Despite ongoing economic uncertainty, the job market in the U.S. continues to beat expectations. U.S. employers added a robust 1.67 million jobs in the first half of 2023.
Employers who cautiously started the year anticipating a looming recession are gradually shifting their perspective. Nearly 45% now believe that the expected economic downturn has either already taken place or is currently unfolding.3
For most companies, the priority of preserving their workforce takes precedence over any uncertainties surrounding the robustness of the economy. More than half of U.S. employers anticipate increased hiring in the second half of 2023.27 At the same time, 72 percent expect to bring in more contract staff, highlighting how employers continue to rely on contingent workers as a flexible way to scale their operations.
Several strategies are emerging as best practices to help employers balance the challenges of a tight labor market against economic uncertainty. These include:
- Risk mitigation with more flexible and scalable productivity solutions
- Expanding talent pools to attract more diverse talent
- An emphasis on employee retention and skill development
- Evaluating AI’s place in the workforce.
Emphasizing Employee Retention and Skill Development/Hoarding
Expectations are that if there is a downturn, it will be brief, so forward-thinking companies are focused on retaining or recruiting top employees to ensure they maintain or build the essential skills and knowledge needed to grow through any economy.
Despite Headlines, Layoffs Are Flat and Quits Are Up
Compared to Historic Levels.3
plan to strengthen organizational culture to retain talent.20
Risk Mitigation with More Flexible and Scalable Productivity Solutions
For many companies, navigating changing times begins with hiring a flexible workforce. 72% of employers expect to add contract staff.27 The contingent workforce is projected to grow 26% in North America in 202321, and by 2050, it is predicted that up to 50 percent of the U.S. workforce could become contingent.27
The Contingent Workforce Is Projected to Grow 26% in North America in 2023.21
58 million already self-identify as Independent Workers.22
Expanding Talent Pools to Attract More Diverse Talent
The labor market remains very tight, and finding workers with the right skills presents an ongoing challenge. Many employers are successfully expanding their talent pools by opening jobs to a more diverse group of nontraditional candidates.
76% of employees view workforce diversity as a key factor in their decision to remain in a role.23
Companies with more women in leadership positions have been shown to perform better financially, have higher levels of employee engagement and job satisfaction, and show signs of more innovation.24
Evaluating AI’s Place in the Workforce
Recent advances in generative artificial intelligence (AI) highlight the potential for AI to make workforces and the talent acquisition process more efficient. While there are still significant barriers such as a tendency to produce incorrect results or hallucinations, as well the challenges with keeping bias out of the underlying data models, business leaders are beginning to evaluate the future potential of AI for their businesses.
2/3 of adults would not want to apply for a job where AI is used to help make hiring decisions.30
46% of CEOs have hired additional workers because of AI, and 26% plan to hire in the coming months.31
84% of organizations view Responsible AI (RAI) as a top management issue, but less than a quarter have implemented an RAI program.28
Attracting Quality Candidates
48% of employers say that failure to find the right workers is the biggest risk to hitting their growth targets7, and 52% of employed workers are NOT actively seeking new opportunities.1
Job seekers say that a slow hiring process is the top reason they lose interest in a potential employer leading to increased ghosting and the loss of an employer’s preferred candidate.2
Voluntary turnover remains 20% higher than pre-pandemic3 levels with more than 4 million people quitting each month.
Labor is often one of the biggest costs of doing business and labor expense is up 4.5% year over year.3
Better Agency Partnerships and Customer Service
Customers report 3 times faster hiring and better results when working with AppleOne.8