Since the Covid-19 pandemic struck, we have seen an upheaval of organisations and legacy work structures, starting with the first transition towards work from anywhere (WFA) and continuing through the Great Reopening, which was immediately followed by the Great Resignation and skills shortages. Numerous innovations have changed HR in a myriad of ways during the same time, aiding the shift from traditional to modern HR management.
While 2021 and 2022 saw HR rebuild from the ground up to establish its new position, 2023 will see HR pushing the envelope even further. Taking into account significant demographic shifts, technological advancements, and accelerating economic and sociocultural changes that we have seen, these are the four major HR trends one can expect in 2023:
Rise in HR Technology
With the ever-evolving HR landscape, HR specialists are now hastening the integration of technology into their daily tasks. In fact, according to a recent survey by SkyQuest, global HR technology is projected to touch a value of $35.68 billion by 2028. Incorporating AI-powered analytics solutions will not only assist in data-driven hiring or identifying employee departure trends, but timely available data will unquestionably help HR and the leadership make strategic decisions and reduce potential risks.
While chatbots are increasingly being used by recruiters and management to seamlessly interact with candidates and employees, we will also see an uptick in the use of apps for employee management. This can increase engagement and output, promote transparency, offer real-time data to simplify corporate decisions, and even improve brand recognition. It streamlines onboarding, improves employee training, makes it simpler to express gratitude and praise, offers more precise time tracking for payroll processing, and, in the end, makes it simple to interact with remote and deskless workers. What’s even more unique is the exploration of the Metaverse for employee onboarding/training to support hybrid work models.
Talent Intelligence is another key area that must be leveraged by traditional HR to fully realize the potential of talent management. It is the ideal fusion of data-backed AI with talent management, enabling data-driven decision-making. The traditional structures will change because of growth in talent intelligence, applicant tracking systems, recruitment platforms, reskilling simulators, and workforce planning platforms.
Hybrid is here to stay
Everyone seems to be happy with the new ‘hybrid first’ approach. Given that this flexible way of working is employee-centric, it is easy to see how employee engagement and job satisfaction have increased across industries. To support hybrid work, companies are even changing their rules and frameworks. Accessibility is now more important than actual “in-person” attendance, and it is evident from current employment trends that this is here to stay. Additionally, the hybrid model is being extended to hiring practices too where technology and virtual reach to remote locations have enabled organisations to conduct hiring processes with good colleges located in cities across India.
According to a Gartner poll, nearly five out of ten hybrid workers in India believe that working remotely boosts their productivity, and avoiding daily traffic increases their time for other pursuits. In light of this new reality, employers who offer a remote working option draw seven times more candidates than those who don't. HR technology is now available to help firms accept the hybrid work environment and become more agile. Mentoring, coaching, and support of personnel dispersed across several sites are necessary to enable a hybrid work culture. This is an area where technology is assisting organisations in simplifying their operations and increasing team productivity.
Increased focus on DE&I
Diversity, equity, and inclusion(DE&I) will remain a priority for recruiters as more job seekers will base their decisions on an employer's apparent DE&I commitment. In a SurveyMonkey Workforce Survey, nearly all job seekers stated that they wish to work with an organisation that values diversity and inclusion. The importance of a strong DE&I agenda cannot be understated as it has financial implications as well – companies with inclusive cultures are eight times more likely to "deliver superior commercial outcomes" and are twice as likely to meet or surpass financial targets.
Additionally, it is vital that "Belonging" be included in the DE&I equation. Employees perform better when they feel that they are working for "their" firm, which is represented by DEI as a long-term, vital component of the organisation. Belonging also fosters a sense of ownership that encourages accountability and productivity.
HR experts will also need to cater to a diversity of a different kind – the new generation entering the workforce. While millennials will continue to make up a higher portion of the workforce at most businesses, the newer workforce comes with a different set of goals and priorities for their professional careers. A key expectation for them is more flexibility, higher collaboration, greater autonomy and innovation, and most importantly simpler communication. HR professionals will need to change the rules to account for their preferences.
Reskilling/Upskilling will shoot up!
We see more and more businesses promoting from within and providing more internal employee training programs and opportunities. This is a result of an attempt to retain workers at a higher rate and is in part a response to a decreasing talent pool. According to a Springer report, nearly 50% of the world's workforce will require retraining or upskilling within the next five years.
Modern job roles are increasingly replacing conventional job responsibilities. Organisations earlier used to place a lot of emphasis on degrees to evaluate candidates' qualifications. While academic credentials are still important, many recruiters have begun looking at particular skill sets instead. The key to technological progress is reskilling and upskilling workers in areas of need, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), DevOps, etc. Employers must identify the talents they require, communicate those needs, and create systems for attracting, retaining, and training new employees.
In 2023, we foresee a few more trends that will demand our attention. The emphasis on social learning will increase in the newer workforce – a generation that has been brought up with social technology platforms. Organisations will need to leverage platforms to boost social learning.
We see social networking being extensively used in hiring and sourcing talent, going beyond traditional ways of hiring. This trend will continue in 2023. We also see Giggers communities within the organisations become prevalent, where employees seek the option of gig-based projects – or rather want it. Additionally, there will also be a greater focus on strong partnerships with the academia on curating curriculums to equip students with industry-relevant skillsets.
Overall, the HR landscape is dynamic and ever-changing. Without much human involvement, innovation and automation will undoubtedly shape the future of HR. New trends will come and go, with some remaining for many years and others only existing briefly. One thing is for certain, HR departments will increasingly need to modernize themselves to assess and comprehend the impact of the progressing nature of work.