Where did all the workers go?!
The deficit of workers in the United States is real—in the U.S., we have 3 million fewer Americans working today compared to February of 2020. Post-pandemic, employees have disappeared from their workplaces: taking early retirement, staying home due to lack of childcare, reevaluating their priorities, taking opportunities to work part time, and, in some cases, simply deciding to work less and get along with less income. All of these reasons have led to talent shortages that are forecasted to continue decades into the future, plus the fact that the changing population means fewer people able and willing to work. According to Equalture, based on a United Nations estimate, there are predicted to be 95 million fewer people in the labor force by 2050.
In an attempt to counteract the bleeding of workers, employers are getting creative with how they attract applicants and hopeful new hires. As our team’s senior HR business partner, I’ve noticed several new and interesting hiring trends in 2023 in addition to some of the standard practices of the past. See if any might be helpful for your company as you search for your next new hire!
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Hiring Trends In 2023
Below, I present hiring trends across various categories to help you formulate a comprehensive approach that works best for you.
- Offering higher pay. This trend is a no-brainer—competitive compensation is a must if you’re looking to attract high-caliber talent. Pay transparency is a big piece of this hiring trend, and includes listing salary ranges and additional information in job postings to share as much detail as possible. Millennials and Gen Z hires expect transparency; SHRM studies indicate upwards of 70% of professionals want to hear about salary in a recruiter’s first message.
- Making quick, competitive offers. Employers are making offers quickly and using salary and compensation benchmarking to create offers that stand out from the competition in an effort to be the first to snag in-demand candidates.
Employer-Side Recruitment & Hiring Process
- Paying referral bonuses. Even if a referrer doesn’t work for the company, hiring managers at some companies are agreeing to compensate people who refer a good hire to them.
- Using social media to find candidates. Recruiters I know are trying everything from LinkedIn to Facebook to email to fish for candidates who are actively working, even if they aren’t necessarily seeking out a new job.
- Emphasizing career advancement and development paths. A lack of career advancement is one of the top reasons employees quit. To attract people and avoid losing them once they’re hired, employers are sharing paths for advancement and the ways they support employees’ professional and personal development.
- Utilizing software for recruitment. Hiring managers are increasingly using outbound hiring software like hireEZ and internal applicant tracking systems to manage engagement from as many hiring and recruiting sites as possible.
- Employer branding. Companies are improving their own branding to help attract highly sought-after candidates. Not only are they using the traditional website and LinkedIn profiles, but they’re also sharing glimpses of company culture on platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
- Focusing on recruiting retirees. In addition to making themselves more attractive to younger generations, hiring trends in 2023 show that employers also want to recruit retirees who might be considering coming back to work. The number of older adults in the workforce is expected to grow to 30.7% by 2031; the percentage of workers in the 75-and-older age group is expected to reach 11.1%—up from 8.6% in 2021.
- Offering flexible and remote work options. According to BuildRemote, as of April 2023, 77% of Fortune 100 companies operate on a hybrid work schedule, and 14% of those companies do not require any weekly minimums with regard to in-office hours. My own company, GenesisHR, operates on a hybrid schedule, and I encourage all companies to consider implementing some type of flexible work arrangement based on employee roles, whether it’s fully remote, hybrid, or flexible.
- Offering unlimited PTO.
- Offering generous paid family leave. Note: Your state may have specific laws that regulate what you can or cannot offer in this regard. GenesisHR can help you optimize your PTO and leave plans so they work to the advantage of both your employees and your company’s bottom line.
- Offering extended medical insurance. Basic medical insurance is expected—it’s one of four major types of benefits most employers offer. However, there are branches of medical insurance that have not always been included in benefits offerings, which include the following
- Vision Insurance: Insurance designed to help your employees cover and budget for ongoing vision care expenses like routine eye exams, prescription glasses, and contact lenses.
- Flexible Spending Account (FSA): An FSA (also known as a flexible spending arrangement) is a special account employees put money into that they use to pay for certain out-of-pocket health care costs. Employees don’t pay taxes on this money, which means they save an amount equal to the taxes they would have paid on the money you set aside. As an employer, you may make contributions to your FSA, but you aren’t required to. All FSA contributions must be used in that plan year (use it or lose it).
- Health Savings Account (HSA): An HSA is a savings account that lets employees set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualified medical expenses. Using untaxed dollars in an HSA to pay for deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and some other expenses can lower overall health care costs. An HSA can be used only if employees have a qualified High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). HSA funds roll over from year to year. An HSA may also earn interest, which is not taxable.
- Health Reimbursement Account (HRA): HRAs, sometimes called health reimbursement arrangements, are group health plans funded by you, the employer, from which your employees are reimbursed tax-free for qualified medical expenses up to a fixed dollar amount per year. Unused amounts may be rolled over to be used in subsequent years. Employers fund and own accounts.
- Cancer Insurance: An insurance policy that pays only after cancer has been diagnosed. Cancer insurance is supplemental insurance, and most types pay policyholders a lump sum upon diagnosis with a covered cancer, while others offer supplemental payments for healthcare costs.
- Critical Illness Insurance: Also referred to as critical care insurance or critical illness coverage, it provides a lump-sum cash benefit to help cover expenses associated with a qualifying serious illness.
- Hospital Insurance: A health insurance for hospital costs. The employee must pay a monthly fee for private insurance. Federal or state employees do not.
- Paying for home office setups, including standing desks, ergonomic chairs, and more.
- Paying for wireless internet.
- Paying for cell phones.
- Paying for fitness equipment or classes. In addition to contributing toward gym memberships, it’s also becoming more common for employers to help cover the costs of in-home gym equipment, fitness trackers, fitness classes, and more.
- Paying for night nurses for families with infants or young children.
- Providing vacation stipends.
- Providing legal services. I’m seeing a huge increase in the number of companies that are now providing will and estate planning services as benefits for their employees.
- Providing pet insurance and pet discount programs. Pet insurance helps cover the costs of veterinary treatment in the event of illness or injury. Some policies will also pay out if a pet dies, is lost or stolen, causes injury to a third party, or damages a third party’s property.
- Matching charitable contributions.
- Paying sign-on bonuses.
- Reimbursing tuition. With student debt now at an all-time high, companies that can afford to fully or partially reimburse tuition expenses for their employees stand head and shoulders above their competitors.
- Looking for a culture fit in a hire. Employers and candidates recognize there’s more to finding a good fit than simply matching hard skills to an open position. Potential hires are asking questions about company culture and sometimes excluding employers based on their ethics, morals, and values. Employees are increasingly holding out for job offers at companies whose values match their own.
- Focusing on hiring for soft skills instead of hard skills. Employers are realizing that candidates, specifically younger ones, do not have the level of experience necessary to meet job requirements. Rather than lose a great potential employee, employers are also weighing candidates’ soft skills in areas such as:
- Emotional intelligence
- Showing up for work/consistency
- Gamification and incentivizing people to hit benchmarks. The concept of gamification is rooted in fun and employee engagement. Essentially making a game out of regular work activities. Studies show that this increases employee engagement and also learning.
Want to attract better candidates? Button up your human resource management.
Hiring is an important thing, but it’s not the only important part of your business that requires attention if you want to find—and keep—the best possible hires. A PEO like GenesisHR helps your business by putting you in a better position to offer and smoothly manage the amazing benefits people are looking PEO services offered by GenesisHR include administration of the following:
- Health benefits
- Payroll tax compliance
- Leaves of absence
- Paid time off practices
- Workers’ compensation claims
- Unemployment insurance claims
A PEO contracts with your business to perform these processes, assume associated responsibilities, and provide ready expertise in human resources management. At GenesisHR, we offer a suite of integrated services to effectively manage your critical human resource responsibilities and employer risks as well as offering Fortune 500-benefits you wouldn’t be able to offer otherwise.
This gives you the bandwidth to focus on growing your company, and also gives you the confidence that, as your business grows, the compliance and best practices of hiring, onboarding, and terminating employees is under the guidance of knowledgeable, experienced HR professionals.
We’d love to discuss your needs for the hiring process and beyond. Feel free to reach out anytime—we’d love to meet you!