In a rapidly changing talent landscape, one thing is certain: the recruitment challenges that have shaped the market over the past three years are not going away anytime soon. According to the recent Indeed and Glassdoor’s Hiring and Workplace Trends Report 2023, ageing worker populations worldwide will contribute to long-term labour supply issues, while empowered jobseekers will increasingly demand more from employers in terms of compensation, flexibility and company culture. 

‘Attracting, hiring and retaining workers will remain challenging for employers for several years to come’, says Svenja Gudell, Indeed’s chief economist and co-author of the report. ‘As employers continue to grapple with an ageing and more competitive workforce, combined with changing migration trends, employers must be innovative about where to find workers and how to set themselves apart.’ 

Indeed Chief Economist Svenja Gudell
Indeed Chief Economist Svenja Gudell

So what does that mean for a company that wants to be considered an employer of choice in 2023? 

‘Companies can't just focus on hiring anymore, they have to focus within’, says LaFawn Davis, Indeed Senior Vice President of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG). ‘The war for talent will ramp up in the new year because some companies will be able to easily attract jobseekers, while others will be bleeding talent because they're not focused on their people.’

Here, Davis and other Indeed talent leaders weigh in on some of the top recruitment trends shaping the market today and how to navigate these challenges, and opportunities, to recruit more successfully in 2023 and beyond. 

Worker wellbeing is price of admission for today’s talent

In the current jobseeker’s market, Davis says employee wellbeing is just as important as your recruitment processes when it comes to attracting and retaining talent.

‘People are looking for more than just a paycheck, they are looking for multiple dimensions of what it means to have a sense of wellbeing at work’, says Davis. ‘And the employers that will not only continue to attract people to their companies, but also invest in keeping and growing them, will care about their employees in a way that will attract talent away from other companies.’

Indeed Senior Vice President of ESG LaFawn Davis
Indeed Senior Vice President of ESG LaFawn Davis

She says the first step in supporting work wellbeing is simply listening to your employees. However, according to Indeed’s Work Happiness Report, while 91% of people in the UK believe that how we feel at work matters, only 44% of people report that their companies are measuring happiness and wellbeing. 

Employee sentiment and feelings are facts’, Davis says. ‘We're shifting into a space where what employees think and feel matters to a company just as much as the bottom line. Because without your employees, you're not making or selling anything.’

To gauge work wellbeing in your organisation, here are some questions to consider that go beyond happiness to encompass the entire employee experience:

  • Do employees have a sense of purpose? 
  • Are they satisfied? 
  • Are they stress-free? 
  • Do they have opportunities for additional learning? 
  • Are they being recognised for achievements? 
  • Do they have flexibility?
  • Do they experience a sense of trust in their organisation? 

‘We should have been measuring how people feel in their lives long ago,’ says Davis. ‘And the fact that we have been dismissive of how people feel, how satisfied they are in their lives and their needs is detrimental to not just work but cultures and society.’

Recruiting for skills is imperative in a tight labour market

While some organisations are reducing their workforces, the number of job openings on the market in the UK reached a record high in May 2022. The number of job vacancies has been falling at the time of writing in February 2023. In September 2022, workforce jobs available rose by 97,000 to a new record high of 36.2 million. With seasonal adjustments taking place employers still focus on recruitment for the right skills in the right place at the right time. 

‘While finding people with the capabilities you require can be difficult in any labour market, evaluations that reduce subjectivity: skills assessments, job simulations, aptitude tests and more, help reveal candidate potential’, says Maggie Hulce, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Enterprise at Indeed.

Indeed Executive Vice President and General Manager of Enterprise Maggie Hulce
Indeed Executive Vice President and General Manager of Enterprise Maggie Hulce

For example, CV gaps have historically created employment barriers, Hulce points out. In the UK it apppears that there is a growing acceptance of CV gaps and that the best candidate for the role may have good explanations for their gaps, either personal development time off or a career break for example. Parents and caregivers, especially women, who have left the workforce in record numbers may have reasons for periods without work. Especially when talent is scarce, why should CV gaps prevent them from returning to work? 

What’s more, as part of the COVID-induced 'great resignation’ record numbers of candidates are seeking employment in new industries. Too often, their CVs reflect where they’ve been but not necessarily what they can do or where they want to go.

A skills-based recruitment approach, in contrast, ‘strengthens an organisation’s ability to predict recruiting great candidates,’ says Hulce. ‘The more objective and data-driven a hiring process becomes, the more insight you can glean from hiring wins and misses, and the more improvements you can make to attract top talent.’

Successful companies will stay invested in DEI&B and ESG efforts

In times of economic uncertainty, initiatives surrounding diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEI&B), as well as environmental, social impact and governance (ESG), are often the first to go. For example, in the U.S. and the U.K., Glassdoor data shows that the number of benefit reviews indicating an employer offered a DEI&B programme dipped in the first three quarters of 2022 compared to 2021. 

However, Davis cautions employers against shifting focus from these efforts when times get tight. According to the Indeed Hiring Lab/Glassdoor report, 65% of workers aged 18-34 say they would consider turning down a job offer or leaving a company if there was a lack of racial/ethnic diversity in company leadership, while 74% of U.S. workers say that corporate investment in DEI&B is ‘very important’ or ‘somewhat important’ to them when considering a new job.

‘Jobseekers care, employees care, about making sure that not only are you building things in a way that is equitable and inclusive, but that you have that kind of culture and environment in which they can thrive’, Davis continues. ‘Otherwise, they will go somewhere else where they can.’

Not only are today’s workers motivated by a company’s dedication to diversity and inclusivity and its environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy, she adds, but these concerns also influence consumer behaviour, not to mention the importance ESG represents for UK CEOs today.

‘People are going to buy from your company because of what your brand represents’, says Davis. ‘It's all-encompassing now. And those are the types of companies that consumers want to buy from, that jobseekers want to work for and where employees will stay.’

The future of recruitment is more human

Despite the many difficulties that employers, recruitment professionals and workers have been facing, Indeed talent leaders are hopeful for the future.

‘It took a global crisis, but it feels like we finally brought humanity into the workplace’, says Indeed CEO Chris Hyams. ‘I won't say it “brought back” because I think it's been missing all along. But through this shared experience, we have managed to bring something new to work. … How we show up for each other every day with compassion and care has become one of the most important parts of our jobs.’

Indeed CEO Chris Hyams
Indeed CEO Chris Hyams

For Davis, a focus on humanity, people’s needs and what they bring to the table, will be key to navigating continued uncertainty in 2023.

‘The companies that make it through difficult times focus on their employees. They also really prioritise the important things’, says Davis. ‘I hope it becomes such a tight labour market that jobseekers can say, “Here are all of the skill sets I have”, and employers will look at the jobs they need as skills, and we see a difference. We see different industries. We see different jobs. We see different needs. My hope coming into 2023 is that, even though there's turmoil, beauty will be created out of it.’