Hiring Status


When we look at hiring another way via our annual CandE Benchmark data, hiring has been more robust this year than last, or at the very least, the percentage of offers and offers accepted are higher this year (we are still collecting 2024 data through the end of August):

Of the hourly candidates who completed the interview process in 2024, 58% said they received an offer of employment, and 94% said they accepted. In 2023, 53% said they received an offer of employment, and 93% said they accepted.

Of the professional candidates who completed the interview process in 2024, 50% said they received an offer of employment, and 95% said they accepted. In 2023, 45% said they received an offer of employment, and 92% said they accepted.

Of the management and senior leadership candidates who completed the interview process in 2024, 40% said they received an offer of employment, and 91% said they accepted. In 2023, 36% said they received an offer of employment, and 92% said they accepted.

Granted, it’s not the same companies and candidates each year, and how companies screen and interview candidates can and do vary year after year across industries. Plus, it’s been a tougher candidate market, and fewer jobs are available, which might account for some of the overall uptick.

Is hiring truly trending net-positive, then? Our CandE Pulse picture is a smaller snapshot of companies hiring across industries like healthcare, government (public sector), manufacturing, finance and insurance, technology, construction, and many others. In our latest CandE Pulse research from June, with over 100 responses, healthcare is resoundingly where the most hiring is happening.

However, according to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, hiring overall is actually slowing, albeit slowly – employment increased by 206,000 in June, which was strong. Still, the April and May job numbers were revised down dramatically. June job gains occurred in government, health care, social assistance, and construction. Also, the unemployment rate is still historically low at 4.1%, and the number of unemployed people, at 6.8 million, changed little in June, but these are both higher than a year earlier when the jobless rate was 3.6%, and the number of unemployed people was 6.0 million.

Wages continued to rise in June, with average hourly earnings up 3.9% from the year before. That’s still higher than pre-pandemic and still outpacing inflation, which was 3.3% as of May. Because unemployment is still so low, employers must offer higher wages to secure skilled workers. That’s good for skilled workers looking for work, but for those unemployed long-term (those who are jobless for 27 weeks or more), finding a job will only get harder. That’s why if inflation continues to decrease, and if we get one, or even better, two Fed rate cuts before the end of the year, that will help the unemployed and employed.

So, yes, hiring is still strong and competitive but slowing. We’re hearing that TA leadership hiring has increased again, which is excellent news. If that’s true, it may reverse the trend we’re seeing in recruiting team size. But the trend lines since January show teams are slowly getting leaner, not increasing (see figure below). The recruiting team growth that did happen in June compared to May came from healthcare, manufacturing, construction, finance & insurance, and technology (yes, technology).

Recruiting Team Size

Maybe it’s still about employers keeping recruiting costs lower, even if hiring is strong. When we look at the trend line with the overall recruiting budget, it’s close to being flat since January, if not a little weighted south through June (see figure below). The recruiting budget growth that did happen in June came from healthcare, manufacturing, construction, food & beverages, hospitality, services, and technology (yes, again, technology).

Recruiting Budget

As we do each year in our benchmark research, and now monthly in our CandE Pulse surveys, we again highlight how employers self-rate their own recruiting and candidate experience and whether or not they are leading, competing, improving, or lagging. Will those who said they were competing or improving increase or decrease from May? The trend lines are clear – since January, both have decreased (see figure below).

However, of the over 100 responses in June, those who said they were leading increased 36% from May, and the overall trend line from January has increased through June. The biggest industry representation in our CandE Survey that stated they were leading was healthcare and government (public sector).

Yes, these are self-ratings and subjective, and the mix of employers each month is different, but we define them. Still, we prefer employer confidence in competing and leading to remain stable or increase. Of course, there’s constant volatility, and the proof is always in the candidate experience ratings themselves.

Self-Rating Recruiting and Candidate Experience


So, after everything we saw over the past six months, what were June’s recruiting priorities? We’ve asked our CandE Community and beyond this in our CandE Pulse surveys since January 2023. Since last December, screening and interviewing have been the number one CandE Pulse recruiting priority through May. In June, it’s the application process, with screening and interviewing dropping to #2. The application process is something we see pop in and out of the top 5, most likely aligning with responding employers implementing and/or optimizing their ATSs and careers sites.

Again, it’s always great to see “candidate experience” in the top 5, dropping to #4 in June, and pre-boarding / onboarding dropped to #3 in June. Employee referrals round out the top 5 this time, and anecdotally, we continue to hear companies reinvesting in their referral programs with or without incentives.

Top 5 Recruiting and Hiring Priorities

As always, this is only the partial list of what we ask, and it’s clear that priorities can change. A lot. Every single month. Granted, it’s a different mix of employers responding to these surveys each month, but it’s still a sample set of current priorities. Our June CandE Pulse survey represented over 100 responses. 68% were 500-100,000+ in total employee size, with 47% having over 2,500 in total employee size. The top industries in May were healthcare, government (public sector), manufacturing, finance & insurance, technology, construction, hospitality, and many others.

In addition to asking what employers’ priorities are month after month, we also ask them how they will get all the work done (see figure below). Out of the top five monthly, the most regularly recurring one is always “Improving Processes.” This makes sense since it is where companies should tackle priority improvement and implementation first and foremost. The next regularly recurring activities in June were current staffing (#2) and current technologies (#3). This follows the theme of leaner teams and optimizing technology systems.

Candidate/employee experience survey feedback was #4 in June. Whether gathering continuous feedback from candidates and/or participating in our benchmark program, companies that analyze and act on this data can create a competitive edge in a continuing volatile marketplace. Employers need accurate and timely feedback data to improve their processes, including participating in our annual CandE Benchmark Research Program and considering investing in continuous candidate experience feedback with our survey partner, Survale.

Flexible work schedules (virtual/hybrid) rounded out the top five, something TA teams had implemented for many years before the pandemic. However, the battle over return-to-the-office mandates has also contributed to the reduction of TA teams.

Top 5 Ways to Get It All Done

Recruiting Technologies That Help

Recruiting technologies are a big part of getting things done in TA today. Since March, we’ve asked the following question: What recruiting technology systems are employers using that help them the most with their candidate communications, scheduling, and feedback (including email, texting, messaging, etc.)?

Recruiting technologies that help employers with candidate communications, scheduling, and feedback are critical to recruiting and hiring, and in June, the top 10 included (with many ties):

  1. Workday Recruiting
  2. Teams/Zoom/Google Meet/Slack
  3. Dayforce, Oracle (Taleo)
  4. BambooHR, SmartRecruiters
  5. SAP SuccessFactors
  6. iCIMS
  7. Gem, HireEZ, Handshake, Yello
  8. Avature,, Goodtime
  9. Greenhouse, HireVue
  10. Employ (Jobvite, Lever, JazzHR), Survale

When we filter the data by those who said they were competing and leading in their recruiting and candidate experience delivery, the top 10 shifts a bit, but includes many of the same providers:

  1. Workday Recruiting
  2. Teams/Zoom/Google Meet/Slack
  3. Oracle (Taleo)
  4. BambooHR
  5. Dayforce
  6. SmartRecruiters
  7. SAP SuccessFactors
  8., Gem, Goodtime
  9. Greenhouse, Employ (Jobvite, Lever, JazzHR)
  10. Handshake, Survale

It’s important to note that this is based on those employers who responded and will respond going forward, and results will vary each month. We can’t tie these self-assessed results to our candidate benchmark ratings, at least not yet. As we’ve stated previously, we’ll start tracking that in 2025.

Overall, our June CandE Pulse results continue to show fluctuating resilience in recruiting and hiring, even with the recruiting teams and budgets trending down since January. It will be interesting to see what happens in Q3 and Q4 because there’s still much of 2024 recruiting and hiring ahead of us. Anecdotally, many in our CandE community continue to be cautiously optimistic for a stronger second half of 2024 (if inflation comes down, rates are cut, and we all survive this year’s election cycle). We just started capturing data for our July CandE Pulse results, so you can jump right in and answer the survey here.

But enough about doing more with less because no matter how sophisticated our recruiting technologies get, with or without AI, or what the global-to-local economies look like, we still need humans to manage recruiting and hiring (and employee development and retention). Talent acquisition is one of the most important functions of a business, especially for high-growth companies across industries and for global midsize to enterprise employers.