Here we are. We made it to 2023! What will the year look like for you? Will you be hitting any major milestones? Are there items on your bucket list that you are finally going to get to complete? Do you have new year’s resolutions that you are hoping to stick to this year?
A new year brings hope, inspiration, and a blank sheet of paper to mark your story. Also, with the new year though comes uncertainty. What will we have to face this year? What roadblocks and challenges will come our way that we have to defeat? What new innovations and trends will we have to adapt to? What will the staffing and recruiting industry look like?
While I don’t have a crystal ball to predict everything that will come our way in 2023, there are certain trends in the professional staffing and recruiting industry that we can expect to stay and be prevalent in 2023. Being prepared for these trends as we start the new year can help set yourself and your company up for success!
1. More Workers Preferring Contract/Freelance Work
The number of workers that prefer contract and freelance work, compared to a traditional full-time job, has risen and it is expected to continue to rise in 2023. During the pandemic, more workers resulted in temporary work amidst mass layoffs. Caregivers, especially women, resulted to freelance-type work that offered more flexibility in their schedule when needing to take care of kids and older relatives. In fact, according to the US Chamber of Commerce, more than 1 million women have left the workforce since 2020.¹
Upwork’s 2022 Freelance Forward survey showed that some of the top motivators for freelance work is to earn extra money, to have schedule flexibility, and to have financial control. ² That same survey showed that 39% of workers performed freelance work in the past year. This percentage is up 3% from last year and is at an all-time high. As more people are freelancing, 73% of freelancers say the perceptions of freelancing as a career are becoming more positive.
By 2027, UpWork expects freelancers to make up almost half of the US workforce.¹ Additionally, according to Robert Half’s latest Job Optimism Survey, 29% of workers that are planning on looking for a new job in 2023 would consider contracting full-time. ³
As more companies mandate a return to the office, more workers may want to turn to contract and freelance work to avoid a rigid staffing schedule. This and all of the above statistics are factors to consider when recruiting in 2023. Companies that traditionally look for full-time positions may have a better success rate contracting positions out.
2. The Great Resignation Continuing
Just when we thought the Great Resignation was behind us, it could possibly sneak up again in 2023. Robert Half’s Latest Job Optimism Survey showed that 46% of working professionals are currently looking for a job or will be looking for one in 2023. The survey also showed that the top motivation for switching jobs is higher salary, followed by better benefits and perks, and greater flexibility in choosing when and where they work. Workers are also tending to lose interest in their job if the job is unclear or if there are unreasonable responsibilities and poor communication with the hiring manager.
Other studies have shown that workers may choose to resign if they don’t feel financially or emotionally supported at work, not liking the company culture, and feeling like there is a lack of room to advance their career.
The rise of inflation and the cost of living can be big drivers in workers looking for a new job to make a better salary. Something to consider doing in 2023 is reevaluating your salaries and comparing them to industry standards. If they are below industry standards, you may want to consider increasing your salary ranges if you are able to. As noted above, benefits and work flexibility are also major factors driving a job change. Think about your benefits package and work flexibility and see if there is any room for improvement. You may also consider doing a company survey to see what benefits and work schedules employees value most.
3. Concerns About Job Security Among Recession Uncertainty
While there may be another great resignation wave, there are also concerns about job security if a recession were to hit in 2023. iSolved’s “Pause, Pivot, or Plan: HR Trends of 2023” survey, found that employees see a recession as the biggest threat to their job security with 1 and 4 employees not feeling secure at their current position. 4 Fear of a recession and other day-to-day stressors has led to burnout with 69% of employees experiencing burnout this year. This has affected overall job performance and employees not being as excited about their job. 26% of employees noted that they only perform their required responsibilities and nothing additional. This indicates that quiet quitting may also continue into 2023.
One way to combat concerns about job security is reassuring employees who are concerned that their job is safe and that they are highly valued at the company. Only say this if it is true of course!
4. Remote Work is Here to Stay
Employees are still eager to have the opportunity to work from home, despite many companies bringing employees back into the office full time. According to LinkedIn’s State of the Labor Market report, only 14% of job postings on LinkedIn indicate they’re open to remote work, but those job postings attract 50% of the applications that are submitted via LinkedIn. 5 If companies offer remote work, but aren’t indicating it in their job posting, they could be missing out on getting double the number of applicants.
At the same time, if your company does not offer remote work, it may be something to consider in 2023. Companies that don’t offer remote work can be missing out on gaining top talent because their applicant pool is limited to those that prefer to go into the office every day. Younger generations especially need to be taken into consideration. According to Indeed, 94% of Gen-Z and 84% of millennials say they would not take a job that required them to attend in-person full-time. 6 Additionally, 88% of Gen-Z and 69% of millennials would quit their current job if asked to attend in-person full-time. Gen-Z and millennials are making up more and more of today’s workforce. If you are looking to attract younger talent, then offering a remote work schedule may be essential.
5. Increased Focus on Employee Experience
This year employers are expected to focus more on the overall employee experience. This includes both employee engagement and overall HR activities at a company. iSolved’s annual survey found that 70% of employees feel their employer is more focused on their needs this year. 4 This increased last year from 59%. 35% said they are demonstrating it through work life balance. At the same time though, half of those surveyed would rank their company’s employee experience as poor or average. Employees noted that HR activities that need most improvement are payroll (processing, direct deposits, access to on-demand pay and pay stubs), employee engagement (collaborating, recognition, feedback), and learning management (training and professional development.)
What can you be doing more at your company to create an environment that improves your employee experience? How can you create a more meaningful experience that encourages them to keep working at your company? The new year could also be a good opportunity for an employee survey to see if there are any areas that employees would like to see improved at your company to foster a better employee experience. The more meaningful the experience is the longer the employee will want to work at your company.
6. Greater Focus on Diversity and Inclusion
Over the past couple of years, HR departments have invested more time and money in Diversity and Inclusion Efforts (DEI). This is expected to be an even greater focus in 2023. According to Glassdoor, two out of every three job seekers look for companies with diversity during their job search.7 Especially among the younger generation, this is something that is important to them when choosing an employer to work for. In fact, Deloitte reported 83% of millennials say they are more engaged with their work in an inclusive environment.7 When thinking about initiatives to attract and retain younger generations, this is something that should be kept top of mind.
To eliminate bias in recruiting, companies will look towards more candidate evaluation tools that can help when hiring new employees. They will also look towards implementing DEI programs at their company.
Ready, Set, Staff!
Overall, many of these trends are what we have already been seeing over the past year and even the past couple of years. Some companies may already be on track to embrace these changes as they develop more in 2023. If not, consider re-evaluating your 2023 company goals and see what ways you can prepare for some of these trends in not only 2023, but in the long-term!