February 2023 Jobs Report: Differentiate and Move Fast to Capture Quality Talent

According to experts, the February 2023 Bureau of Labor Statistics Jobs Report has something for everyone: more jobs created than expected, an uptick in workers entering the job market, and softening wage growth. Here’s a closer look at the numbers:

  • Employers added 311,000 jobs, which outpaced expectations of 205,000
  • 270,000 workers re-entered the labor market, bumping the unemployment rate up to 3.6%
  • Average hourly earnings grew by only 0.2%

Leisure and hospitality employers accounted for 34% of February’s job growth with 105,000 jobs created. Other notable areas of growth included retail trade at 50,000 new jobs, professional business services with 45,000 new jobs, and healthcare with 44,000 jobs added (14,000 of those in residential care facilities). 

If you’re an employer in one of these industries, this month’s jobs report is encouraging. Job growth means business growth. New workers in the workforce means more opportunities for you to fill those open roles with great talent. And softening wage growth means you can compete on more than just pay. 

But given the sheer volume of jobs created, the number of open roles still outpaces supply of talent. This means that while you may feel some relief, competition for the very best job seekers out there is still high. So you still need to differentiate yourself as an employer and look for ways to move faster than your competitors in order to capture your fair share of the talent pool.

Here’s our advice:

Update your job descriptions

While pay is always going to be important to job seekers, slowing wage growth provides some relief for you when it comes to the cost of hiring new talent. As long as your pay offerings are in acceptable range, there is an opportunity for you to showcase other non-monetary offerings that might be attractive to today’s job seekers, such as flexibility, career growth, and company culture.

Additionally, with new workers pouring into the labor market, there is an opportunity for you to revamp your messaging around these offerings so that you can stand out in the eyes of new job seekers who might not know who you are. As you rework your descriptions, remember to write them through the lens of the job seeker. Prioritize what’s in it for them, make the opportunity sound exciting, and write it in a way that’s easy for likely overwhelmed job seekers to quickly scan (think: bullet points, section headers).

Get creative to boost referrals

With more workers entering the labor force, chances are your employees know someone who is newly looking for work. Boost referrals by getting creative with your employee referral program for the next month. That might mean a temporary increase in bonus payouts for referrals,  refreshed messaging in your internal email or text campaigns, or new competitions to gamify the program.

Whatever you choose to do, you’ll want to move fast. Anyone who is new to the job market will be inundated with all kinds of opportunities, so you’ll need to stand out and capture your fair share of this growing talent pool faster than your competitors. And we know that job seekers tend to trust recommendations from their peers and friends so reaching them through a referral is an excellent way to grab their attention. 

Make your job applications mobile-friendly

Anyone who is new to the job market in industries like hospitality or healthcare is going to have an overwhelming number of options for work. Incentivize job seekers to apply to your jobs first by making it really easy for them to do so on their phones. In Hireology’s recent survey of applicants, 52% of recent job seekers said they exclusively used their mobile devices in their search. So if it’s too difficult for people to apply to your roles on their phones, you’re potentially missing out on half of the talent pool.

There’s a few ways to do this. First, leverage text-to-apply technology which gives applicants the option to simply text a phone number to put their name in the running for an open role. Additionally, create shorter applications (five required fields max), minimize drop down menus that can be frustrating on small screens, and make resumes optional as adding an attachment can be really tough to do on a phone (you can confirm employment history later in a phone screen!).

Speed up your hiring process

Workers who are new to the labor market are typically eager to get on a payroll fast, so they’re going to be more likely to take the first offer they get. This means you need to find ways to move faster in the hiring process. How fast? Our recent survey of job seekers found that the top 30% of talent gets offers in less than two weeks.

The number one way you can shave days or even weeks off your hiring process is by leveraging an all-in-one hiring software. Moving across systems that don’t talk to one another drags out the hiring process steps. But when you can do critical tasks like screening applicants, communicating with candidates, scheduling interviews, ordering background checks, and more all from one central system that your entire team can access, you’ll be able to move fast and create an unbeatable experience for the candidate. 

Interested in tools to help with the above tips? Take one of our self-guided platform tours today to see how Hireology can help you attract more quality talent, fill open roles faster, and achieve your 2023 goals amidst an unpredictable hiring market. 



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