HR Trends for 2023: How to Prepare for What's Next

January 04, 2023
Checkr Editor

HR experts from Checkr, Lever, and Bonusly reflect on 2022 and share predictions for 2023 and beyond.

As we approach the New Year, there’s no better time than now to reflect back on the “new normal” of today’s workforce and look ahead to how this will shape the future of work. During our recent webinar, “What to Expect in 2023: Data-Driven HR Predictions,” we gathered a panel of HR experts to discuss the lessons we’ve learned coming out of the pandemic, share data-led HR predictions for 2023, and offer advice for setting your organization up for future success.

Here are some key highlights from our discussion:

Looking back on a volatile year

All of the panelists agreed that this past year was anything but predictable. Each company experienced its share of ups and downs, and the panelists described the approach they took to keep employee morale up and prevent turnover. The consensus was that employees want to see that their company believes in them and is willing to give them the tools they need to invest in their professional career paths – as well as their personal sense of purpose.

“The year was a roller coaster; when we started the year, everything was humming along…and then there was a U-turn over the course of the year,” said panelist Linda Shaffer, Chief People & Operations Officer at Checkr. “Employees were anxious; it’s hard not to open the newspaper and read about [layoffs].

“What resonated was a lot of effort went into more formal manager and leadership development programs. We’re planning on that really being a focus for enabling the whole company to succeed…It helps employees feel like we’re investing in them in a lot of ways.”

Panelist Vicki Yang, Vice President of People Ops at Bonusly, agreed with Linda, and noted that even though employees faced challenges in 2022, they still wanted to lead a life of personal and professional fulfillment. “At the end of the day, what I’ve noticed in the last year is that people still want a sense of purpose, progress and belonging. How do we do that through DEI, and through better employee experiences?”

Adopting new tech — and its impact

According to McLean & Company’s 2023 HR Trends Report, by adopting HR technology – not only for administrative functions but for other functions such as learning and development, performance management, and employee engagement – teams are 1.2x more likely to report that they consider themselves to be partners in planning and executing strategy for their organizations.

Panelist Natasha Molina, Senior People Business Partner at Lever/Employ Inc., agreed that embracing technology will lead to successful outcomes. “We recently finished a project to bring new technology to our 1-on-1s, and now managers have the resources to be successful and we have engagement data from our engagement surveys. It’s so important to have those one-stop solutions that empower employees and leaders to have the conversations they need to have.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how it all comes together, and how well we’re able to bring all that into what we do every day to make sure we’re putting out those resources and saving ourselves some time via technology.”

Yang adds, “So often we forget to quantify how much we’re saving when we bring these tools in. How do we make things easier? How do we have the conversations we need to have? If we can show that, then the tools pay for themselves.”

Developing and retaining top talent in 2023

As a consequence of 2022’s volatility, many companies have had to slow headcount growth. Therefore, the development of existing employees and retention will be crucial for success in 2023.

“One of the things that we have been working on this year is to help employees understand compensation, which is really complicated,” Shaffer said. “How do we communicate our employee rewards package and why we’ve chosen to compensate in this way? This is even more important as more states pass pay transparency laws.

“We’re continuing to invest in our team so that Checkr is a place people come to and want to build a career…to that end we’ve focused on investment in L&D. Something we did differently this year is adopted a platform called Learn In for employees to go and discover training without having to pay out-of-pocket. By taking away that friction for employees, participation in employee-driven development has skyrocketed to a 50 percent employee participation rate.”

Molina added, “we rely heavily on market data for compensation. If we’re paying what the other companies are paying, what is it the employees here aren’t getting? Is there something else going on? Are they having issues with child care? Then we can find ways to help them with that. Are we explaining our bonus structure? If not, how can we be more transparent…We’re helping re-train our managers, making sure we're offering education opportunities, looking at what workloads are looking like…not just focusing solely on compensation but looking at the total employee rewards package.”

Using people data to tell a story

The end of the year is all about evaluating – with data – the accomplishments and challenges of teams and individuals. The panelists reflected on how they’ve been using people data to tell a story to their leaders and employees.

“What has been important is being able to share data and tell a story about why these programs we offer are important to our company and part of our strategy as a business,” Shaffer said. “How do we synthesize the programs we offer and use data to show their driving impact? You also need to think about how you are telling this story and what connects with people in a story. Yes, you need data, but you need to have [those listening] emotionally connect to the story, which is why including anecdotes along with data helps illustrate the impact we’ve had.”

Trends for 2023 and beyond

To close out the webinar, the panelists reflected on the big trends of the year, from “Quit Quitting” to “Bleisure,” and discussed their 2023 trend predictions.

“In 2023 there is going to be a focus on career growth and progression,” stated Yang. “What I hear the most is, how do we create that for our people and put in processes that will reduce bias and create more inclusion to get to that point. People don’t always see the line the managers are drawing for them and connect those dots – we’re talking about your job and sharing feedback with you so we can help you reach your career goal. They don’t see how everything fits together – so how do we develop HR processes that help managers connect the dots for employees.”

Molina noted, “The trend we continue to see is that the nature of work has changed. We keep reporting these things as trends, but it really is a shift in how people want to work and what they are willing to accept in a workplace. We keep waiting to go back to the way things were…and we’re not going to. We’re going to continue to see these trends, and we have to adapt and meet them where they are.”

Added Shaffer, “To quote LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky, ‘Pre-pandemic, approximately 1 percent of all jobs posted on LinkedIn were remote. As of today, that number is ~14 percent...but that's not the fascinating part. What's fascinating is north of 50 percent of all job applications on a daily basis on LinkedIn go to that 14 percent of remote jobs.’ What he’s saying is there’s a huge demand on the employee side for working in new ways. Companies that can get that right will reap the rewards of a massive talent pool.”

Bonusly + lever + checkr webinar

What to Expect in 2023: Data-Driven HR Predictions

Watch Checkr, Lever, and Bonusly as we reflect on 2022, share our predictions for 2023, and offer tips to prepare now for the future of work.

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