Our annual guide looking at the state of the HR industry in 2023, HR in 2023 and Beyond, is now live!
We surveyed more than 150 HR professionals from businesses spanning from less than 100 employees through to 5,000+, across multiple industries from banking and finance to construction and healthcare, to find out the priorities, trends and challenges facing the sector in the coming year.
Despite seeing the back of Covid lockdowns in 2022, the business and employment landscape has become no less turbulent. An already weakened economy has been further stretched in dealing with the aftereffects of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the spiralling cost of living. As such, businesses need to remain flexible and agile to cope with these fluctuating pressures.
As well as looking ahead to the upcoming year, we compare the findings to those of last year to evaluate how the HR community has pivoted to navigate the ever-changing landscape.
What are the priorities for HR in 2023?
For the first time in recorded history, the amount of job vacancies outnumbered the amount of unemployed people in 2022. Talent shortages have been widely reported and, unsurprisingly, many of the top priorities for HR in 2023 can be attributed to this issue.
78% of respondents identified retention and recruitment as a priority for 2023, making it the most common of all priorities across HR. This is followed by priorities that are evidence of HR departments placing a real emphasis of looking after their people. 63% identified employee health and wellbeing as a focus this year, while 57% had employee engagement and experience high on the agenda.
This all points to one thing – businesses and the HR departments within them are making people the core focus. This is also reflected in the workplace initiatives looking to be implemented by HR this year, with mental health and employee wellbeing both coming out on top at 76% each, followed by flexible working (66%).
Who is the worst affected by talent shortages?
More than half of the HR professionals surveyed (55%) identified staff recruitment and retention as a challenge in 2023, making it the biggest issue facing the industry in the coming year, and one that has become more prominent as 64% reported that staff turnover has increased in their organisation, a jump from 56% in 2022.
Different sectors have been more susceptible than others to this issue, though. Construction and hospitality and tourism were among the worst affected, while 43% of respondents from banking and finance companies reported they hadn’t seen any real impact.
There was also a correlation between the size of an organisation and the extent of the impact of talent shortages. Businesses with fewer employees tended to be the least affected, with 43% of sub-100-employee businesses seeing an impact, as opposed to 74% from those belonging to companies with 501-1,000 employees.
Who is looking after HR?
Given how much emphasis is being placed on looking after employees this year, and the economic pressures facing people and businesses alike, 2023 has the potential to be a turbulent year for HR professionals to deal with. So, we wanted to know, where do they turn to if they are struggling themselves?
The prevailing first point of contact for HR professionals to raise their concerns to was their line manager at 64%, closely followed by senior leadership (57%) and then colleagues (38%).
This is just a snapshot of our key findings from our HR in 2023 and Beyond report, which paints a wide picture of these issues above, as well as exploring the changes in adoption and impact of remote and hybrid working, remuneration in HR and for wider employees, the use and benefits of HR software, plus much more. Click here to download the report for free.