3 EMEA Workforce Trends to Watch in 2023


Adelle Harrington

Vice President, EMEA

We live in strange times. We’ve moved from a post-pandemic hiring rush and the great resignation through quiet quitting to recession uncertainty in (what feels like) the blink of an eye. Workforce trends are hitting hard, they are hitting fast, and it can feel impossible for individuals and organisations to keep up.

What I’m hearing and seeing in the market is a desire for stability after constant uncertainty. Many people don’t want to jump around, they want to get on with things, but they are also demanding real investment in their careers and development from the organisations they support. They want to feel valued and developed in modern businesses with modern tools and welcoming, people-focused cultures.

In my new role as Vice President, KellyOCG EMEA, I’m working with our clients across the region to ensure they have the tools and insights to respond to the biggest workforce trends and challenges. Here are three significant trends that I think should be firmly on your radar as we move toward the end of 2022.

A focus on skills

The ongoing switch in focus from job titles to skills recognition is picking up speed. Organisations are increasingly looking beyond titles to approach talent searches with a recognition of the breadth of skills a person brings to the table. This is seeing traditional career paths transformed into more diverse – and often more interesting – routes. (Sarah Ellis talks brilliantly about this in her book The Squiggly Career and you can catch Sarah at our upcoming TLIA event.) However, there is still much more to do when it comes to internal talent searches. Organisations that can analyse, classify, and leverage their internal skills base effectively will have a clear advantage in tough talent markets.

Making hybrid work, work

If you were part of our last TLIA event in London, you’ll know that hybrid work is still a huge talking point across every industry, and as we move into 2023, there will be continued attention on figuring out how to do it well. Hybrid work is here to stay and a focus on collaborative workspaces – both virtual and real can help to ease bumps in the road. There also needs to be conversations about the cost of hybrid work; as many people face a significant cost of living crisis, how do they bear additional energy usage at home or alternately manage rising commuting costs to be in the office? It’s going to be a difficult balancing act for both workers and employers, but conversations about practical concerns need to happen openly and early.

Building a connected work culture

Many organisations are now global, hybrid, and deeply siloed. Add in the impact of the great resignation and an oftentimes revolving door of talent and it’s easy for a workplace culture to become fragmented. As we move into a new year, many business leaders are looking at ways to reconnect the cultural dots and create a place where all types of workers – including contingent talent – feel supported and part of something bigger. 51% of Vanguards (the most successful companies) in our Global Workforce Report 2022 say leaders and employees are reinventing work altogether. Many believe that’s what needs to happen – a complete reinvention of culture for a transformed way of working. Those companies that can create a cohesive culture, despite physical distances between team members, will retain and attract talent more effectively.

What talent trends or challenges are you focused on as we wrap up 2022? I would love to hear your thoughts.


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