Top 6 Hiring and Recruitment Trends for 2023
A new year beckons, and a new suite of challenges await the eager recruiter. So, what recruitment trends will emerge in 2023?
Sometimes the answers to simple questions provide the seeds of real change. So, ask yourself the following…
- How does your business portray itself to the market, and why would people want to come and work with you (and it is “with” you now and not “for” you)?
- Have you got a clear recruitment plan for what you’re going to need, and crucially when?
- How easy is it to find those people?
- Have you got a trusted recruitment partner who knows the market and can advise you on what you need to do ahead of time?
- Are they helping you map out the talent you need, and will they identify where the challenges may be?
The answers lie in understanding the lay of the land or connecting with a recruitment expert who knows it. 2023 is on track to be a year of disruption, dysfunction and rebuilding. Hiring trends are being rewritten in the wake of Brexit, COVID and the ongoing impacts of the war in Ukraine. Hiring and recruitment are indelibly changing and will continue to change over the next 12 months.
So here are our HR, hiring and recruitment predictions for the coming year:
- A shallow decline and measured belt-tightening
- Skills shortages, Brexit, and the great uncoupling
- A good year for interims!
- Remote working is here to stay
- Redefining “competitive” remuneration and the value of happiness
- The rise and rise of ESG
1) A shallow decline and measured belt-tightening
We predict that new job vacancies will soften in 2023, in line with a shallow, but definitive, global economic slowdown. Any eagle-eyed businessperson will see that this is not simply a linear market reaction to a series of crises, but a reaction to geopolitical tensions bubbling to the fore. It’s hard to truly predict how the energy crisis, rising inflation and numerous conflicts around the world will impact hiring in the long term, but the short to medium-term numbers look stark in certain industries such as retail, public health, investment and EU-integration. However, the decline will be measured, slow, and less aggressive than the banking crisis in 2008. Critical industries - such as pensions and banking - are far more crisis-resilient, and the rise of technical solutions to global industry disruption has somewhat blunted the worst of the economic slowdown.
2) Skills shortages, Brexit, and the great uncoupling
The UK has the most serious skill shortage in history, and this has only been exaggerated by a misfiring Brexit and the ongoing effects of Covid, not to mention the legacy of the Great Resignation and the worrying signs of a renewed wave of resignations in 2023.
- “New research commissioned by leading employee benefits provider Unum UK has revealed nearly a fifth of the UK workforce (19%) plan to look for new jobs next year with higher salaries or better employee benefits in light of the cost-of-living crisis”.
2023 will throw up some novel hiring issues, such as the effect of those who are long-term sick, baby boomers taking early retirement (however this isn’t uniform and there are demographic outliers), and how the UK labour market reacts to the nearly a million people who left the jobs market and didn’t return since 2020. Another compounding workforce factor is the severity of post-pandemic “economic scarring” - graduates and school leavers are exiting education into a strangled hiring market, mortgage rates are increasing and the cost of living is impacting our youngest generation the most. This will have a marked, negative impact on Gen Z workers and our next-generation talent. To this end, even with fewer active job vacancies and rising economic issues, we don’t predict a sudden hiring freeze across the country. What we will see is more attention on critical skills shortages in must-fill roles, such as Healthcare, Manufacturing, Tech and Logistics.
3) A good year for interims!
- “There was a 7% increase from the 2021 survey in interim work, with standout growth in the UK (16%)...January 2022 reported an even greater rise of 11%, with the UK and France again the leader (21%)”.
2023 will be the year of the interim worker. There will be hesitation from some companies to recruit extra permanent staff, despite the need for specialist talent, so temps will be used as a flexible cost base that can cover both short and long-term requirements if needed. This will be uniform, or as close to uniform as you can get, across almost every sector. There are naturally pros and cons for both candidates and clients.
- Clients get a flexible, on-demand skilled workforce that costs more to hire in the short term.
- Candidates get more control over where they work and better pay, but less security in a disrupted economy.
The only certainty is that employers will have to open their doors and books to interim staff options to stay solvent.
4) Remote working is here to stay
The real recruitment winners in 2023 will be the organisations that centre flexibility into their hiring models and recruitment setup. This will have a huge, direct impact on recruitment. Any company wanting people in the office 5 days a week will only have approx. 18% of the workforce to choose from. Despite the slight downturn in remote work adverts, in our view, the sweet spot is about 2-3 days in the office. But, even then, empowerment of staff is only guaranteed when they are given a choice.
5) Redefining “competitive” remuneration and the value of happiness
Money means less than nothing if staff aren’t happy. What we’ve found is that “work satisfaction” is more than a store of monetary value. Work has to offer profound meaning for workers, and the challenge for all recruiters and HR teams in 2023 is making sure every staff member’s labour is attached to that meaning. This is the source of contemporary workplace happiness. Happiness - that fluid, hard-to-measure metric of engagement and satisfaction in work - is what will drive staff retention and revenue, especially in a challenging, negative economy. That said, keeping your staff happy will be increasingly difficult as the cost of living crisis makes itself felt. The fix lies in revolutionising benefits schemes, bonuses and work perks to reflect what workers really want - to work for a company with purpose, to be of value, to be offered career and skills training and to be offered security of income. Get those strategies in place and your workplace will be humming.
6) The rise of ESG
Corporate approaches to ESG and the understanding of how ESG helps companies grow, attract talent and retain talent has defined 2022. 2023 is where we see if those moves mean anything. We feel the drive for community, company and economic good will continue to be a highly important hiring factor throughout 2023 - new employees are looking at an employer’s full range of ESG policies prior to application, including a company’s D&I, Mental Health and Sustainability goals, and above all else seek an alignment of values. Our advice for business leaders is do not compromise on ESG commitments even if budgets are being cut. From a recruitment perspective, ESG is hiring fuel - well-communicated brand values are a talent magnet and need to be kept front and centre throughout the year.
The bottom line
In light of the above, we feel Recruitment Strategy and Employer Branding should be two of the highest priorities for any business in 2023. A well-curated Recruitment Strategy is the foundation of any hiring run. It should be iterative, peer-led and agile, and should factor in as many of the above points as possible. Employer Branding is the most impactful method of getting a Recruitment Strategy realised. The message you’re now telling candidates and potential star hires is only as impactful as the networks it resides in and the reach it has. So make your message heard!
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