ZipRecruiter Inaugural Employer Survey: With Labor Shortages Here to Stay, U.S. Employers Are Pulling Out All the Stops

New annual employer study reveals insights into the return to the office, the state of pay, skills-based hiring, and talent trends

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ZipRecruiter®, a leading online employment marketplace, today released the results from its first Annual Employer Survey, providing an in-depth look into the challenges, motivations, and latest hiring practices of employers across the U.S. According to the new report, employers are adopting new policies, processes and offerings to recruit and retain top talent in today’s labor market.

“Employers increasingly understand that labor shortages are here to stay, given current demographic trends and government policies. In response, they have made a dizzying array of changes to their hiring processes, tech stacks, benefits offerings, and remote work policies over just the past year. Now, many are turning to emerging Generative AI tools, eager to find a silver bullet,” said Julia Pollak, ZipRecruiter Chief Economist and lead author of the report.

ZipRecruiter surveyed individuals responsible for hiring decisions at 2,000 businesses of varying sizes and industries throughout the U.S. The report provides insights into four major categories – work arrangements, skills-based hiring, the state of pay, and top talent trends.

Remote or RTO?: Employers and Workers Meet in the Middle

As employers explore different remote work and return to office policies, one thing remains clear—most U.S. companies are done with the five-day in-office work week.

Key findings include:

  • A mere 16% of companies with office jobs that could feasibly be done remotely require employees to be in the office five days a week.
  • Even among the 43% of companies that have revised their remote work policies and mandated some form of return-to-office over the past year, only 14% have required workers to come back five days a week.
  • There is a large remote recruitment premium on ZipRecruiter, with remote jobs getting more than three times as many applications as similar in-person jobs.
  • The remote reversal is largely based on employer beliefs that effective in-person monitoring and mentoring require employees and managers to be in the office at the same time. However, over 70% of employers say they do not centrally coordinate in-office days, which could diminish the intended benefits of returning to the office.

The full work arrangements report with additional data and commentary is available here.

Beyond Degrees: Rethinking Qualifications in the Skills-First Era

Employers are ditching degrees and embracing skills-based hiring—especially in the wake of skills shortages, post-pandemic college enrollment declines, and a widely acknowledged college affordability crisis.

Key findings include:

  • 45% of companies said they had dispensed with degree requirements for some roles in just the past year, and 72% said they now practice skills-based hiring, prioritizing skills over degrees.
  • The share of job postings on ZipRecruiter listing a bachelor’s degree as a requirement fell 10% between 2022 and 2023 to date, whereas the share of job postings offering candidates training and tuition assistance rose 31% and 24%, respectively.
  • Facing skills gaps, employers are prepared to make investments in candidates with the right soft skills. 10% of employers said they added student loan assistance to their benefits packages, 15% said they added tuition assistance, and 30% said they added new employee training and development programs in the past year.

The full skills-based hiring report with additional data and commentary is available here.

Pay Trends Amid Rising Pay Transparency

It is becoming standard practice for employers to publish salary information in job descriptions, but determining the right amount to post is challenging in the current environment where employers are both reducing pay for certain roles and having trouble filling vacancies at current wage levels.

Key findings include:

  • 41% of employers polled say a position has gone unfilled in the past six months because candidates wanted more pay than the company was prepared to offer. And pay is the top response employers gave as their #1 differentiator in recruitment.
  • ZipRecruiter data shows that, on average, posted pay levels have declined over the year in more industries, categories, and job titles than increased—a deviation from the historical trend.
  • This trend of employers trying to change employee wage expectations following two years of rapid (nominal) wage increases is backed up by the survey data, with 48% saying they have reset pay downwards for some roles in the past year.
  • 75% of employers agree that pay transparency helps them attract quality candidates, and 61% agree that pay transparency makes recruitment more efficient by discouraging poorly matched candidates from applying and preventing post-offer disappointment.

The full state of pay report with additional data and commentary is available here.

The Top 10 Talent Acquisition Challenges of 2023

Employers might have expected hiring conditions to ease as the pandemic waned and then later as the Federal Reserve raised interest rates to restrictive levels. However, many employers report they still find themselves in a tough labor market.

Key findings include:

  • When asked to list their top three recruitment challenges, 57% of employers said they lacked qualified candidates, and 46% said they had too few candidates of any kind.
  • The labor market remains highly competitive, with 40% of employers saying that competition for talent from better-known companies is among their top three recruitment challenges, and 40% listing competition from companies that pay more or offer more benefits.
  • 50% of employers bemoaned a lack of underrepresented candidates in the talent pipeline, 43% noted a lack of applicants of color, and 42% a lack of female applicants.

The full talent trends report with additional data and commentary is available here.

Survey methodology

The ZipRecruiter Annual Employer Survey is a nationwide online survey exploring employer attitudes toward recent hiring trends and their experiences of current U.S. labor market conditions. Respondents were verified talent acquisition professionals and hiring managers with considerable responsibility for hiring processes and decisions. They represent 2,000 businesses of all sizes and across industries. The survey was fielded from July 7 to August 1, 2023.

About ZipRecruiter

ZipRecruiter® ( is a leading online employment marketplace that actively connects people to their next great opportunity. ZipRecruiter’s powerful matching technology improves the job search experience for job seekers and helps businesses of all sizes find and hire the right candidates quickly. ZipRecruiter has been the #1 rated job search app on iOS & Android for the past six years1 and is rated the #1 employment job site by G2.2

1Based on job seeker app ratings, during the period of January 2017 to January 2023 from AppFollow for ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder, Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn, and Monster.
2Based on G2 satisfaction ratings as of December 13, 2022.