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HR remains focused on hiring, even as recruiting pace slows

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Job postings on Indeed are falling but remain elevated as compared with pre-pandemic levels, with several measures indicating that demand for workers is still high, according to a July 27 report from Indeed’s Hiring Lab.

For instance, about 5% of job postings mentioned a signing bonus in June, which is down from a high of 5.6% in September 2022 but much higher than the pre-pandemic average of 1.8%.

“Recruiters continue to make strong efforts to attract candidates, particularly through the use of signing bonuses, which have nearly tripled between early 2020 and today,” Cory Stahle and Nick Bunker, economists with Indeed’s Hiring Lab, wrote in the report.

Signing bonuses have increased the most for healthcare and in-person roles since 2019 — growing by five times for medical technicians and nearly tripling for physicians, surgeons and nurses. Competition among employers likely continues to contribute to high demand and higher-than-average signing bonuses.

Other in-demand roles — in sectors such as trucking and logistics — have offered major signing bonuses to attract workers due to labor shortages.

“While the share of postings mentioning signing bonuses has fallen somewhat lately from recent highs, it remains elevated and is an important signal of the true price employers are willing to pay to attract workers, even as wage growth overall shifts into a lower gear,” Stahle and Bunker wrote.

Overall, job postings are down 16% year over year but remain 29% higher than pre-pandemic levels, according to the report. Layoffs remain low in general, despite cuts in particular sectors such as technology and media, and joblessness is also low. The quit rate is also beginning to fall, which suggests that wage growth will continue to trend downward as well.

The report supports similar Indeed findings from earlier this year, with job postings down, layoffs remaining stable and worker turnover down. Globally, hiring expectations are cooling for the summer and may remain lower for the rest of the third quarter.

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