The State Of Online Recruiting 2023 – Top Report Findings With Andre Riley of iHire

Ready to unravel the mysteries behind the slow adoption of AI in recruitment? We’ve got Andre Riley from iHire, armed with intriguing insights from the fifth annual State of Online Recruiting Survey, to guide us through this labyrinth. The data, gathered from over 2100 job seekers and 500 employers across 57 industries, will change your perception of the talent acquisition landscape.

Isn’t it interesting that a mere 5% of employers are leveraging AI for recruitment, while only 3% of job seekers are using these technology tools? Together with Andre, we’re going on an explorative journey to understand why AI hasn’t taken off in recruitment like it has in other sectors. We will also elucidate how AI can be harnessed to create efficient processes and enhance productivity in this industry.

In times of economic uncertainty and budget constraints, how are employers strategizing their hiring? Our conversation uncovers how smart hiring could potentially focus on quality over quantity, saving precious resources while constructing a robust talent pipeline. We also dissect the current trends in candidate behavior, skill-based hiring, and how the ‘great resignation’ impacts companies.

For anyone seeking ways to retain employees and prevent staff turnover, this episode is a treasure trove of wisdom and practical advice.

Listening Time: 27 minutes

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Andre Riley
Chief Revenue Officer iHire

I have a strong passion for building and scaling revenue in B2B SaaS sales. Through my journey, I’ve grown as a leader and have a better understanding of what truly drives motivation and long-term success within team members. I believe company culture and team culture is an important DNA within an organization.


The State Of Online Recruiting 2023 – Top Report Findings With Andre Riley of iHire

William Tincup: [00:00:00] This is William Tincup and you’re listening to the Recruiting Daily podcast. Today we have Andre on from iHire and our topic Is the state of online recruiting at 2023 the top report findings? So they’ve done some research, they’ve got some findings. Andre and I are going to learn what he learned in doing the the research.

So Andre, would you do us a favor and introduce yourself and iHire.

Andre Riley: Absolutely. So thank [00:01:00] you William, really appreciate the opportunity to be on here with you and discuss. The amazing report that we’re able to find and an annual report that we do. But just to give a background, my name is Andre Reilly.

I am the Chief Revenue Officer here at iHire. I’ve worked in multiple SaaS tech companies building and scaling all go to market initiatives from Sales, marketing, customer success, everything that’s all impacting and driving revenue. And when it comes to iHeart for those who don’t know about us and aren’t aware who iHeart is, we are a talent acquisition platform.

In short, we have over 50 plus. Industry specific job boards. So we’re able to work directly with employers helping them recruit for those hard to fill positions and across any position that they’re hiring for within an organization. And what really makes iHire unique and different than a lot of the other job boards out there is that we have industry specific job boards.

And what I mean by that is, for example, we have iHire Dentistry, iHire Accounting. [00:02:00] And these industry specific job boards really help tailor to not only drive high quality candidates. who are industry focused and also very highly skilled and highly experienced within those industries. But it also allows for our employers to really target and focus and know that if they’re posting a job within our job boards, they’re going to be posting directly towards an audience and candidate realm that is right within that industry.

In retrospective from this, we’re able to really help drive quality candidates for our for our employers, helping them fill some of those tough to tough to fill positions and really getting them with a lot of strong candidates within that pipeline to help them really drive their entire talent acquisition side of things.

William Tincup: I love it. I love it. And then you and I have talked a couple of times, and so I love what iHire does. I love the fact, I love your experience as well. I wish I had your experience. This is obviously, this is research y’all have done year in and year out and things like that. So what did you learn this year when, and again, you’re new.

Not to SAS and not to sales and not [00:03:00] to such, but you’ve recruited before, but not new to recruiting, but let’s say the recruiting industry, we’ll keep it simple. What was when you read the report or maybe the, probably the early draft of the findings, what stood out to

Andre Riley: you? Yeah, first, before I talk about that, just to piggyback a little off what you just said there, William, yeah, first and foremost for myself, I’ve worked in the tech space since I’ve graduated college helped building and scaling a couple startup companies within the tech space and I’ve done a ton of hiring, a lot of hiring but coming and joining iHire was my first my first experience on the talent acquisition platform.

And kind of HR, tech side of things and I was able to come in with the lens of being an end user of the space. And now working and helping those other companies and other hiring managers and HR departments find talent. This industry report was very insightful and very enlightening and not only this year’s, but it’s something that we do annually.

And, there was a lot of great things that we found from this. I think [00:04:00] first and foremost this is an inside look in today’s talent acquisition landscape and really the impact of the different trends on hiring and the role of job boards. And a lot of recruitment platforms and what they play in connecting companies and candidates.

And this is our fifth annual state of online recruiting survey. Within this survey, we actually surveyed over 2, 100 job seekers. And we surveyed over just about 500 employers from about 57 different industries across the entire U. S. And this was actually completed in June of this year. And really, for any of those who want to learn more about the survey and really get a lot of the insights around this and results around it, please visit our website at iHire.

com slash and then the last one is S O R 23. So that’s an abbreviation for State of Online Recruiting Report. And again, that’s iHire. com slash S O R 23. And you can actually download the data and a lot of analysis of what we found within [00:05:00] this report. But really what we found was a lot of key things around this, Will.

Number one, I think the first thing I always like to talk about and really what stood out to me is probably. One of the biggest things that’s talked about across the tech space and across any space if you’re online is about AI, right? Everywhere we go and everything we hear today is all about AI and all the different aspects and how different companies are leveraging it, different ways they’re using it.

And one interesting thing that we found was that within the recruitment space. It was very slow to adopt AI, right? Even despite the proliferation and the readily available AI tools that are out there, just under 5 percent of our employees said that they are currently using AI in their recruitment efforts, right?

And these things are such as helping writing job descriptions or screening resumes or anything like that. On the flip side of this, we also found from a job seeker standpoint, that only Just about 3 percent had actually used the [00:06:00] tools in their job search, right? So maybe using an AI tool to help write their resume or help write their cover letters.

So this was something very interesting that we found was just a slow adoption of AI within the recruitment space.

William Tincup: This is fascinating to me because I think it’s iCIMS, I can’t remember who did the report, but let’s just say iCIMS, it was something like 80% of CHROs are, have used some form of ai like chat, G B T.

If used ai and then there was 80% of CHROs are AI creates anxiety for ’em. They’re terrified of it. , so it’s and it wasn’t the same 80%, but it was just this idea of okay, people are using it. In some way, probably in their personal lives, et cetera or interacting with it in some form or fashion, but they’re all so terrified of it.

And I’m curious to get your take on, the slow adoption, it makes sense because it’s changes every day. I’m on let’s see, last night I was driving to a scout meeting with my son. [00:07:00] And I said, okay, what do you got to do for your homework? He’s I need to interview you about plastic in the ocean.

I said, okay just just want you to just record my voice and just interview me while we’re driving. And so he goes, okay I said, download an app. Download an AI app that does transcription from audio to text. So he downloads one, he then hits, record, and he we’re just driving. And he interviews me, I do that bit, he downloads it, all the text comes out.

Yes. Okay, now just take that text, drop it into Google Docs and then, you’ll go through Grammarly. You’ll shape it up. There’s some stuff in there that you can delete and whatever, and then you can make it better. And then done. There’s the interview. He did it. And he’s 13.

So he did it and he turned it in today. Like it was done that easily. So I think it’s getting people to the adoption side, I think the vendor community is going to be the ones, like y’all, I think y’all are the ones that are going to be teaching both sides. So you’re going to [00:08:00] be teaching your clients, okay, here’s how you can use generative AI, here’s how you can use AI, and this is some of the things you can look at for your workflow, here’s how to make things a little bit more efficient or better experience for the recruiters or hiring managers, whatever.

And then on the other side, probably equally as much, Working with candidates to then say, okay, so you’re probably overwhelmed with how you could possibly use AI. Here’s three simple ways. Do this, use this tool for this, use this tool for this, use this tool for this, and just try it and see what you think.

Andre Riley: Exactly. And I think that’s really where it’s at, I think there’s a lot of debate around there about AI, and how to use it. And like you said, there’s a little bit of scary, approach to it, right? And like how to use it. But, just an example, you talked about when you and your son and on your road trip that you guys did.

And the biggest thing that you’re telling me that the biggest thing I saw hearing that was that you unlock productivity and efficiency. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, and so that’s the powerful thing about AI is really gaining the ability to have, be [00:09:00] highly productive, highly efficient, and one of the key ways that AI can really be used in just an early stage right now beyond going to some of the bigger things that AI is doing is really around content generation, right?

So the biggest thing that we find from this and the biggest recommendation we have for a lot of recruiters out there is you’ve got to start exploring AI. Start doing it before you’re falling too far behind the competition because these tools are going to be here to stay, and they’re only going to grow and get better and bigger and more, touching more areas around the business.

But, some good examples of using this and just giving it a shot and trying it is, like I said, with content generation, right? Using it to help write job descriptions or forming interview questions and things like that. That’s a good place to start. And, we always recommend is you don’t want to solely rely on AI, right?

But I’ve always said, it can take care of 70 percent of the work. And it still takes a human effort. It still takes an intuition from a human perspective to add that to it. [00:10:00] That other 30% to make sure the lines, make sure it’s speaking the right language of what you want, honing to your brand and to the messaging and really what you want in there.

But, number one is start using it, start giving it a shot and start trying the tools out there to really help with content based generation.

William Tincup: Something we’ve talked about for years is how do you personalize or how do you tailor your resume to that particular job? And so the way I would do it now is I’d go to my LinkedIn profile, I would download my profile as a PDF, and then I’d convert the PDF to a Word document.

Okay, great. Now I’ve got it as a Word document. I download the position description, download it, put it into Word, make it a Word document. And then I would use AI. To upload the job description, upload my resume, and tailor my resume to that particular job description.

Andre Riley: Exactly.

William Tincup: Exactly. And now what spits out…

Is my resume, things that I’ve done, accomplished, et cetera, [00:11:00] but tailored to using the same words, because that’s what a lot of the AI matching tools on the backend are looking at is it’s semantic semantic match and and it’s, keyword matching and things like that. I was going to say, so it’s, so again, how do you personalize?

You can personalize it pretty quickly, actually, you don’t necessarily need to do that, but that’s an idea, and again, that’s just basic. And there’s so many more ways to make that even better. Yeah,

Andre Riley: absolutely. And, the other thing I’ll say too, with the William is that, what AI is really doing, if you think about machine learning on top of all of that, As more and more folks start to input more information into it, it’s only going to get smarter.

It’s only going to get better all throughout that. As we think about from recruiters, we start loading in, interview questions or job descriptions. As you tailor and you give back feedback to, let’s say you’re using, you’re, You start giving feedback, it’s going to get better and learn.

So [00:12:00] the more data it’s collecting, the more people that are giving it feedback, the better and better it’s going to be to really spit out the right type of information that you’re looking for. Those are definitely ways, like you said, from a keyword matching standpoint, those are good ways.

To start to at least leverage it and start to use it and really allow for it to help you be efficient and productive.

William Tincup: What else? Okay, so first of all, I love that we talked about that for an hour, but now we can go on and on. But what beyond, because so it’s the adoption of AI for both the employer and the candidate.

Got it. And how do we drive that and get them to use AI and again using more adoption they’ll come up with really sophisticated ways to actually make it work for them and be more productive. What other findings that kind of stuck out to you? Yeah,

Andre Riley: I think as we look at these times and we look at the market, and we look at.

How companies are performing, how the economic conditions are doing, what we found in this is that employers are bracing for economic change. We actually found that 35 percent of our [00:13:00] employees we surveyed expected economic uncertainty to actually impact their ability to hire in the coming year.

And so roughly about 28 percent of that anticipated challenges with budgets and nearly 10 percent have already reduced their current recruiting budgets in 2023. Plus, when you think about it, hiring is down to about 9, a little over 9 percent year over year. But however, a vast majority, just under 82 percent of employees said that they were actively hiring.

So even though we see year over year hiring is down, still a majority of employers are still actively hiring. And so from this, really when you think about this, and we all look at different things to try to understand the climate, the market, and different economic conditions. One of the things we really take away from this information, this data around this is, Proactively prepare for the unknown and by hiring smarter and more strategically, right?

For example, this can be focusing on quality over quantity of candidates. [00:14:00] If you’re having trouble attracting applicants, right? Having 1 or 2 highly qualified candidates to vet, versus 100 unqualified, mediocre candidates can lead to a lot more efficient hiring process. Another way around this is to hire smarter and save time and resources is to consider whether you can promote someone from within or cross train to fill gaps without hiring from scratch, right?

Turn your talent pipeline into, which may include some previous applicants who weren’t qualified, who were qualified, but maybe ultimately not chosen for the role. Or people in your network. Really turning your talent pipeline and utilizing that from current past referrals and really tap into that when you’re in a pinch.

And we actually found that, nearly 71 percent of our employers said that they regularly rely on referrals to fill positions. So these are some great ways to help mitigate. And help brace for the various different changes in [00:15:00] economic uncertainty that are still to come.

William Tincup: Did you see anything on two things?

One the candidate changing behavior wise, like needing something different from employers? And secondly you can take them in any order, but anything more on skills, like more of an emphasis on the skills that they either have right now or skills that they can build? Cause you don’t like. You’ve seen the same thing that I’ve seen.

We need a chat GPT engineer with five years of experience. That person doesn’t exist, right? But there might be somebody that has a little bit of that experience that can learn if we put the right training and development around them. So skills based hiring is big in one sense.

But it’s and another, it’s okay what skills do they have as opposed to what skills are they going to need in a year from now? Do you think employers, and that’s the question about skills is so two questions. One’s about candidates and their behavior and is that changing or do you see anything new there?

The other is how [00:16:00] employers are looking at skills.

Andre Riley: Yeah I think, first and foremost, I think, yes, candidates are looking at the different skills and really honing in on getting different type of learning and certifications and different learning courses to help level up their skill set.

But I also would say that when we think about skills in a sense there, one of the actually data points that we found was that a shortage of qualified talent continues to be a pain for employees. So that was another big finding that we found. And, the surprising thing about this, William, is that every year that we’ve conducted a survey, a majority of our employees have said that they struggle to attract qualified candidates, right?

And 2023 was no exception to that. About 63%, I think it was, of our employers said that they received too many unqualified applicants. And this was their number one challenge that they faced when recruiting

William Tincup: online. That’s just noise. So that’s when you say unqualified, they don’t even have the [00:17:00] skills to, you can even build on.

They’re just spraying and praying, on the candidate side, they’re just applying a thousand jobs. And so it’s just noise in the system. And that’s what you’re talking about from an employer’s perspective. It’s we have to get through that noise. Sift through all that crap just to get to the right folks that we should be talking to anyhow.


Andre Riley: absolutely. And that’s the biggest pain about, hiring is you’re like, Oh my gosh, I had to go through all these other things that you start going through and you’re like, sometimes you look at it and you go, why in the world did this person apply? Did they even read the job scripts? Did they even do that?

So you can typically get that and that becomes a challenge. And some of the things that we really look at this and, some takeaways from this for our employer side is. Rethinking what you believe makes a candidate qualify, while some of the certifications are must haves and are, definitely necessary in certain roles.

What proficiencies can a, can an applicant learn on the job, right? What are things that they can be taught that are proficiencies that maybe they have the right attributes, but some of these [00:18:00] proficiencies can be taught and learned on the job, right? Which are the must haves versus nice to haves? Really, evaluating is a formal education absolutely necessary, right?

That’s a big thing that, a lot of folks are, leaning away from the formal education, getting other areas and other ways of getting experience or education. And yeah. Employer side, that’s something to evaluate to a certain standpoint as well. In

William Tincup: certain industries, the education and education, like a mechanical engineering degree that you’re going to then use to then do X, Y, and Z it still makes sense.

In certain industries like you’re in sales and I came up through marketing, most of what I learned about marketing, I could have learned by just doing the job. Like just throwing myself into the experience. I’ve done sales too. And again, there’s certain maybe a degree in communications or degree in psychology, would probably be really helpful from the sales perspective, but you know what sales is, it’s [00:19:00] an A, you can you know how to listen.

You know how to, how to talk, how to make people feel comfortable. These are, I don’t even soft skills. These are just people skills that they don’t, you, I don’t know what degree, I don’t know what school you went to or any of that other stuff, but it’s I’m not sure you need a degree to be a great sales leader.

You need some training. Yeah, sure. Sure.

Andre Riley: Yeah. Yeah. So it’s actually for me, William, I actually got my degree in marketing as well. Yeah. So I, I, in marketing is a big component of what I’ve always done and what I own, but got my degree in formal education and marketing, but started my career off in sales.

And always have loved sales and loved the aspect of it. And Marketing and sales are so

William Tincup: tied together. Oh yeah, no, it’s the two sided coin, right? So it’s one side of sales, one side of marketing. And B2B, marketing is subservient to sales. And I say this to marketers all the time and they hate it.

But I’m like, if you’re doing something and it doesn’t directly lead to sales, then you’re doing the wrong things.

Andre Riley: Yeah, one interesting thing too, [00:20:00] just from, experience that I have and experience I have with a couple other, sales leaders out there. One interesting thing that really took off over the past, I would say three to five years, probably three years or so, really post COVID, it really shot out shot through the roof, was when you think about sales, typically in the SaaS tech space, looking for sales account executives, you’re looking for a certain skill set, some prior experience in sales, preferably in SaaS, but what a lot of folks are looking at is, Yes.

We Thinking about what are other skill sets and what are other jobs that are, that really blend well with sales and that are cross functional. And one of those things became a lot of service waiters and waitresses. They have strong, good people skills, multi managing, multitasking, things of that nature, good communication skills.

The other aspect was also teachers. Teachers is a big area where those, individuals that are leaving the education system, a lot of [00:21:00] them are doing very well and see a very prolific career within sales. And so that was something very interesting across the board that I’ve seen happen out there.

And in fact, in my experience in my prior company, I actually hired three teachers, brought them in as SDRs, entry level sales reps, and they absolutely crushed it. Crushed it and moved up to be AEs and everything like that as well. So something very interesting about that as we think about looking at skill sets and looking at what qualifies a candidate and kind of thinking differently from that standpoint.

William Tincup: Love it. Okay. So anything on the candidate behavior side? Do we know, did you notice anything there?

Andre Riley: Yeah, I’d actually say we found that, when we talk about what skill sets and what things are actually necessary requirements for the job, from a job seeker perspective, we actually found that 33 percent of our job seekers said that they believe that employers have unrealistic or overly specific requirements.

Actually, that’s a very interesting ride on the flip side. [00:22:00] Our candidates are saying, man, what they’re asking for is completely unrealistic.

William Tincup: It’s an, it’s a laundry list. You and I know you, we’ve been through this, you know what it is. And like you, you separated it very nicely early on with the must haves and nice to haves and things like that.

It’s but people just put a laundry list of things you got to work to and NASA. You have a degree from MIT. You have to have lived in Connecticut, okay. Like all this stuff. And it’s what are the three things you have to have? Like just, it’s a knockout. This is actually something that I like when people, they have knockout questions.

Let’s just okay, listen, if you haven’t done, let’s just say you haven’t been a BDR and we want to hire you and you have, you just have no interest in being a BDR and you’ve never done the job of BDR, we can’t hire you as a salesperson. Cause you gotta understand that role to understand how to leverage that role and to sell, okay, that’s, that’s a terrible example, like it’s create a knockout and get away from the laundry list of stuff.

And it’s [00:23:00] Hey, these are the must and even label it. These are the must haves.

Andre Riley: Yeah. Also, I think embracing skill based hiring, right? Assessments and work sample tests to actually gauge an applicant’s fit. That’s another great way, when you think about, we keep talking about sales but another good thing in sales is, especially from an SDR, BDR, even an AE, no matter what, but, building pipeline and prospecting is a huge component to sales.

And so having all You know, throughout that interview process, have a process where you have them write. A cold email that they would send to a prospect and write it based upon your company, right? And have them look at those things. So that’s two things. Number one, you’re able to gauge their written communication skills.

Number two is you’re able to gauge their ability to learn and absorb information about your company, your product that you offer, and the persona that you sell to. Just utilizing what they can find on the internet. And what they find on your website and things like that. So we don’t [00:24:00] give them a whole bunch of information.

This is actually something we do in our process. We don’t give them the personas that we target. We don’t give them a lot of information. It’s really, they’re at the free liberty to find, use whatever they find online and any resources. And write a cold email. And that’s something that has really helped us identify some key skill sets and key strengths in individuals and also able to weed out certain individuals from some of that as

William Tincup: well.

I love it. Okay, any other things that kind of stuck out for you?

Andre Riley: Yeah, I would also say another big thing, and I think this is a huge topic just because the great resignation, the big quit, the great reshuffle, whatever the different, monikers that were used, what we found is that this is, seems like it’s coming to an ease, right?

The great resignation is easing. About 49 percent of our employers experienced staff turnover in the past year, and that number was down by a little over 8 percent from 2022. So we’re seeing that’s easing down. Plus, we found that [00:25:00] 36 percent of our employers said that they perceive difficulty retaining employees in the coming year, which that’s down by 16 percent from our previous survey in 2022.

Okay, now I think what’s actually more telling about this, William, is that nearly 47 percent of our job seekers surveyed were employed and searching for work, right? And that’s about an 18%, just slightly under 19 percent year over year decrease. Which that suggests that more workers are actually staying put, even given the uncertainty with the economy and different shuffling and things that are happening out there.

We see that, we’re not quite out of the woods yet of the Great Resignation. Keep the employees that you have engaged and satisfied to avoid any costly turnover. But it is slowly, we are seeing it starting to ease down a little bit, and I think that this becomes so more important to really retain the staff that you have, do a lot of work in evaluating your health [00:26:00] benefits, compensation, work life balance.

And, making sure that you have clear paths for advancement opportunities and, more of a contributing to a positive employee experience becomes super important. So that’s, those are some key things that we think about the Resonation Easing, some things that we can do to really make sure that retaining some of that top talent that you

William Tincup: have.

I love that. Yeah, I absolutely love that. All right. We’re a little bit over time, but and we could talk about this forever, but I want to have you on back on the show, but I want to do a use case podcast on iHire, but I want to thank you for your time today. Absolutely appreciate your time and coming on and talking a little bit about the report and the findings.


Andre Riley: absolutely. I appreciate the opportunity, William. Very excited about this. And like I said, there’s a lot more insight to be found. We can talk about the support for hours to come and all the insights that we found, but please, definitely go out there, check it out, download it. Again, that’s at iHeart.

com slash S O R 23, [00:27:00] and you can download the survey and see all the insights and findings that we found out there.

William Tincup: Awesome. Awesome. And thanks for everyone listening. Until next time.

The RecruitingDaily Podcast

William Tincup

William is the President & Editor-at-Large of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He's been writing about HR and Recruiting related issues for longer than he cares to disclose. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 20+ HR technology startups. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.


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