From the rise of remote work to AI disrupting the job market, find out what hiring experts are saying about the biggest challenges and best strategies for hiring in 2023.

If you’re looking to attract top talent in 2023 you’ve probably already realized that we aren’t in Kansas anymore. We’re seeing significant changes in how employers recruit and retain talent, with the focus shifting away from long-term employment commitments to more contract-to-hire arrangements. 

But is this the right direction? 

Many experts seem to believe that fostering employment tenure and promoting from within needs to be a critical area of focus to keep hiring costs down and attract new talent. While tools and AI seem to be useful, they aren’t the solution. 

To shed more light on the hiring landscape, we spoke with eight HR and hiring experts. Their answers show how employers must rethink their hiring approach to remain relevant.

The experts chimed in on:

  • The biggest hiring change for 2023
  • How recruiting will change to help us fill roles
  • The importance of DEI
  • AI hiring tools and other digital tools
  • Renewed focus on the candidate experience.

Let’s take a look:

Q: What’s the biggest hiring change coming in 2023?

hiring challenges and strategies

Our experts predict several changes in hiring in 2023, these include the rise of short-term hires, the need for internal mobility as a retention tool, the increasing importance of soft skills in candidate evaluation, and obviously the rise of AI in recruiting.

The competition for talent will remain fierce, and employers will need to show a path for advancement that starts on day one. Remote work will continue to be a point of contention between companies, and a slowdown in hiring is expected.

Smaller organizations may not take full advantage of the newly available workforce due to the economic headwinds we’re all facing.

Short-Term Hires

Alison Hunter of Select Software Reviews:

We’re in the process of a decades-long cultural shift in perspective about employment tenure. 2023 will see a big change in how we factor longevity into hiring. This year’s criteria will make room for the candidate who is both a good hire and likely to leave the company just a year or two after joining. 

Here’s why:

  1. Without long-term incentives like pensions, employees aren’t incentivized to commit to decades-long company loyalty. For many, the decade clock has been replaced with the vesting clock, which moves at about twice the pace.  
  2. The impact of the Big Quit [great resignation] was massive and far-reaching. Notably, employees are emboldened and more likely to assume that life and employment satisfaction are unalienable rights, and they’ll pack up their desks to go find those rights. 
  3. Contract-to-hire is becoming more popular. The “dating” period before the “I do” and  W4 ceremony benefits both employers and employees. It also normalizes a culture where short-lived commitments are not seen as a failure.

It‘s possible that the classic interview question, “Where do you see yourself in five years” will give way to, “What are you super interested in doing right now?” 

To combat the new normal of a “revolving door” labor market, companies must focus on making internal mobility a reality. Think of internal mobility as a recruiting and retention tool.

More Advancement

Sean Segal, Co-Founder and CEO, Escalate:

The labor market has changed! The great resignation was part of a broader shift. Baby Boomer retirements have accelerated, and the competition for talent will continue to be fierce. At the same time, younger workers are questioning the value of higher ed. They want jobs with mobility that don’t require a degree. Employers will need to show new employees a path for advancement that starts on day one if they want to be competitive.

Less Hiring

Rachel Lyubovitzky, CEO, Setuply:

We’re looking at one of the biggest slowdowns in hiring in a decade. Mid/large organizations will continue rounds of layoffs. Smaller organizations struggling with access to funds won’t take full advantage of the newly available workforce. That said, as the economy slowly starts to recover, we may see an upswing in hiring in the second half of the year.


Bas van de Haterd, Consultant at Digitaal-Werven:

I think 2023 will be the first year we genuinely see the use of AI in recruiting — and see it as AI. With the advent of ChatGPT, AI will no longer be some black box where nobody really knows if we’re using it or understands the impact of the technology.

We’ll see some massive changes including lots of content creation (overflow of mediocre content) and an increase in the quality of job descriptions (as it was, that bar was really low).

Internal Mobility

Brian Fink of Talent Acquisition Partners:

I think 2023 will be the year that a lot of companies focus on making internal mobility a reality. While there are macroeconomic trends compelling companies to reduce headcount by 5%-7%, there needs to be a reason for people to stick around, and that has to start with mobility within the organization.

Internal mobility makes the employee experience better, supports career agility by moving employees into new roles, projects, tasks, and even coaching opportunities so they can grow more agile as people and team members. Think of internal mobility as a recruiting and retention tool.

Remote Work

Dean Da Costa, Enterprise Sourcing Practice Lead, Lockheed Martin

The biggest hiring change in 2023 will continue to be the fight between companies to allow remote work and those who will not.

Soft Skills on the Rise

Jackie Plunkett, HR Expert, HR Morning:

Hot jobs have shifted and requirements have as well. Candidates will be evaluated more on soft skills than educational background and even direct experience in some cases.  Based on the current climate, I believe there will be fewer newer jobs in 2023.

Q: How will recruiting change? How will we best overcome increased difficulty in filling roles?

hiring challenges and strategies

Companies are becoming more conservative in their recruiting efforts and will rely more heavily on internal mobility, and outsourced “gig” and offshore workforce forces. Automation, AI, and other RPA technologies will continue, but they won’t replace humanizing the process with empathy.

To stand out and attract top talent, companies need to offer a streamlined, flexible recruiting process and prioritize the candidate experience over pedigree. Additionally, researching for skills that aren’t easily found via technology, social media, and traditional networking will continue to be crucial to attract key talent.

Internal Mobility

Sean Segal, Co-Founder and CEO, Escalate:

Internal mobility will become increasingly important. As automation increases, some roles will be eliminated. At the same time, there will be an increase in middle-skill jobs that require some knowledge of tech. That is an opportunity! The smartest companies will realize that investing in the talent they have is far more cost-effective than competing for the small number of computer science grads each year.

Focus on Empathy

Alison Hunter of Select Software Reviews:

2023 is clearly going to see more AI involvement than ever before, but that won’t be the key to filling difficult roles. The solution there is old-fashioned empathy. 

We can overcome hiring difficulties by cultivating a holistic understanding of our candidates. Empathy and perspective-taking will uncover the needs you must address to attract and keep top talent. 

Research and identify the most appealing intangibles sought by your talent pool and include them in your offering. This will ease hiring difficulty in two ways. First, candidates who are presented with holistic compensation that addresses their needs are more likely to join. Second, by empathetically anticipating their needs, you open the employee journey with an air of trust, and this is critical for continued engagement.

Outsourcing and AI

Rachel Lyubovitzky, CEO, Setuply:

Companies will become more conservative in their recruiting efforts and budgets. Recruiting commissions are likely to decrease or stay at the same levels as the prior year. Employers will start to rely more heavily on outsourced “gig” and offshore workforce. They’ll also invest more heavily in technology automation, AI, and other RPA technologies.

Humanize and Flexibility

Bas van de Haterd, Consultant at Digitaal-Werven:

There are major differences between the U.S. and most of continental Europe. As a Dutchman, I’ve been surprised at what the Americans call “the great resignation,” as this is nothing we hadn’t seen in the past decades. We’ve had labor market shortages for ages, although never as extreme as now, since retirements are truly taking their toll.

The way you deal with shortages is by treating people like humans. Give them flexibility, both in the hours they want to work and the locations they want to work from. Give them the tools to do their job well and the autonomy to do it as they see fit. The other aspect of this is looking at talent rather than credentials. We’ve seen many great examples where degrees have been replaced with aptitude tests and the quality of hires increased while the talent pools widened.

Smoother Hiring Experience

Brian Fink of Talent Acquisition Partners:

These are really two different questions. Let me start by being Captain Obvious and say that recruiting is always changing. I think that’s what attracts great recruiters to this career. Those recruiters who can adapt will ride the waves of change and help their organizations grow by enhancing candidate experience and employer branding while simultaneously eliminating inefficiencies in the hiring process.

Eliminating those inefficiencies means recruiters will also have to lean into data and really be able to tell a cohesive, fact-based story about the market for talent and its availability.

Expand Research Efforts

Dean Da Costa, Enterprise Sourcing Practice Lead, Lockheed Martin

In 2023, recruiters will do more research to find the people and things that aren’t easily found, as companies realize LinkedIn is not the answer. It takes a true hunter to put all the available data together to find the diamonds in the rough.

Professional Networking

Jackie Plunkett, HR Expert, HR Morning:

Not as many people are combing jobs sites as they used to, and the pricing has gone up despite the lack of resumes rolling in. Professional networking is important to fill roles in 2023. Many companies are looking at 2023 as a year of mostly replacement hires, or filling roles to add revenue.

Streamline Process

Dr. Kyle Elliott, founder and career coach,

I envision organizations streamlining the recruiting process in order to prioritize the candidate experience. Companies with unnecessarily lengthy, complicated, or labor-intensive recruiting processes will lose talent to competitors that have thoughtfully updated and optimized their recruiting processes.

One strategy to attract top talent in today’s labor market is to make it as simple, streamlined, and candidate-focused as possible.

Q: How important is DEI and will it change?

hiring challenges and strategies

Sean Segal, Co-Founder and CEO, Escalate:

Candidates will vote with their acceptance/rejections of offers. Candidates don’t want to work at companies where diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is not a focus. They want to work at companies where they see diverse leadership and actions that demonstrate a commitment to DEI. Companies that don’t have this won’t attract talent.

Alison Hunter of Select Software Reviews:

The momentum of DEI programs demands improved implementation and increased understanding. Among other advances, each year, our collective understanding around one crucial truth grows:

The benefits of DEI implementation impact everyone. 

The outcome of successful DEI programs does more than benefit power-marginalized groups. It does more than promote equity in the workplace. The inclusion of diverse perspectives improves entire institutions and the products and services they provide. 

Companies must respond by keeping up the momentum to achieve the largest impact possible because this work impacts all of us. 

Rachel Lyubovitzky, CEO, Setuply:

DEI will continue to be incorporated in hiring decisions, but employers may become less flexible about work flex/remote work arrangements.

Bas van de Haterd, Consultant at Digitaal-Werven:

If you want to go fast, you need a team that agrees. If you want to go far, you need a team that makes the right decision. DEI is the driver to making the right decision.

We’ve known for ages that diverse teams deliver better results when it comes to innovations (measured in patents). But after the great recession, research has shown that those that didn’t discriminate against applications had a 40% higher chance of not going bankrupt.

Diversity matters, on all scales. Ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, and neurodiversity won’t help us if there’s no equity and inclusion. Having a different voice in the room is useless if you don’t listen to it.

Brian Fink, Partner, Talent Acquisition Partners:

We can’t underestimate the importance of DEI. There’s still a lot of work to do, and we have to focus on so many big ideas to continue to do this important work. While the events of 2020 put a spotlight on just how bad most organizations are at building impactful DEI efforts, progress is slow because most of us still don’t realize it’s a journey.

Companies are patting themselves on the back for promoting diversity, but they’re failing to understand that true diversity means building equitable and inclusive systems that empower all employees. Let me be clear: a diverse team is just a facade if you don’t have the infrastructure in place to make that diversity thrive. The fact is, you can’t have diversity without equity and inclusivity, end of story.

Jackie Plunkett, HR Expert, HR Morning:

Pay transparency, or advertising accurate rates for a job opening, is spreading like wildfire, and it stimulates equity and inclusion in the workplace. Companies should prepare to correct existing pay imbalances as pay transparency solidifies. Virtual interviewing has increased the hiring of disabled candidates as well. Without a full physical assessment of candidates for jobs that can be handled remotely, remote hiring has brought in more diverse talent.

Dr. Kyle Elliott, founder and career coach,

Companies will need to transform DEI from simply an employer branding and marketing strategy to a true commitment from the C-suite and the board if they want to attract top talent in 2023. Candidates are savvy and can see beyond carefully crafted DEI and values pages. Organizations must walk the walk.

Q: How important will digital tools be for hiring in 2023?

hiring challenges and strategies

Digital tools will be crucial for hiring in 2023 as companies face high volumes of movement, labor shortages, and global economic uncertainty. The best tools to use are the ones you most likely already have. You just need to become proficient and set up a scalable process.

Video interviewing, online testing, credentialing, and personality profiling tools will augment traditional approaches. While these tools can save time, building relationships with candidates is fundamental and remains the critical driver of success. Automation and scheduling tools will continue to grow in popularity, and LinkedIn continues to be the gold standard for finding, reaching, and attracting top talent.

Alison Hunter of Select Software Reviews:

The best hiring tools are the ones that meet your company’s individual needs. But identifying your needs and your budget, then finding, vetting, and buying software is no easy task. The marketplace is packed with vendors who’d love to make you believe theirs is the right hiring tool for you, and almost all of them are wrong.

I can speak to one of the overall qualities I look for when buying, reviewing, or recommending software, whether it’s a tool for hiring or an analytics platform, I insist on ease of use. You simply won’t get the most out of a tool if the product developers did not take into account the UX/UI (look, feel, and language), architecture, and what I refer to as “fit and finish” — the je ne sais quoi that ties it all together. 

Digital tools are here to stay, and life is too short to use software that looks bad or acts weird! 

Bas van de Haterd, Consultant at Digitaal-Werven:

Tooling is more important than ever. There are labor market shortages, so you’ll need to use the tools to boost the productivity of your TA team. For one of my clients we’ve recently implemented a pre-hire assessment for all candidates. Because we now have actual data on the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates, intakes with hiring managers have changed.

Recruiters are now looking to complement teams with needed skills, instead of talking about years of experience. So yes, you need a good project lead, but do you want one with more analytical skills or more social skills? Determine which of those two skills are lacking, and hire to fill the gap. Because of the data the tooling provides, the diversity of thought and skills in teams is increasing.

Brian Fink, Partner, Talent Acquisition Partners:

Tools are tools. What matters is how well you use the tools you have at your disposal. I think a little Boolean mixed with some Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, or Exalead are all you need. 

Then, focus on the fundamentals, like building relationships.

If you want to source top-notch candidates, you need to do your homework. That means digging into their background, getting your hands on their resumes and work samples, and pre-screening them to ensure they’ve got the skills you need.

But — don’t stop there. Reach out to those candidates, build a relationship with them, and keep them in the loop about any job openings that may be coming up. That’s how you create a talent pipeline that pays dividends in the long run.

Jackie Plunkett, HR Expert, HR Morning:

ATS programs with keywords are under fire now.  The landscape may shift back to a more headhunter-like scenario, where employers are better off using a resume search on Indeed for entry-level or less skilled roles and LinkedIn for professionals with more experience.

Dr. Kyle Elliott, founder and career coach,

I envision digital tools — particularly automation and scheduling tools — continuing to grow in popularity in 2023 as companies prioritize the candidate experience.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool to attract top talent. This is particularly true when employees naturally use their personal accounts to speak about their company and the culture.

Q: Are there any other big hiring changes on the horizon?

hiring challenges and strategies

In 2023, there has been a noticeable shift in traditional hiring practices as companies are placing greater emphasis on providing value to their employees and offering clear growth paths. Many industries are investing heavily in AI to optimize their operations, but in some cases, this has led to some roles becoming obsolete.

Moreover, there’s a growing trend among U.S. companies to hire workers from other countries, which does not necessarily mean non-U.S. workers. To keep a happy remote workforce, companies need to invest in their company culture, which has become increasingly important in retaining and attracting top talent.

Lastly, providing a positive candidate experience is crucial in building a strong employer brand and attracting the best candidates. Failure to adapt to these changes will make it challenging for companies to hire and retain talented employees in the future.

Sean Segal, Co-Founder and CEO, Escalate:

Overall, companies that don’t show value to their employees won’t be able to attract or retain talent. The balance of power has shifted to workers, and it won’t shift back soon. Companies need to get smart about their value propositions in a hurry, especially around the path for advancement.

Alison Hunter of Select Software Reviews:

I predict a continued trend toward U.S.-based companies employing non-U.S.-based workers. There have been significant advances in streamlining the logistics: tax, compliance, currency translation, and compliance requirements that were once seemingly impassable obstacles. 

Though the people living in power-marginalized countries are not the intended beneficiaries of U.S. DEI programs, we all benefit from the inclusion of international populations and their diverse perspectives. Their voices improve entire institutions and the products and services they provide. 

Rachel Lyubovitzky, CEO, Setuply:

AI, where applicable, will increase, supplement, or replace workers in some industries. In the areas experiencing acute expert shortages (e.g. nursing), the pace of technology innovation will continue to accelerate.

Bas van de Haterd, Consultant at Digitaal-Werven:

Remote work will continue to make company culture more important than ever, and it will be very different from company to company. This impacts hiring dramatically because some people are better suited for remote work.

It also allows for tapping into talent pools that don’t have an American or EU, passport. There is no shortage of talent in the world — just of talent with the right credentials, be it a passport or education. The coming years will see a change to a talent-driven economy.

Brian Fink of Talent Acquisition Partners:

The importance of candidate experience doesn’t get enough attention. It should outweigh pedigree when evaluating performance. When you’re recruiting top talent, you’re not just filling a job, you’re making a first impression on the people who could be your future employees.

That first impression can make or break your chances of landing top candidates. If you treat applicants poorly, make them jump through hoops, and ignore their calls and emails, you can bet your bottom dollar that they won’t want to work for you.

But — if you treat them with respect, make the hiring process smooth and easy, and keep them informed every step of the way, you’ll create a relationship with them that lasts a lifetime. That’s why candidate experience matters. It’s about building your brand, creating a talent pipeline, and setting yourself up for success. So don’t treat it like an afterthought. Make it a top priority.