recruitment challenges in 2023

Top 5 recruitment challenges in 2023

In Recruitment Industry News by Info Hunton Lewis

Our partners at Continental Search Alliance (CSA) published an article at the start of the year detailing the top recruitment sector challenges in 2023. Here, we at Hunton Lewis have republished the article with our own responses and insights as the days grow longer and we enter spring. You can read the original article here.


1 – Uncertainty

The issue of uncertainty is set to continue, affecting all levels of recruitment up to the heights of executive search. This stretches back to late 2022, sparked by economic fluctuation and characterised by hiring freezes and hesitancy from candidates about making big career decisions. 

That said, in the first quarter of 2023. global hiring demand has remained steady despite fears of recession and inflation. The IT sector in particular has reported the most positive hiring outlook from all sectors. Large organisations are confident about their ability to hire and in fact, 41% of those surveyed by ManpowerGroup intend to do so. On a regional basis, EMEA employers are feeling less optimistic about Q1 recruitment than their North American counterparts, but on the whole, 2023 has been steady.


2 – Remote working is here to stay

This is a prediction that will hold for the long term. The UK’s Office for National Statistics found that 85% of adults who work from home would prefer to maintain a hybrid-working arrangement in the future. We will likely see fully-remote working arrangements evolving into more flexible hybrid styles with some time in the office and some time at home. Overall, recruiters should seriously consider building this into their offers for candidates to increase the attractiveness of their propositions.


3 – Talent shortages

After the boom of 2022 where businesses pursued digital transformation with relentless speed, it’s likely that 2023 will see the slowdown. The difficulty of identifying talented candidates pre-dates the Covid pandemic and seems set to continue. The tech industry has solutions to solve talent shortages. This includes reskilling and upskilling the existing workforce and, as Computer Weekly suggests, businesses may take steps to review their internal recruitment procedures. It’s possible that companies will opt to work with ‘preferred’ recruitment agencies with whom they already have a strong partnership, to ensure best outcomes and save time and cost when hiring. We may also see more companies utilising contractors to address key talent shortages rather than commit to making long-term hirings.


4 – Longer recruitment processes

The use of contractors will also help address another key challenge facing recruitment in 2023 – the increasingly long recruitment process, comprising months of interviews and other forms of tests. This risks alienating potential candidates, especially if communication is poor. In many ways, this problem goes hand-in-hand with talent shortages as it shares similar solutions. Outsource to contractors for specific jobs to cut hiring times or consider internal candidates. We may also see companies simplifying their application processes to encourage more candidates.


5 – Diversity and inclusion (D&I)

This is a trend that is also set to stay. There is a business case and an ethical case to increasing diversity to your recruitment – Deloitte research shows that a cognitively diverse team can increase innovation by up to 20 percent. Candidates now expect that they are going to work for diverse companies. It’s advisable to create an actionable diversity recruiting strategy to refresh D&I initiatives and reiterate your goals. The number of employers who instituted formal diversity recruitment efforts between 2016 and 2021 increased from 32% to 88%. In 2023, even more will join them.


Final Thoughts

Many of the challenges that we continue to face in 2023 have existed for some time – even before the Covid pandemic. Our conclusion mirrors that of our friends at CSA; recruiters must be flexible about their strategies, keep a sharp eye on future economic and hiring trends and be prepared to offer candidates a wide-ranging offer beyond financial compensation that promotes an appealing company culture and values that they can invest into. A recruiter who sets out a flexible recruitment strategy that embraces company values will be making a big step towards overcoming the challenges of 2023.