Global Outlook Q1 2023
We are seeing a more positive and faster start for HR hiring than expected in Q1, although the underlying reasons vary by geography and the HR market is inconsistent. Despite economic headwinds affecting all regions, there are optimistic signs that “people and culture” will remain front and center in organizational strategy, resulting in the continuing demand for senior human resources talent for the foreseeable future. The long-awaited relaxation of pandemic related restrictions has also been helpful, notably in mainland China and Hong Kong. China’s re-opening trade is creating positivity and momentum inside and outside of the Asia region.
Some multinationals are restructuring and moving towards highly selective hiring in HR while others are continuing to expand their HR teams as part of wider operating model transformations and business growth. On the other hand, the technology sector has been negatively hit particularly in the talent acquisition function where we have seen large-scale redundancies in Europe and the United States.
Emerging trends we are noting are:
- Employers are granting comparatively more flexibility for hybrid and remote working opportunities for the specialist roles, particularly total rewards, and talent. However, there is a move away from remote work across the board, especially fully remote work.
- Talent management and talent acquisition are becoming more closely aligned than ever, mapping internal skills architecture to identify gaps, redeploy and up-skill / re-skill talent for future roles, often in the digital space.
- There is an increased appetite for niche HR talent in areas such as people analytics, D&I, change/transformation, culture, employee experience, and OD. Talent, leadership development and learning also feature as organizations start to look within for answers rather than towards external solutions to talent challenges.
- Total Rewards remains busy, and we are noticing an uptick in the sub-specialist roles: benefits, executive compensation, and broad-based compensation.
- Not surprisingly, search processes have run in parallel with consideration of internal contenders as organizations look to compare what the external market may offer versus internal options. Often the cost of hiring externally is encouraging organizations to give internal talent step-up opportunities, which is helping to retain and engage high potentials.
- Senior HR business partnering roles often have a specialist “strong suit” requirement – most commonly talent management, OD, change management and employee relations.
- Top-talent are often in the mix for multiple career opportunities, meaning employers are having to compete with compelling offers.
- We have not seen mass layoffs for the last few years. Now that they are occurring, there have been interesting conversations and reflections on how to ensure these actions are managed as thoughtfully and compassionately as possible. It is interesting to think that people on both sides of the desk, particularly in the tech sector, may not have had this experience before. The onus may be on more seasoned HR practitioners to bring their experience and wisdom to bear in these situations.
Looking forward, we are optimistic that 2023 will be a solid year on the HR hiring front, with plenty of innovation within the HR profession to look forward to.
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