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The 7 Top Talent Trends of 2023

David Law

Thu, 22 Dec, 2022

  • Reading Time:
    ~ 4 minutes

It’s a pivotal time for talent acquisition. In 2023, a looming recession and post-pandemic changes will transform the landscape of recruitment and talent functions. Here’s what you need to know to get your company ready to thrive.

The economic climate is changing the talent market. In times of uncertainty, companies face a need to reduce costs and plan for the short term— which means that recruitment gets put on the back burner.

But to achieve long-term success every team needs to prepare for what 2023 will bring. These are the talent trends that will define 2023— and how to face them.

1. Returning to the office (but not so much).

During the pandemic, remote work took off and changed the landscape of employment. Flexibility in hours and location became one of the main attractors for companies to acquire top talent.

But the 2023 plans of many big names (like Apple and Google) include a return to the office— albeit not a full one.

A US-based HR survey found that at least 37% of leaders expect a return of their teams to the office. But there’s a catch: the same report discovered a firm belief that a full return to on-site work would damage a company’s ability to attract and retain talent.

We know that looking for more flexible work arrangements is the third most common motivator for job seekers. And now, the percentage of employees who’d consider leaving their job if forced back into the office may rise to 64%.

So, while there’s a 2023 trend leading to an RTO, you shouldn’t rush into it. Assess the priorities and desires of your employees and candidates before drafting your strategy— or you might lose your talent to the competition.

2. Strategising for an economic slowdown.

According to experts and business leaders, we should expect an economic slowdown (or even a recession) in 2023. Though Australia might still escape the worst of the impact, teams still have to make strategic but flexible plans.

Though the reaction is often to make layoffs and halt recruitment completely, past data shows a different story. Companies that freeze their talent function will likely not return to pre-recession profits and performance after the economy’s return to normal.

Neglecting recruitment won’t lead to long-term success. Instead, companies should focus on developing strategies for different scenarios and adapt as the situation changes.

Ultimately, the goal is to build resilient structures to retain top talent and be ready to ramp up recruitment as soon as the economic environment looks up.

3. More mobility and “boomerang” employees.

Even with the upcoming economic slowdown and possible recession, talent still has many job options. Industry surveys show that half of all employees are thinking about leaving their jobs within the year.

That’s even more true in Australia, where there’s a labour shortage, the impacts of the economic downturn might be softer, and many companies are still hiring,

So what is the wisest way to face this general attrition problem in your company? 

Your company needs a mobility strategy that builds internal pathways and develops existing talent. Almost 90% of employers think that at least 10% of open positions could be filled internally. It’s a two-in-one solution: you improve retention by offering career opportunities and you fill difficult roles at once.

It’s also a good idea to plan for so-called “boomerang” employees: those who leave your company and might be enticed to come back with more experience and a better offer. When you attract previous employees, you can save a lot of resources from onboarding and training.

4. Focusing on DE&I with hard data.

It’s a well-known fact that more diversity helps a company serve society better, increase profits and innovation, and best the competition. Research has shown that not only is it good for your bottom line, but more diversity also helps you attract talent.

In 2023, the number of companies prioritising Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives is increasing to make the best of these advantages.

But to develop an effective DE&I strategy, you need to start with the right data. Assess demographic data through the lens of data from your hiring process (such as interview outcomes, pass-through rates, and retention rates) to identify areas to improve.

By embracing a data-driven approach to recruitment, savvy employers will build a more equal and diverse process that helps the team grow.

5. Harnessing AI for recruitment.

In 2022, only 1 in 4 companies used AI to support the recruitment and hiring process. But in the coming year, more employers are beginning to see its benefits. The reason: the coming economic slowdown demands a more efficient process.

Using an ATS (applicant tracking system) helps companies by saving resources and up to 20% recruiter time. Recruiters can automatically sort and rank applications according to how well they match the job description criteria.

The data shows that an ATS can have an ROI of up to 325%. But it’s important to consider your company’s specific needs before investing in tools that will truly save money.

6. A more balanced approach to recruitment.

During the first year of the pandemic, recruiters suffered a 70% drop in business. And in 2021, during the Great Resignation, demand quickly bounced back to fill the many open roles.

So overall, recruiters have been overworked in the past few years. If not addressed, this can lead to work-related stress, poor results, and even burnout.

In 2023, the trend indicates that talent professionals and leaders will focus on mental health. This means creating wellness plans, more automated tools to do repetitive work, and initiatives to foster better work-life balance among recruiters.

In general, 2023 will be a year of focusing on talent’s mental health. Employers that protect a work-life balance and take care of their employees will be healthier and grow faster.

7. Recruitment becomes a fulcrum.

Fulcrum: a thing that plays a central or essential role in an activity, event, or situation.

In 2023, when companies need to become more strategic, recruitment roles will shine. The role of recruiter used to be a footnote to the organisation, carrying out admin tasks and executing outreach.

But now, the overall approach to recruitment is bound to shift. Next year will see recruiting become a pivotal role in designing a flexible, long-term plan that’s aligned with the company’s big-picture goals and values.

The new year, with rising attrition and a need for strategic hiring, challenges us to transform the talent acquisition process. Recruiters will be at the heart of it all.

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Ready to start the journey towards smarter, better recruitment? Write to us today— let’s work together!

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