In 2022, the workforce has continued to adapt to the socio-economic fallout of the pandemic. The readjustment phase necessitated by the ‘new normal’ brought about a set of challenges in 2022, that will likely again shift in 2023. As we approach the New Year, we’re taking a look at the workforce trends that we expect to see from both employee and employer perspectives.
1. Pay transparency to become increasingly widespread practice
The move towards pay transparency in the UK is already gaining momentum, with 1 in 5 job postings currently listing salary details and support for salary transparency overwhelmingly high. In a recent study by Talent.com, 98% of respondents said that listing the salary at search level is important to them.
But salary transparency goes beyond job seekers’ wants. It can also be used as a tool to stamp out pay inequalities. Our research found that almost 3 in 10 respondents reported pay discrimination, with more than a third of them from the youngest generation. On International Women’s Day 2022, the UK government launched a pay transparency pilot in which participating companies listed salaries on all job openings, in a bid to attract more female candidates who are statistically less likely to negotiate their wage.
Support for salary transparency is high, with 81% of Talent.com’s survey respondents believing that employers should be required to disclose salary ranges in job descriptions, with 79% supporting a law requiring employers to disclose salary ranges in job postings. With ratified UK salary transparency laws on the horizon, 2023 will see the impact of these laws take place.
2. Flexible working practices will play a larger role in recruitment strategies
In 2023 we will likely see the offering of flexible working arrangements become more commonplace. Our recent study in the UK demonstrated that after salary, respondents sought flexible working conditions as their second highest consideration when looking for work. This was most noticeable in the younger age categories, with 64% of Millennials citing flexible working as an important job factor.
With competition for talent at a high, with certain verticals experiencing a real crunch to obtain the best candidates, organisations may choose to implement a more flexible approach to attract and retain top talent.
3. The development of both professional & soft skills gaining in importance
Industry discussions on upskilling and the development of soft skills was prominent in 2022, and will likely build in response to economic conditions as we enter 2023. With economic precarity at the forefront of minds, upskilling opportunities for the workforce will become a dominant retention strategy for employers, through which they can demonstrate their commitment to driving employee growth and development.
Conversely, job seekers will undertake their own professional development activities, as a means of building their desirability to potential future employers in an uncertain market.
In particular, soft skills frequently give companies an edge over their competitors. Developing a team’s skills in interpersonal communication, decision making, time management and collaboration will reap rewards in a tough market.
4. Four Day Work Week: From pilot programme to greater prominence
Following persistent labour shortages as a result of the pandemic and the ensuing ‘Great Resignation’, employers have been pressed to compete on better wages and benefits as the economy reopened. Whilst flexibility is one bargaining chip, the offer of a four day work week is another approach that has proved popular.
The 40-hour work week was designed in 1940, when married life would enable one party to work whilst the other stayed at home to take care of house and childcare duties – all supported by a single salary. Given the shifting nuclear family design, as well as the need for more than one salary given rising costs, it’s time to reassess the 40-hour work week.
Our research into the Four Day Work Week has shown that there is widespread support for the model, with 82% of respondents citing a better work life balance as a particular benefit, and improved wellbeing and reduced stress as other positives. With a 6-month pilot program involving over 70 companies indicating a positive impact on business – with 95% of firms reporting that productivity was maintained or improved – companies would do well to take advantage of this forward thinking approach to the working week.
5. Efforts to measure employee productivity could gain prominence in 2023
With flexibility and the four day work week on the cards, employers are increasingly feeling the need to ensure that their employees are being truly productive. In 2023, some employers may increasingly utilise time tracking or monitoring softwares as they seek to gain a greater understanding of how their teams spend their working hours and how it can be optimised to boost results.