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How will high-volume hiring organizations fare in the 2023 job market?

Shelby Konkel AvatarShelby Konkel
January 3, 2023

Welcome back to the High Volume Hiring Podcast, the podcast that features news tips, case studies, and interviews with the world’s leading experts about the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to high-volume hiring. 

The High Volume Hiring Podcast

In this episode, host Steven Rothberg, College Recruiter’s Founder and Chief Visionary Officer, talks to Ira Wolfe, President and Chief Googlization Officer of Poised for the Future Company, which is an organization that is committed to helping organizations find a better way to grow, thrive, and challenge the status quo. He is recognized as one of Thinkers 360 Top 5 Global Thought Leaders on Future of Work and HR and is the author of six books, including the just released “Create Great Culture in a Remote World”, which is available here.

Ira joins this episode of the High Volume Hiring Podcast to share some predictions for the 2023 job market, including how high-volume hiring organizations will fare. You don’t want to miss this episode:

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Steven (00:14):

Welcome to the High Volume Hiring Podcast. I’m Steven Rothberg, the founder of Job Search, site College recruiter. We believe that every student in recent grad deserves a great career. This podcast features news tips, case studies, and interviews with the world’s leading experts about the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to high volume hiring. Thanks for joining us.


Today’s guest is Ira Wolfe, the president and Chief Globalization officer of the Poised for the Future Company, which is committed to helping organizations find a better way to grow, thrive, and challenge the status quo. He’s also the founder of Success Performance Solutions, which was just acquired by Dame Leadership. IRA’s Fierce passion for technology and its impact on people have made him one of hrs most visionary thinkers and influencers on the future of work, jobs and talent acquisition. Oh, and if that’s not enough, he’s also authored six books, including the Just Released, create Great Culture in a Remote World, how Teams are Thriving at work without being in person. Ira, welcome to the show. Hey,

Ira Wolfe (01:26):

It’s great to be back, Stephen. It’s been quite a while. Not, not much has happened in the inter in, in between, huh?

Steven (01:32):

Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s been a year and a half since I was a, a guest on, on your podcast. And yeah, I mean, just, you know, one or two things I think maybe we’ll end up touching on, on them in, in in, in, in this. So before we get into the real meat of the conversation what the heck is a Chief Globalization Officer?

Ira Wolfe (01:51):

Well, that’s probably one of the most common questions I get. And, and, and obviously it’s worked. People ask me, what do I do? What, what is that thing? So globalization started I mean, they were real quick story. I came up with globalization in 2008. I was writing a book. It was, it was about the wire, the tired, and, and technology. And I, I came up with, I, we were talking a lot about geeks and geezers and, and, and it was about the multiple generations in the workplace. And one of those shower moments I don’t know where it came from, but I started doing these things like technology, technology or internet, just something to rhyme. And Google popped into my head and it was like Google, yeah. Geek skiers, globalization alliteration is always good for a book title and keynotes and things, and that’s where it came out. But essentially behind the scenes, it’s the convergence of business people and technology.

Steven (02:52):

Ah, okay. And easy to trademark too, cuz if you make up the word, then it’s, it’s yours. Right. It’s

Ira Wolfe (02:58):

Early on. I, I didn’t trademark it, only because I, I didn’t wanna get into a battle with Google <laugh>. Ah. so we, we talk about it. There’s actually a book about globalization out there, not by, and so it’s, it’s out there. I’ve been using it for 15 years. Hopefully Google’s not listening and <laugh> it hasn’t trample on that. But yeah. But, you know, obviously we were promoting, we’re, we’re, we’re promoting it, but it’s about the convergence of business business people and technology, which, you know it came into being, I mean, I, I talked about it 12, 13 years before it happened, but 2020 the pandemic certainly brought it all to a head.

Steven (03:38):

Yeah, yeah. That, that, that changed one or two things. So one, one of the, one of the many reasons that I was really interested in having you as a guest, and I was really thrilled when, when you were able to join me was that I wanted to pick your brain a little bit about what you see around the corner for, for 2023 when we, when you look at what the job market is, is likely to be in 2023, how do you think that high volume hiring organizations are gonna fare?

Ira Wolfe (04:09):

Yeah, that’s a great question. And my standard answer is probably gonna be, it depends. <Laugh>, it depends on a lot. But and, and I know people can’t see us. But on, you know, you, I know you can, above my head on screen says Never normal. Yeah. <laugh>. So the future will be never normal. And we’ve been talking about that for a while, as people thought they were going back to normal. So, as we look at whether it’s high volume hiring or really anybody who’s hiring I, I guess the o the overall theme, not a guess, the overall theme will be never normal. There’s a, a few months ago, and again, I’m not an economist or, or a demographer, but I follow that. I like, I like pulling all the stats from everybody. And this came up, I read this somewhere, and they talked about a job, full recession.


And the job full recession was what happens when the w when the G D P goes down, economic growth goes down, hiring slows down. The demand for people goes down. Unemployment goes up traditionally in every recession, every recession since 1945, we’ve had 12 of them. The unemployment rate in a recession went up the lowest recession, or, or the, the lowest rate was 6.1%. That was the lowest out of all those, well, here we are debating whether we’re in a recession. You know, some people say we are, some people we’ve had, although the numbers, the a recent number or G D P just was out, you know, 2.6% of unemployment, there’s still 10 million jobs opening from some recent, you know, studies. It’s not coming down really fast as, as far as, as quickly as the headlines say, they might. And Goldman Sachs just recently came out and said, we’re, they’re not sure they, there’s only a 35% chance that we’re gonna enter a recession.


We had, we interviewed on our podcast last week is actually, we had, it was amazing. We had 25,000 people downloaded in one day, and we talked to Oen Capital the OEN Capital Group with Dick Bovey and Matt Van Alstein. And Dick’s been around for 50 years, and he says, I’ve never seen anything like this. But when we said, where are we gonna be? The question you asked me, where are we gonna be 12 months from now? And he said, inflation’s gonna be under control. It’s not gonna be zero or slow. You know, we’re gonna settle in to maybe 3%, 2% but the account, but we’ll be out of a recession if we ever enter in one. Things will be weird and wacky and slow but we’re gonna be okay. And so there’s a movement that, you know, when I say it depends, it depends whether you’re on the dystopic side of, oh, we’re entering into, you know, a situation we’ve never been into.


We’re gonna have a recession, there’s gonna be, economy’s gonna crash, people, we’re gonna be laid off. But on the other side, we’re having another conversation that, that technology for sure is laying off a lot of people. And, and that gets big headlines. But even in the, the recent numbers like transportation, logistics, warehousing, that they’re still growing, they’re still up there and people aren’t there. There’s a slower rate for quit rates. People, there’s, there’s le less people quitting, but still, it’s significantly higher than it’s ever been before. Hiring is slowed, but even Amazon re, you know, when they made the announcement that they’re, they’re laying off all these corporate people. On the flip side of that, their a w s division is hiring a lot of people. So the, the net effect may be, yeah, we’re gonna lose there. Amazon’s laying off some, but it’s a different type of people, which goes back to, you know, with automation, with a whole discussion of robots and automation and technology, there will be jobs that will go away and there’ll be jobs, new jobs that are created.


So it’s, it’s a complicated picture because, because if you’re, if you’re thinking it’s gonna be recession, and it’s gonna be the typical higher unemployment, people are gonna c more, more layoffs, more terminations, more company closing. There’s a whole other school of thought. And there’s, and it’s not just opinion. I mean, there’s documentation to say that it’s going to be a job full recession. And that the, that I, I couldn’t pin down Dick and Matt to, to a number of where do you think em unemployment will end up? And we interviewed them two months ago and they said, eh, maybe the mid fours, but, and, and now they said maybe five, but it’s still significantly low below the lowest the lowest unemployment number we’ve ever had in a recession. Right? so I, so where are we gonna be? It’s a long way around that question, but it’s a complicated one.


If we look at, you know, ne December, you know, 2023, January, 2024, where are we gonna be, you know, next year? It’s it’s gonna be never normal. There’s gonna be some industries that are really hit hard and there will be layoffs. But again, the good companies are not letting go or are keeping the good people. The good people may stop quitting <laugh>. And, and because the opportunities may not be there for a moment for, for, that’s gonna be temporary because the opportunities will advance. And that’s like the worst case scenario. You know, the best case scenarios, it’s slows and there’s industries that hold onto their people. They defined, you know, through automation or other cost cutting effects. But, you know, in the past, the, the biggest co the first, the first place people looked to cut costs was, we’ll lay off people.


And that significantly is changing now. So if we go back to the higher, you know, we go back to high volume hiring, there, I, it’s gonna be probably easier. And, and I say that probably because nobody knows for sure that there’s gonna be more people that are looking for work and, and possibly because of inflation. I mean, wage growth just wasn’t keeping up. Maybe their, they weren’t laid off, but the, their extra overtime hours were Yeah. Or maybe they had a gig job and because of the economy slows, they’re not gonna make as much money on their gig job driving Uber or DoorDash or working in restaurants. So all those things, so they, they’re gonna need more money, which brings people back. So high volume hiring in industries like like, like restaurants and hospitalities may find that they, there’s more people applying.


The challenge is, is they’re not doing so well now, because even with lower volumes, they’re not processing people fast enough. People have choices. There’s still a lot of dissatisfaction in the candidate experience. And, and people are impulsive, so they’re gonna go to whoever does the job the best. And HR is completely stressed out and burnt out. And, and they’re also shorthanded and, and a lot of companies. So if there’s a higher volume, how are these high volume companies going to be able, able to process people quickly, get ’em onboarded and if they’re not doing, if there, there are companies that do it really well. So for the companies that do it really well, they’re going to, they’re gonna, they’re gonna grow and thrive and, and take advantage of it. For the majority of companies who just got by it’s, it’s gonna continue to be a struggle. Even in bad times, it’s gonna be a struggle in and in good times it’s just gonna continue like it has been.

Steven (12:22):

We’ll be back right after this break. Welcome back to the high volume hiring podcast.


You know, one of, one of the many things that you, you shared just now really resonated. I, I, I was a business undergraduate major, and when we were entering this current downturn maybe last February, March, April kind of timing, I remembered way back to when I went to college in, I think it was the 1880s. And, you know, the definition of a recession then was two successive quarters of negative G D P period, end of story. And so it was a real shock to me actually in, I don’t know, June, July, whenever it was that I saw these economists on new shows saying, it depends, it depends on what your definition of a recession is. I think at the end of the day you’re absolutely right. I totally agree with you. Is it a recession? It depends. It depends on how you define that.


And whether it is or whether it isn’t, that doesn’t really matter all that much. It’s, it’s, it’s a label. So definitely one of the very encouraging things about whatever you wanna call the, the economy that we’re in now, the economy that we’ll be in in June of 2023, December of 2023, it seems that we continue to add jobs on a net basis. And, and like you say, we continue to reshuffle, we see people moving from industry to industry far more than in any other time. And so if the restaurant sector slows, I think there are a whole ton more people now than three years ago in that sector who will say, well, it’s okay, I’ll go over to retail. You know, before covid, a lot of those people didn’t really know that they could move industries. And that, you know, and not just picking on restaurant workers, it’s, it’s anybody,

Ira Wolfe (14:24):

It depends. Also depends. We’re, we’re talking nationally and we average it out, but it depends on industry and it depends on geography. Oh, yeah. Because in the, the rates are significantly different, like New York and Chicago and one other city the number of layoffs, the number of higher, the, the number of layoffs is low, the number of hires it was at least even with what it was, it wasn’t, you know, if there was, was a decrease, it was, it was really a less than 1%. Where as if you’re looking in like Austin in obviously San Francisco and, and some other areas, it’s significantly, Miami is really, really high. So again, it, it not only depends on if we’re in a recession or not, it depends on what industry you’re in, and it depends on where you live.

Steven (15:15):

Yeah. And I, you know, I live in Minneapolis and I can tell you that the, that the tech sector here is very strong. It’s never as hot as it can be in say, San Francisco, but then it also doesn’t get as, as cold. And so the, the massive layoffs that we’re seeing from organizations like Meta, a k, a Facebook, the artist formerly known as Facebook Twitter, et cetera, right? Those are sexy headlines, but they do a really poor job of reflecting the reality across most of the country for most people. So if you’re a software engineer today you’re very much in demand, maybe not as much as you were six or 12 months ago, but it’s not like no one’s hiring. And so if, if, if you do lose your position or if it’s a high volume hiring industry, retail warehouse, hospitality, whatever, there in, in most areas of the country, there are continuing to be a lot of choices.


So que another question that, that I wanted to make sure that we had time to talk about, especially in light of, of the book that you, that you just released on, on remote working. We’ve been remote at college recruiters since 1997. In 1997, there weren’t very many companies that were remote, and very, very few would admit to it. We certainly didn’t. We had a a mailbox and, you know, pretended we had an actual street address and all that because there were a lot of companies out there that, that thought, if you were remote, you weren’t real. If you weren’t real, how can we work with you? Well, that’s thankfully gone away. We we worked really hard in our business to create a culture, and I’ve heard from a lot of traditional employers, if it’s a remote workplace, how do you have culture?


There’s not gonna be a good culture, whatever. And I know a lot of the pages in, in your book address that issue, address culture in remote organizations. So maybe you can share some tips with the listeners who, maybe the listener is remote a recruiter, but working in a high volume company, you know, an Amazon, a Target, a Walmart, et cetera. Or, and I’m seeing this more and more, the company itself is largely or even completely remote call center kinds of organizations now, very frequently, the entire, or the, an entire department is remote. 10 years ago, they all would’ve been in some basement some someplace. So what tips do you have for employers that either the person themselves or maybe even the whole organization is remote with respect to culture?

Ira Wolfe (18:08):

Yeah, and, and thanks for that question. You know, it certainly changed by the way, I went remote I went remote in 2004. Okay. speech. I still had an office <laugh>, I, I still had, I still had an office that my employees went to. And then we realized at the end when the lease was up as I, we talked and we really need this space, and they said, no, we we’re happy. And one left the state and one, yeah. Set up to a home office. And, and a few others we’re already Mark working partially remote. So we’ve been, we were doing it a long time. So the world caught up to us, Steve. That’s

Steven (18:45):

Good because we’re, we’re, we’re so brilliant. It took them, it took them that long <laugh>

Ira Wolfe (18:50):

How, however, however we get there, <laugh>, I, I, so the, the question is, so you started out talking about the culture and regardless if we, there’s a culture, whether you’re remote or all in person, you’re a hundred percent in person, you’re a hundred percent remote. There’s a culture. Yes. What’s the difference? Is, is it a good or a bad culture, right? As in an en engaging culture and as it a thriving culture. And that is, we really weighed out to debate because there’s a huge dichotomy. They used a vision between managers saying, we need everybody back, especially the Elon Musks and the Jamie Diamonds in the world. And that hasn’t worked out so well with him, for him, and this company doesn’t went completely remote, but there’s still some functions that should be on site. But ultimately where to answer your question, how, you know, what can, what can organizations do?


What can people do? The failure was that you, you changed where people worked. And in effect, that changes how you relate to other people. But just as you know, you can be remote and have a good culture. You can remote and have good communication. You can remote and have good collaboration. You can do all those things remote. So if you can do it, then why do some remote cultures not work out? Well, and, and it, it, it’s, it’s a little bit hypocritical because when you look at the in-person cultures and you say, oh, look, we’re, we lost what we had? But, you know, the Gallup survey’s been saying there for years, only 70% of people are, only 30% of people were engaged going to an in-person culture. They, they weren’t enjoying it. And if engagement’s a measure of how, how, how relatable do they have people to feel that they’re part of a community?


Do they act? You have a culture, culture, they feel part of it, and you have only 30% of the people that are engaged. It wasn’t very good before. Maybe in baseball you get away with the 300% batting average <laugh>. But, but you don’t do that if you’re a quarterback. And you certainly, you know, but somehow companies did. So the, the, the, the first thing that I suggest doing is one is taking stock of the manager’s ability to manage a remote workplace. How were they doing before? And just because somebody doesn’t show up and they’re not sitting down the hall, doesn’t mean they’re not doing a good job. It doesn’t mean that you can’t create a relationship. It doesn’t mean you can’t collaborate. It doesn’t mean you can’t communicate well with them. It means that the manager’s probably really uncomfortable, not prepared, and maybe not digitally savvy and uncomfortable using Zoom and Slack and all these other tools.


The same goes for employees. The, they’re, they’re employees that just are really uncomfortable. They were sent home, they’re working off their kitchen table. Their bandwidth is terrible. Yeah. That interferes with it. And, you know, Avanti a cybersecurity, they did a really, really good report that it was involved with and the, they, it was the digital employee experience, and they found that 25% of employees were willing to quit their job because of, of a bad digital experience. And, and, and companies weren’t willing to invest in it. They, they talked about it, we want to create this, but there wasn’t the money to back it up. There wasn’t the prioritization to help people succeed doing it remote, but by doing it remote and goes back to recruiting, it opens up this whole door to new opportunities. So the software engineer is laid off in San Jose in Silicon Valley, but he’s got an opportunity to work anywhere in the country if the company is willing to hire and, and set up a remote work.


Now, there are certain situations including some strategizing meetings, like you have your, I know you have your annual meetings, your quarterly meetings. Some of those meetings probably, there’s probably a benefit to being in person a little bit better interaction. But that doesn’t mean they have to be there every day or three days a week. So the, you know, the, the, the overall view, I get into a lot more detail of how do you even get people comfortable making that transition? How do you get comfort? How do you get managers comfortable with the concept of remote work? How do you get, how do you get the employees comfortable with it? That may resist, but that’s the best direction that you want to go. How do we do that? But as an overall view, I think you have to really look at a manager’s ability to, to supervise, manage, delegate build, build that culture remotely. And it can be done because people are doing it as we’re, you’re not the pioneers anymore. And vice versa is ensuring that the employees, the, the, the remote workers have a good digital experience. What, what’s that look like? And and teach ’em to use the tools. And everybody was sent home overnight and then they, they were on their own. They became their own IT specialists. And there’s some people figured it out and others didn’t. Yeah.

Steven (24:01):

Well, I’m, I’m really happy that you talked about the digital experience and, and for the listeners who wanna learn more about that or, or other ways of creating a great culture in a remote world we we’re gonna have the a link to in the show notes to IRA’s book, create great Culture in a Remote world or find it wherever good books are sold, as they say. Well Ira, thank you so much for spending this time with us and for sharing your insights. For listeners who wanna learn more about you, contact you, how would you like them to do that?

Ira Wolfe (24:37):

Very, very active on LinkedIn, as you know. So please connect with me on LinkedIn. Tell me you listen, you heard about it on the show. And you can also go to ira or as we talked about globalization, just type it in the Google Ira, IRA Wolf and I will probably show up

Steven (24:54):

<Laugh>. And that’s Wolf, w o l f e. Gotta get the E on the end. That’s

Ira Wolfe (25:00):


Steven (25:00):

Been a pleasure. Thank you so much. Great

Ira Wolfe (25:02):

To catch up with you. Thanks. Cheers.


Thanks for joining us today on the High Volume Hiring podcast. I’m your host, Steven Rothberg of job search Site college recruiter. Each year we help more than 12 million candidates find great new jobs. Our customers are primarily Fortune 1000 companies, government agencies, and other employers who hire at scale and advertise their jobs with us. You can reach me at The High Volume Hiring podcast is a co-production of Evergreen Podcasts and College Recruiter. Please subscribe for free on your favorite app. Review it five stars are always nice, and recommend it to a couple of people you know who want to learn more about how best to hire at scale. Cheers.

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