5 talent management priorities for HR leaders in 2023

Learn what initiatives sit at the top of the HR world’s agenda

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By Nicole Schreiber-Shearer, Future of Work Specialist at Gloat

2023 isn’t just the start of a new year; it’s the beginning of an entirely new chapter of work. So it only makes sense that the same old talent management strategies will no longer cut it. Instead of making small tweaks, leaders must embrace new frameworks and next-generation tools that unlock agility and empower their people to achieve their full potential.

While most executives recognize that it’s time to make bold changes, there’s still a lot of uncertainty about what actions they should take first. Although every business’s 2023 agenda will differ, there are a few talent management goals that all HR leaders should keep top of mind for 2023 and beyond.

5 talent management goals that HR leaders should prioritize in 2023

From promoting meaningful diversity and inclusion initiatives in the workforce to empowering employees to hone new skills, HR’s agenda for 2023 is filled with opportunities to drive change and generate tangible results for both their people and their organizations. Here are the top five areas of focus that we think HR and talent management leaders should address, based on Gartner’s research on 2023 HR priorities and insights from Deloitte.

#1. The shift to becoming a skills-based organization

Skills may have been a hot topic last year, but it’s going to dominate conversations in 2023. After years of dramatic changes that impacted everything from culture to operating models, leaders are reimagining the way work gets done and embracing adaptive strategies.

Shifting to a skills-based approach has the potential to not only enhance efficiency but also to connect employees to tasks that align with their ambitions and expertise. People who work at a skills-based organization are 79% more likely to have a positive work experience, which is part of the reason why 98% of organizations want to give this approach a try. 90% of companies are already beginning to experiment with skills-based strategies.

While many leaders are prioritizing skills, getting employees on board may be a challenge of its own since workers are becoming more resistant to organizational change. Only 38% of employees are willing to modify their work behaviors to support organizational change today, down from 74% in 2016.

Consequently, HR leaders can’t solely prioritize designing skills-based strategies in 2023; they must also determine what it will take to turn these visions into realities. Workforce intelligence is one tool that is emerging as a necessity for powering skills-based organizations, as it gives leaders a clear picture of the capabilities their organization has and the expertise that should be prioritized next.

#2. Maximizing leader and manager effectiveness

As organizations and societies evolve, so do expectations for what leaders are responsible for and capable of, making these roles more complex. Unfortunately, 24% of HR executives say their leadership development approach doesn’t prepare leaders for the future of work.

To thrive in today’s work environment, leaders must be authentic, empathetic, and adaptive. While HR strives to help leaders build the confidence needed to answer the call, human-centered leadership remains the exception rather than the rule.

HR leaders have an opportunity to help the entire C-suite deliver on the need for human-centered leadership by architecting ways of working that prioritize autonomy and flexibility. This includes putting employees at the helm of their career progression by equipping them with tools that spotlight development opportunities across the organization, like a talent marketplace.

#3. Reimagining the employee experience

Employee experience is now a top priority for almost 1 out of every 2 HR leaders. Many executives recognize that a compelling workplace experience is linked with an array of game-changing benefits, including less turnover, enhanced productivity, and better profits.

While most leaders are eager to launch initiatives that will move the needle on employee experience, many are struggling to identify the changes that will generate the most impact. Career development is emerging as a crucial area of focus, given that just 1 out of 4 employees voiced confidence in their professional development at their organization.

Since 2 out of 3 workers acknowledge that they would leave their jobs if internal mobility wasn’t offered, HR leaders are prioritizing meaningful career development as a means to retain and engage their workforce. To take employee experience to new heights, pioneering companies are harnessing talent marketplaces to match their people to relevant projects, gigs, mentorships, and full-time roles.

#4. Embracing new recruiting strategies

During 2022, most talent acquisition teams found themselves in a competitive search for employees with the skills their organization was looking for. Unfortunately, talent shortages are likely to continue in 2023—and they might even become more severe. 50% of organizations expect the competition for talent to increase significantly in the next six months, regardless of broader macroeconomic conditions.

Consequently, talent acquisition teams will need to rethink their go-to strategies for sourcing talent. Rather than relying primarily on external hiring, organizations are increasingly looking inwards and tapping into the skills their existing employees have to minimize hiring costs while upping efficiency. Leaders that harness workforce intelligence will gain a full picture of their organization’s capabilities, equipping them with the insights they need to make smart decisions about what skills they want to build (through upskilling efforts), borrow (through an internal markeplace), and buy (through external hiring).

#5. Preparing for future challenges

Amid today’s accelerated pace of change and ongoing disruptions, no executive wants to be caught off guard. In fact, 42% of HR leaders view preparing for the future of work as a top priority for 2023.

Workforce planning—the ability to anticipate future talent needs—sits at the heart of a winning future of work strategy. To prepare for the future of work, workforce planning must encompass all of the dynamic factors that leaders are currently grappling with, including shifting skills needs, talent scarcities, high turnover rates, and changes in the employee-employer dynamic. However, the majority of HR leaders acknowledge that their organization’s workforce planning is currently limited to headcount planning.

Rather than sticking with rudimentary approaches to prepare for the future of work, leaders must harness next-generation tools that put skills and business needs in context. As a central platform designed to help executives understand their workforce, inform talent strategy, and drive business growth, workforce intelligence is emerging as the backbone for impactful workforce planning.

To learn more about what it takes to get ahead in the new world of work, find out how a workforce agility platform can help you future-proof your organization.