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Betting on the Future: What the Data Says About How We Will Work

What does 2023 hold for the future of work? Being aware of and engaged with the top priorities for both employers and employees is key to finding, hiring, and retaining top talent in the year ahead.

HR Leaders are Facing a Moment of Truth  

According to the latest report from Gartner. “What Will HR Focus On In 2023?”, which surveyed 800 HR leaders about their top priorities for 2023, organizations are experiencing a moment of truth which will define how recruiting is transformed over the next few years. Being aware of top HR priorities can help hiring managers and recruiters elevate their talent pipeline and improve candidate experience.

Organizations are experiencing a moment of truth
which will define how recruiting is transformed over the next few years.


Top 5 Priorities for HR in 2023

HR leaders know that the future of work will be determined by how they build the workforce of today. Here’s what they are focusing on in 2023:

1.  Where Will the Leaders of Tomorrow Come From? They Are Yours to Build.

According to Gartner, the number one priority for 60% of HR leaders is leader and manager effectiveness, but 24% say their organization doesn’t have an effective leadership development program in place. The leaders of tomorrow must be discovered and nurtured in the workforce of today. 

Identifying potential leaders means getting up close and personal with their data, from hiring stage to training and beyond.The right data is critical for identifying potential and supporting confidence in decision making. Data insights are crucial to the process of developing leaders who will then be able to utilize similar data to act with foresight and confidence for maximum impact.

2.  Employees Are Sick of Change. Here’s the Antidote.

Managing organizational change is another top concern: in 2016, 74% of employees were open to change and cooperated readily with change management objectives. Gartner notes that by 2022, that number had dropped to just 38%, a plummet which experts say has been caused by change fatigue.

Create internal programs designed to support employees and help them navigate change management. Use surveys to gather data on what their biggest fears and stumbling blocks are, so you can address issues directly. 

3. What’s Good for Employees Is Good for Employers

Nearly half (47%) of HR leaders say employee experience has jumped to the top of their priority list, but almost as many (44%) say their organizations are not offering opportunities for growth and career advancement.

Make it a policy to engineer growth opportunities that depend on promoting from within and ensuring that existing employees are ready to step into bigger shoes. This will help make sure hiring costs are kept to entry level recruitment while building internal loyalty. Use data insights to identify skills gaps and identify employees who are specifically suited for training to fill them.

4. Clogged Recruitment Pipelines Can’t Produce Results

Despite fluctuations in the labor market, 50% of organizations still expect competition for top talent to be fierce in 2023. However, 36% of HR managers say their current sourcing strategies are not surfacing the candidates they need.

Intelligent hiring - recruitment with a data-driven approach - can help recruiters surface top talent and interviewers recognize it when it’s time to make hiring decisions. Tying pre-hire data to post-hire outcomes helps improve Quality of Hire across the board.

5. Future of Work Strategy: Set data as your foundation.

Finally, 42% of HR leaders surveyed say they are concerned about the future of work, but 43% admit their organization has no clear strategy in place. Workforce planning, skills gap identification, and Quality of Hire are clear front runners when it comes to engineering the future of work.

Data is the foundation for all three. With the right data, it’s easier than ever to predict workforce needs, understand where skill gaps exist now and predict where they will arise in the future, and develop a strategy for improving Quality of Hire.

Future of Work Trends

Broader trends affecting the future of work are employee centric and focused on improving experience, embracing recruitment technology, and finding balance with a hybrid workforce. Gartner’s 2023 Future of Work trend predictions highlight many of these crucial topics:

Flexibility for the Front Line

According to the 2022 Gartner Frontline Worker Experience Reinvented Survey, 58% of organizations employing frontline workers have invested in improving overall employee experience already, and around 30% of those who haven't yet intend to in the coming year. 

Top priorities for workers include:

  • Control over and stability in their work schedule
  • Paid leave, including sick leave
  • Flexibility in what they work on, who they work with and how much they work

It’s not all about the money for most employees these days: freedom to achieve work-life balance tops the list instead.

Internal Talent Mobility

Sometimes outside recruitment isn’t the answer. With cost per hire skyrocketing, HR leaders can lean in to internal talent mobility to reach the following goals:

  • Achieve organizational goals without changing headcount
  • Upskill existing employees to fill skills gaps and create loyal leaders 
  • Leverage contractors to bridge temporary needs for specific skills  

These steps can help reduce the need to increase headcount and can improve overall productivity.

Support for Managers

Low- and mid-level managers are struggling with the shift to remote and hybridized workforces. However, these employees are in the thick of it, from maintaining team productivity to keeping employees happy and healthy; 60% of hybrid employees say their direct manager is their main connection to company culture. 

Not all managers have the skills required to be effective at a distance. Providing upskilling and leadership training is key to retaining managers who might be feeling overwhelmed with evolving demands. Additionally, clarifying how managers should prioritize their time can help shift mindsets away from micromanagement to a big-picture view.

Transformation of the Sourcing Process

The strategic value of expanding and diversifying talent pipelines is undeniable, but as a whole, organizations have been slow to adopt new methods of sourcing and recruitment. However, with the concept of work being turned on its head, candidates are ready to face new challenges head on. 

More than half (56%) of candidates are reporting they have applied for at least one job outside their current area of expertise. They are becoming more aware of how their current skills sets might translate across department and industry lines, and are eager to expand their knowledge.

On the other side of the equation, the expectations of hiring managers have shifted. Industry experience and technical skills are taking second place to soft skills in many companies. Organizations are being forced to learn how to assess candidates not based primarily on credentials, but on their ability to perform.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Organizations are increasing their commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB), but are facing pushback from some workers who feel these programs are inappropriate and unfair. A surprising 42% percent of employees surveyed said that they thought DEIB initiatives are divisive, another 42% say they resent DEIB efforts, and 44% feel alienated by such programs.

Many organizations simply ignore such pushback with the intention not to legitimize it, but left unanswered, these reactions can cause a non-inclusive or even hostile environment to develop. It’s critical to get employee buy-in for DEIB initiatives, which may take extra time and effort but will ultimately pay off.

Employee Wellness

A focus on mental health is starting to emerge, as organizations see employees burning out or cracking under pressure and 82% of employees now say it’s important that their employers see them as whole persons and not just cogs in a machine. Employees need to see employers take a proactive approach to their wellness and mental health.

Many organizations are moving to the use of IT-connected devices, including wearables and other health-related technologies to assist employees in managing stress, controlling weight, and even spotting signs of anxiety or depression. However, this brings new challenges in the form of data privacy risks. 

Transparency is key when utilizing data on employees, even if it’s for their own health. Ensure all data is correctly protected, allow employees to opt out of data collection, sharing, and storage if they object to any part of the process.  

Bias in Hiring

Algorithms, AI, and automation have been completely changing the face of recruitment, but not all change has been for the better.  

  • Bias concerns lead to more transparency in recruiting technologies
  • Compliance with new government regulations on privacy can be complex  
  • There are multiple ethical implications of these practices which must be considered

However, well thought out and carefully integrated automation tools can significantly reduce time spent on repetitive tasks, improving efficiency, personalization, analytics and even Quality of Hire.

Meanwhile, organizations are facing unprecedented challenges in the form of a workforce that is simultaneously exhausted with the former status quo, and empowered to ask for what they want. With wild swings from historically low unemployment rates to massive layoffs from some of the country’s biggest employers, the future of work remains in a state of flux.


To learn more about how Crosschq’s Hiring Intelligence Platform™ can help your organization keep up with future of work trends, contact us for a free demo today. 


Katie Kennedy

by Katie Kennedy

Talent Consulting Lead

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