Expect to see healthy hiring activity in many professions through the end of 2023. That’s if employers can secure the skilled talent they need.

Robert Half’s research on U.S. hiring and employment trends* finds that 63% of managers seek to recruit candidates for new jobs, while 33% aim to staff vacated positions. In either case, U.S. employers are looking to staff millions of positions: Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that 8.8 million jobs were open on the last business day of July.

Most managers we surveyed — 93% — report having challenges finding the skilled professionals they need. Employers may soon have access to a more expansive pool of talent, though. In a recent Robert Half survey of U.S. workers, 25% of respondents said they are actively seeking a new role, and another 24% plan to launch a job search by year-end.

View our infographic showing U.S. workers’ job search plans over time.

What is motivating workers to make a move? Based on our research, these are the top three job-search factors for most professionals (multiple responses were allowed):

  • A higher salary (55%)
  • Better benefits and perks (38%)
  • Remote work options (28%)

See Robert Half’s Salary Guide to learn about the latest compensation trends, what workers want most from employers, and what companies are prepared to offer to hire in-demand talent.

Findings signal many firms may be positioning for growth

One key takeaway from our hiring and employment trends data is that employers in every field represented in our research want to hire talent primarily for new roles. Very few hiring managers said they expect their firm will institute a hiring freeze or eliminate jobs before the end of this year.

These results suggest that most firms are either experiencing or anticipating increased demand for their products or services. In fact, 67% of the managers who told us they’re currently expanding their teams said company growth is influencing their hiring decisions. Many employers are likely seeking to hire skilled talent to support new projects and initiatives as well.

It also appears that several professions may struggle with employee retention more than others in the months ahead — and some may face significant challenges.

To help employers and job candidates understand what the hiring and employment landscape may hold through the end of 2023, we offer an overview of our research findings below.

Finance and accounting

  • Hiring outlook: Two-thirds of hiring managers in finance and accounting seek talent for new roles, and 32% are focused on staffing vacated roles. At the same time, 95% said they face difficulty locating skilled talent available for hire. This is not surprising in a field where unemployment rates for many in-demand roles trend well below the national average. For example, according to data from the BLS, the unemployment rate for accountants and auditors is 0.9%, and for financial clerks, it’s just 0.3%.
  • Employment outlook: 41% of finance and accounting professionals are either looking for a new job now or plan to launch their search by year-end. For 55% of workers in this field, the top reason to pursue a new role is a higher salary. Also, about one-third (34%) of professionals surveyed said they seek remote work options. If you’re an employer, note that offering flexible work could help you boost hiring and retention of these workers.

Need help hiring talent or finding a job in this professional field? Contact us.


  • Hiring outlook: Our data suggests many law firms and corporate legal departments are seeing growing demand for their services: 69% of hiring managers in the legal profession said they need to staff new roles in the months ahead. That’s the highest percentage among the fields included in our research. But staffing those positions may prove difficult, as 95% of legal employers report challenges in finding skilled talent.
  • Employment outlook: Legal employers, on the whole, seem to be doing a decent job when it comes to employee retention, as only 32% of legal professionals surveyed said they’re motivated to look for a new role now or by year-end. This is the lowest percentage across the industries we analyzed. As for workers who are on the job hunt now, 75% said salary transparency is their top consideration when applying for positions.

Need help hiring talent or finding a job in this professional field? Contact us.

Marketing and creative

  • Employment outlook: 63% of hiring decision makers for marketing and creative teams have plans to hire talent for new positions by the end of the year. Meanwhile, only 2% of employers in this field said they expect their organization will freeze hiring during that same period. For some of those firms, holding off on hiring may be related to recent cutbacks in clients’ marketing and creative budgets due to economic uncertainty.
  • Employment outlook: 51% of workers in the marketing and creative field report that they are actively seeking or planning to look for a new job by the end of 2023. The top motivator for their search is a higher salary (49%). It’s important to note, though, that burnout and the desire for change is also a key factor for 26% of the professionals who want to seek a new opportunity.

Need help hiring talent or finding a job in this professional field? Contact us.


  • Hiring outlook: While the technology sector has seen its share of layoffs in the past year, the demand for tech talent across industries remains strong — and skilled professionals are still difficult to find. Leaders are working to staff up their teams, as technology initiatives are a high priority for many companies. Sixty-one percent of technology hiring managers said they need to hire for new roles, and 35% seek candidates for vacated positions. Only 1% of managers surveyed said they expect their businesses to eliminate roles in the months ahead.
  • Employment outlook: Looking across all the fields included in Robert Half’s research, technology professionals are the most likely to change jobs soon. Sixty-four percent of workers are either active in the job market or preparing to be in it soon. For many employees in tech (51%), the top reason to launch a new job search is the desire to earn a higher salary.

Need help hiring talent or finding a job in this professional field? Contact us.

Administrative and customer support

  • Hiring outlook: Compared with the other professional fields we analyzed, hiring decision makers for administrative and customer support teams have the least difficulty finding skilled talent. Despite this, 88% of these employers report they face hiring challenges.
  • Employment outlook: 47% of administrative and customer support workers are either looking for or plan to seek a new job by the end of 2023. While that’s nearly half of all workers we surveyed in this profession, that finding is lower than expected in a field where employers typically struggle with high turnover, especially for customer support roles. The top job-search motivator for these employees is a higher salary (59%).

Need help hiring talent or finding a job in this professional field? Contact us.

Hiring contract professionals: a go-to staffing strategy for many employers

One strategy companies use to overcome critical staffing gaps, access specialized skills quickly and keep projects moving forward is to engage contract professionals to work on-site or remotely. This approach also helps businesses to ease the burden on core staff — and improve retention — while conducting searches for permanent employees.

The majority of hiring managers in every professional field included in Robert Half’s hiring and employment trends research said they expect to bring in more contract workers in the months ahead. Here are the results for the five fields we featured above:

  • Legal: 67%
  • Marketing and creative: 67%
  • Finance and accounting: 64%
  • Technology: 62%
  • Administrative and customer support: 57%

We also learned through our research that four in 10 U.S. workers are open to pursuing contract roles. This career path allows professionals to lend their in-demand skills to different employers for various projects while continuing to grow their experience and expand their networks. Another plus: These arrangements can lead to full-time roles.

Dive deeper into our research

To get more detailed findings from Robert Half’s hiring and employment trends survey, including results for the healthcare and human resources professions, check out the slide presentations below:

U.S. Hiring Trends Across Professional Fields

U.S. Job Search Trends Across Professional Fields

*Online surveys developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm, May 4-30, 2023. Respondents included executives, hiring managers and employees from small (20-249 employees), midsize (250-499 employees) and large (500-plus employees) private, publicly listed and public sector organizations across the United States.