2023 Hiring Challenges and Projections for Every Industry

Person putting a puzzle piece into a puzzle - indicating finding the right person to hire

The rundown

  • The job market saw a notable slowdown in the second half of 2022 due to fears of a recession. That trend is likely to continue in 2023.
  • As budgets tighten, employers may look for early-career hires to fill open roles and meet the ongoing demand for production.
  • The Great Resignation isn’t over, but it’s far past its peak. Workers are more likely to stay put as they wait to see how the economy will ebb and flow into the next year.

Table of contents

Hiring and Recruitment in 2023: What to Expect

The strong post-pandemic economy has started to slow down, and many industries are feeling the pressure. As economists debate whether we’re already in a recession or on the brink of one, costs of living stay high, inflation continues, and hiring slows. We’re living in a much different world than we did this time last year.

A few industries, including tech, have been hard hit by the economic slowdown and the result has been significant layoffs. Meanwhile, though the Great Resignation hasn’t been declared over and done with, it’s stalled. More workers are opting to stay put and see how the job market plays out in 2023.

What’s Coming Next

For recruiting professionals, what to expect in 2023 is tough to pin down. What’s certain is that a conservative approach is likely to win out in most industries. Smart tactics like seeking more entry-level hires, promoting from within, and upskilling current employees will continue to be as important as they were in the face of a labor shortage last year.

K12 education

Many schools across the country reported fears of teacher and support staff shortages at the start of this school year. Filling these roles has proven to be challenging and burnout following the pandemic has plagued K12 districts. K12 admins are finding creative ways to recruit teachers, with many using technology to hire quickly and efficiently. For example, the East Baton Rouge Parish School System screens all incoming candidates with video interviews. Still, retention and support staffing remain top priorities for many administrators.

Projection: Promising data shows that the worst of the education crisis might be behind us, but concerns remain. Keeping teachers and support staff happy and fulfilled in their jobs going into 2023 will be crucial. Retention programs, improved benefits, and career development opportunities should help. Future-thinking school districts are ideating ways to engage their students and help foster a future passion for teaching. Looking ahead, the decline in enrollment in teacher preparation programs bodes a future crisis.

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Higher education

Colleges and universities are getting the hint from mainstream chatter. Higher degrees are becoming prohibitively expensive, and a fancy alma mater isn’t as important as a steady income. Many institutions are lowering tuition to really drive their point home. These functional changes, combined with lower enrollment, mean a tightening of purse strings for many. The continued resignation and migration of staff from colleges and universities combined with smaller hiring budgets will make it harder for learning institutions to find quality professors and administrators.

Projection: With the increased focus on digital learning and remote work, higher education institutions that pivot and allow their employees more flexibility will find more hiring success. Colleges and universities can ensure they will have quality professors by offering more support for professors up for tenure, mentoring opportunities for doctoral students, and increased scheduling flexibility.


In a recent study from Gartner, 54% of chief financial officers ranked hiring and retaining staff as the most difficult challenge they will face next year. This sector saw layoffs early on in the pandemic, and they appear to be feeling the lingering effects nearly three years later. Cutting costs and keeping abreast of wider economic developments remain top concerns. But, leaders in finance are acutely aware that having the right talent can help them approach a possible recession with as much resilience as possible.

Projection: Flexibility will remain key in attracting applicants and keeping staff happy. Even if a hiring slowdown becomes prudent, selective screening will be essential to ensuring that any new hires made are employees that will last. Staying ahead of competitors and reaching candidates from all over the map is one way to get a leg up on this persistent challenge.

Staffing and Recruiting

Unfortunately, recruiters in some areas have been affected by layoffs in the latter half of 2022—particularly in tech. When hiring slows, recruiting budgets shrink. After a booming period of growth for these professionals over the last two years, there might be a painful slowdown. However, innovative recruiters can still make themselves indispensable in 2023 as many employers still seek to close gaps from the lingering labor shortage.

Projection: When asked to be more effective with fewer resources in the coming year, staffing professionals should lean on technology. Recruiting tools like interview schedulers, on-demand video screenings, and remote interviews help accelerate time to placement and minimize cost per hire. It’s a good way to make the most of a tight labor market without sacrificing quality hires.


The election year is behind us and the current federal budget includes funding boosts for most federal agencies this year. Many expect to spend some of that budget on increased hiring. The Biden administration plans to add a total of 82,000 federal employees next year. Which will bring federal employment numbers to their highest total in more than 50 years.

Projection: This surge in government hiring requires a focused, aggressive recruitment strategy. It should help that hiring has slowed in the private sector. Public-sector jobs offer notable security for employees who want to stay put in a potentially tough economy. Leveraging benefits like remote work, in addition to job stability, will help entice new applicants. Additionally, targeted, tailored recruiting strategies and interviews help streamline the hiring process and promote a great candidate experience.


It isn’t news anymore, but staffing is the greatest challenge of healthcare practices as we head into the new year. Physician and nurse burnout rates don’t show signs of abating – a major issue for healthcare turnover. While many organizations have adapted and improved operations with staff shortages since the height of the pandemic, many roles remain unfilled. Businesses—and, more importantly, the quality of care provided to patients—continue to suffer.

Projection: This is one industry that is still hungry for talent in the current market, and turnover remains frustratingly high for many employers. Rather than waste time screening dozens of applicants only to move forward with a select few, recruiters can optimize operations by enabling self-service video interviews and scheduling tools, expanding their reach to new geographies, and more. Moving forward, the best recruitment strategies will have a laser focus on retention and benefits.


Natural disasters, rising premiums, and challenging inroads for new entrants have posed challenges for insurers in 2022, but an increased focus on innovation and transformation will help carry many of them into the future. For many teams, this has meant an increased focus on hiring, developing, and retaining the best candidates for each role. As risks continue to evolve, maintaining these strategies will help provide an edge.

Projection: The beloved trio of people, process, and technology will truly come into focus with insurers in the years ahead. Smart, thoughtful processes will ensure resilience and agility in an uncertain economic climate and provide essential products to customers. The right technology can help calculate and leverage data insights. And bringing in the right people to manage it all ensures a good, future-proof strategy in this rapidly evolving space on the cusp of economic and social issues ranging from inflation to supply chains to climate change.


According to Deloitte’s current report, “despite a record level of new hires, job openings are still hovering near all-time highs.” The perfect storm of workforce shortages, supply chain issues, and inflation continues to plague manufacturing. One plus side? The increased pressure to examine technological transformation and increased social responsibility are encouraging operational improvements in many sectors.

Projection: Voluntary separations of workers outpace layoffs and termination when it comes to worker attrition for manufacturers. Which means retention is the name of the game for these employers in 2023. Training current employees to enable internal promotions and hires has been a successful strategy for many companies. Upskilling and reskilling are trends which are likely to continue into the new year. Taking advantage of slowed hiring in other industries may also make attracting new talent more attainable for savvy recruiters.


Consumer spending is likely to slow going into 2023, as customers remain cautious over inflation and cost-of-living increases. However, demand remains high in many areas, and an ongoing worker shortage complicates matters for retailers. Many analysts predict that quality and value will be more important to consumers in the new year, so sellers should be mindful of how they position their offerings to customers.

Projection: Automation is more than a buzzword in the retail space. Companies seek to adapt to staffing shortages and pressure to minimize costs. But it isn’t always a matter of “hiring” a robot instead of a human—often, it’s automating away tedious processes that distract existing talent from the ability to do their best work. Corporate tasks like recruiting are ripe for this kind of technology. And leveraging more of it can help attract and retain talent who want to be truly effective at work.


The tech world is abuzz with grim news coming out of 2022, including large-scale layoffs and poor performance in the stock market. There is consensus that many companies in the technology sector adopted overly ambitious hiring and growth strategies over the last couple of years, and are now correcting ahead of a possible recession.

Projection: Plenty of talented professionals are in the job market for tech roles right now following layoffs. But most of them won’t take just anything after coming from household brands with generous, flexible benefits. Labor participation is low, indicating that workers are opting out of the corporate world until circumstances change. Recruiters in technology should be prepared to work efficiently, put their best foot forward, and showcase what makes their companies unique, welcoming, and secure.

Final thoughts

Coming out of a pandemic and its resulting global disruption is bound to leave some bumps and bruises, and today’s economic landscape is certainly showing them. As consumers contend with rising costs, inflation, and uncertain job security, ripple effects are taking place across industries. Still, demand for top talent remains as employers continue fighting to fill skills gaps widened by the Great Resignation of the last two years.

Recruiters who work smarter, not harder, will have an advantage in 2023. Whether a recession does hit and tighten budgets even further, or economic recovery triggers another surge of demand for new talent.

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