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HERC Report Shows Growing Competition for Stagnant Higher Ed Candidate Pool

By Marcia Silva posted 06-13-2023 09:30:21 AM

We’re excited to share the results of HERC’s annual job seeker survey in our new publication, “2023 HERC Job Seeker Survey Report: Understanding the Higher Ed Workforce.”  As recruitment and retention remain top of mind for higher ed employers, the report provides a timely pulse check on today’s higher education job seekers. One of our goals for the report is to identify actionable, realistic, and impactful improvements that higher education employers can make to find, select, and retain staff and faculty. Members can download the full report here.
The report provides insights on the current job seeker landscape, factors affecting employee retention, and the value of diversity and inclusion workplace efforts. Some of the trends are consistent year over year, such as job seekers finding remote jobs attractive, but new data has emerged that could help inform how higher education institutions conduct their recruitment and retention activities and where to invest their time and resources.
Some highlighted report findings include:
  • Higher education job seekers are looking across industries. Of the 87% of survey respondents that noted they were actively or passively job searching, 65% were not exclusively seeking opportunities in higher education. Another revealing datapoint is that only 26% of 22-32-year-olds were focused on higher ed jobs only. 
  • The higher education workforce does not feel connected and valued. When asked if they agree or disagree with this statement, “I feel connected and valued at my current workplace,” 53% agreed, while 31% disagreed and 15% were unsure. When looking at what sector these respondents currently worked in, those working in colleges or universities had the lowest percentage agreeing with the statement (49%).
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion remain a top priority. The majority of minority & underrepresented (85%) and white (77%) respondents noted that diversity and inclusion policies were important to them. Having diverse leadership, addressing diversity and inclusion issues in the hiring process, and having a diverse staff currently are the top three indicators of an employer’s commitment to DEI according to minority and underrepresented respondents.
  • Job seekers are open to moving for a job opportunity. Nearly half (47%) of survey respondents are willing to relocate for a new job. Of those open to relocating, a substantial percentage of job seekers (38%) are willing to move anywhere in the United States for a new job.
The diverse job seeker viewpoints that we can access inform the development of our programming and content for HERC members and job seekers. We strongly encourage you to utilize the survey findings and recommendations to support and guide improvements in your institution's recruitment and retention policies.
1 comment



07-18-2023 01:11:07 PM

What a great time to analyze career trends in higher ed as Gen Z enters the workforce and so many other factors such as remote work, DEI being under attack, etc. affect higher ed as a whole in the U.S. Thank you for this work!