Recruiting and Hiring: Bizarre Cooling

What has been the economy's impact on recruiting and candidate experience?

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Apr 12, 2023

The March jobs report from the Labor Department showed that employers only added 226,000 jobs, down from 326,000 in February. While higher interest rates and a slowing economy take their toll on hiring, the unemployment rate dipped to 3.5% in March from 3.6% in February.

In fact, even with the slowdown and tech continuing to shed people, and the fact that bank failures are still simmering, employers are still adding workers faster than they did in 2019 — the year before the pandemic — when monthly job growth averaged 163,000.

It’s makes me want to sing the 1990’s song by OMC – how bizarre, how bizarre, how bizarre.

Again, can’t we just get a break? Obviously not, and the latest CandE Pulse survey confirms that hiring is definitely cooling. Each month we’ll share some of our key pulse indicators with everyone, while all the monthly insights will be shared within our CandE Community.

In our latest CandE Community Pulse update for March, we had over 100 responses from companies big and small across industries (nearly 50% were 2,500-100,000+ in employee size and the most represented industries were healthcare, technology, services, education, finance & insurance, and manufacturing).

When we asked employers what their current hiring status was, 75% said “we’re hiring,” which is down 11% from February from last month’s CandE Pulse (see Figure 1). 13% said they’re laying off, which is a 63% increase from last month. Those who said they’ve frozen hiring is up 110%. And all job-type hiring is down from January except for entry level hiring (see Table 1).

We again asked employers whether they’ve increased or decreased the size of their recruiting team this month and there’s been no significant change, positive or negative, since last month (see Figure 2). We hope the hit to recruiting teams continues to stabilize. There’s also been no significant changes in job requisition load per recruiter, with 75% of respondents carrying up to 30 reqs each.

Lastly, we’ll again highlight how employers are currently rating their own recruiting and candidate experience. When we compare the March CandE pulse to February, those companies that felt like they were competing in their recruiting and hiring practices and their candidate experience is only slightly down, but compared to our CandE 2022 Benchmark Research, it’s down 37% (see Figure 3).

For those who felt like they were improving, their recruiting and hiring practices and their candidate experience is down from last month, but still up 35% compared to our CandE 2022 Benchmark Research. The bad news is that those who felt they were lagging continues to increase – up 400% compared to our CandE 2022 Benchmark Research.

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 struggle 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.

For now, bizarre cooling is upon us. We continue empathize with those who have been laid off and are willing to be an allied resource where we can be. We hope they find new opportunities soon and that they have a positive and fair candidate experience along the way, too.

According to our March monthly CandE Pulse results, candidate experience is now the #2 recruiting and hiring initiative for those employers that responded (with screening and interviewing moving into #1), so let’s hope transparent communication and feedback loops are delivered to candidates each month.

Until the next monthly CandE Pulse survey update, be safe and well.

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