HR Business Trends for 2023: What Smart Businesses are Planning for 2023 and Beyond

By Kimberley Wallace

Senior HR Consultant

Since the start of the 2020’s, businesses have faced unimaginable challenges and change with a global pandemic, a war in Ukraine, rising inflation, recruitment shortages, and now a likely global recession.

Throughout 2023, businesses will need to continue to be adaptable, face unpredictability, and to cope with financial pressure. Here is my yearly article, where I predict the key HR trends we can expect to see moving into 2023 and what informed businesses will be implementing as part of their people strategy.

  • Intelligent attraction and retention – recruitment shortages will continue into 2023, impacting many industries. Businesses should continue to plan their recruitment efforts effectively, developing Employee Value Proposition strategies, and considering less traditional recruitment options including targeting boomerang employees, attracting older / retired workers with very flexible working options, and setting up apprenticeship schemes. To limit the recruitment challenges your business may face, your business should actively retention plan to lower turnover rates and therefore reduce recruitment need in the first place. Businesses should particularly focus on retaining their identified key talent as competitors will be circling like sharks, trying to tempt them away. We’ve even heard of competitors phoning key employees on their work direct dials during office hours! As part of retention planning, businesses should be working on areas including succession planning, career progression and reward strategy. Its more cost-effective to retain your current workforce that to repeatedly recruit, induct and train new staff.
  • Redundancies and restructuring – the impact of the economic downturn will sadly be layoffs. Smarter businesses may decide to take a people first approach, considering alternative options such as redesigning the workforce and working practices, making budget cuts, and even reduced hours. Businesses should ensure any redundancy activities that do occur are carefully considered, and managed through appropriate and fair procedures.
  • Flexibility is here to stay – where you are a fan or not (Elon Musk and Alan Sugar are most definitely not!), flexible working options are part of the new working world. Whether that’s hybrid, fully remote, digit nomads, flexible working patterns, or four-day weeks; the expectation of today’s working population is that businesses offer at least some of these options. When was the last time you saw a job advert that didn’t mention where the job was based and if it was hybrid, remote or office!? This is because candidates want to know this information when they are considering working for your company. Flexible working options offer better work-life balance and lower commuting costs for employees, as well as reduced overheads for employers (which is useful during a recession). So now is the time to embrace this trend if you haven’t already. Employers need to focus on creating policies and processes that make this type of work easier and accessible to all.
  • Employee experience – following on from our last point businesses need to be considering the employee experience as part of the approach moving towards the flexibility of work. The below areas feed into the engagement and wellbeing of the workforce, helping to improve employee retention.
  • HR tech – is needed to support remote working; empowering people with the right tools to make remote working easier. Advancements in this area might include a self-service HR system, mobile functionality, digital learning platforms, application management systems, employee engagement tools, and instant messaging communication channels.
    • Engagement and internal communication strategies – that enable the entire workforce to feel connected wherever they are working from. Communication should be inclusive and inform employees regularly of company news, strategy and successes. Pulse engagement surveys can help keep track of how your employees are feeling and what is important to them
    • Employee wellbeing –employees will be facing the economic pinch, increasingly stressed, and suffering from burnout after a tough couple of years. It will be increasingly important for businesses to support employee wellbeing focusing on mental health, financial support and work-life balance.
    • Manager support – upskilling managers to virtually manage a hybrid team, facilitate challenging conversations remotely, and to support employees during another challenging period, will be critical to drive retention and engagement in the workforce

If you would like to know more about how to implement HR tech, retention plan, manage a redundancy, or develop your employee experience, please contact Kim in the Nockolds HR team on 0333 400 7920 or