Candidate Experience Survey Best Practices: How to Ask for Candidate Feedback

Asking for candidate feedback is your best resource for improving your candidate experience and a crucial step for creating a strong employer brand. Yet, in our research report, Inside the Candidate Experience, we found that 44% of organizations did not provide an opportunity for candidates to give feedback through a candidate experience survey. 

In an HRO Today and PeopleScout global survey, employers reported significant challenges in capturing candidate feedback, with many saying that a top struggle is having “no formal way to capture candidate feedback.” 

Candidate Experience Survey

This is a missed opportunity. To truly improve your candidate experience, you must ask your candidates what they think and make improvements based on their input. If you’re not leveraging candidate survey tools to gather feedback from your candidates, you are passing up valuable insights that can help you improve your employer brand, lower attrition and shorten your hiring cycle. 

Why is Candidate Experience Important? 

As consumers, our expectations are soaring. We demand that brands deliver seamless, intuitive and personalized experiences to keep us engaged. In the fight for talent, the same rules apply. 

Competition in the labor market and the increased demand for both diverse talent and digital skills means that coveted candidates have more options than ever before. They can afford to be picky, holding out for the employer that engages and inspires them during the recruitment process. 

It’s easier than ever for job seekers to broadcast their impressions of your brand. In fact, 83% of candidates share their poor experiences with friends and family, with 54% taking to social media to voice their discontent—and that has major ramifications for your employer brand.  

For 78% of candidates the overall candidate experience is an indicator of how a company values its people. Plus, candidates are also consumers, and a poor candidate experience can impact whether you retain an applicant as a customer. 

Candidate Experience Survey Questions 

If you’re serious about improving your candidate experience, the best way to source ideas is through your talent audience. Introducing a candidate experience survey is a must for any organization that wants to secure top talent. These insights are invaluable for identifying areas of improvement and can help you prioritize your candidate experience optimization projects. 

When it comes to measuring the candidate experience, NPS has become a popular metric.  

Net Promoter Score, or NPS, began as a way for organizations to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty. By asking one question—“On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this product/company to a friend or colleague?”—organizations can gauge which customers are promoters, and which are detractors. The NPS scale ranges from -100 to +100, and the higher the score the better. 

candidate experience survey candidate nps

By applying this same concept to the candidate experience, a Candidate Net Promoter Score, or CNPS, becomes a benchmark with which to measure your candidate experience. It’s best practice to also include a place for candidates to provide additional thoughts and comments, so you can gather both quantitative data and qualitative data.  

By asking one simple question and the candidate’s reasoning for their rating, you can gather valuable data to drive continuous improvement in your candidate experience. Measuring CNPS over time will show how your talent acquisition investments are impacting your overall recruitment outcomes. 

When to Send a Candidate Experience Survey 

Consider adding a candidate experience survey email to your CRM after critical stages in your recruitment process, like:  

  • After the completion of an application 
  • After the completion of an assessment center 
  • After the completion of an interview 
  • Upon rejection 
  • All of the above  

Asking for feedback should be a priority regardless of outcome for the candidate.  

Creating a Feedback Loop 

Remember, when it comes to feedback throughout the recruitment process, it’s a two-way street. Employers should be equally committed to soliciting feedback from candidates about their experience, and providing feedback back to candidates, particularly to those who advance further into the selection process. Providing opportunities to give and collect feedback throughout the process will provide you with valuable insights and offer an engaging candidate experience, ultimately improving your recruitment outcomes.  

To get the full research and more actionable candidate experience insights, download theInside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report. 

The Multigenerational Workforce: Gen Z in the Workplace

To continue our series, The Multigeneration Workforce, this article explores the challenges and opportunities of Gen Z in the workplace. For the first time in modern history, four generations are working side-by-side: Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z. The ratios will change over the coming years—and so will each group’s level of influence.  

Gen Z is overtaking Baby Boomers as the largest generation history, boasting an incredible two billion people globally, and is set to become the largest demographic in the workplace by the end of the decade. Leaders must not underestimate the impact this generation’s ideas and perspective will have on the world and the workplace. By understanding their needs and preferences, you can attract, engage and hire the best Gen Z talent to propel your workforce into the future. 

Who is Gen Z? 

While sources vary, Gen Z is generally defined as the generation born approximately between 1995 and 2010. They are the first generation to grow up with the internet and social media and have come of age in a time marked by 9/11, polarized politics, economic fluctuations and climate woes. They watched their parents lose jobs during the Great Recession. Then, they experienced the biggest educational and workplace disruption in modern history as COVID-19 lockdowns led to their classes moving online, a surge in unemployment and psychological distress.  

As voracious consumers and creators of digital media, they focus on curating their online presence and have developed an “unapologetically me” ideology. As a result, they are generally socially progressive and value diversity.  

Perhaps ironically, growing up in this hyperconnected online world has also fueled feelings of isolation and loneliness among many Gen Z-ers. Seeing friends posting content and having fun (cue the #FOMO), alongside the pressure to keep on top of social trends, can make the feelings of disconnection even more acute, leading to increases in depression and anxiety.

Gen Z in the workplace

What Matters to Gen Z in the Workplace? 

Gen Z-ers have different expectations and priorities than previous generations of workers. They’ve expressed less loyalty than past cohorts and are more pragmatic. They don’t assume they’ll have a social safety net upon retirement since seeing layoffs and pensions shrinking.  

Here are some more characteristics to look out for when hiring Gen Z candidates. 

Fighting for Social Change  

After witnessing the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements as well as the increased frequency of natural disasters due to climate change, Gen Z is seeking employment that matches their personal values. They believe in their ability to make a difference individually and are also demanding that employers do their part to help build a better future.  

LinkedIn released a global study of nearly 10,000 professionals which found that 68% of workers in the UK, France, Germany and Ireland consider it important to work for companies that are aligned with their values. In the U.S., it’s higher at 87%. Gen Z is driving this shift, with nearly 90% in Europe saying they would leave a job to work somewhere that better matches their values.  

Digitally Native but Digitally Unsure 

Growing up with access to the internet and mobile devices has led to a widespread presumption that Gen Z-ers are innately good with tech. However, new research shows this may not be the case at work.  

One in five of the 18-to-29-year-olds polled in HP’s Hybrid Work: Are We There Yet? report said they felt judged when experiencing technical issues in the workplace. Furthermore, this “tech shame” leads 25% of young professionals to actively avoid participating in a meeting if they think it will expose their tech shortcomings.  

Generation Disenchanted? 

Much has been said about the number of older workers taking early retirement, but the biggest rise in inactivity since the pandemic has not been among Baby Boomers, but workers aged between 18 and 24. In the UK, the share of workers in this age group classed as economically inactive—meaning they’re not actively working or looking for a job—stood at a record high of 32% in the second quarter of 2022. Plus, of those who are students or currently unemployed, 1 in 10 said they never intend to start working.  

In a rejection of the “girlboss” and “hustle culture”, the hashtag #IDontDreamOfLabor has taken off as a platform for Gen Z to speak candidly about their rejection of work as the basis for identity, framing it instead as a financial necessity for paying the bills. In the shadow of the Great Resignation, Gen Z is vocal about the role of work in their lives—sometimes to viral acclaim. Some have taken to TikTok to coach their peers on how to negotiate salaries, which red flags to look out for in the interview process and how to stick up for what they want at work.  

The formative experience of the Great Recession combined with entering the workforce during the pandemic has taught young people that hard work doesn’t necessarily guarantee stability. They want better than what their parents had and aren’t shy about demanding more from their employers. Organizations who can navigate these expectations will win the hearts of Generation Z. 

Gen Z at work

Strategies for Engaging Gen Z at Work

To help Gen Z workers become as productive and successful as possible, employers need to showcase their values and offer a combination of ongoing wellbeing support and robust skills training.  

1. Evaluate Your Employer Brand for Gen Z 

As most young people seeking employment with a company they can believe in, it’s important to build an employer brand that resonates with Gen Z values. In the recent global study, Inside the Candidate Experience, PeopleScout found that the top things Gen Z job seekers look for when evaluating a job are: 

  1. Mission and purpose 
  1. Flexible working and work/life balance 
  1. DE&I; Company culture (tied) 

With mission and purpose as the top factor for Gen Z job seekers, it’s surprising how few organizations include this information on their career websites. On the sites we examined, we found an organization’s mission and purpose less than half (48%) of the time. This means that half of companies are passing up an opportunity to engage emotionally with their young talent audiences and assist prospects in understanding how the job they have applied for fits into that goal. Candidates won’t look at your open roles if they can’t identify your mission on your careers site. 

2. Embrace Social Media  

Despite concern over how much Gen Z-ers use and consume social media, it is their main way of staying connected, so it is imperative for employers to have a strong presence on social. Two-thirds of candidates use social media to research companies during their job search. Yet, a third of employers are not posting career related content (above and beyond job listings) to their social channels at least once a week.  

Favorite social platforms for Gen Z include TikTok, Instagram and YouTube—so consider creating video content to engage talent from this generation. “Day in the life” videos are a great way to provide a realistic job preview and show early careers talent what it’s like to work at your organization. 

3. Showcase Your DE&I Efforts 

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) is a top consideration for Gen Z candidates when looking for a job, and they’ll be scrutinizing any employer to separate lip service from authentic DE&I action. When candidates from underrepresented groups are searching for jobs, the right job title might be enough to get them to click on a posting—but whether they actually apply is influenced by what they read and hear about how an organization treats its people.  

Representation matters, and employers who showcase employees across a range of demographics show candidates that people from diverse backgrounds can flourish at their organization. Ensure your recruitment communications include voices and stories from underrepresented groups at all levels of the organization.  

Employers should also strive for transparency with their diversity recruitment data and share any plans they have in place to shift the dial around representation. Then, when candidates from underrepresented groups encounter similar voices throughout the recruitment process, they’ll realize that not only are they welcome at the organization, but they’ll also have the opportunity to thrive and progress.  

4. Offer Employee Mental Wellness Benefits 

Growing up entirely in the digital age has undeniably had an impact on how this generation interacts with others. With fewer in-person exchanges, some 37% of Gen Z feels worried that technology weakens their ability to maintain strong interpersonal relationships and develop people skills. Living in a world of non-stop communication through apps and social media also contributes to mental health conditions like anxiety. The strain of modern living on mental health has been further exacerbated by the pandemic and lockdown life. 

Gen Z-ers are proud advocates for mental health, sharing their experiences and removing the stigma around depression and anxiety. According to Cigna International Health’s 2023 survey of almost 12,000 workers around the world, 91% of 18-to-24-year-olds report being stressed. And they’re looking for support from their employer. A whopping 92% of university students say employers should offer mental well-being benefits, and more than a third (36%) are prioritizing those who do as they start their careers. 

Employee assistance programs, employee resource groups and workplace mental health training are all ways employers are creating a culture that promotes mental health and wellbeing. Gen Z will be drawn to employers who are joining the conversation around mental health and creating a safe space to raise and address these issues. 

5. Highlight Growth Opportunities for Gen Z

Worryingly, 37% of young people say their education did not adequately prepare them with the technology skills they need for their career. This digital native generation is lacking in the digital literacy most organizations need to fuel future innovation.  

Gen Z is prioritizing employers who demonstrate investment in developing their employees’ skills and career paths. Employers who highlight training, mentoring and professional development programs in their recruitment materials will satisfy Gen Z’s ambition and desire to grow.  

Training for new Gen Z joiners should center around soft skills like resilience, relationship building and empathy, enabling people from this cohort to manage their own stress levels effectively and to understand when and how they should ask for help. Face-to-face support and mentoring programs are a core elements of training for Gen Z in the workplace. Mentoring and reverse mentoring are being widely embraced by organizations across industries, enabling more senior employees to share their experience with the younger generation to counteract skills gaps, while also tapping into the knowledge and insights of Gen Z in the areas of social trends and digital media.  

Gen Z in the Workplace: Embracing Positive Change 

As organizations plan for the future of work, they must work harder to appeal to the savvy Generation Z-ers entering the workforce. While most employers understand the importance of inclusivity and ethical decision-making, this generation will hold them accountable to putting those principles into action. Employers must embrace these values and the positive changes brought by Gen Z in the workplace. Talent acquisition leaders should keep their finger on the pulse of how these young workers will shape how we hire and develop talent in the coming decades. 

Check out our report to learn more about the future of work:

Future of Work


Employee Retention by the Numbers

Survey results from McKinsey and Company show that 40% of employees across Australia, Canada, Singapore, the UK and the U.S. are likely to leave their jobs. To that end, below are key facts and figures that illustrate the current state of hiring and how organizations can recalibrate to improve employee retention in 2023.  

Hiring Takes the Back Burner…

…As Retention Takes Priority

Employers Don’t Understand Why Employees Leave 

More Important to Employees than Employers Appreciate:

  • Valued by organization
  • Valued by manager
  • Sense of belonging
  • Potential for advancement
  • Having caring and trusting teammates
  • Flexible work schedule

(Source: McKinsey & Company)

Flexible Work Matters 

64% of the global workforce would consider looking for a new job if they were required to return to the office full-time.  

52% of employees are even willing to accept a pay cut—up to 11%—to maintain flexible, hybrid work arrangements. 

(Source: ADP Research Institute’s People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View)

Employees Crave Development & Growth 

Career progression is the No.1 pull factor attracting employees to new jobs. 

(Source: Achievers 2022 Engagement and Retention Report)

76% of employees would stay at their company longer if they could benefit more from learning and development support. 

(Source: Microsoft Work Trend Index Special Report)

Internal Mobility Makes a Difference 

Workers who have no visibility into internal career opportunities are 61% more likely to have plans to quit their job. 

Employees who make an internal move are more likely to stay at their organization longer than those who stay in the same role.

Keeping the Human in Human Resources: 3 Employee Retention Strategies for 2023

After the last three years, there’s no doubt that we could all use a deep breath. But, with economic uncertainty filling the air, we haven’t quite reached a steady state. Instead, now’s the time to reflect on all that’s been learned throughout the last few years and recalibrate your strategies to better succeed in today’s reality. In fact, this work has already begun, with new research suggesting that talent acquisition is no longer a leading priority among employers. Instead, a focus on employee retention strategies takes the lead.

According to Lattice’s 2023 State of People Strategy Report, 40% of HR professionals surveyed said that talent acquisition was a top priority in 2021. By 2022, that number had dropped to 17%, with the surveyed professionals indicating that retention would be a leading priority over talent acquisition heading into 2023. Notably, this data tracks globally, as a recent Global Talent Trends report from LinkedIn highlighted decreasing hiring rates from 2021 to 2022 across a sample of 14 countries.  

During the current economic downturn, it’s clear that employers are looking inward at how they can retain their best people. So, how can your organization foster an environment where people don’t want to leave? Consider these three tips for increasing employee retention in 2023:  

1. Establish a Strong Sense of Purpose & Belonging 

According to a study from McKinsey and Company, the relational factors that are most important to employees—such as feeling valued and a sense of belonging—are often overlooked by employers who falsely assume transactional factors (such as compensation) are most important to employees.   

Consider these tips for establishing a sense of belonging with your employees:  

  • Train managers on how to have meaningful conversations with employees.  
  • Encourage managers to be invested in employees’ personal and professional aspirations.  
  • Make vulnerability a normal practice among leaders, managers, and contributors.  
  • Establish a strong DE&I program, complete with employee resource groups

Along the same lines, there’s no better way to foster a connection to your organization than by recognizing employees who live your purpose in practice. Whether it’s via a team email, internal newsletter or social media post; identify employees who embody your organization’s purpose. They’ll feel valued, and others will be encouraged to find ways to integrate that purpose into their daily lives, as well.  

2. Maintain Flexible Work Options

The data is clear: Losing flexible work is not an option—not if you want to have any chance of retaining your people. According to a 2022 study from ADP, 64% of the global workforce would consider looking for a new job if they were required to return to the office full-time. What’s more, the survey also found that more than half (52%) of employees were even willing to accept a pay cut if it meant maintaining flexible, hybrid work arrangements.  

As such, it’s important to remember that flexible work doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Consider these options:  

  • Require two to three in-person workdays for all employees.  
  • Allow employees to choose which days they work from home.  
  • Offer atypical work hours — such as 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — to accommodate employees with other responsibilities and interests.   
  • If possible, allow full-time remote work.  

After determining which flexible work options make the most sense for your organization, remember to purposefully build opportunities for engagement among your remote or hybrid team. And, if your organization’s policies don’t allow much room for flexibility, be mindful of tying those policies back to the business. For example, rather than citing “productivity” as a vague reason for not allowing employees to work remotely, explain why collaborating in person will allow the business to better serve customers.  

3. Prioritize Development & Internal Mobility

Employees are hungry for growth and development. According to the latest Engagement and Retention Report from Achievers, career progression was the #1 pull factor attracting employees to new jobs. Similarly, new data from Microsoft showed that 76% of employees would stay at their company longer if they could benefit more from learning and development support. So, what can employers do about it? To start, don’t give employees a reason to look elsewhere for opportunities to grow their careers.   

By prioritizing learning and development (L&D) from day one, employees will feel like their career progression is being taken seriously. More precisely, consider mentorship programs, shadowing and skills training to invest in employees’ growth. Likewise, another critical component of retaining employees is internal mobility, which works in tandem with L&D.   

Research from LinkedIn shows that employees who make an internal move are more likely to stay at their organization longer than those who stay in the same role. For example, at the one-year mark, employees are 75% likely to stay without an internal move, while those who make a lateral move or receive a promotion are 87% likely to stay. This trend continues for each year an employee stays at the company. 

Treat People Like People 

At the end of the day, people want to be treated as just that—people. They crave connection, interaction and belonging—all things that were compromised by the seemingly overnight shift to more virtual work. Employers who understand the importance of relational factors over transactional ones will be the ones to retain their employees. And, those who are intentional about establishing a strong sense of purpose; fostering engagement; and creating opportunities for flexibility, recognition and development will emerge stronger with the most valuable resource —their people—intact.  

3 Ways Your Recruitment CRM Can Give Candidates What They Want

A candidate relationship management (CRM) tool is at the center of any strong recruitment process, but I can almost guarantee that you aren’t making the most of yours. According to Aptitude Research, only 2% of companies use all of the functionality of their recruitment CRMs, and more than 60% of employers spend more on their CRM than on their applicant tracking system (ATS).  

Most likely, your CRM could be doing more to improve your recruiting process and candidate experience, and 2023 is the perfect year to optimize it. That’s because you can add functionality without additional budget — a key benefit in an uncertain global economy. With your CRM, you can: 

  • Appeal to the 70% of candidates who are not actively looking for a job, but would move for the right position.  
  • Provide that consumer-like candidate experience that has become the cost of entry for employers.  
  • Share your employer value proposition more effectively with candidates of all backgrounds.  

Below are three ways you can improve your own processes and the experience candidates have when they interact with your brand. 

1. Appeal to Candidates From Underrepresented Backgrounds & Supercharge Your Diversity Initiatives 

Whether you’re looking to increase the number of female employees in a male-dominated industry; fulfilling your commitment to helping veterans; or building a team that reflects the diversity of your customers, issues around diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) remain a focus for talent acquisition leaders. Fortunately, many CRMs feature the ability to create microsites, which let you share your employer brand more effectively with candidates from underrepresented backgrounds that you want to target.  

Sometimes called landing pages, these microsites drive diverse traffic to your careers site and showcase your DE&I initiatives. Of course, diversity means something different for different employers. Therefore, consider building a microsite for each target group that contains messaging and content of interest to them. With a recruitment marketing campaign that showcases the representation that already exists in your organization, in addition to a targeted microsite, you can boost your DE&I recruitment outcomes.  

At PeopleScout, our AffinixTM microsites are fast and easy to set up—and they also yield results. For example, one client was looking to increase its percentage of female hires from just 7%. By building a landing page and campaign that featured the stories of real women who love and are excelling at their jobs, PeopleScout was able to increase that number to 18%. 

2. Provide a Consumer-Level Application Experience & Reduce Candidate Fall-Out 

If you’re seeing a lot of candidates falling out in your application process, that’s a sign that your candidate experience isn’t meeting expectations. In 2023, a mobile-first application that only takes a few minutes to complete is essential. If you’re missing that mark, you’re missing out on top talent.  

In particular, look for a recruitment CRM with a quick-apply feature that allows candidates to submit only the most important information. While you’ll likely need more details from the candidate, you can gather that later in the process. As an added benefit, CRM features—like on-demand assessments and text questionnaires—can also keep candidates more engaged as they move through the interview and assessment stage faster.  

Additionally, a shortened application is a simple change that can have a profound effect on your recruitment outcomes. As an example, one PeopleScout client went from a long application with a 30% conversion rate to one that took less than 10 minutes to fill out with an 80% conversion rate. It also shaved eight to 10 days off their time-to-fill.  

3. Find Candidates Who Don’t Realize You’ve Posted Their Dream Jobs & Fill Your Most Challenging Roles 

When you post a new job opening, somewhere out there is that perfect person for the role: There’s a chance your open position is someone’s dream job, but do they even know it exists? Realistically, there’s a very good chance that they don’t, and they won’t come across your posting on their own. So, it’s up to your recruiting team to find them and pitch the job that they’ve been waiting for. 

Some recruitment CRMs have automated talent matching that search candidate databases to find qualified candidates for any role. These are then ranked by how closely they fit the role requirements, how likely they are to leave their current position, and their average tenure. Unlike a manual sourcing process, an automated talent matching feature like this can help fill the top of your funnel in seconds.  

Notably, in PeopleScout’s Affinix CRM, Talent Finder is one option for automation technology that can find and filter qualified candidates. Our Diversity Boost feature also amplifies diverse candidates to help you reach your DE&I goals. Then, once you find that perfect match, you can bring them through the process and provide a good candidate experience—if you’re getting the most out of your CRM. 

Keep in mind that this list only scratches the surface of what your CRM could bring to your recruitment process if properly optimized for your organization. While candidate expectations continue to shift, at the end of the day, they’re looking to build the right relationship with the right organization. It’s up to you to start that relationship off right. 

Research Report

Inside the Candidate Experience

Workforce Planning: Applying What We’ve Learned to Drive Future Success

In the past three years, we’ve seen a talent market that has shifted more drastically and rapidly than we’ve ever seen. These weren’t the standard economic oscillations that take place slowly throughout many years—rather, this pace of change was something new and required talent leaders to spend the last three years fighting fires instead of focusing on workforce planning

Now, it’s as important as ever to be more intentional about our strategy as we ask, “What’s next?”  

Taking Time to Reflect 

As talent leaders, we’re no strangers to the Great Rehire, quiet quitting and the Great Resignation—it seems at every turn, we are learning about a new workforce movement. At PeopleScout, we feel the real value comes not from labeling the next talent trend, but in doing the work to help employers struggling with today’s very real talent obstacles and developing custom solutions to address our clients’ unique talent challenges.  

Right now, there is an opportunity to take a look back at everything we’ve learned from our experiences over the past three years and apply those lessons to our talent programs to drive continued success. It’s time to change strategies, rewatch the tapes and recalibrate our approach to meet whatever challenges the future holds.  

So, where do we go from here? We step back, take a breath and reflect, then take action by challenging the status quo.  

In this article, we’re going to outline many of the different lessons learned, as well as opportunities for you to revitalize your own workforce planning.  

The Economic Reality 

While the global economic landscape continues to fluctuate, the pace of change has decelerated. In the U.S., most economic indicators give a mixed picture: some companies have made headlines with layoffs, but job growth in other industries has remained strong. What’s more, monthly jobs reports still show strong hiring numbers and economists have seen positive signs around inflation.  

At the same time, we’re starting to see a bit of “gas pedal, brake pedal” as talent leaders try to read the tea leaves of the economic picture amid these mixed signals. While employers across some industries are still hiring, the pace has slowed from the height of the Great Rehire. 

Globally, we’re seeing the setup for similar environments. In the UK, job vacancies have fallen from their 2022 high, but still remain far above average with a shrinking labor force; however, issues like high inflation, rising wages and worker strikes persist. And, in Australia, the unemployment rate remains at a very low 3.5% and our clients are seeing a tighter applicant pool. 

These are certainly challenges to contend with, and the best way to move forward is with a quick glance back. 

Opportunities for Adjustment with Workforce Planning

With large variances across countries, regions and sectors, the lessons learned and resulting transformations will depend on how the past three years have affected you.  

Here are the five main areas we recommend you prioritize as part of your workforce planning strategy enhancement.  

1. Recruitment Process Improvement 

The first place to start your recalibration is the recruitment process. Did the pandemic and Great Rehire introduce changes into your process? For example, many employers were forced to shoehorn their in-person hiring process into a virtual one through the pandemic and Great Rehire. If that was the case at your organization, does that process still work, especially for your remote and hybrid employees?  

This is one of the biggest opportunities for talent leaders to connect with their teams to understand what worked and what didn’t. Your team members have built up so much knowledge on the ground working through the challenges of the last three years. How can you harness that going forward?  

Similarly, take a step back and look at the data you’re using to define success with your recruitment program. Are you hitting your goals, but still feel like something is missing? If so, you may be looking at vanity metrics, as opposed to sanity metrics. There’s always room for improvement; you just need the right data points to identify it. 

In this case, consider bringing in a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) partner. A partner can help with any future scaling up and down as your hiring needs change, but they also provide value in helping benchmark your progress and success. For instance, the most frequent questions we get from clients during our routine business reviews with them are around what other employers are doing. What technologies are out there? What innovations have been made? What suggestions do you have? Without an RPO partner, you miss out on that insight.  

2. Employer Brand 

There has probably been more discussion about employer brand during the last year and a half than ever before, and this has been driven largely by the change in workforce and candidate priorities. During the Great Resignation, employees left for perceived greener pastures. To that end, it’s important to understand what you did right and where you may have let employees down during the last few years. In particular, there’s an opportunity to talk to the people who stayed with you to understand what kept them at your organization through some difficult years. Then, you can apply those lessons to your employer value proposition. In fact, if you haven’t updated your employer value proposition and employer brand since before 2020, you’re behind the curve.  

Outside of the pandemic and recovery, the growing influence of Gen Z in the workplace has also influenced employer brands. Our research shows that Gen Z—more than any other generation in the workforce—says that your mission and values, company culture, and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives influence their decision to apply. With that in mind, does your employer brand reflect the changing values of the workforce?  

 3. Candidate Experience 

The world has fundamentally changed in the last few years, and so have candidate expectations. Specifically, we’ve seen a shift toward the need for a consumer-like candidate experience in recent years, and it has only accelerated. As consumers, we’ve grown to expect even more convenience. In 2020, many of us expanded our use of services, like grocery pick-up and delivery. We order our coffee with an app so we don’t have to wait as it’s made. Even as the pandemic receded, many of us kept up with these conveniences. Candidates expect a similar experience when it comes to finding and applying for jobs.  

In the same vein, when was the last time you evaluated your candidate experience? Have you taken on the task of simply applying for a job at your organization to see the experience through the candidate’s eyes? Did you make compromises in the depths of the pandemic or the chaos of the Great Rehire? Or did you implement tools—like on-demand video interviews or automated text message screenings—and discover that they reduced candidate fall-out? In any case, it’s probably time to recalibrate your candidate experience.  

PeopleScout recently released research around candidate expectations and candidate experience best practices. Read our three most important takeaways

4. Retention 

The Great Resignation forced employers to renew their focus on employee retention, and it has definitely had an influence. According to HR Digest, employers that invested in employee development saw a 58% increase in retention in 2022. Beyond employee development, many organizations have also made their moves to remote, hybrid and flexible work permanent.  

In 2023, we expect the pace of turnover to slow down for many employers. That’s because the changing economic landscape has left candidates less confident in their job searches, according to CNBC. As such, we anticipate more workers will place greater value on stability after several turbulent years.  

As you look at your own program improvements, the employees you retain will be valuable assets as they’ve learned the key lessons firsthand. They’ve stayed with your organization and adapted through the changes of the past several years. They know your company better than anyone. What can you do to provide benefits like work/life balance, professional development and wellness? 

5. Optimizing Technology 

Finally, take a look at your technology. Many employers quickly added new recruitment technology solutions in 2020 to support remote recruitment during lockdown. If that was the case at your organization, are those tools optimized for your current needs? 

When it comes to improving your recruitment program, your technology is one of your most important tools: Your recruitment tech stack likely affects every one of the other opportunities for enhancement that we’ve highlighted. With machine learning and artificial intelligence, we can learn from the history of candidate behavior. The right tools can then help recruiters prioritize interactions with candidates and automate communications to candidates in your recruitment funnel. Similarly, the right technology can also make your recruitment process more efficient; help you more effectively share your employer brand; improve your candidate experience; and provide benefits for current employees. If you’re reevaluating your talent acquisition strategy, technology needs to be a part of the conversation.  

Lessons Learned 

During the last three years, many of us have spent so much time dealing with the present that there hasn’t been an opportunity to think about the future. That said, we have learned the value of scheduling time to focus on what’s next; over and over again, we’ve seen the importance of being nimble. With that in mind, we’re encouraging our clients to think about the elements discussed above and identifying ways that PeopleScout can help them meet their talent needs. So, I urge you to take the time to think about how you can adjust your talent program for whatever the future brings. 

Top 7 Workforce Trends to Watch for in 2023 & Beyond

So far, 2023 has proven to be a year of contradictions, making workforce trends hard to pin down. The labor market is cooling, yet unemployment remains low. Despite the slowdown in some industries, others like healthcare and hospitality are still tight. Overall, job openings are still higher than pre-pandemic levels in most countries.

Despite layoffs and economic fluctuation, 46% of talent leaders say recruitment is a priority in 2023 according to Gartner. Plus, 50% of organizations still expect the competition for talent to increase significantly in the next six months, regardless of broader macroeconomic conditions. Employers seem to be taking a more measured approach to recruitment and “right-sizing” their workforce.

This means recruiting leaders must reprioritize recruiting strategies to align with current business needs, plan for multiple potential scenarios in this shifting market, and make decisions with great confidence using data. Despite a projected increase in the unemployment rate, organizations still face recruitment and retention challenges that affect business productivity.

To help employers succeed in their recruitment efforts, we take a look at the top seven workforce trends to watch for in 2023.

1. Closing Skills Gaps

According to Gartner, 64% of managers don’t think their employees are able to keep pace with future skill needs. A third (36%) of HR leaders say their sourcing strategies are insufficient for finding the skills they need.

With the rate of technological advancements, more and more employers are exploring ways to reskill and upskill their existing employees to create an agile and adaptive workforce for the future. Business leaders surveyed in 2022 for the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report said that about 40% of their workforce will require reskilling in the near future. LinkedIn’s 2022 Global Talent Trends report reveals that upskilling and reskilling are top priorities for today’s workers.

Organizations that invest in training for their workforce see greater employee retention. Companies that excel at internal mobility are more likely to retain employees. Shifting job requirements and an uncertain job market along with rapidly changing technology have left people feeling unprepared for their next career move and in need of additional support. In fact, 70% of employees say they haven’t even mastered the skills they need for their jobs today according to Gartner. Upskilling and reskilling opportunities help employees feel more confident in their roles as well as in their future with your company. Adding these opportunities will enable you to adapt and thrive under any circumstances.

2. Offering More Flexibility

In the wake of the acceleration of remote work, many employees are voluntarily quitting because of concerns about workplace flexibility, according to a 2022 survey conducted by business review website GoodFirms. The survey found that 70% of HR manager respondents pointed to flexibility as a reason for resignations, which is why many companies are making flexibility and work/life balance part of their workforce planning. In our own recent research report, Inside the Candidate Experience, surveyed candidates said that flexibility and work/life balance was the top consideration when evaluating a company.

Yet, there is a disconnect between what workers want and what employers offer when it comes to remote work. While job postings on LinkedIn for remote work have dropped in many countries, workers are still applying for remote roles in droves.

Workplace trends
(Source: LinkedIn Economic Graph)

Organizations that rethink working patterns and adapt to candidate expectations will gain a significant edge over their competitors. Offering remote work, flexible hours, four-day work weeks, and job sharing may require significant workforce planning to ensure your organization can maximize productivity while also keeping employees engaged. However, it’s worth it for many organizations, especially those struggling to hire for critical roles.

3. Shifting to Contingent Workers

The desire for flexibility has not only changed when, where and how we work, but also the type of work we seek. The number of freelance workers in the U.S. has grown to a record 60 million as professionals have left full-time work to pursue short-term assignments and contract work.

Employers are making the shift as well. In the six months from May to November 2022, the share of paid job postings on LinkedIn for contract positions increased 26% compared to the same six-month period from the year before. With chronic skills shortages, organizations are clearly looking to contractors and freelancers to supplement their workforce strategy without the expense that comes with full-time employees. These workers can also offer the unique skills and experiences needed to complete specific projects and help fill roles during a leave of absence or while your company assesses future workforce needs.

4. Tapping into New Talent Pools

The labor market has shrunk due to the retirement of Baby Boomers—accelerated by the pandemic—but also because there are fewer people joining the workforce. Not only is the upcoming population smaller and not replacing the Boomers who are leaving the workforce, but one in 10 young people aged 18 to 24 say they never intend to work. Employers are having to work harder to appeal to disillusioned Gen Z-ers.

Meanwhile, talent acquisition leaders are looking to expand their talent pools to fill workforce gaps. DE&I and social mobility efforts are focused on bringing in untapped talent groups. Plus, some organizations are looking to their existing employees to fill critical roles in other areas. We’re currently helping a financial service organization assess employees in their bank branches to find individuals with hidden aptitudes that can be trained as software engineers to support their web and app development initiatives.

In the wake of The Great Resignation, we’re now seeing a rise in boomerang employees—workers who voluntarily resign from your company only to join again later. Workers who left due to extenuating personal circumstances—and even those who went to seek greener grass—can serve as a strong new talent pool and shouldn’t be counted out. They’ll come in with an understanding of the business and can get up and running quickly, often bringing along new skills or fresh perspectives that can propel your business forward.

Another group boomeranging is Baby Boomers as some call for The Great Unretirement. In the UK, over-50s make up 76% of the 830K people who left work during the pandemic. The Government’s latest “back to work” budget rolled out a number of tactics to entice this age group back to work including a new “returnership” apprenticeship program. For employers to tap into this talent pool, they must offer flexibility through part-time and remote work.

5. Rallying Around the Mission

Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) are increasingly on the mind of HR leaders as employees and candidates are concerned with the ethical and sustainability impact of their employer. More than ever, candidates are searching for work they find meaningful and an employer that shares their values—especially the Millennial and Gen Z workforce.

Our research revealed that for 50% of candidates, an organization’s mission and purpose are a key influence on their decision to apply. Yet, when evaluating career sites, we found details on the mission or purpose of the organization less than half (48%) of the time.

According to a study by Mercer, employers with high employee satisfaction and attractiveness scores have significantly higher ESG scores than their peers. HR leaders in particular are focused on the social elements of ESG including diversity, equity, and inclusion—and ensuring their workplace is an environment where everyone can be productive.

6. Prioritizing Employee Well-Being

Burnout is still on the rise globally. In a recent poll from Gallup, 44% of employees revealed they experienced stress during much of the previous day. So, it’s no surprise that 42% of the workforce is reporting burnout—an all-time high.

On top of that, in the UK alone, there are 2.2M people inactive in the workforce due to long-term sickness and disability. Moreover, the biggest rise in workforce inactivity since the pandemic due to illness has not been among 50 to 64-year-olds as one might expect, but among those aged between 18 and 24.

With so many people out of the workforce due to long-term illness and stress, employee well-being is becoming a top priority for many organizations, as they recognize the importance of supporting employee mental and physical health. In fact, 79% of employees are likely to stay at a company that offers high-quality mental health resources, and 67% of leaders cited improvement in productivity when mental health support is offered.

According to the World Health Organization, anxiety and depression, two of the most common mental health conditions, cost the global economy $1 trillion (USD) each year.

7. Engaging Outside Talent Acquisition Solutions

While the current economic outlook may have some employers proceeding with caution, business leaders are optimistic about the future. In fact, 85% of leaders said they anticipate their revenue to increase year over year.

Meanwhile, 46% said that staffing would be their top operational challenge for the year ahead. With uncertainty looming, companies may need to reassess their recruitment efforts and create a more agile workforce to evolve for the future. Developing a more flexible model is more critical now than ever in a shifting workplace landscape.

Having trusted guidance at these crucial moments can make all the difference. A talent partner offers a variety of solutions to help organizations attract and hire the right candidates. Whether you’re hiring full-time employees or need to supplement your contingent workforce for a temporary project or long-term assignment, a talent partner can help build and execute a talent acquisition strategy that works.

Check Out Our Report To Learn More About The Future Of Work


PeopleScout Releases Q2 2023 Issue of PeopleScout NEXT

Latest issue provides research-based insights and practical actions to help employers build a more resilient talent acquisition program 

CHICAGO – APRIL 11, 2023 – Today, PeopleScout released the Q2 2023 issue of its award-winning PeopleScout NEXT magazine, which provides actionable insights on the rapidly changing talent acquisition, talent technology and workforce management landscape. 

The past three years have seen the depths of pandemic job losses and a talent market that has shifted more drastically and rapidly than before. While talent market and economic complexities remain, employers now have an opportunity to reflect on the lessons from the past few years and apply those learnings to hone their recruitment strategies to meet the demands of today’s market. 

This edition of NEXT includes research-based insights and practical actions to improve recruitment outcomes and build a more resilient talent acquisition program to ensure future success. 

In the issue, talent acquisition leaders will find: 

  • A guide for applying the lessons learned over the past few years to their current talent program 
  • Exclusive, data-driven insights about what candidates want out of the recruitment process and how the right technology can make it happen 
  • How to keep the human in Human Resources by understanding what is driving high turnover and tips for turning it around 
  • Real-life examples demonstrating how employers can recalibrate and transform their talent program 
  • A roadmap to prepare your talent program all the way to 2030 

PeopleScout NEXT began publication in 2018 and has received numerous awards for its content and design. In February 2022, PeopleScout NEXT was named a Gold winner in the 2022 AVA Digital Awards for its Q3/Q4 2021 issue. In October 2020, PeopleScout NEXT magazine was named a Gold winner in the Publication, Magazine category in the 2020 MUSE Creative Awards competition. This win followed two 2019 MarCom Awards: Platinum in the Print Media – Writing category and Gold in Print Media – Design for PeopleScout NEXT. 

Access the Q2 2023 issue of PeopleScout NEXT today at 

About PeopleScout NEXT 
NEXT is PeopleScout’s bi-annual publication covering an expansive array of talent acquisition and workforce management topics and technology trends, designed to provide readers with the knowledge they need to go from advice to advantage. PeopleScout’s audience is focused on what’s next—the future of work, impending skills shortages and technological advances. The goal of PeopleScout NEXT is to provide talent leaders with both the big ideas and small steps they can take today to make sure they are set up for future success. You can access the latest edition of PeopleScout NEXT here

Press Contact 
Taylor Winchell 
Senior Manager, External Communications 

The Multigenerational Workforce: How to Hire and Retain Older Workers

The aging workforce is a key factor shaping the future of work. In most major economies today, there are around six workers for every retiree. By 2030, all Baby Boomers will have reached 65, the general retirement age threshold, meaning this figure is set to drop substantially.

As Boomers leave the workforce, employers are trying to stem the bleeding from the skills, knowledge, and experience they’ll take with them by finding ways to keep them on the payroll. Organizations that recognize the value of older workers can benefit from leveraging this talent pool. Here, we explore four strategies to help you retain older workers or entice them to return.

Who are the Baby Boomers?

First, let’s take a closer look at the demographic. Baby Boomers are individuals born between 1946 and 1964, the largest generation in history. This generation was born following World War II and lived through the Civil Rights Movement, the Cold War, and massive technological advancements. They are a major force in the global economy and have built and defined the labor market we know today.

Boomers are the most affluent generation in history, and they are expected to pass on trillions of dollars to their children and grandchildren, which could reduce the labor participation of younger generations. Combined with today’s decreased birthrates, the global workforce is already shrinking as Boomers increasingly retire.

A Global Look at Retirement

According to Pew Research Center, approximately 2 million Baby Boomers retire every year. In 2020, this number swelled to a historic high as 3 million workers retired from the workforce in the U.S. alone.

However, attitudes toward retirement vary widely across countries and are influenced by both culture and economics. For example, in the United States, where people value individualism and self-reliance, retirement is seen as a time to relax and enjoy life. But in Japan, there is a strong emphasis on collectivism and community, which can lead people to feel they should continue working and contributing to their circle.

Older Workers Percentage
(Source: Statista, OECD)

Despite people working longer in Japan, the country is projected to have a ratio of just 1.5 workers per retiree at the start of the next decade. In some of Europe’s biggest economies and the U.S., the outlook is not much better with figures hovering around the 2.4 mark. This is due to declining global birthrates, which has fallen by half since 1950. In short, there aren’t enough Millennials and Gen Z-ers to fill Boomers’ shoes.

The exodus of Boomers from the workforce is having a significant impact on the global economy, and some countries are beginning to raise the retirement age to push back the impending dropoff. Moreover, in recent months, as the cost of living has gone up, there’s been a surge in “unretirement” as some who left work during the pandemic are looking for jobs again.

Boomeranging Boomers: Why are Retirees Coming Back to Work?

In the UK, the number of people over 65 working or looking for work hit nearly 1.5 million in the second half of 2022—the highest level on record per the ONS. According to a recent report from Paychex, one in six retirees are considering returning to work.

Some common reasons for coming out of retirement cited in the report include:

  • Financial need. For some retirees, savings and pensions may not be enough to cover expenses, especially if they accrue medical bills. Over half (55%) of retirees who have returned to work say they needed more money. Going back to work, even part-time, can make a difference in their financial situation.
  • Lack of purpose. Jobs create structure and routine in an employee’s life. Losing this can be a difficult adjustment for some after retirement. Some may also feel they are no longer contributing to society or making a difference; returning to work can give these individuals a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
  • Socialization. Work provides a social outlet. In fact, 43% of retirees say feeling lonely is a motivator for returning to the workforce. Work creates opportunities to socialize as employees interact with co-workers and customers.
  • Boredom. Work can provide mental and physical stimulation for retirees. Boredom is cited as a reason for returning to work for 52% of survey respondents. Working can help older people stay sharp and active.
  • Enjoyment of work. Some retirees simply enjoy working. They may find their jobs to be challenging and rewarding, and they may not be ready to give them up when they reach retirement age.
Retaining Older Workers

Attracting & Retaining Older Workers

While older people may be keen to return to the workforce, the job they want in the latter part of their life won’t look like their previous career. They may seek to change how, when, and where they work—including moving to part-time positions or changing fields or job roles. If employers make certain concessions, Baby Boomers might be persuaded to stay a little longer, therefore preventing the “cliff-edge” effect.

So, how can you retain the older workers you have for a little longer or entice them back? Here are four things to consider.

1. Address Ageism in the Workplace

The majority (73%) of those in their 50s and 60s feel they share invaluable skills, experience, and knowledge with colleagues—but 16% believe it is not valued by their employer. Indeed, 62% of hiring managers admit they “are skeptical about hiring retirees.” It’s no wonder that 74% of working retirees “feel judged by co-workers because of their age.”

Creating a sense of inclusion and belonging is crucial for both attracting and retaining older workers. If you have a diversity training program in place, ensure that ageism is being addressed in your training materials. If you don’t have a training program, consider creating one. Not only will you see an improved business performance, benefiting your bottom line, but your employees of all ages will be more engaged, content and productive.

2. Add More Flexible Working Arrangements

Boomers may continue to work after retirement age, but that doesn’t mean they’re seeking the same kind of career. Few of this generation will want to continue working in a typical full-time contract after they hit 65. Family responsibilities and the desire for more leisure time are key concerns for them. Many won’t want to continue taking on high-pressure responsibilities either.

Flexibility and work/life balance are important across all age groups, with Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers rating it as a top consideration when looking for a job in a recent survey. Amongst retirees looking to return to work, 53% want a remote position according to the Paychex survey.

3. Provide Training & Mentoring

Older employees, especially those who have returned to the labor force from retirement, value opportunities to learn and develop new skills. Organizations that provide chances for older workers to expand their knowledge and skills have a stronger chance of retaining this talent pool. This could include things like offering new technology training or mentoring or coaching opportunities.

Reverse-mentoring programs have become a popular way to engage both older workers and younger employees who are hoping to build leadership skills. Unlike a typical mentorship, reverse-mentoring involves a younger employee mentoring an older, more experienced mentor. Not only can this help older workers develop digital skills, but it also contributes to a culture of inclusion.

4. Create Opportunities for Knowledge Transfer

While it’s important that older workers harness new skills, it’s equally crucial to ensure that skills aren’t lost from generation to generation. There is already a skills shortage in many fields, from haulage to engineering and healthcare to hospitality. Losing the Boomer demographic from the workforce will intensify the challenge of filling skilled roles—not to mention reduce the dissemination of knowledge for the generations that follow.

The biggest responsibility for Baby Boomers is knowledge transfer and mentoring. Organizations must create opportunities for more experienced employees to work closely with new joiners and less experienced colleagues to impart their wisdom and share their organizational and sector connections. This way organizations can ensure these skills, insights, and knowledge are not lost and can be leveraged for years to come.

Embracing the Aging Workforce

In this tight labor market, employers need to keep an eye out for opportunities to capitalize on the experience and knowledge that older workers possess, particularly as they withdraw from the labor market. Baby Boomers offer loyalty, passion, and confidence. Embracing the aging workforce could prove to be a lifeline for organizations that are planning for a future labor shortage.

Check Out Our Report To Learn More About The Future Of Work

Destination 2030: 10 Predictions for What’s NEXT in the World of Work

PeopleScout Jobs Report Analysis—March 2023

U.S. employers added 236,000 jobs in March, a slowdown from the start of the year. This shows a gradual cooling of the labor market that experts have wanted to see. The unemployment rate fell slightly to 3.5%. Year-over-year wage growth fell to 4.2%.

march jobs report infographic

The Numbers

236,000: Employers added 236,000 jobs in March.

3.5%: The unemployment rate fell to 3.5%.

4.2%: Wages rose 4.2% over the past year.

The Good

As the Wall Street Journal reports, March’s report shows that the job market is starting to cool after a very strong start of the year. This is what officials at the Federal Reserve have been hoping to see as they’ve increased interest rates in the hopes of slowing hiring, wage growth and inflation. The most recent numbers also show a decrease in wage growth, though some industries, like leisure and hospitality, are still seeing rapidly rising wages. The leisure and hospitality sector led wage growth again last month, followed by education and health services.

Additionally, more workers entered the workforce in March, boosting the participation rate for Americans considered in their prime working age to the highest level since 2001. The overall labor force participation rate rose to 62.6%, the highest rate since February 2020.

The Bad

The most recent report is starting to show the impact of recent layoffs. As the New York Times reports, several of the industries most impacted by borrowing costs shed jobs in March, including financial services, manufacturing and retail. This is difficult news for workers as we have also seen increases in unemployment claims over the past several weeks.

The Unknown

March’s jobs report does not reflect the impact of the failure of Silicon Valley Bank as the numbers reflect trends at the beginning of the month. The fallout will begin to show up in the revisions to March’s numbers in April’s report.

Additionally, the big question for experts is whether or not this cooling will be enough to slow the pace of rate hikes at the Federal Reserve. As MarketWatch reports, the slowdown is good news, but it may not be slow enough for officials. The Fed next meets May 2-3.