ERP Recruiting and Hiring Trends to Start 2023
“Hiring the wrong people is the fastest way to undermine a sustainable business.” – Kevin J. Donaldson
As we gear up for 2023, let’s take a look back over 2022 and make some predictive observations about recruiting and hiring trends leading into the new year. While much of the data will be universal to the overall labor market, we’ll try to make this applicable to ERP trends specifically. We know you are looking to retain or increase your Implementation Consultants, Business Analysts, Accountants, Developers, and Sales Executives. We know you work in Sage Intacct, Acumatica, D365, Infor, NetSuite, Avalara, or other ERP software, and this information will apply to you all. No one is immune to the challenges of recruiting, hiring, and retaining talent. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive right into the ERP recruiting and hiring trends to start 2023.
The Great Resignation
One of the most popular terms that defined 2021 and 2022 when it came to the job market was “the Great Resignation”. People were quitting their jobs in record numbers. Well, that’s partly true, but also somewhat misleading. From 2006 to 2008, the “quit rate” dropped from 2.2% to a low of 1.2%, meaning 1.2% of the employed workforce voluntarily quit their jobs. That number began to steadily increase every year until 2020. Right before the Covid19 Pandemic, the quit rate had gone up to an average of 2.4%. In a matter of months, millions and millions of workers lost their jobs. Those who were fortunate enough to keep their jobs didn’t dare quit no matter the working conditions.
A little over a year later, businesses tried to go back to “normal”. To their surprise, workers weren’t exactly chomping at the bit to come back. The time at home gave many a new perspective and a renewed sense of worth and value for their time. Many didn’t want to go back into the office either out of convenience or for health safety reasons. Many wanted better pay. Others were looking for a better culture fit or more growth opportunities. And then those who were still employed started to leave. But, you can see by the graph, they weren’t necessarily leaving in drastically greater numbers than before the pandemic. It just felt like it because of the big Covid dip. That rate has come down slightly more recently, but people are still demanding remote or hybrid work options, better pay, better benefits, and a work-life balance.
Are we in a recession? Are we heading towards one? Is it going to be bad? Depending on how you define it and who you ask, the answer is “yes”. And it’s also “no”. And it’s also “well, maybe”. A recession is defined as a business cycle contraction when there is a general decline in economic activity. Typically this is measured by two consecutive quarters of negative gross domestic product. And we had that at the beginning of 2022. But no one called an official recession because all the other traditional indicators pointed in the opposite direction.
The long and short of it is, no one really knows for sure. Unemployment numbers are back down to 3.7%, but employers are also laying off workers. That usually means they aren’t going to be doing much growing in the near future. Wages have been increasing, but with inflation causing prices of goods to go up, people are spending more and getting less. But they’re still spending more. That doesn’t typically happen in a recession. According to Forbes, a recession is still expected to hit sometime in 2023. The question is when will it hit, how long will it last, and how bad will it be? This uncertainty is making a lot of businesses hesitant to continue hiring. In the ERP world, your success depends heavily on having clients wishing to purchase or upgrade an expensive software product. If those businesses are hesitant to invest in cloud technology and grow their operations, it makes it hard for you to grow as well.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), US salaries were projected to rise 2.8% in 2020, but the economic impacts of COVID-19 brought that average down to 2.5%. US salaries were projected to rise by an average of 2.1% in 2021. With COVID restrictions waning and employers struggling to staff back up to pre-pandemic levels, average salaries actually increased 3% in 2021. The prediction for 2022 remained at 3%, but that prediction quickly increased to 4% for 2022 before the year even got started. The actual increase in 2022 was about 4.2% and the prediction for 2023 is an average salary increase of up to 4.6%.
An important thing to keep in mind is that many technology jobs already saw a significant salary increase over the last few years as the demand for better and cloud-based technology skyrocketed. Technology workers might not quite see the 4.6% increase in ERP salaries because they have already seen larger boosts than many other industries. At DyNexus Recruiting, we are putting the final touches on our 2023 ERP Salary Guide (you can still download the 2022 edition). We will have our predictions for Implementation Consultants, Developers, Project Managers, Sales Executives, Business Analysts, Controllers, Accountants, Independent Contractors, and more. We are predicting an average increase of just over half the expected total workforce increase or between 2.5% and 3.0%.
Recruiting & Staffing
There was an increase in employers using Independent Consultants in 2022 and we expect to see that continue to increase going into 2023. Hiring managers use contract talent to access specialized expertise, fill skill gaps, support core teams, and more. The tough market for permanent hires and the cost associated with full-time employees makes interim professionals even more valuable. Many employers are bringing in contract professionals with an eye on their potential for joining the team in a permanent role. Almost two-thirds of managers (64%) have converted more contract professionals to full-time hires in 2022 than in 2021.
Increased AI Technology
Many of the recruiting tips and tricks are the same going into 2023. I’ll get into those in a second. First, I want to talk about a rising trend: the use of AI technology for sourcing, screening, and interviewing. This can be both a very effective tool, but also a very dangerous tool. AI technology can be a great resource for finding potential candidates with the right background and keywords that seem to be a perfect match. AI can also pour through a candidates’ online social presence to detect potential red flags that might not be visible on a resume.
There are potentially some big problems associated with AI though as detailed in The Observer. In 2017, Amazon had to stop using their AI recruiting software because it favored male candidates over female candidates. And there is more data to suggest AI works against inclusivity and diversity and (intentionally or inadvertently) can lead to discrimination. Another concern, as touched on in an article by Yoh, is that recruitment is a “people-oriented” process. Some companies are using AI so much that a candidate could be found, contacted, and had a first interview before an actual person ever sees the candidate for themselves. This will be the first introduction to your company a potential candidate has. And in this market, the interview process is just as much about you selling yourself as it is about the candidate pleading their own case. Candidates have too many options right now. While your AI method might be a little faster, the impersonal aspect will surely drive away some great candidates.
So What Do You Do?
First and foremost, have a plan. Are you going to do your recruiting in-house or use a 3rd party recruiter? What is your interview process? Who is the first line of defense that determines which candidates get considered? Who conducts the first interview? Is that a phone call or a video interview? If that goes well, who is the next interviewer? How many interviews do you require before an offer can be made? Who is authorized to make the offer? You absolutely must have a plan in place before you ever start this process. Too many great candidates are lost because a hiring company takes too long getting the candidate to the next step.
Second, make sure your salary and benefits offerings are competitive. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration. Geographic location, nature of the work, seniority level of the desired candidates are just a few. Using an ERP Salary Guide is a great starting point to determine industry standards.
In addition to a competitive salary, the demand for remote and hybrid work that exploded during the pandemic is not going away. If your work can be done remotely, you will attract many more candidates. Not only is that what employees want, it also opens up your talent pool to a much bigger search radius.
Remember that the interview process is a two-way conversation now more than ever. You are just as responsible for selling your company to a candidate as they are for selling themselves as a potential new hire. One thing we always ask when setting up a new job search here at DyNexus is “what gets you excited to get up every morning and go to work for your company?”
While these are somewhat unprecedented and uncertain times, the way you recruit, hire, and retain top talent in the ERP industry is not going to change much from 2022 to 2023 and beyond. As always, if you have any questions or have a need for any of our recruiting and staffing services, we are here to help. We hope these tips and insights helped you to navigate the ERP recruiting and hiring trends to start 2023.