Tech companies are laying off big time and quality candidates from white-collar positions are entering the market. HR professionals are rubbing their hands and going on a hunt for talent while it's still available. They won't have it easy, though, as many companies have frozen recruitment budgets for fear of a recession, and talented candidates could slip away from HR professionals.
Quiet hiring is the solution to this dilemma, according to a trend report from Gartner. In practice, this will look like companies not relying on full-time employees, but hiring contractors for projects, creating an internal talent pool even from former employees, and turning recruitment budgets over to L&D to source missing skills from within the organization.
In response to this situation, the popularity of flexible recruitment, temporary workers, and contractors is growing. HR tools such as Grason address the complexity of recruiting such workers.
"The term WaaS (Workforce as a Service) will appear more and more often in the tool and service offerings of progressive companies," predicts Tomáš Jiroušek, investment manager of HR Tech companies in the MITON group.
He believes that in today's dynamic environment, flexible talent management is key, as it will allow companies to react faster to changes and work more efficiently with resources.
Speaking of efficiency and change, we are about to see a major transformation of the role of HR professionals in companies. HR tools will replace many administrative and routine tasks, giving HR professionals the space to become strategic partners of the business. Their main objective will be to transform organizations for the future.
Instead of recruiting for specific roles, HR specialists will look for specific skills and competencies in external candidates and people who already work in the company. In the Czech market, for example, there are tools such as Behavera, which helps measure competencies and recommend next steps, and Nelisa, which connects talent with relevant competencies with the companies that are looking for them.
HR will play an even more important role in employee training and development despite the looming recession.
In the last recession, the L&D budget was the first thing companies cut. Now we are experiencing a change of mindset," commented Jan Kuba, Head of Science at Behavera, on the evolution of the approach to education.
„Investing in employee development will pay off for companies in their readiness for the challenges of the future. New technologies are causing big changes in the market and people will need to reskill and learn skills that may not even exist today," added Tomáš Jiroušek, a strategic perspective on education.
HR technologies can therefore make it more efficient for companies to select training programs, online courses, or other resources based on their skill gaps or where the company is headed in the near future. With data and regular surveys, companies will make better decisions and invest their budgets strategically.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning will significantly advance the level of HR technologies. The grunt work of sourcing and vetting talent will soon be automated and free of bias will be more objective. But recruiters won't lose their jobs, their roles will advance. They will focus on potential and talent in the recruiting process, not just checking a list of experience and education requirements.
Generation Z has barely made a dent in the job market, but their influence on the corporate environment cannot be denied. They want meaningful work, flexibility, and an emphasis on well-being, which makes them no different from their predecessors—the Millennials.
For older generations (Boomers and Generation X), this may not be as well understood. Boomers are retiring and being replaced by Xers in managerial and c-level positions. This will affect the accessibility of change and the transformation of company cultures.
61% of Gen-Z choose their next employers based on company values and attitudes toward socio-political events.
"The pain point with companies is that some values are alive and well, but other values are a relic of the corporate era. There is a mismatch somewhere, and this is what companies will need to address if they are to attract quality candidates," explains Jan Kuba.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is a topic that will be heard louder in internal meetings and on conference stages. And Gen-Z are the most active proponents of the changes we need to make as a society.
Salary transparency will be the new normal and expect to see an end to job ads with the nondescript phrase "adequate compensation". But change will not come without resistance from those who have benefited most from the status quo. Rather than smooth sailing, prepare for a storm.
"The diverse and inclusive team brings a range of skills and perspectives to the table. Investing in technology and initiatives that promote diversity and inclusiveness can become a competitive advantage and contribute to the long-term success of the company," added Tomáš Jiroušek.
Mental health and well-being as hot topics are not going anywhere this year either, quite the contrary. Companies are starting to realize that they need to take well-being solutions to the next level because temporary solutions are financially unsustainable.
Instead of using their own surveys, which take dozens of hours to create and analyze, companies are looking to HR technologies that do the surveys for them and evaluate the outputs directly. This kills two birds with one stone.
As technology power users, Gen-Z employees will be among the first to appreciate not only the replacement of surveys with chatbots, but especially well-being as a new priority and mental health sick days as a benefit. HR technologies will become a magnet for young talent and a competitive advantage for progressive companies.
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 YouTube.com, Amazon, Meta, Netflix: Why Big Tech Is Facing Massive Layoffs, author Wall Street Journal
 Gartner.com, HR Toolkit: Tackling 2023 Future of Work Trends, author N/A
 McKinsey.com, The new possible: How HR can help build the organization of the future, authors Asmus Komm, Florian Pollner, Bill Schaninger and Surbhi Sikka
 Entrepreneur.com, 6 Things Gen Z Employees Want Their Managers to Know About the Workplace in 2023, author Pierre Raymond