Benchmark Search Hiring Insights – August 2023

I hope your summer has been relaxing. But who are we kidding? HR never rests, does it??

Here are some of the topics I’ve had on my mind this month, as I read the HR news and interact with both companies and job seekers here at Benchmark Search.

Unemployment Update

 July Job Growth: 187,000 New Roles Added! 

The employment landscape maintains its steady trajectory with a notable increase in July payrolls. Key sectors driving gains include Financial Activities (+19k), Construction (+19k), and Leisure and Hospitality (+17k), showcasing a diversified job market.

 National unemployment rate drops to 3.5%, while college-educated professionals stand strong at 2.0%, according to the BLS. Economists observe the job market shows signs of stabilization as growth levels out.

Candidate Spotlight:


  • Public Accounting Combo
  • 20 years of Financial and Accounting Experience, primarily in Technology
  • Strategic and Tactical in helping company’s scale
  • Implementation and Financial transformation

Director of Technical Accounting and Reporting 

  • Big 4 Public Accountant Combo
  • 10+ Years of Experience in Reporting and Technical Accounting
  • Revenue Recognition
  • Operations and Pre-IPO Experience

Assistant Controller 

  • CPA
  • 5+ Years of Experience
  • Public Combo

Senior Manager 

  • MBA in Accounting
  • Experience working with multiple Entities
  • 3 Direct Reports
  • Extensive budgeting, forecasting, and financial modeling experience

Senior FP&A Manager

  • Bachelor’s Degree, Economics
  • 9 years of Financial Experience
  • Leading teams, Partnering with Operations, Supply Chain, and Marketing
  • Franchise Experience 

Finance Manager

  • MBA in Finance
  • FP&A Experience
  • 5+ Years of Experience

Accounting Manager

  • CPA
  • 10 Years of Accounting Experience
  • Full Cycle General Ledger, Preparing Financials and Reporting Packages 

Senior Accountant, SEC Reporting 

  • CPA
  • 4+ Years of SEC and Technical Reporting
  • Retail

Senior Financial Analyst

  • Finance Degree
  • 4 years of FP&A
  • Ad Hoc Reporting Experience
  • Reporting, Budgeting, Forecasting, and Modeling

Senior Financial Analyst

  • Bachelor’s in Finance
  • 4+ Years of Experience
  • Financial Reporting Experience
  • P&L Modeling Experience 

Senior Auditor

  • 5+ Years of Public Accounting Experience
  • Internal/External Audit
  • Healthcare, Consumer Goods, Manufacturing 

Senior Tax Accountant

  • CPA
  • 8+ Years of Tax Experience
  • Partnerships, S-Corp, Corporation, HNW

How to Tell If Someone Used AI to Write Their Resume

Putting aside the ethical question of whether it’s okay to use AI to put a resume together, here are some of the tell-tale signs that a candidate has done so.

  • The resume sounds eerily, almost exactly like the job description
  • The resume reads very differently than other things the applicant has submitted, like a cover letter or even the email
  • You’re getting multiple resumes that look a lot alike

Using AI to put a resume together isn’t in itself a bad thing. A candidate might use a generative AI tool like ChatGPT to format their professional bullet points into resume format, but the stuff in the resume is all inherently true. AI-generated resumes become a problem when they contain lies or fabrications. So if you suspect that a resume you receive from a candidate is AI-generated, some skeptical probing might be in order.

The advent of generative AI in the job search isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but for hiring managers, it’s something to look out for. Read more

How Gen Z Thinks About Career Advancement

Gen Z is entering the workforce at a time when nothing looks like it used to. As a result, the way Gen Zers approach their careers is unique, and in some ways, makes them stand out even from their Millennial counterparts. 

While Millennials rally for remote work, Gen Z professionals are worried they’ll miss out on valuable mentorship and networking opportunities if they’re not onsite. According to Caitlin Duffy, HR Research Director at Gartner, Gen Z employees show a stronger preference than other demographics to learn from others in the office. 

As a President, this tracks. Newer professionals rely on the mentorship and guidance of their more experienced colleagues to position themselves for success in a company. And while it can be surprising to hear that the youngest workers are the most inclined to come into the office — and not a statistic I can quickly back up with numbers — it makes a lot of sense.

It’s 5 o’clock. Do you know where your Gen Z employees are?

Chances are, they’re on the way out the door. Unlike older generations who considered it a normal market of ambition so stay later, younger folks entering the workforce have a priority, and it’s work-life balance. They’re not concerned with the “performative” nature of staying until after the boss leaves. 

This isn’t just my observation or my opinion. It’s becoming a cultural “fact.” One 2023 Deloitte survey found that Gen Z (and Millennials, for that matter) list “work-life balance” as a number-one factor when choosing a place to work.

Relocating Talent Is on the Decline

Early 2023 saw the lowest rate of job seekers relocating to a new city for a job in history (keep in mind that “history,” in this case, only goes back as far as 1986). People who once were eager to relocate for the right gig are now saying, “Nah, it’s not worth it.”

That can make finding good talent harder for HR managers. Then again, that’s what you hire a recruiter for. As one myself — at Benchmark Search — this may sound disingenuous, but it’s true. When your hiring pool closed in, a recruiter can be your edge.