Recruitment in 2023: Thoughts from Industry Experts

Anete Vesere

Content Marketer

Looking back at the past year, we’ve faced and still face a lot of challenges: the great resignation, the war for talent is still at full peak, the ever-growing importance of ensuring a smooth and enjoyable candidate experience while maintaining hiring process efficiency. After all – time is still money.

Will recruitment in 2023 be easier or will we face more challenges? We talked to multiple industry experts to find out what are their predictions for recruitment in the upcoming year.

So let’s dive in.

As expected, DE&I will become an even more crucial component of recruitment

More than 3 out of 4 candidates (76%) report that a clear strategy for DE&I is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers. DE&I will no longer be ‘one of the checkboxes’, here’s what industry experts say about the importance of making DE&I a crucial component of the recruitment process in the years to come.

“In 2023 I foresee new strategies related to “diversity hiring”.” - Elena Paleva

To reach more people, companies will start using new tools that can allow them to stand out and attract talents by not only evaluating their hard skills but rather focusing mainly on the soft ones.

Elena Paleva, Talent Advisor at VidaXL

 

“DEI is critical in terms of hiring” - Gonçalo Sequeira

DEI is critical in terms of hiring. Every organization needs a diverse workforce and for that to be build we need to make sure we are inclusive in our hiring process.

That means being aware of bias , not only recruiters but every single interviewer. It is much more than trainings and workshops. Only with the right mindset and the right people doing interview we can make sure we can continue to build a diverse and inclusive work environment.

Gonçalo Sequeira,  Founder of Hiire & Talent Acquisition Specialist

“It's more important than ever now that there is a sense of belonging at work for employees.” - Jon Claire

I think companies have to actively look at what they’re doing to make their workplace a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment.

Whether that is implementing a program or initiative to bring these values to life, it’s more 

important than ever now that there is a sense of belonging at work for employees. 

I’m a firm believer that if you can bring your authentic self to work, you feel part of the bigger picture and strive to work best for the people who are giving you the freedom to be yourself.

Jon Claire, Partnerships Manager at IHR – In-house Recruitment

“DE&I should be the foundation of recruitment.” - Josy Villamar

Diversity of thought – A new hire is always an opportunity to enhance your team with a new set of skills and a fresh perspective. But also an opportunity to make your team culture richer. Having people that look and think the same is dangerous because it won’t bring your team forward. So, while setting up the requirements of the role, I think we should assess what skills, personalities and backgrounds we have and look for someone to add to our team culture.

Equity and Inclusion – you thought that the job was done after having a diverse team? I’m afraid not. When we commit to building a diverse team, we are taking the responsibility to make sure they thrive over time. The only way to successfully attract and retain your diverse talent is to offer them the tools they need to succeed and an inclusive work environment where they can be themselves and feel like they belong. It all starts with the language you use and the story you tell, but also with the benefits you offer, and the way you conduct interviews and assessments during the recruitment process. Facts speak louder than words.

Josy Villamar, People Generalist at Trengo

“DE&I to me as a recruiter is a constant reminder that I am screening people and not CV’s.” - Felix Liedtke

It’s sometimes easy to forget there is an actual human being with a unique background behind that application. As recruiters we have a big responsibility because our decisions influence peoples lives heavily. From time to time, I must remind myself not to trust my instincts to much and acknowledge how biased my decision might be. Recently migrating from Germany to Norway and being the foreigner for the first time myself definitely helped with that.

Felix Liedtke, Talent Acquisition Manager at Freaks 4U Gaming GmbH

“Acknowledging the importance of a DEI culture is vital. - Cecilia Olivero

Acknowledging the importance of a DEI culture in the workplace and in every step, processes and procedures, is vital. The power and influence that companies have must be recognised: a spill-over effect in everyone’s daily life, and therefore in the long-term in society as well. 

DEI offers not only one perspective, but a thousand more, and it allows people to feel safe and pushed in being themselves in a working environment that will thrive with and thanks to them.

Focusing specifically on the concept of gender, understanding it as a spectrum and not as a dichotomy, will improve the corporate world deeply and vastly. This can be reached with implementing anonymised assessments in the recruiting process: it does not require for the recruiters to know what gender that person identifies as, but only focusing on the skills and strengths an individual can bring to the table.

It is unfortunately still so easy to be biased, as we all have social constructs and preferences, and they are reflected in our work as well. Sometimes, even when we are trying to be equal and fair, in some ways we are leaving someone behind. 

What I believe is to be accepted is that we are all different, but we are all Equal, and our differences can only strengthen and empower ourselves and our companies.

Cecilia Olivero, Human Resources Manager at International Students Work 

Ensuring equal opportunities in hiring for all

Caring about DE&I is no longer an option. It’s what’s expected from you in 2023 and that begins by becoming aware of our unconscious biases and ensuring equal opportunities to all.

“Time to acknowledge that we are inherently biased” - Sofia Efthymiopoulou

Since, as people, we tend to mainly see what we already believe other than believe what we see, the first step is to acknowledge that we are inherently biased and keep that in mind, especially when evaluating candidacies.

Sofia Efthymiopoulou, Talent Business Partner @ RocketX

“Everyone should get the same chances.” - Leonie van der Molen

Since we are an agency most of the time we do not have a choice in how DE&I is of importance. However, we do come across a lot of companies that speak about the importance of DE&I. For example, we have one client to whom we introduce our candidates without a name, ethnicity or gender. I think this is a very good thing and it makes me happy to see that companies try to be blind to all those things and want to hire someone for their experience and skills. However, there are also clients that will not talk to or hire the person because of a certain ethnicity…

So long answer short: for me, DE&I is very important in the recruitment process. And I think everyone should get the same chances. The sad reality is that not everyone gets the same chance yet. But if it is up to me everyone would.

Leonie van der Molen, Recruitment Consultant at New Monday

Other trends that will be shaping recruitment in 2023

However, the ever-increasing importance of DE&I and focus on ensuring equal opportunities is not the only thing you can expect in 2023…

"More focus on hiring the right mix of people" - Ton Dobbe

I believe the effects of the unstable and political landscape will continue to keep organizations cautious about hiring too many people in 2023. What this will do is that there will be even more focus on hiring the right mix of people to ensure their culture will continue to strengthen.

Organizations who manage to connect a compelling vision with the strongest diversity, skills, and experience mix have the best cards in 2023 to surprise their customers, investors, themselves,… and even their competitors.

Ton Dobbe

Ton Dobbe, Founder of Value Inspiration, Author The Remarkable Effect

“Focus on retention of employees rather than unnecessary hiring” - Florian Meister

Retention and Learning over Attraction. Quality over Quantity and hiring only for the best fit possible. No false positives, no high pace which induces risk for the wrong hire. Answering global recession means hiring only where it is needed to never risk unnecessary layoffs.

Florian Meister, Head of Talent Acquisition at Temedica

"The focus will shift to developing and retaining existing employees." - Grace Pulsford

For many companies, there will be a shift of focus from very high levels of hiring to developing and retaining existing employees. To support this, employee learning and development should be encouraged at all levels and ingrained into the company culture. This will create an environment where top talent thrives.

Grace Pulsford, Learning And Development Manager at Recruitee

“Continuous improvement will be key for engagement, experience and retention.”- Gisela Pujol

Companies will ensure they retain key employees (knowledge management, culture drivers, niche skills) and they put efforts on employee experience and engagement. Instead of making the difference on the marketplace on attractiveness, they will make the difference internally in becoming more robust with culture and practices. This includes strengthening values and how these are implemented across, focusing on employee development, including training, talent review, promotion processes and meritocracy.

Companies can prepare by looking at their current employees, their engagement and experience, and find levers to improve those. Continuous improvement (or just starting some of these) will be key for engagement, experience and retention.

Gisela Pujol, Head of Talent Acquisition and Employer Brand at The Big Search

“Learning is the key-factor for new and current employees” - Freia Fransen

I think for the field of recruitment in 2023; it is a complex market right now with a recession and still high unemployment. Some companies are already cautious in hiring new employees or even stopped hiring. 

Nevertheless, there is also a high number of employees who retire in the coming years and in certain sectors knowledge and experience will stay scarce (like the ones we work in at 227; learning and data). Therefore companies need to stay or need to become creative in being an attractive workplace for new and current employees. 

Learning is key-factor in this; for new employees to learn how the company works, to get the right skills and also to keep on learning for the current and for future jobs.

Freia Fransen, Business Director I Senior Recruitment Consultant at 227 Learning

“I think a new generation of workers are standing up for themselves”- Shanthi Haaze

Firstly, I think that there’s a huge generational shift in how individuals look at a work life balance, at the treatment of employees, at wages (seen by phenomenons like ‘act your wage’ ). 

Secondly,  think companies and organizations will no longer have all the power in the years to come. I think there will be a giant shift in recruitment prioritizing the candidate and their wishes and demands compared to companies and organisations grilling candidates to find their perfect pick. 

Thirdly, I think a new generation of workers are standing up for themselves, for their rights, for better treatment and better pay, and speaking up against toxic work environments, against working overtime, and overall against the expectation that they do exactly as they are told no matter what it is. You can see people are fighting for remote jobs, for 4 days a week instead of 5 days a week, for more attention for mental health. 

And even referencing diversity, people are fighting to include more national and religious holidays to give everyone, no matter their cultural or religious background the right to celebrate their special days without having to take a day off for it. Because why should we get Christmas and Easter off but not Diwali or Hanukkah? I think there will be less ticking boxes and hard requirements for candidates but more conversations to see where someone’s talents lie and seeing if their work wishes align with your company or organisation’s needs. And definitely a whole lot more negotiating!

Shanthi Haaze, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant/Recruiter at Unique

As 2023 is fast approaching...

This is the time to solidify your hiring plans. Ensure that you are addressing any bias in your process by placing time and resources into creating a diverse workforce that will help YOU build a sustainable future.

Happy hiring!

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