Despite trends ranging from quiet quitting to quiet firing to quiet hiring, the talent side of human resources is anything but silent heading into 2023.
While whispers of an economic downturn hover around the water cooler and news of downsizing in the tech sector lingers, most executives aren’t planning massive layoffs. At least, not yet.
A recent survey by PwC of 4,410 chief executives in 105 countries found that while 73% expect global economic growth to decline this year — the most pessimistic business leaders have been about the economy since PwC started asking about it 12 years ago — 60% don’t intend to cut their workforce in the next 12 months.
Instead, companies likely will be more strategic in their hiring, human resources executives say. Paul Lewis, chief marketing officer at Adzuna, an employment website company, characterizes this as “purposeful hiring.” Long gone is the explosion of hiring in late 2021 and early 2022, a time when candidates fielded multiple job offers and companies vied for talent.
“Companies will focus on quality candidates rather than scrambling to fill a plethora of open positions,” Lewis told HR Dive via email.
Recruiting: Candidate experience is key
Finding those high-quality candidates will involve creating a better hiring experience.
“Companies should foster more transparency throughout the hiring process, be that improving salary transparency or stopping ghosting candidates. This is essential to make sure you get the right candidates in the door and to establish trust right from the beginning of the hiring process,” Lewis said.
He recommended businesses find ways to streamline the hiring process and cut the time to hire to both save money and keep candidates engaged.
Albert Galarza, global vice president of human resources at TELUS International, an IT and customer service provider, said his company has reduced the time from application to offer to two hours for front-line workers.
“We still have a lot of candidates who are interested in evaluating the company’s efficiencies just by the interview process,“ Galarza said.
Some candidates, Galarza said, see a slow hiring process as indicative that a company itself moves slowly.
Galarza expects the hiring market to be about 95% as competitive as it has been the past two years. Despite major layoffs at tech companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Twitter, Google and Facebook, the U.S. unemployment rate remains low, he said.
“We expect some softening but not a lot given how low unemployment is overall,” Galarza said.
That’s why, he said, a company’s No. 1 job is to retain employees and not get complacent about their existing workforce.
Retention: Build trust and focus on who is present
Jennifer Shewan, vice president of people at Wonolo, an on-demand job marketplace, said it’s most cost-effective for a company to invest in the employees they already have to prevent disengagement and quitting — quiet or otherwise.
Internally, Wonolo invests in learning and development and has created career pathing to help employees gain new skills.
Carmen Bryant, workplace expert and VP of marketing at Wizehire, an online hiring platform for small businesses, expects to see companies hoarding labor this year, afraid to have layoffs after experiencing recent hiring challenges.
Bryant said companies will need to work on building trust with their employees in 2023, especially as economic concerns arise.
“Employees will have questions about the health of the business,” Bryant said. “It’s important to invite them to share their concerns and use it as an opportunity to be transparent to foster a sense of trust, address challenges and brainstorm solutions.”