Scenario planning for an economic downturn
Most economists agree that 2023 will see some degree of an economic slowdown, but opinions differ as to whether it will devolve into a full recession. However, this uncertainty shouldn’t prevent talent acquisition teams from preparing—and learning from their mistakes. The Great Recession of 2008-2009 saw many employers drastically cutting their workforces just to stay afloat. This meant the remaining employees had to pick up the slack, leaving them stressed and burned out—and when the global economy did start to pick up, those same companies scrambled to hire back enough people to help with the recovery. This is a pattern, Korn Ferry research shows, that’ repeated itself right after the start of the COVID pandemic and lockdowns. Now, if the market does in fact downturn in 2023, companies should take a much more measured approach to right-sizing their workforce. Talent acquisition professionals should conduct scenario-based workforce planning to prepare for the worst, average and best-case economic conditions. In each case, it will be critical to focus not only on the downturn, but also on the recovery, so organizations can respond quickly and dynamically.
Measuring success by results, not hours on the clock
For our parents, grandparents and their grandparents, laboring from morning until late in the day was the norm. Heck, even Dolly Parton had to work from “9 to 5.” But now, many employees have started taking a new approach, foregoing the traditional workday in favor of a more fluid schedule. In 2023, more candidates will look for companies that promote work/life integration: being able to put in hours when it’s most convenient to take care of personal responsibilities when needed (think working a few hours in the morning, taking an afternoon break for an appointment or to pick up kids, then back to work in the evening). Watching the clock will become less important, as managers assess success by the output of employees, and not the timeframe of their workday.
Ditching the ladder for the lattice
Thanks to an uncertain job market, professionals are no longer thinking of career growth in the traditional terms. Instead, they are making moves to other areas within their current organization, signaling a growing internal mobility trend. In many cases, companies will use talent analytics and workforce planning to determine which new roles are needed to futureproof the business and which employees might be a good fit for those roles. Going forward, employers should focus more on developing their current workforce, offering regular trainings and certification programs to reskill or upskill internal candidates. Increasingly, companies will use artificial intelligence (AI) platforms that use predictive analytics to shortlist promising internal candidates, provide tailored career development content and develop personalized career paths based on goals and interest areas. Investing in internal mobility, experts say, will not only help organizations to attract top talent and develop more diverse pipelines, but also to fill open roles and critical skill gaps amid stalled hiring.
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