Recruiter Index: All You Need to Know About the January 2023 Job Market

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“If 2022 was about ‘hiring at all costs,’ 2023 is about right-sizing and retention,” said Evan Sohn, CEO of, on CBNC’s The Exchange 

The beginning of 2023 was riddled with more layoffs as companies tried to cut budgets. However, while the news reports mass layoffs, how is the job market actually doing? 

Recruiters work on the front lines of the job market and often have the best insights into how the job market is actually looking.

That’s why we survey these recruiters every month to understand what the job market is really like. Keep reading to discover what these recruiters had to say about the job market in 2023 and what this could mean for the rest of the year. 

What Is the Recruiter Index?’s Recruiter Index has been surveying our network of 30,000 recruiters since April 2020. As a result, it has accurately predicted the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data before it even comes out. 

In January, we surveyed 202 recruiters in the United States who were part of our LinkedIn network and our OnDemand recruiting network. These recruiters work across various industries and offer insights into the state of the economy. 

We then release these findings at the start of every month. You can take the survey here if you’re a recruiting professional interested in inputting your insights for the March report. 

Top Recruiting Trends

In January 2023, these recruiters said that the job market was less hot than it had been in previous months. We ask them to rank their feeling about the job market on a scale of one to five, with one being the coldest and five being the hottest. 

In January, recruiters ranked the job market as a 3.2/5. This matched the lowest sentiment in June 2022 as well. It also decreased dramatically from 3.5/5 in December 2022. 

However, even though the sentiment may have been lower, the average number of roles that recruiters were working on jumped from nine to fifteen roles. 

Many recruiters also reported that the roles they were recruiting for were between the $40,000 – $80,000 salary range. This means that these entry and mid-level positions are more challenging to recruit for, which is why recruiters are searching for these candidates. 

Top Candidate Trends

In addition to the recruiter’s sentiment about the job market, we also ask them what the candidate sentiment is. This candidate sentiment is how open candidates are to accept a new job position. Recruiters must rank this on a scale of 1 to 5, with one meaning that candidates aren’t open to any new jobs and five representing them being very open to new positions. 

For January, the candidate sentiment was 3.5/5, slightly decreasing from 3.7 in December. However, recruiters also noticed that compared to the previous month, 35% said that the volume of applicants per role increased, 31% said it decreased, and 34% said it remained the same. 

This aligns with the JOLT report, where we saw 4 million quits a month in 2022, whereas in 2019, it was about 3.5 million quits per month. 

We also track candidates’ priorities for why they are looking for a new position or leaving their last one. In January, remote work was still the number one factor for job seekers, and it has been number one for the second month. 

After remote work is the top priority, recruiters listed compensation as the next essential and work/life balance after that. 

However, when candidates cite the reason they’re looking for a new position, the number one reason is because of management, which compensation follows closely behind. 

Companies looking to win top talent this year will need to focus on offering remote and flexible working options, competitive compensation, and transparent and quality leadership. 

Industry Hiring Trends

While the mass layoffs started in the tech industry, they’ve spread to other industries such as retail, finance, real estate, and construction.

This January has the biggest layoff increase since 2009, and the layoff rate is 440% higher than January 2022’s layoff rate, according to CNBC. 

However, there are still many open roles on job boards. On CNBC, Sohn agreed that small businesses are focusing on hiring and retaining, while larger, more public companies are doing layoffs as their market has started to slow. This will likely balance out in 2023 as many companies stop rapidly hiring as they did in 2021 and 2022. 

We also asked recruiters what industries had the most hiring activity. The top three industries are medical and healthcare, sales, and information technology. However, the top three industries that have started to slow down are hospitality, recruiting and staffing, and accounting and auditing. However, recruiting and staffing have picked up since December. 

Start Hiring Today

As the job market continues to balance out and slow down, one thing that companies will be paying closer attention to is their recruiting budget. Companies may not be hiring year-round, so they might need flexible recruiting solutions to scale their hiring up or down. offers these flexible, on-demand recruiting solutions that are also affordable. They’re perfect for startups, enterprises, or even staffing agencies. 

Our talented professional recruiters have the network and capabilities to identify top talent for you and successfully recruit them for your organization. If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help you, contact us today

By Alyssa Harmon