What's in store for HR in 2023?

Will 2023 bring a big shift in priorities for HR? We think so...

We may not have a crystal ball but we do have our finger firmly on the HR pulse – so what is 2023 going to look like for the fast-evolving world of Human Resources?

Let’s take a look at some of the most revealing facts and figures of 2022 – and how they could shape priorities for HR in the coming year.


Onboarding will become a priority


Did you know that a fifth of employees feel that they’ve been misled by job descriptions? Or that 25% of remote workers feel they’ve been let down by the onboarding process?

Revealed in a study by Cezanne HR, these statistics highlight the importance of transparent job specs and a proper onboarding strategy. With more than 20% of new employees saying that their onboarding experience made them question their choice of job, the end result is easy to predict: increased employee turnover.

If an employee starts a new job feeling that they’ve been duped in some way – or they’re part of the 50% who say they don’t feel productive or capable of doing their jobs – it’s a lose:lose situation. They’re unlikely to stick around, leaving you to start the recruitment process all over again.


Onboarding in 2023


In order to increase talent retention in 2023, you need to get it right from the start. You could have a company culture to rival Microsoft’s with all the possible perks – but it won’t matter if you start off on the wrong foot.

Clear, unambiguous job descriptions are a must. Are they a true reflection of the role and responsibilities you’re expecting? Have you sugar-coated certain areas or over-amplified others?

The next stage is creating an onboarding strategy. A study by SHRM found that great onboarding results in 69% of employees staying with a company for three years. Despite this, another study (by Gallup) revealed that only 12% of employees say that their company has a good onboarding process. So what does good onboarding look like?


  • Welcome email or conversation, explaining what they can expect during their onboarding Introducing your new employee to their colleagues (either in-person or remotely)
  • Explaining your HR processes (annual leave, when and how they’ll be paid, who their HR contact is) Clarifying roles, responsibilities, goals, and how you’ll be evaluating performance
  • Providing team building opportunities so they can bond and connect with colleagues
  • Asking them for feedback about their onboarding process



Offboarding will be up there with onboarding


While the first half of 2022 was all about riding the post-lockdown boom, the end of the year has been the diametric opposite.

With Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta recently laying off 11,000 employees (and announcing a recruitment freeze for Q1 of 2023) – and the same on the cards for Twitter – the recession is officially in full swing.

Recent ONS labour market data (November 2022) reveals that open vacancies are dropping at the fastest rate since 2020, currently sitting at around 3.6% (the lowest percentage rate since 1974). And, with inflation expected to reach 18% in 2023, many employers will be forced to make cuts. For HR this presents the issue of managing redundancies and ensuring employees are properly offboarded in order to complete the employee lifecycle.

Done correctly, offboarding improves staff morale, boosts your brand as an employer, and helps your employee move on in the healthiest way possible. Without proper offboarding, you could experience serious disruption to the day-to-day running of your business, turnover contagion (a domino effect in which other employees resign) – and damage your employer brand to boot, making it harder to recruit in the future. Despite this, a Wiley Edge report found that 71% of businesses are failing to maintain good relationships with leaving employees. How could this change in 2023?


Offboarding in 2023


According to a recent ACAS study, nearly one in five employers (18%) will be forced to make redundancies next year. For many businesses, the projected increase in redundancies will highlight the need for an offboarding strategy.

What can we expect?


  • Greater investment and buy-in for offboarding
  • Closer cross-team working between HR and other departments
  • More rigorous processes (official announcements, project handovers, knowledge sharing, exit interview and survey)
  • Increased use of IT tools for automating offboarding (Zluri, Okta, ServiceNow)



Flexible working will get better and better


Flexible working is here to stay. According to Beezy’s Workplace Trends and Insights Report, 73% of employees are now working either hybrid or fully remote – and 32% plan to stay fully remote. This rapid shift towards remote and hybrid working has presented a number of challenges for HR leaders.

From facilitating social learning opportunities for remote workers and managing access to resources to instilling company culture and fostering peer connections – 2022 has been the year of beginning to reimagine how we can work together, apart. So how can HR become agile enough to create an employee experience that seamlessly switches from remote to on-site?


Flexible Working 2023


In 2023, the experience of flexible working – both for employers and employees – is going to radically improve. More businesses are starting to focus on the details of hybrid working to ensure all employees are engaged, productive, and given equal opportunities to learn. What does this look like in practice?


  • Training managers for remote leadership
  • Rethinking physical spaces to suit the hybrid model
  • Investing in IT tools to improve access to internal resources
  • Switching from measuring hours to measuring results
  • Embracing asynchronous working hours


Our HR Masterclasses are designed to help you find actionable solutions. Click here to see our full list of global knowledge-exchange events.


Upskilling and talent mobility


From The Great Resignation to the continuous rise of the gig economy (and the fact that 93% of employers have been trying to recruit this year), for HR leaders the talent problem has been the big headache of 2022. But what if recruitment isn’t the only answer?

The combination of the current recession, a brutal recruitment market, and rapid technological disruption means one thing: upskilling is going to be a big focus for HR in 2023.

According to the World Economic Forum, by 2025, 50% of all employees will need to be reskilled to keep up with tech acceleration. And upskilling plays another crucial role in the current climate; it creates internal mobility. In an uncertain job market, this is a game-changer. Apart from plugging gaps and focussing your top talent on key growth areas, companies with strong internal mobility are also more attractive to prospective candidates.


Upskilling in 2023


We think the trend for upskilling and talent mobility is going to go stratospheric in 2023. Apart from being much more cost-effective than recruitment, it’s the perfect way to future-proof your business. What will upskilling look like in 2023?


  • Offering relevant learning and training at the point of requirement
  • Building a culture of continuous learning
  • Centralised knowledge sharing and building
  • Using workforce planning to determine the roles needed to future-proof your business
  • Using talent analytics to discover which employees would be suitable for the roles
  • Using AI predictive analytics to create bespoke career development content and personalised career plans



Wellbeing & Mental Health 365


Wellbeing and mental health have been big buzzwords in HR for a long time – but are current strategies working?

Unfortunately, wellbeing initiatives are often more tokenistic than effective. Mindfulness apps, webinars, and wellbeing days can all help to set the tone, but they won’t address the root causes of your employees’ stressors.

According to Employment Hero’s 2022 Wellness Report, 54% of UK employees feel burnt out, 23% ‘experienced sadness the previous day’, and 44% reported feeling highly stressed ‘within the last 24 hours’. And what about Quiet-Quitting and the Great Resignation? Looking back over the last year, many of the biggest talent and retention problems all stem from the same problem: employees feeling unhappy, unwell, undervalued, and burnt out. It's clear: we need a different approach to mental health and wellbeing, and we need it fast.


Wellbeing & Mental Health 365 in 2023


This is a trend that’s already underway, with more and more businesses recognising the value in adopting a 365 approach to wellbeing.

Instead of using tools which are largely reactive, in 2023 we hope to see companies moving towards holistic, proactive wellness strategies.

Bearing in mind that 46% of employees say they'd feel uncomfortable discussing their problems at work, how will HR leaders achieve the change that's required?


  • Greater focus on how feedback is collected (anonymous surveys are a good solution)
  • Mental health and wellbeing will become more of a budget line strategy
  • Affinity and employee resource groups (ERGs) will increase
  • A wider range of resources to manage mental health and wellbeing (e-learning courses, support groups, mental health first aiders, resilience training, access to financial coaches)
  • Stricter work/life balance rules


It’s no secret that 2023 is going to present significant problems – and new priorities – for HR leaders. On the plus side, problems drive innovation and change. And the businesses that can adapt with resilience and agility to these new priorities, will be the ones leading the way.


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