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5 Takeaways from Talent Outlook 2023



“The hiring market has cooled. It’s no longer white hot. But make no mistake, it’s still hot!”

2023 may be the first true post-pandemic year for recruiting and talent management. Will COVID-era workplace norms persist? How will a slowdown in hiring affect pay negotiations, quality of life benefits, and employee engagement? And what actions can employers take to boost retention for key talent segments?

Universum’s Talent Outlook 2023 takes both internal and external research, and drills down on the key trends that will become increasingly popular this year. The 2023 eBook focuses on 5 key trends, and provide valuable insights as to why you as an employer should turn your focus to these. The following trends are explained:

  • Employers or Job seekers: who is controlling the hiring market?

  • Talent Attraction - Why is retention important?

  • Is it time to tune your Employer Value Proposition (EVP)?

  • Companies increasing productivity measure - are tensions rising between employees and employers?

  • Data- Driven Decision Making

“The hiring market has cooled. It’s no longer white hot. But make no mistake, it’s still hot!” said Appcast Lead labor economist, Andrew Flowers in a recent interview. This forewarning falls in line with our recent research in our annual Talent Outlook report, which explores the key challenges and trends Employer Branding and talent acquisition experts should pay attention to in 2023.

What are the takeaways and focus points for 2023? Here is a sneak peek of some of trends you should be aware of this year...

1. Define what flexible work means for your company: Is flexibility simply about the opportunity to work from home – but do so on a fixed schedule? Or does it mean employees can choose their work location and schedule? Does the company culture really support flexibility or only give it lip service? This distinction is important to job seekers.


2. Build the productivity road map: With so much talk about flexibility, employers should also be clear about expectations for productivity, and how they aim to measure it. "While organizations, in general, are maintaining (or even expanding) their productivity expectations, many are not providing leaders with resources to train, motivate, monitor, coach or mentor their direct reports," says Paul Schempp, a leadership speaker and research professor at the University of Georgia.1


Employers have an increasingly broad portfolio of tools and apps to measure productivity – ranging from analysis tools that take broad measurements of aggregate performance, to fairly intrusive tools that monitor keyboard clicks.

3. Ensure the EVP (Employer Value Proposition) strikes a balance: Increasingly, employers are asking that an employee-friendly Work Anywhere ethos is balanced against expectations for productivity and accountability. “If the employer value proposition focuses too much on flexibility, with no counterweight discussion of work expectations, it’s setting the wrong tone,” says Richard Mosley, Global Client Director at Universum. “Even while employers are scrambling to attract top talent, their EVP should balance the needs of employees with the expectations of employers.”

4. Consider the nearly-perfect hire: When top talent is so challenging to hire, employers should remain open-minded about hiring professionals who ‘almost’ fit the role. A BCG (BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP) report explains, employers can consider “hiring candidates who are a 70% fit and then training them to quickly come up to speed on the remaining requirements. STARs—people who are “skilled through alternative routes”—can be a great source of talent.” (BCG)

5. Invest in an employee-experience manager. The role of the employee experience manager – a relatively new position – is now ranked fifth on LinkedIn’s 2023 “fastest-growing jobs” listing. Employee experience managers “track and analyze daily workflow, office aesthetics, and employee surveys to determine how engaged and satisfied workers are in their jobs,” says the Wall Street Journal.2 But primarily, an employee experience manager can help boost productivity, improve satisfaction, and reduce turnover – a worthwhile investment for 2023.

We canvassed recent research, analyst commentary, and business news to bring you the latest insights. In our latest report, due to be released on February 21st we highlight and translate key findings from Universum’s body of research – from the World’s Most Attractive Employer rankings to our annual employer branding survey. Sign up now to receive your free copy of the eBook.

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