Recruitment challenges for 2023

New industrial regulations, demand for flexibility on both sides, new skills needed and acute skills shortages…. 2022 offered some big challenges for HR and Talent Acquisition leaders, so what can they expect for 2023? Hays’ experts offer insights on the macro, economic, governance and market trends that may impact your workforce in the year ahead and how you can best prepare for these challenges.

From considering your attraction and retention strategies, to ensuring your employment contract can be personalised for individuals while remain fair to everyone, here are the top recruitment challenges for 2023. 

Key trends impacting talent acquisition in 2023 

1. Employees productive, but are they connected?

The question of if workers can maintain productivity while working remotely has been firmly answered in the affirmative, but how can you move beyond just getting the job done to building higher value in your workforce? The culture of your workplace will play a big part in this, however creating and embedding a culture within a hybrid workforce requires focused effort from leadership teams. Modern leaders engage with their teams with empathy and transparency to build trust. In turn, this trust helps build a place of physiological safety – a key ingredient for a culture that encourages people to be themselves and contribute from their unique point of view without fear of retribution or embarrassment. 
Organisations will also need to focus on increasing employee engagement to keep staff motivated by highlighting the value they add to your business. Demonstrating a clear connection to the work they are doing, and how it helps organisations achieve their higher purpose helps teams feel more fulfilled and engaged in the work they are doing. Further, upskilling team members and investing in their professional growth illustrates that the work they are doing is important to you and the organisation.

2. Contract work increases

With an uncertain economic environment, it’s predicted that employees may think twice before making big jumps for purely financial reasons, however we still predict that contract work will continue to be a requirement for employers.

As organisations continue to modernise, build agility and consider merger and acquisition strategies for growth, businesses will be looking to bring onboard specific skill sets for finite projects. An uptick in contract work means organisations will need to ensure their onboarding processes are refined to allow workers to get up to speed quickly and consider exit and alumni programs that allow organisations to stay in contact with workers past their completion dates. Tapping past contractors on the shoulder for future work opportunities means businesses can onboard them even quicker the next time around, and businesses can stay connected to in-demand skills.

3. Streamlining visa processes 

Expect to see a few new ideas crop up on how the overall process of skilled migration can be sped up, with the Green List Work Visa one of those that hopes to make gaining residency in New Zealand an easier process for skilled workers. The government has identified 89 hard-to-fill roles that provide a priority pathway for those that meet the criteria. Those that meet the required skills and have a job offer from an accredited employer can then come to New Zealand on a work visa.
It’s hoped that immigration policies such as this will help alleviate the strain on the New Zealand job market, but it’s widely accepted that the process is still too complicated and more needs to be done to help attract skilled workers. 

4. Green skills in non-specialised roles

The continued push for a greener economy will mean that there will be an emphasis on all employees learning green skills to some degree to help participate in the green transition. Similar to the digital transformations we are currently witnessing across the globe, emerging technologies and evolving priorities are making it difficult to anticipate the specific skills that will be needed to meet the ambitious carbon cutting and Net-Zero pledges make by organisations, but this one is obvious – all workers will need to participate.

Organisations should review the roles across operations to identify which positions will be most affected by the transition and what upskilling will be needed, ensuring it’s aligned to the wider business ESG policies.

5. Technology still top priority

Finding the skills needed for technology roles and industry continues to be top of mind for many organisations, even amid layoffs being witnessed in the global community. Businesses continue to implement digital transformations, while looking at ensuring the security of enterprise scale technology on the cloud. This will be a recruitment challenge in itself as along with the already demanding skills shortage, more professionals with experience working with the cloud will be required as businesses continue to implement enhanced technology and tighten security. This will also lead to a further increased need for Data Scientists with cloud experience to be able to translate data for business insights and strategy development. 

6. Economic uncertainity

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is expected to start cutting interest rates in 2023, but it remains to be seen how much that will affect the unemployment rate, which has settled at 3.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2022. Combined with a record rate hike of 75 points and a forecast of a higher peak cash rate of 5.5 per cent, it’s creating uncertainty in the job market.
HR and Talent Acquisition leaders can help businesses through these uncertain times by closely managing any businesses biggest asset – their people. Look to retain your top performers, using data to build business cases if the position does look threatened, or offering benefits other than financial if they are asking for more. Your top performers are often most important to helping an organisation build the resilience needed to navigate uncertainty. 

7. Recovering from the fatigue

After two years of accelerated digital transformations, workforces are feeling the pinch of the pace of change. Yet a large number of CEOs are reporting that they will be investing heavily in digital capabilities in the near future.
As new digital tools have been implemented, attention now needs to be paid to ensuring these tools are properly embedded and that teams are engaging with any developments in meaningful ways. Driving core change management projects to support the workforce and building a culture where employees feel supported in their learning will be a key focus for HR teams. With the skills shortage still acute in the tech sector, it won’t necessarily be easy to buy in new technical skills, so talent acquisition managers should focus on finding employees that are keen to learn and happy to contribute to embedding and adopting new processes. Soft skills such as teamwork and willingness to try new things will continue to be important.
It will also be important to manage any cultural impacts these large changes may cause, paying close attention to signs of burn out and building meaningful programs to help manage the fall out. 

Tomorrow is about opportunity, conquer these recruitment challenges in 2023 to set yourself up for success

If you’re planning to attract talent in 2023, addressing these challenges can help future proof your attraction and retention strategies and lead to an engaged and motivated workforce that will support your future vision.
If we can assist, please contact us.

About this author

Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director, began working at Hays in 1993 and since then he has held a variety of consulting and management roles across the business. In 2004 he was appointed to the Hays Board of Directors. He was made Managing Director of Australia and New Zealand in 2012.

Prior to joining Hays, he had a background in human resource management and marketing, and has formal qualifications in Psychology.

Follow Nick on LinkedIn

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