The days since the pandemic hit have been a wild ride. Trends like the Great Resignation materialized, later progressing to so-called quiet quitting. The fact that we’ve witnessed these two large-scale trends in a short period is a testament to just how fluid the job market is at the moment.
While the COVID-19 pandemic seems unlikely to get worse in 2023, at least in the United States, the job market remains somewhat uncertain. Things continue to change at a breakneck pace, and it can be difficult to predict what will happen next.
Indeed, no one knows exactly what lies ahead, but numerous job market experts are making common predictions. Here is what some experts expect for the coming year.
During the first year or two of the pandemic, there was a surplus of job openings. But experts predict a tightening labor market for 2023. They believe the tide will shift from a struggle to retain workers to a more selective hiring process.
“Due to the economic uncertainty ahead, employers will be more reluctant to expand their workforce, and employees will be less tempted by job hopping,” said Nathan Brunner, CEO at Salarship.
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This ties into the latest buzzword, “quiet hiring,” with employers placing more emphasis on hiring from within and training existing employees.
“Quiet hiring re-engages existing workers, rebuilding their passions for their work by expanding learning and training of the workers they already have on staff,” said Annie Morris, editor-in-chief of Made in CA.
These trends point to a slowdown in hiring external candidates.
Tech workers have been an essential part of the economy since the dawn of the digital age, but new trends in this sector may accelerate the need for new workers.
“AI and machine-learning technologies are expected to become more widely adopted in 2023, as businesses seek to automate tasks and improve decision-making,” said Mina Tadrus, CEO at Tadrus Capital.
At first, it sounds like this would lead to a drop in hiring. But we can’t forget that these systems need people to develop and maintain them.
Tadrus said, “This will create a demand for professionals with skills in these areas, such as data scientists, machine-learning engineers and AI developers.”
The pandemic left some companies flat-footed, and it became clear that companies must be flexible.
“We live in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world, so the key to everything is flexibility,” said Pavel Bahu, global HR head at Trevolution Group. “Flexible goal setting is about adjustment; it is about finding your strategies to cope and succeed when circumstances change.”
Companies must be adaptable in a changing business environment and in the work arrangements they permit. In other words, flexibility also applies to where and how people work.
“The pandemic just taught so many employees that they didn’t necessarily need to be chained to a desk in a particular location or even at a particular time to do work of value,” Morris said. “So they continue to demand that flexibility; and, for most of the last year, job seekers have been in the driver’s seat, able to set those demands as companies were increasingly desperate for workers.”
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