Feb 22, 2023
Following the hiring frenzy of the pandemic, leaders are focused on total value creation by empowering their teams to learn, grow and be ready for any contingency.
Randstad Enterprise today launched its 2023 Talent Trends Report , which surveyed over 900 C-suite and HR leaders in 18 markets on their talent and career development priorities for the year ahead. Now in its 8th year, this year's report finds that despite an uncertain economic environment, business leaders are focused on driving long-term value and business impact by increasing talent engagement, satisfaction, productivity, and retention, following the hiring frenzy of the last two years.
Focus returns to value creation vs. cost savings
This year, nearly twice as many talent leaders (77%) say their talent acquisition strategies are more about total value creation for the company than achieving cost savings – compared to 45% of respondents in the 2022 edition of the Talent Trends Report.
"With the tumult of the pandemic behind us, employers are returning to focus on the opportunity to transform how they retain their people and attract new talent through a more people-focused, mission-driven work experience," said Mike Smith, Chief Executive of Randstad Enterprise.
Moreover, 80% of leaders say the goal of their company's talent strategy is to have a measurable impact on business performance, the highest level since before the pandemic, representing a shift in thinking to business value. This year, 77% of organizational leaders also recognize the importance of workforce agility, an increase of 11 points over 2022.
Growing concerns over the increasing talent shortage
Acquiring the right talent is still challenging. Nearly half of all respondents (42%) say talent scarcity remains one of their biggest pain points or is having a negative impact on their business – the highest number in the history of the Talent Trends Report.
Given ongoing talent shortages, especially for those with high-demand skills, many companies seek to re-train existing resources to move into those crucial roles. More than three-quarters (76%) of leaders are increasing their focus on skilling and career engagement, while 56% plan to increase spending on internal talent mobility platforms.
HR's return on investment
All of these factors point to another key trend: the need for businesses to differentiate by delivering an outstanding talent experience, spanning initial attraction and engagement, hiring, development, internal mobility, career transition and retirement.
Overall, 81% say their organizations are more focused on the talent experience and are investing in several areas to improve how they attract and retain talent. These include making diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) a central part of their talent strategy as cited by 74% of respondents, using technology to improve engagement (72%), creating talent communities and content plans to engage and nurture future talent (71%) or conducting internal audits to map the candidate experience (69%).
"Many leaders are taking a more people-centric approach, focusing on the talent experience to ensure their teams have the support and resources to grow professionally, while evolving their organizations to be well equipped to address any business fluctuations or other obstacles. Their ultimate goal is to be a more agile organization where people are empowered to reach their full potential, in turn delivering a better return for the business due to a greater alignment between workforce strategies and business priorities," said Smith.
Tech: a boost, but not the boss
In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, technology plays a crucial role in enhancing the employee experience. However, the report shows technology is a recognized enabler, not the primary focus. Companies that prioritize their employees above all else are experiencing the greatest success in large HR tech initiatives. According to industry expert Josh Bersin, the employee experience has taken center stage as the core of human capital systems, recognizing its significance in the enterprise talent strategy. Bersin states, "Every company should have the talent experience at the forefront of their talent strategy. This is the most impactful way to differentiate themselves in the highly competitive market for specialized skills."
Randstad Enterprise 2023 Talent Trends Report Key Findings
More C-suite and HR leaders believe their talent strategies are becoming more aligned with business strategies through enhanced value creation, impact, and agility.
80% say the purpose of their talent strategy is to make a measurable impact on the business.
77% agree that talent acquisition is more about value creation than cost savings, an increase of 32 points since 2022.
77% say their strategy is more focused on agility, 11 points higher than last year.
The challenge of finding critical talent hasn't gone away, with 42% of respondents – the highest percentage ever in a Talent Trends Report — saying talent scarcity remains one of their biggest pain points.
To help overcome talent scarcity, 76% of respondents plan to focus more on skilling and career development, while 56% plan to increase their spending on internal talent mobility platforms.
82% report talent acquisition is changing, and they're now expected to think about mobility, development, career pathways, and skilling in addition to recruitment.
Recognizing the importance of a highly positive talent journey in attracting and retaining talent, the vast majority of leaders (81%) continue to be more focused on the talent experience than other competing priorities.