What a year we’ve had in the workplace! When 2022 started, workers were firmly on top, and organizations were still dealing with the gaps and the ramifications of The Great Resignation. As we enter 2023, back to the office mandates, serious tech layoffs, and a looming recession has turned everything on its head.
Join us as we look ahead at 2023, and identify some key trends worth watching in a fast-moving workforce.
1. Quiet Hiring
Gartner’s #1 trend for 2023 workforce management is the idea of Quiet Hiring. With a nod to the viral ‘Quiet Quitting’ phenomenon of 2022, where workers lost morale and engagement and performed their roles with the bare minimum effort, quiet hiring turns the tables. Instead of employees who keep working at their jobs but refuse to go above and beyond for their employers, businesses will take on new skills and talent without adding full-time employees to their roster.
Examples that Gartner gives for the Quiet Hiring approach include:
- Promoting internally: This allows a business to boost engagement levels and leverage existing skills, looking to those who are already performing well to fill gaps.
- Offering upskilling opportunities: By launching L&D schemes for existing staff, employers can reward those who want added strings and credentials to their bow.
- Leveraging gig workers and freelance networks: Instead of taking on the cost of full-time hires, bring in talent flexibility, scaling up and down as necessary to meet peaks in demand.
2. Embracing candidates with non-linear career paths
Diversity in the workplace is about more than cultural background or gender. Diversity of experience is becoming increasingly important, and we can see that being explored in the kinds of candidates who are entering the workforce.
According to Harvard Business Review, “employers are resetting degree requirements in a wide variety of roles.” This is a recognition of employees who are increasingly looking to travel down less linear career journeys and applying for roles outside of their traditional area of expertise. As organizations continue to grapple with skills gaps, and fail to find the talent they need through their existing recruitment methods, they will continue to look elsewhere. This will likely mean learning to assess candidates based on what they can do – not on their previous experience.
By zeroing in on skills and expertise rather than traditional check-box items such as degree qualifications, a new subset of workers will come into view. HBR agrees, and believes to a great extent employers “now favor hiring on the basis of demonstrated skills and competencies. This shift to skills-based hiring will open opportunities to a large population of potential employees who in recent years have often been excluded from consideration because of degree inflation.”
3. A focus on work/life balance
As businesses find their feet post-pandemic with their return-to-work mandates or remote working norms, Forbes predicts that we might be saying goodbye to the 5 day working week. We can see many countries who have already completed 4-day working week trials, including Iceland, Sweden, England, and Belgium. In 2023, plans are on the horizon for trials in the US, Canada, and New Zealand, amongst others.
Reducing the number of hours that employees work is part of a larger trend, offering employees competitive flexibility and more autonomy over how and where they work. If employers can offer a 4-day work week with the same full-time salary, this provides workers with more time for family, friends, hobbies, and self-care. However, is it enough?
While reduced hours could be a competitive edge for some industries, many candidates are looking for ultimate autonomy over how they work, including choosing their hours, salary, and location. Reducing working hours down to 4 days may not scratch that itch. Rethinking the 9-5 is a great idea, but employers should consider more than one approach, from scrapping the 5-day working week, to embracing freelance or other outsourced talent.
4. Happiness as a measure of success
How happy are your workforce? A new survey by Indeed and Glassdoor reports that 90% of people believe how workers feel in their workplace matters, and yet less than half of people say their company measures happiness or well-being. Post-pandemic, people are prioritizing their mental health and wellbeing in greater numbers than ever before. Workers won’t stay where they don’t feel happy.
As a result, we predict that happiness at work will become a differentiator, and something that candidates will be looking for both quantitative and qualitative data on before they jump on board with a new company. Organizations can facilitate this with employee surveys, anonymous feedback channels, regular 1:1 meetings between workers and their managers, and even onboarding technology that reads the mood and morale of any given team.
If signs of discontent are found, what will your business do to retain top talent? This could involve dramatically changing the way you work, offering more freedom or autonomy, providing opportunities for career progression, or reinstating remote work policies, for example.
5. The Freelance Revolution continues its surge
As we enter an economic downturn, 78% of companies will rely on freelance talent rather than hire new employees, according to a recent report by Fiverr. Talent gaps make hiring new workers critical, and freelancers are quicker to onboard, often less expensive to utilize, and bring with them niche expertise and talent. 2023 is set to be a supercharged year for independent contractors of all kinds. As Forbes reports – there simply aren’t enough expert freelancers to meet growing demand, putting talented freelancers in a great position.
For companies, managing freelancers at scale has always been a challenge, and we’re expecting an increasing number of companies to make 2023 the year they onboard a Freelance Management System (FMS) to lighten the load. With the right technology in place, managers can source, vet, onboard, manage, and even pay freelancers through a single platform, ensuring total visibility, control and compliance from day one.
Want to see how it works for yourself? Schedule a demo of Stoke FMS and start 2023 ahead of the curve.