It’s that time of year where we cast our minds forward to 2023, and begin planning for the year ahead. However, as you’re no doubt aware, the economic uncertainty in the UK at the moment casts a shadow of ambiguity over many companies forecasts, especially when it come to hiring talent. Therefore, I wanted to discover what those in the industry believed would impact recruitment in 2023 considering the current financial climate.
Below are the thoughts and views from a snapshot of well-connected individuals who are acutely associated to the market that we work within. These people believe that it is so important to understand how the approach to recruitment in 2023 may well be different to previous years but there is optimism that with agile thinking, change and difference may not be such a negative.
Read on to hear their predictions on how the current economic environment will impact recruitment in 2023.
Cost of living is a constant thread on internal townhalls and what are businesses doing to support this. For some businesses there is not much being offered in term of addressing through out of cycle pay increases. Instead, wider staff benefits are being promoted to remind people to make use of discounts on any schemes that exist. E.g. this could be reduced mobile phone tariffs or for us at mSix Manchester we are able to benefit from free TalkTalk broadband, given they are our sole client. I have seen businesses such as BUPA offer £1,000 one of sums to assist with this and other sectors, again unable to offer anything to combat this directly outside of either promotion or pay increase cycles.
Remembering back to the first 6 months of the covid pandemic, businesses were reducing salaries in order to keep businesses stable in uncertain times. So you could look at it as the opposite of this.
Uncertainties in the economy can lead to recruitment freezes, but what this can do, is offer opportunity for current team members to ‘step up’ and work in areas or at levels they have not before, ordinarily, the vacancy may have been filled by bringing in external candidates, but in this case team members can gain experience in new areas to assist with their personal development and growth.
I think 2023 will bring new opportunities for people, with roles that had been frozen, coming back off hold. Those organisations that perhaps had not invested in their people may experience retention issues with a greater range of opportunities becoming available. The start of 2022 was very challenging with changes to recruitment processes having to be made to ensure good candidates were not lost to the competition. I am not sure we will be returning to those days. But we will see…
To continue to grow in business and in particular marketing, one of the key rules to abide by is never stand still. Adjust, adapt and learn. With the current economic climate, you should be reviewing your marketing strategy, your message and your plans to weather the storm.
Here at MuscleFood we are tackling 2 big crisis – the cost of living and the UKs obesity crisis. We’re bringing the two together and working to offer affordable meal plans that mean you don’t have to sacrifice your health and fitness goals during such a tough time economically. Highlighting to customers the value of our meal plans and adjusting our prices where we can. Never has there been a more important time for brands to show their product is worth every penny, and communicating this is the right way.
There’s no ignoring of the scary times ahead but we have to adapt to continue to grow. Here at MuscleFood we have had a huge restructure which has placed us in an even stronger position, recruiting from within and empowering our inhouse talent to pursue. If you can’t budget to recruit talent in, is there talent in your business that you have been sitting on?
Speaking to multiple friends across the ecommerce industry in Manchester, it sounds very similar across the board with recruitment caps, postponing of roles and tightening budgets. It’s easier said than done, but if you have the right adjusted plans to weather the recession storm, you should still be investing in talent to scale for growth if you can.
Looking forward to 2023, invest in junior talent – thanks to access to more marketing education via degrees and apprenticeships, plus the changing landscapes of the likes of TikTok enabling anyone at any age to become a creator, there is some wild talent out there that businesses can harness, nurture and grow.
Taking into account the current economic environment, with inflation now creeping over 10% in the UK, I think there will be a lot of chops and changes to recruitment in 2023. Employers face a massive challenge in supporting their current employees, in particular financially. Based on my experience, salaries more than not will rise in line with inflation, although a 40 year high will make this difficult to come by. If employers fail to offer financial support via a salary increase, then a lot of employees will consider their options elsewhere, in order to support themselves with the cost of living. If employers are unable to offer salary increases then other forms of support may be required in order to retain their employees, which could be anything from flexible working (meaning less money spent travelling) to financial incentives/rewards (to help motivation).
From an employer point of view, where costs have also been incurred due to inflation, then cuts or restructuring may be required. They may seek potential employees that are versatile and efficient in covering several roles as opposed to roles related to specific expertise or knowledge. This approach would cut down head count but offer an individual more financial support than their previous employer. Therefore, this and the above, will likely lead to a lot of movement and opportunities in the market.
In conclusion, as with any forecast especially one within our current economic climate, things can never be certain - however there is a general sense of optimism. The feeling that whilst things are going to be different and at times unpredictable, opportunities will always arise to allow people and businesses to continue to grow. We have to take the leap into the unknown and as we learnt to pivot through the challenges of the last few years, we will do so again. We have learnt to take the positives, learn from the challenges and lean on those around you to develop.
If you would like any advice when it comes to building your team for the year ahead, then please don't hesitate to get in touch!
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