The last two years have been, by any yardstick, tough. Talent and HR professionals have also been contending with the knock-on consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, and how that has changed how we work.
The challenges Talent and HR professionals have been dealing with during 2022 include the obvious issues you’d expect them to be facing, in addition to other less expected challenges.
- Recruiting Talent – In the UK, there are well over a million unfilled vacancies that require talented candidates. These vacancies are partly a result of changes to how candidates want to work following the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing recruitment issues caused by Brexit.
- Employee Engagement – Talent Acquisition teams faced with significant recruitment challenges have looked at ways to keep their current employees engaged and motivated, improving productivity and reducing churn.
- Training and Development – Talent Acquisition and HR professionals have realised that recruiting top-quality talent externally may be challenging for some time to come, so they have invested in rapid upskilling and reskilling of their employees. This will allow them to recruit for hard-to-fill roles using internal talent.
Though the last two years have been challenging in the Talent Acquisition sector, what does 2023 look like for companies and the professionals who recruit for them?
What does the start of 2023 look like?
Most economists agree that in 2023 there will be some level of economic slowdown. However, opinions differ on whether this will develop into a full-blown recession or if we avoid a recession and contend with a sluggish economy for some time. This uncertainty doesn’t negate the need for talent acquisition teams to prepare for the possibility of a market downturn and avoid the mistakes that happened during the Great Recession of 2008-2009.
Though the temptation may be to reduce headcount and cut costs, when the economy does pick up, companies don’t want to scramble to hire back the talent they need to cope with the recovery.
As a result of the uncertain job market and looming economic slowdown, many professionals are now thinking about moving into other areas within their current organisation rather than the traditional ‘climbing the corporate ladder’. This desire by employees to consider internal mobility will require HR professionals to offer learning and development opportunities to help with upskilling and reskilling.
Finally, companies are seeing the benefit of interim and contract executives and professionals. These contract professionals are often highly skilled, and mission-orientated. As a result, they can rapidly assimilate into a new environment, bringing a unique skill set and experience for long or short-term projects.
Top three talent acquisition trends for 2023
A work-life balance has been the goal for millions of professionals for years. However, as we have worked increasingly remotely over the past couple of years, it has become difficult to step away from the demands of the job when off the clock.
It is expected in 2023 that candidates will be looking for companies that promote work-life integration, allowing them to put in the hours when it’s most convenient. Clock-watching will become less critical as managers will be able to assess success based on outputs rather than when the work is completed.
Project-based work to combat scaling workforce needs
The latest hiring trends show that many companies favour contract employment rather than relying on full-time employees to meet scaling workforce needs. In fact, C-Suite positions are being contracted out in rising numbers, with many benefits for both employers and employees. From the company’s perspective, choosing to work with interim or contract employees gives them access to highly skilled, mission-orientated individuals who can quickly fit into the new environment bringing unique skill sets and experience needed for project-based roles.
In 2023, it is expected that there will be an increase in people looking for flexible opportunities at the expense of job security. As a result, talent acquisition professionals will be able to nurture the relationship with contract candidates who can provide a mix of flexibility and specific project-orientated skill sets.
The rise of internal mobility
As a direct consequence of the uncertain job market and economic slowdown, many professionals are forsaking the traditional career ladder and looking at internal moves to other areas of their organisations.
This trend is helping HR professionals, as 90% say at least one out of ten open positions could be filled internally, and 88% said their organisations encouraged employees to apply for roles internally.
Employers can boost their internal talent mobility efforts by focusing on talent development using regular training and certification programs to reskill or upskill employees.
How does the workplace look to change?
It’s difficult and tedious to keep hearing that Covid-19 changed everything, but it did. Remote working is now a fact of life, and organisations that aren’t embracing it to some extent, are getting pushback from their employees.
Remote working isn’t without problems, as 65% of employers say it has been challenging to maintain morale and company culture.
Other areas that look set to change include the need for clarity and certainty for employees, an increase in automation and social responsibility.
Let’s look at the top five workplace trends for 2023.
Top five workplace trends for 2023
The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation, and a study by McKinsey and Co. found 85% of companies had accelerated digitisation across their businesses.
Automation is a significant growth area resulting in existing roles changing and new positions being created. As a result, HR leaders will need to foster a continuous learning environment to upskill employees. For example, the pharmaceutical giant Unilever plans to spend $2.8 billion a year to upskill its workforce by 2025.
An organisation’s social responsibility has become an increasingly important factor when employees are considering a prospective employer. Nearly 80% of millennials cite corporate social responsibility as one of the reasons to join an organisation.
Evidence suggests that putting corporate social responsibility into action can positively impact performance. According to Gartner, the number of highly engaged employees jumps by 20% when a company takes action on social issues.
The global marketplace offers unprecedented access to candidates with the skills and experience you need. With many organisations encouraging remote working, geography no longer has to be a sticking point when recruiting.
Recruiting from outside your geographic area allows your business to stay open and productive for longer and is becoming increasingly common, with 14.6 million people living outside the USA working for US multinationals like Amazon.
Diversity and Inclusion
It is universally recognised that a diverse and inclusive workforce is better aligned with the demographics of the people they serve and perform better both financially and in terms of employee engagement and retention.
Conversely, companies without an EDI strategy lack innovation and fresh perspectives for their business. In fact, companies with ethnically or gender-diverse leadership teams are more likely to outperform others by 25-36%.
The way recruitment is carried out now, thanks to improved technology, social media and review sites like Glassdoor, positive employer branding has become critical if you don’t want to miss out on top talent.
83% of employers say that employer branding plays a significant role in their ability to hire talent. Additionally, employer branding can positively contribute to a candidate’s interview experience. If you want to be an employer of choice for top talent, you need a positive employer brand to attract and retain new hires.
Due to the widely anticipated economic slowdown, how businesses attract talent will need to evolve to stay in line with candidate and market expectations.
Organisations will also need to be aware of how their policies and perception of their brand affect talent acquisition and be prepared to adjust as required to ensure that they are an employer of choice for the talent of 2023.