Recruiter Index: All You Need to Know About the December 2022 Hiring Trends

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After a crazy year for the job market in 2022, December ended with some interesting statistics from the Recruiter Index. 

Since recruiters are the ones who are actively working on the front lines of the job market, they often have the best insights into the health of the job market. That’s why, each month, we reach out to those recruiters and survey them to bring you the best insights. You can then use these insights to help inform your company’s hiring strategies.

Keep reading to learn about what interesting things recruiters said about the December 2022 hiring trends.

What Is the Recruiter Index?

In addition to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, companies and recruiters have been using the Recruiter Index since it came out in April 2020. This study has been successful in predicting the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data before it comes out. 

For December’s survey, we surveyed 254 recruiters in the United States who are actively working in the field and have the best insights as to the state of the economy. We release the results of this survey at the start of every month.

If you’re a recruiting professional and would like to input your observations, you can take our January survey which will come out in February by following this link

Top Recruiting Trends

In December 2022, the recruitment sentiment score was 3.6/5. Even though December is normally a slower month as companies save their hiring budget for the new year, this was the second-highest recruiter sentiment of the year. 

We calculate the recruiter sentiment by asking recruiters how they feel about the current job market. We have them rank the job market on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being a cold job market where no one is hiring and no candidates are looking, and 5 representing a hot job market. 

Despite fears of a recession, the job market in December was warmer than it had been in previous months in 2022. 

On average, recruiters were working on about 9 open roles. This decreased from 12 in November, but this also coincides with the holiday season and companies pausing the hiring process until 2023. 

This pause in hiring is reflected in the fact that no recruiter said they were solely working on filling brand-new roles. In fact, only 20 – 30% of the roles the recruiter worked on were brand new, and the other ones were backfilled roles. However, as hiring picks up in 2023, this number will likely increase. 

Top Candidate Trends

While we survey the recruiter’s thoughts on the job market, we also ask them how candidates are feeling in the job market. While companies have been doing layoffs and worrying about recessions, candidates are still actively looking for new jobs and are entering the job market. 

The candidate sentiment follows the same structure as the recruiter sentiment. Recruiters need to rank a candidate’s openness to new job opportunities, with 1 meaning that candidates are not open to new jobs, and 5 representing the fact that candidates are actively looking for new opportunities. 

The candidate sentiment for December 2022 was also the second-highest of the year at 3.7.

This coincides with the fact that the number of people applying to jobs has also increased overall by 27% since November 2022. When you look at individual applicants per role, this has increased by 56% since November. 

Candidate’s priorities have also shifted as many companies are starting to call employees back into the office. Twenty-three percent of recruiters said that they saw the candidates listing remote work as the biggest priority when evaluating a new position.  After remote work, compensation and work/life balance were the other two priorities. 

However, the main reason that candidates were leaving a company is because of poor management. After poor management, compensation was the second main reason for employees to start looking for a new job, and this is likely due to the rising inflation rates. 

While many people might assume that these candidates are looking for jobs because of numerous layoffs, that’s actually not the case. According to our survey, the December Recruiter Index found that 50% of the recruiters we surveyed said that 25 to 50% of the candidates they worked with were actively employed. 

If you’re on the fence about whether or not it’s a good time to look for your ideal candidate, this survey shows that there are many candidates who are actively looking for new jobs despite a possible recession and fears of layoffs. If you’re not hiring now, then you’re missing out on great talent. 

Evan Sohn, CEO of, said that “It’s still a candidate’s world. Candidates certainly think it’s still their world in terms of their ability to decide what roles they want. Job mobility is not going away anytime soon.”

Industry Hiring Trends

We also survey recruiters about the industries that they are actively recruiting in. Despite a slower hiring month, record inflation, and talk of a recession, some industries are still active and strong in the job market. For example, the top six industries that saw the most hiring activity are: 

  1. Healthcare
  2. IT
  3. Sales
  4. Accounting
  5. Architecture and Engineering
  6. Recruiting and Staffing

Healthcare was the largest industry with 18% of recruiters saying that it was the one that had the biggest demand in terms of open roles and looking for candidates. 

Start Hiring Today

December 2022’s Recruiter Index and hiring trends indicate that during a month that is typically the slowest for hiring, candidates and companies are still entering the job market. In January, the hiring will pick up even more as companies renew their hiring budgets and evaluate their hiring needs. 

As more layoffs continue and inflation rises, many candidates will be entering the job market as well. This means that companies have a good chance to grab some great talent.

Is your company prepared for the hiring influx that will come in 2023? If these statistics are any indication, it will be a busy hiring year. Thankfully, has flexible recruiting solutions that can help you fill all of your open positions. 

Contact us today to learn about how our flexible and affordable recruiting solutions will help you manage your company’s hiring demand. 

By Alyssa Harmon