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Top of Mind Insights from Recruiting Leaders Going into Q4

Adam Ward

Over the last month, we’ve spent a lot of time with recruiting leaders at events like RecFest, with our client companies, and in 1:1 conversations. Here is what we are hearing as top of mind going into Q4 and planning for next year.

Doing more with less

2023 saw nearly every company in core tech having to right size their recruiting team to align to a different level of growth than was initially anticipated this time last year. What was left was a recruiting team that under-resourced and not necessarily aligned skills-wise to the hiring that has materialized throughout the year. The impression of a soft market, a massive increase in applications at the top of the funnel, and pickier hiring managers has led to the following impacts:

  • With limited headcount, hiring managers are focusing on more senior and specialized talent.
  • Lower recruiting productivity by recruiters caused by more top of funnel candidates to manage and lower pass through rates. Ashby shared some great data recently that clearly visualizes this. Our 2023 benchmarking data shows a 25-30% reduction in recruiter productivity. There’s an influx of AI inspired solutions coming to market or getting built within incumbent systems that may address some of this over time, but there’s little appetite for investments into ‘new’ tools and the effectiveness of these are still being proven out.
  • Recruiting leaders investing in upscaling their teams. Recruiters that once had sourcing support are now asked to be full stack.  IC recruiters who once had a layer of management influencing leaders and remove roadblocks for them are now required to do so. If we can help you or your team, please check out our Academy and Recruiting Team training offerings.

Focus on consistency and rigor in the hiring process

Speaking of quality of hire (QoH), we’re working with companies to dive into this topic and we’re finding that it comes down to clearly defining what is meant by QoH and then creating/updating hiring and assessment processes to create more confidence in hiring outcomes. We see as Quality of Hire = performance + retention. We find that the best-in-class companies do something quite obvious: they align employee performance and candidate assessment criteria to be able to better correlate and predict high performance.

A crucial element to cracking this is having a consistent hiring process, but consistency via structured interviewing is not enough. Founders and leaders want to know that there is rigor behind it. Anchoring a consistent process to a high level of expectations as defined by level and career ladders is ideal. There’s a lot of conversation around raising the bar and our advice is to first look at the internal employee expectations, raise those first, and then apply those to your hiring process by aligning the criteria consistently.

If we can help your team think through how this might apply to your company, reach out us at

Career Crossroads for Recruiting Leaders

We spend a lot of time with recruiting leaders who have been impacted by layoffs or are not satisfied in their current role and hanging in there until the market improves. For those thinking about their next in house recruiting role, we wrote a blog post in the past and it's still relevant today about how to run a structured job search for your next role.

We’re also hearing that many of you are thinking about pivoting to more of a People/HR leadership role or considering a VC Talent path. We’d love to hear from you about what you are thinking about as a next step in your career via this anonymous poll.

We’re hosting our next community event on this topic where we will have a panel of former recruiting leaders who have made these shifts sharing their experiences and recommendations. We will share the results from the poll along with these insights from our panelists.

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