Keep an eye out for these 7 HR trends in 2023

Ghina Fahs
February 21, 2023
Keep an eye out for these 7 HR trends in 2023
Core HR
Best practices

Are you looking to stay on top of your game and get ahead of the curve in the world of human resources? If so, look no further because we’ve put together a list of the top HR trends to keep an eye on for the year ahead.

It’s no secret that the workforce saw some dramatic changes in the last few years. In fact, according to a McKinsey Global survey of executives, the recent pandemic is said to have propelled digital transformation four years into the future! What this could mean for 2023 is that if HR leaders stay focused and try to maintain that momentum, we could see even more positive change, and fast.

The coming year is already on track to continue positively shaping the way we work and grow. From virtual hiring to employee wellness programs, these HR trends for 2023 just might be the secret sauce that shifts your employee experience from good to greater than ever.

So, if you’re an HR professional ready to make 2023 your year, watch out for these key areas to stay up to date with the latest and greatest in the fast-evolving HR space:

  • Putting people first
  • Prioritizing employee mental health and wellbeing
  • Normalizing virtual hiring and hybrid/remote work
  • Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Investing in upskilling, reskilling, and soft skill development
  • Welcoming artificial intelligence (AI), algorithmic HR, and automation
  • Upgrading to cloud-based HR systems

1. Putting people first:

A people-first organization—sometimes called people-centric—is an organization that puts the people before the business, because it understands that it’s the people that make the business. Adopting a people-first approach simply means prioritizing your people over other aspects of the business, making their wellbeing and satisfaction a top priority. This can look like encouraging a healthy work-life balance, offering flexible work arrangements (see point #3), or investing in upskilling, and moving away from rigid schedules, suffocating micromanagement, or overworking to the point of burnout.

It's not to suggest that any of this should be at the expense of the business’s performance and success. Rather, it's about moving away from the far outdated mentality of "business first, always" where the human element is lost or forgotten, and moving into the mentality of “happy people = happy business”, remembering that true teamwork and camaraderie that lies at the heart of any successful mission.

There is a Zambian proverb that goes:

“When you run alone, you run fast. When you run together, you run far.”

And the first step to ensuring that you have a dream team that’ll run far is by making sure they’re well taken care of and have everything they need to get going, which brings us to point #2.

2. Prioritizing mental health and wellbeing:

Employee mental health and wellbeing is more important than ever and a major focus for HR professionals in 2023. Companies that actively prioritize and invest in employee wellbeing see a positive impact on multiple aspects of the business—not to mention the obvious benefits it has at the individual employee level.

Here are a few examples of how the wellbeing of your team can directly impact your business:

  • Productivity and engagement: happy and healthy employees are more productive and engaged, which is great for your company's bottom line.
  • Employee retention: employees who feel supported and valued are more likely to stick around, saving you from the high costs of turnover, which goes beyond just the time and money to recruit and train new hires.

So don't just pay lip service to employee wellbeing; make it a priority in your HR strategic plan. Look for innovative initiatives and programs designed to promote employee engagement and wellbeing, like flexible work arrangements, mental health support, stress management resources, and much more.

If you need some inspo, check out our blog post on the topic, highlighting some awesome companies that are acing their employee wellbeing benefits.

3. Normalizing virtual hiring and hybrid/remote work:

The global lockdown only sped up an already incoming shift towards virtual hiring and remote work, and many employees all over the world are now unwilling to go back to the way things used to be. In fact, many would choose to resign and accept lower salaries in exchange for hybrid or remote-friendly roles.

Recent research by Pew Research Center and think tank revealed that 60% of workers with jobs that can be done from home say that if given the choice, they’d like to work from home all or most of the time, regardless of the social and team-building benefits that being in the office can offer.

In 2023, HR professionals and employers will not only need to be adept at managing virtual teams, but they’ll also need to find creative ways to onboard and engage remote employees, because working from home (or anywhere you choose) is a more than a trend, and it’s only going to be more of the norm in the future of work.

Girl works remotely from the comfort of her home office, flexible and hybrid work is the norm

4. Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI):

  • Diversity is all about celebrating the differences that make us unique and special, like race, sexual orientation, gender, and more. It's about making sure that everyone has a seat at the table and a voice that's heard, especially groups that have been historically underrepresented or marginalized.
  • Equity is when everyone gets a fair share, no matter what. It's about ensuring that systems and institutions aren’t biased toward a specific group of people, everyone has equal access to opportunities for growth, and resources are distributed in a way that benefits all people.
  • Inclusion focuses on making everyone feel welcomed and included. It's about creating an environment where everyone belongs, and feels comfortable being their most authentic self at work.

In short, diversity is about representation, equity is about fairness, and inclusion is about belonging. Together, they create a world where everyone is valued and respected.

DEI has been a highlight for HR and it will absolutely continue to be a top priority for companies in the coming year. HR professionals will play a key role in driving DEI initiatives, such as creating inclusive policies and practices and promoting diversity in recruitment and retention efforts.

Here are some simple examples of DEI initiatives:

  • Celebrating diverse holidays.
  • Issuing an inclusive statement from your CEO to be shared both internally and across your public platforms.
  • Establishing mentorship programs for underrepresented groups.
  • Including DEI statements in your job postings and offer letters.
  • Eliminating bias from interviewing and hiring practices with a diverse panel of screeners.

5. Investing in upskilling, reskilling, and soft skill development:

As technology continues to evolve, certain technical skills can become obsolete with the introduction of new technologies and practices. HR professionals will need to help employees stay relevant by providing opportunities for upskilling and reskilling. Whether it's through training programs, online courses, or mentorship opportunities, there are plenty of ways to help your employees stay current and relevant in a fast-paced and constantly changing business world.

If you want to stay ahead of the game and keep your company's employees happy and engaged, shining a light on skill development is the way to go! This means actively investing in your employees' professional development and helping them learn new skills that will make them more valuable to your organization. Plus, by investing in your employees' growth, you'll be positioning your company for long-term success and keeping those top-notch employees from jumping ship. Anyway, you’re better off upskilling an existing employee rather than hiring a more senior person from outside the company.

Let’s not forget soft skill development, as well. You know, those things that aren’t really part of the job description—like communication, collaboration, problem-solving, and adapting to change, as well as management skills like empathy and compassion. These are must-have skills as the world becomes increasingly complex and interconnected, and they're essential for helping employees thrive in their roles, contributing to the overall success of your company.

So don't let your workforce get stale—get proactive about upskilling and reskilling in 2023.

6. Welcoming artificial intelligence (AI), algorithmic HR, and automation:

Algorithmic HR is the use of AI and machine learning algorithms to automate and optimize HR processes. From applicant tracking systems to performance evaluations, AI and automation are revolutionizing HR, and as these technologies rapidly evolve, HR professionals will need to stay up-to-date and understand how they can be used effectively. Saving time, using resources more efficiently, and eliminating bias in their decision-making are just a few of the ways AI-powered technology can help.

According to a recent study conducted by Oracle and Future Workplace, 50% of employees currently use some type of AI at work, up from 32% last year.

What embracing AI really means is speeding the transition from repetitive tasks that add little to no value, to more engaging and strategic activities. AI-powered chatbots such as ChatGPT and virtual assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa may sound familiar, but there are also numerous automation solutions emerging every day—and created especially for HR, like alfii—that can cut time spent on repetitive tasks.

So, don’t overlook exciting new AI capabilities, because they’re only getting hotter and hotter this coming year. But worry not of the presumable threat that AI poses to future employment. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee write in the Harvard Business Review that “over the next decade, AI won’t replace managers, but managers who use AI will replace those who don’t.”

girl smiles and takes flower from artificial intelligence robot

Finally, this brings us to point #7.

7. Upgrading to cloud-based HR systems:

In this day and age, no HR leader should be manually dealing with employee files and struggling with outdated HR software. Cloud-based HR systems are tools that allow companies to manage their HR workflows and tasks employee record-keeping, payroll, benefits management, and performance evaluations—entirely online, while giving employees easy access to update their own information and documents.

With a cloud-based HR system and the help of AI, HR professionals can manage and analyze data from anywhere with an internet connection. Plus, because the system is cloud-based, there's no need to worry about backing up data or installing updates; it's all taken care of for you.

Overall, cloud-based HR systems can turn managing HR tasks and keeping track of employee info into a total breeze, and this year will see a lot of companies saying goodbye to the hassle and hello to a more automated and streamlined approach to people management!

Lucky for you, alfii provides exactly that, and you can try it for free in just a few clicks.

Bring it on, 2023!

To close things off, HR trends for 2023 are all about adapting to change and supporting the evolving needs of the modern workforce. Whether it's through virtual hiring, promoting DEI, leveraging technology, or investing in employee development, HR professionals will have their work cut out for them in the coming year. But with the right strategies and approaches, they can help their organizations thrive and soar to new heights in an increasingly complex and dynamic workforce.

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