HR trends that will shape the world of work in 2023 and beyond


There is an unprecedented shift in employee expectations, say experts.

Erik van Vulpen, founder of AIHR, and Dieter Veldsman, HR and OD thought leader, say businesses are facing an unprecedented shift in employee expectations, and that 2023 is the
year in which HR will help businesses step up to the plate.

“We believe that 2023 is the year for HR to reposition the function’s value proposition. Since 2020, HR has demonstrated its potential when properly enabled. To make this shift, we have to change our perspective on how we add value – to employees, managers, customers, and communities – and where we spend our time. However, HR is on the cusp of burning out,” Erik and Dieter say in their recently released HR Trends report.

According to the report, HR professionals need both the chance to recharge their energy and the proper resources they need to be effective.

“But this is not HR’s responsibility alone. It’s a business problem that must be prioritised. If businesses don't empower HR to function effectively and make better strategic decisions, organisations will face greater internal pressures from the challenges of the new world of work. HR holds the key to unlocking the change but enabling them is a business-wide responsibility,” the report reads.

The report lists the following as some of the trends that will shape HR in 2023 and beyond:

1. A focus on total wellbeing

HR will help organisations tackle the looming burnout crisis by switching from a reactive approach to a proactive one aimed at maintaining wellbeing and building resilience – also in HR itself.

2. Creating purpose-driven organisations

Drivers such as increased automation and demographic shifts mean that work with meaning has become a key differentiator for organisations looking to retain, attract, and engage talent.

3. Inclusion across the employee lifecycle

In order to develop, promote and retain diverse talent, HR will review the entire employee life cycle, ranging from compensation and benefits to promotions and even potential layoffs.

4. Increased investments in deskless workers

To boost retention, HR must understand what deskless workers need and want, and think beyond better compensation, by enabling and empowering their deskless workers with tools fit for purpose.

5. Reshaping workplace learning

If organisations want to attract and retain employees, as well as close skills gaps, they must offer enough upskilling opportunities – or risk falling behind the competition.

6. Redefining remote and hybrid work strategies

By creating future-proof remote work policies and adapting management and recruitment, HR can help organisations remain competitive in the jobs market.

7. Managing workforce ecosystems

Expanding HR’s scope to include the contingent workforce creates a better work experience for all, and helps organisations become more competitive and successful.

8. HR enters the metaverse

The metaverse can help HR reach a wider range of organisations and candidates, and create workplaces conducive to collaboration, creativity and decision-making.

9. The rise of algorithmic HR

Multiple industries are already using technology to enhance managers by helping them reduce bias, augment decision-making, and take care of admin. But there are also dark sides to the tech that HR needs to be wary of.

10. The evolving role of the CHRO

The CHRO will become part of the C-suite inner circle, acting as a trusted advisor to the CEO alongside the CFO and COO.

11. Upskilling managers and leaders

Leadership pipelines are filled with candidates with little to no managerial experience. HR will assess the next generation of managers and enable them with initiatives designed to fast-track their development.

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