8 Trends that will shape HR strategy and focus in 2023

2022 was a challenging year for the Human Resources (HR) function, as it saw contradictory trends. The year started with the ‘Great Resignations’ and ended with widespread layoffs, particularly in large tech startups. And in between were many other evolving priorities like well-being, evolving compliance requirements, and back-to-office movement. This kind of swing-in trends in one year is unprecedented.

The rapid shift from high levels of resignation to widespread layoffs was a challenge for HR professionals, who had to quickly adapt their strategies and approaches. HR departments had to balance the needs of the business with the well-being and career development of their employees. This required a flexible and agile approach, as HR professionals had to respond to rapidly changing circumstances and priorities. Despite the difficulties, HR professionals were able to rise to the challenge and support their organisations and employees through a challenging and uncertain time.

As we enter 2023, the following 8 key trends will keep CHROs thinking and evolving:

1. Rise of ethical moonlighting: As the gig economy continues to grow, more and more employees are taking on side hustles or “moonlighting” in addition to their primary jobs. This trend is likely to continue in 2023, and HR professionals will need to consider how to manage and support employees who engage in ethical moonlighting.

2. Paradox of retention and downsizing: In the wake of the economic downturn in 2022, many organisations are facing the paradox of needing to retain key talent while also downsizing to cut costs. HR professionals will need to carefully navigate this tension to strike the right balance between maintaining a strong workforce and meeting the needs of the business.

3. ESG focus on HR: Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues are becoming increasingly important to both employees and investors. HR professionals will need to consider how to incorporate ESG principles into their organisations’ practices and culture, and how to communicate their commitment to ESG to stakeholders.

4. Neurodiversity and inclusion: As organisations become more diverse, HR professionals will need to understand and appreciate that neurodiverse individuals have unique strengths and contributions to make and that a neurodiverse organisation is a more inclusive and enriching one. Focus on neurodiversity and inclusion to ensure that all employees can fully contribute and succeed. This may involve developing strategies and programs to support neurodivergent employees and create a more inclusive workplace culture.

5. Booming gig workforce: With moonlighting maturing and organisations implementing policies and practices, the gig economy is set to boom further. HR professionals will need to consider how to manage and support a gig workforce, and how to balance the needs of gig workers with those of traditional employees.

6. Workforce optimisation: With increasing pressures to stay competitive, HR professionals will need to focus on optimising their workforce to improve efficiency and productivity. This may involve implementing new technologies and processes or restructuring the organisation to better align with business goals.

7. Technology-first HR: HR technology is expected to continue evolving in 2023, and HR professionals will need to stay up-to-date on the latest tools and platforms to effectively support their organisations. AI, ML and Analytics will find unprecedented applications in talent attraction, assessments, performance management, remote working, optimisation, compensation planning upskilling, and reskilling workforce across the globe.

Shaakun Khanna
Vice President, HCM & SaaS Application Alliances, APAC, Oracle

8. Organisation redesign: As organisations adapt to changing market conditions and customer needs, HR professionals may be called upon to help redesign the organisation to better align with business goals. This may involve restructuring teams, redefining roles and responsibilities, or introducing new processes and technologies.



Overall, 2023 is all set to present a new set of challenges and opportunities to HR function for which HR professionals will need to be flexible and agile to navigate these trends and support their organisations and employees.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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