The future concept

What a rollercoaster of a year 2022 was. Stories of the Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting and Quiet Cuffing have dominated the headlines.

“But, as we look forward to 2023,” Nick Adams, VP EMEA, G-P, starts, “there’s an expectation that things will begin to settle down, despite the fact that the UK is expecting to be in recession until at least the summer of next year.”

As the recession takes hold, budget constraints, the ongoing IT skill shortage, and increasing salary expectations will come together to create a nightmare for businesses, which some may never wake up and recover from.

However, 2023 holds great potential as long as businesses stop hitting the snooze button and are alert and aware of their current employee’s needs, and the expectations of potential future hires.

The war for talent – it ain’t no pillow fight!

Although the Great Resignation may have subsided, its impacts are still being felt worldwide, with 73% of business leaders predicting they would struggle to fill technology roles in 2023.

Jen_Locklear_ConnectWiseJen Locklear, Chief People Officer at ConnectWise, argues that “as businesses continue to evaluate what their workforce needs in an employee-centric tomorrow, the need for strategic HR management and creative hiring and retention strategies grows. Companies are battling the competition to attract and retain the best talent in a pool of skilled workers that’s failing to keep up with the increasing demand.”

G-P’s Adams agrees: “Across many economies, a shortage of skilled workers is causing significant difficulties for employers focused on growth or simply needing to fill open positions to ensure they can deliver business as usual. The UK, in particular, is facing a very tight labour market and the long-standing tech skills shortage will continue to present a major challenge for many firms.”

“What’s needed is an easy way for companies to access the best talent, regardless of location. And thanks to the growing Employer of Record industry, we’ll see a significant uptick in companies that are embracing the global talent pool that’s now wide open to them,” he adds.

Michael-Queenan_NephosMichael Queenan, CEO and Co-Founder of Nephos Technologies, concurs that there is not only going to be an external battle to attract talent, but also the continued internal fight between remote and office working. “Whilst it has been a candidate’s market over the past 12 months, we will start to see this change as businesses slow down their recruiting efforts. Business leaders and employees will have to find common ground, balancing salary expectations and flexibility.”

You snooze, and everyone loses 

It is imperative that businesses continue training and upskilling, especially where the talent pool is becoming increasingly shallow. ConnectWise’s Locklear speculates that “in 2023, employers will invest more in training and upskilling programs to equip workers with the skills they require.”

Karen Price ProgressKaren Price, Senior Director, Organisational Effectiveness at Progress, concurs, suggesting that whilst there will be “a lot of rich talent entering the labour market,” “generational shifts will continue to impact employee demands for ongoing learning, contextualised work, and more agile and flexible roles.”

Progress’s Price highlights that the way in which training is provided will also change. She explains “some Baby Boomers may retire later given recession concerns but that gives organisations an opportunity to harvest their knowledge base and experience across newer generations in the workplace.”

Lee Biggenden NephosLee Biggenden, COO and Co-Founder of Nephos Technologies, also predicts a rise in the reliance on technology, explaining that “2023 is going to be all about doing more with less, especially in IT, where outsourcing and automation will be the only way to drive business growth whilst cutting costs.”

2023 holds great potential as long as businesses stop hitting the snooze button and are alert and aware of their current employee’s needs, and the expectations of potential future hires.

Businesses: Just because you made your bed, don’t expect people to lie in it

To be successful in the ‘Year of Great Retention’, businesses must reflect on the causes of the Great Resignation. Getting to the root of attrition issues will be mission-critical to ensure employees are engaged, energised and excited in 2023.

Agata-Nowakowska-SkillsoftAgata Nowakowska, AVP EMEA at Skillsoft, elucidates: “As the saying goes, ‘employees don’t leave companies; they leave managers’. In the year ahead, leaders need to create positive work environments which focus on development through coaching and mentorship programs. Listening to employee concerns and responding to their desires for greater flexibility and improved work-life balance will also be critical.”

Gianna-Driver-ExabeamGianna Driver, CHRO at Exabeam, adds: “By 2025, Gen Z workers will make up nearly 30% of the entire workforce. This generation typically aligns with organisations that can not just talk the talk when it comes to diverse hiring, work-life balance, the future of the workplace and more – but also walk the walk. They want to feel heard and seen at work – as we all should.”

“Candidates and employees want to see a diversity of thought, where all people feel welcome and healthy disagreement is not only allowed, but encouraged. In this environment, with clear decision makers leading the way, organisations can benefit from employee engagement and retention and experience better business outcomes”, she adds.

Fresh sheets for 2023

HR teams need to awaken in 2023 with more of a fresh-faced focus on flexibility, opportunities for learning, and diversification.

“As we embark on 2023, I think the business focus will be on people and building highly engaged, motivated and prepared teams for the next challenge,” concludes Skillsoft’s Nowakowska.“Looking forward to next year, hopefully, we will see some stability – enabling organisations to work on creating an engaging environment rather than firefighting.”

About the authors

A range of business leaders from within the tech sector, including companies such as ConnectwiseNephosProgressSkillsoft & Exabeam.