How to hire strategically in 2023

'We're prone to making decisions based on the wrong reasons,' says CEO

How to hire strategically in 2023

Want to succeed in 2023? For HR leaders, it’s a good time to think like a marketer. 

That’s according to Steve Flook, president and CEO of hiring think tank and data aggregator iHire, who tells HRD that in order for organizations to remain competitive in the war for talent, they need to get their heads around branding. 

“HR professionals are realizing that they must think a little more like marketers when attracting, nurturing and retaining talent,” he says.

For example, an iHire survey showed that 35.5% of employers plan to use text messaging/SMS tools in 2023 to communicate with applicants, and 11% will use candidate relationship management (CRM) software.

Economic concerns haunt business decisions

The data shed light on the hiring trends predicted for the New Year, with employers claiming to be “cautiously optimistic” about recruiting in 2023. And while 42.7% of employers surveyed are concerned about economic downturns and a potential recession, 68.1% expect to ramp up hiring and 49.5% say they plan to give pay raises in the next 12 months.

The survey across 507 organizations in 57 industries in North America also found that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) emerged as a main priority for employers – with 35% vowing to grow their diversity efforts in 2023.

“Employers will focus on enhancing their company cultures and DE&I initiatives when advancing their recruitment marketing efforts,” says Flook. “I also foresee an increase in hybrid work environments — but expect the interest and appetite for remote work to remain.”

Employee expectations around remote and hybrid work have changed exponentially since the pandemic, as people expect to work where, when, and how they want. And while WFH was turned into a strategic necessity throughout lockdowns, employers made no promises about long-term implementation.

Flexible working as a hiring tool

However, in today’s candidate-led market, employers who choose not to offer flexible working could find themselves missing out on much-needed talent.

“Hiring remote workers expands your talent pool exponentially – you’re no longer limited to attracting candidates in a particular area,” says Flook. “And, once you break from through the geographic boundaries of your existing brick-and-mortar locations, you’ll increase the diversity of your staff, thus furthering your DE&I efforts and bringing new perspectives to your team.

“Plus, some employees can be just as productive, or even more productive, in a remote setting, so affording the option to work remotely can help with retention and overall business efficiency.”

iHire’s data backs that up: Setting aside salary, job location (21.8%) flexibility (16.9%) were jobseekers top two requirements when searching for a new role. And, considering that 74% of employers are concerned about the availability of “qualified talent” and 50% are stressed over high turnover, can employers really afford to dictate a full-blown office recall?

‘We’re prone to making decisions for the wrong reasons’

If you’re looking to not only survive but thrive in 2023, Flook suggests consulting your internal research before making any knee-jerk decisions – especially in today’s uncertain economic climate.

“Rely on data as your guide for making informed business decisions,” he tells HRD. “As humans, we’re prone to making decisions based on the wrong reasons, which are often rooted in bias. When collected and leveraged correctly, data removes that bias from the equation and leads you to better business outcomes.

“If you don’t possess the right HR data or measure activities on your recruitment efforts, start simple with spreadsheets, notes, or logs. Then, you can consider larger investments like ATS or HRIS tools.”

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of HR leaders are experiencing burnout directly caused by recruiting and hiring.

How are you planning to hire in 2023? Tell us in the comments.

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