Lack of Qualified Applicants Highest Since 2020  
Latest Results from The Harris Poll

Despite the optimistic hiring outlook for the next year, 91% of U.S. companies expect to face challenges, including 45% of hiring managers who say they have open positions they cannot fill.

This is according to a survey from The Harris Poll commissioned by Express Employment Professionals, where the 45% reporting open jobs is the highest proportion since the study’s inception (42% first half of 2022, 43% second half of 2021, 40% first half of 2021, 41% second half of 2020 and 40% first half of 2020).

Those who have open positions still unfilled say it is due to a lack of applicants. This includes applicants with relevant experience (47%), hard skills (46%), applicants in general (40%) and/or soft skills (31%).

Beyond a lack of applicants, companies have been plagued with turnover. More than a third of U.S. hiring managers (35%) predict employee turnover at their company will increase this year—a precipitous drop from earlier this year and a proportion not seen since the spring of 2020.

Unfortunately, each year employee turnover costs companies an average of $62,542 (e.g., cost to rehire, lost productivity), and nearly a quarter (23%) say it costs their company $100,000 or more per year. In an effort to counteract this turnover, companies are planning to rehire (81%) —possibly for positions open due to turnover or those they have yet to fill.

Typically, companies are rehiring either to increase their overall employee count (36%) or to keep the same level of employees (35%).

Companies anticipating increased turnover in 2023 attribute these vacancies to employees resigning (35%), better pay/benefits offered elsewhere (35%), the competitive job market (34%) and increased workplace demands (32%). Around 3 in 10 believe it will be due in part to employee feelings of being overworked (31%) and retiring (28%).

Better perks (e.g., summer Fridays, unlimited vacation days) offered elsewhere (26%) and better company culture elsewhere (21%) are also thought to be contributing factors to increased turnover this year

Other challenges employers are facing include finding qualified candidates (52%), increased competition in the job market (31%) and the available talent pool not matching the company’s needs (27%). Around 1 in 5 U.S. hiring managers report difficulty assessing candidates’ skills during the hiring process (22%), their pay not being competitive (21%) and reaching diverse candidates (20%).

“The lack of workers, particularly qualified workers, in America should raise red flags for everyone from the government and educators to businesses and parents,” Express Employment International CEO Bill Stoller said. “This is a crisis that has been building for years and the fallout is only just beginning if we don’t invest in creating more qualified employees through training and education.”


Survey Methodology

The Job Insights survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals between Dec. 1 and Dec. 15, 2022, among 1,002 U.S. hiring decision-makers (defined as adults ages 18+ in the U.S. who are employed full-time or self-employed, work at companies with more than one employee, and have full/significant involvement in hiring decisions at their company). Data were weighted where necessary by company size to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in our surveys. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within + 3.2 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. This credible interval will be wider among subsets of the surveyed population of interest.

If you would like to arrange for an interview with Chris Petty, call 541-389-1505.


About Express Employment Professionals

At Express Employment Professionals, we’re in the business of people. From job seekers to client companies, Express helps people thrive and businesses grow. Our international network of franchises offers localized staffing solutions to the communities they serve across the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, employing 579,000 people globally in 2022 and more than 10 million since its inception. For more information, visit

The Central Oregon Express office is located at 61379 S Hwy 97, Bend, Oregon and serves the tri-county region.  Local businesses and applicants are encouraged to stop by, visit or call 541-389-1505.


About Bill Stoller

William H. “Bill” Stoller is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment International. Founded in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the international staffing franchisor supports the Express Employment Professionals franchise and related brands. The Express franchise brand is an industry-leading, international staffing company with franchise locations in the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.