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iCIMS January Insights Report: It’s time to get your (hiring) house in order

January 31, 2023
4 min read

Interest rates are up. Unemployment is down. And the stock market keeps bouncing all around. While some may say these are signals of a looming R-word, we can’t be sure which way the economy will tip.

When we dubbed this year the “great reset” in our 2023 workforce report, it wasn’t because we wanted to create the next great buzzword (we see you, rage applying). Instead, we believe it’s time to get your recruiting house in order while so much remains in flux so that you’re ready no matter how the hiring winds blow.

Now is the time for talent and HR leaders to dig into business priorities and build the talent strategies and pipelines needed to ensure success now.  Whether it’s nurturing early career job seekers or creating career pathing programs for employees, deploying these tactics will keep talent engaged if you’re actively hiring or taking a pause.

Here are some highlights from the iCIMS January Workforce Report, which shares labor market trends across industry sectors and provides a glimpse into job seeker behavior and sentiment. Armed with this insight, you’ll be prepared for whatever comes next.


Seasonal slowdown or sign of thetimes?

State of the labor market chart, from iCIMS Insights January 2023 Report

Chart showing platform indicators from January to December 2022.

2022 closed with job openings and hires below January 2022 activity levels. A downturn is not unusual this time of year, but given the macroeconomic situation, there could be more than meets the eye here.

Job applications are also trending downward but have remained up 1% since the start of the year. Nearly one-third of people say they are currently looking for a new job, noting salary as the primary reason.

Is it time to press the reset button on hiring? Our 2023 workforce report gives deep insight into what job seekers want and how to prepare for the road ahead. 


Phoning it in: Are your job applications mobile-friendly?

Career site expectations chart, from iCIMS Insights January 2023 Report
Findings from an iCIMS consumer survey of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted December 2022.

As you build out your recruiting strategy, consider putting “improve candidate experience” at the top of your to-do list. The job application process must be engaging and efficient if employers are to hold today’s candidates’ interest.

Job seekers want more from the hiring process, expecting personalization and that career sites will have smart functionality to match their skills to open roles. They want it to be fast, with the ability to apply for a job in fewer than five minutes. And they expect to be able to apply from their phone.

iCIMS data shows that job seekers are spending less time on career sites, with session duration length tracking about a minute less than at the start of the year.


Get loud with internal mobility efforts

Internal mobility chart, from iCIMS Insights January 2023 Report
Findings from an iCIMS consumer survey of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted December 2022.

Here’s something to make some noise about: If given the option, 65% of people say they would prefer to grow with their current company and either get a promotion or take a new role entirely.

iCIMS data shows that candidates continue to engage longer on internal career portals, spending just over three minutes in job postings and content.

Forget “quiet hiring” (another flavor of the month buzzword for you) — internal mobility and retention strategies must be loud. Make sure employees know your business is invested in their career journey and provide visibility into open roles and opportunities to grow and learn new skills.

As we move into 2023, we can be absolutely sure of one thing — we are never going back to the way things used to be. Establishing a new foundation for the future of work will be critical for business success, no matter which way the hiring market tips.


You can find a full breakdown of labor market activity by sector in the iCIMS January Insights Report.

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About the author

Amy Byrnes

Amy brings a knack for storytelling and strategy to her role at iCIMS. A longtime journalist and marketing consultant, she is on a mission to make her content sparkle with details and clarity.

As an essayist, Amy’s writing has appeared in The Washington Post and Family Circle magazine. When not writing, you can find her going for long hikes in the woods with her goldendoodle, working in her veggie garden or researching her next travel destination – which has included spots like Hong Kong, the Greek islands and Newfoundland.

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