Workplace and Recruitment Trends in 2023

Workplace and recruitment trends in 2023

As businesses move to protect themselves from the recession, many are still suffering from skills shortages and issues with retainment. In 2023, attracting top talent and maintaining high retention rates will be more imperative than ever, as the economic downturn will likely stop businesses from offering the continuously higher wages we’ve seen in the past few years.

It’s likely that we will see the market rebalance, impacting other recruitment trends in 2023, which I expect will include continued flexibility in the workplace, additional technology in the recruitment process, and a potential rise in contract requirements. I also expect we will see more investment in mental health support as employers look to support those struggling with the recession and cost of living crisis.

Check out the different trends in the workplace and methods for attracting top talent I predict we will see in the year ahead.

Recruitment Trends in 2023: The Market Will Rebalance

The past year or so has been dominated by a candidate-driven market. Companies have been trying to recoup the labour losses they made during the pandemic, thus creating a higher demand for employees.

Previously, businesses were attracting top talent by competing with each other on benefits and by offering higher and higher salaries for the top IT professionals. However, some businesses will find it more difficult to offer top salaries as the recession truly takes its grip on the UK economy. Companies must diversify, as well as identify inventive and creative ways of attracting top talent in the new year.

Labour supply remains lower than 5 years ago, due to an aging workforce, long term sickness reaching record numbers, and Brexit causing issues for overseas workers. However, the power balance may begin to stabilise as supply and demand even out.

With rising redundancies and vacancies falling, the job market may become less competitive, at least in less in-demand roles/sectors. However, I’m not sure whether these will balance out the systemic issues continually plaguing the jobs market over the past few years. I am confident that 2023 will certainly be a far more mixed picture.

Greater Investment in Mental Health and Wellbeing

One way to appeal to candidates and retain talent if you’re unable to increase salary budgets is by offering a wide range of benefits. Small offerings like free gym memberships and team lunches, have been popular ways to encourage employees to look after their wellbeing and to come back into the office. However, these can be quite expensive and might be easy cut backs as budgets reduce. Despite this, mental health will be a key area of investment that is likely to continue.

Mental health support, in particular, in the face of the cost of living crisis, will be something candidates will be looking for. In 2022, 63% of Glassdoor benefit reviews focused on mental health care, up from 49% in 2019. Ensuring you have a good EAP (Employee Assistance Programme), is something you can use as a way of attracting top talent.

Offering mental health support will also be crucial in retaining your current staff as well. By encouraging your employees to look after their mental health and offer avenues of support where needed, you will reduce sick leave taken due to mental health issues.  Through doing this you will also encourage a much healthier work culture your employees will want to stay in, thus making mental health support a key recruitment trend in 2023.

Flexible Hours and Remote Working are Here to Stay

Flexible work practices have been a major part of hiring trends in the past year and are set to be one of the top recruitment trends in 2023.

Since the pandemic, flexible and remote working have continued to grow in popularity, with many businesses understanding the positive impact they can have on productivity and employee happiness. In turn, many employees have realised the benefits flexible and remote working can bring in terms of work-life balance, cost savings, and reductions in commuting stress. Since 2019, the percentage of job postings mentioning remote work has risen from 3% in 2019 to 10.1% in 2022.

However, I do expect to see less fully remote opportunities in 2023. The market is currently in fluctuation, and I’m already witnessing some employers realising they hold more cards than this time last year. With power comes options, which could dictate the flexibility employers are willing to offer going forward into 2023.

Other flexible working patterns such as the 4 day work week, are likely to enter popularity in the new year as the major trial in the UK comes to an end. The 4 day work week is a strategy where companies who have been working traditional hours Monday-Friday, change their working practices. They reduce their hours to 80%, without a reduction in wages.

At the halfway point a few months back, 95% of the businesses in the trial reported productivity either remained the same or improved. Most significantly, 86% of businesses said they plan on keeping this policy.

With many sectors facing significant skills shortages, flexible hours or strategies such as the 4 day work week are likely to be key players in attracting new hires and retaining current staff in 2023.

Technology in the Recruitment Process Will Become More Common

One of the hiring trends that will become more popular in 2023 is the use of technology in the recruitment process. With businesses under pressure to save time and money, there is more demand than ever for technology to support different aspects of the hiring process.

For instance, if a hiring manager does not have time to do first stage interviews, candidates can be recorded being interviewed by a junior member of the team, or they can even record themselves answering selected questions. Both options limit the pressure of finding a time that suits both the hiring team and the candidate. Candidates may also give clearer, more detailed answers if they feel less pressure compared to a traditional interview scenario. Definitely a win-win situation!

Hiring Trends Could Favour Contractors

Trends in the workplace in 2023 are likely to include reduced hiring budgets for some businesses. As a result, some may struggle to find the budget for permanent employees to fill vital gaps in their workforce in 2023, which may lead to a rise in contract requirements. Contracting can temporarily the gap within a company without hiring a permanent employee. The differences between recruiting a permanent employee vs a contractor are numerous, so before deciding which option is best for your company and the individual skills requirement, it is imperative to weigh up both options.

Contrastingly, we are seeing more and more contractors make the switch to permanent positions. With IR35 reversal reversals and the cost of living crisis, many contractors have taken permanent positions due to increased job security. The number of contract opportunities may well rise in 2023, but will there be the resource to supply them?

 

As workplaces continue to change post-pandemic and Brexit, intimate knowledge of the current employment market and recruitment trends for 2023, has become even more crucial. As vertical market IT recruitment specialists, we can help support you navigate these changes. Contact us here for more guidance.

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