The HR sector is changing quickly, thanks to innovative HR technology and the shift to remote and hybrid work arrangements. In 2023, HR professionals will need to adapt to the new realities and build new technical skills.

Today's highly competitive job market has given employees a wealth of job options. In response, companies are prioritizing employee engagement and creating a positive experience for workers. Those factors are critical to retention, which is even more important given that 35% of Canadian businesses expect the labour shortage to be an obstacle to operations.

Amid these job trends, HR teams are the key to business success. Companies need innovative professionals who can effectively navigate emerging human resource job trends, such as remote work options, diversity in the workplace and technology advancements.

Understanding the emerging trends in human resource jobs can help companies build strong HR teams for the future of work. Here’s a look at some of the leading HR job trends for 2023.

Smiling woman talking to colleagues, standing between desks.
Smiling woman talking to colleagues, standing between desks.

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shift to a multigenerational workforce

With Gen Zs entering the workforce, it’s not uncommon for companies to employ workers from four generations. This unprecedented trend will continue until the youngest members of the baby boomer generation reach retirement age around 2030. While the inclusion of four generations certainly brings greater diversity and skill sets to the workplace, it can also make workforce management more difficult.

Today’s HR professionals must be able to recognize the unique preferences and workplace expectations of the Gen Z generation while simultaneously managing baby boomers nearing retirement. They must also meet the needs of millennial and Gen X workers.

innovative hiring strategies

Labour shortages continue to affect Canadian employers. HR teams will need to come up with innovative hiring strategies if they hope to remain relevant and win the talent war. Professionals in this sector can expect higher turnover and an increased investment in human capital.

Remote and hybrid work arrangements are becoming mainstream in many industries; employees expect flexibility. Companies may also need to embrace alternative employment options, such as outsourcing and contingent workers.

employee experience is a top priority

Employee experience will be a key factor for HR professionals as they recruit and retain workers in a tough labour market. A 2022 ServiceNow survey discovered that Canadians are no longer content to remain in jobs without purpose — 71% said they would refuse a job that was frustrating or unrewarding, even if it came with more money.

Higher employee expectations create a new challenge for HR. To support employees and help them feel empowered, HR teams must create experiences and working environments that are authentic and tailored to workers' needs. Mental health will be a key focus in 2023 as professionals manage the burnout and stress from the past few years.

At the management level, HR will help company leaders develop empathy-driven strategies that support employee growth. They'll also integrate learning and development opportunities throughout the employee lifecycle.

increased focus on employee engagement

According to the latest iCIMS Workforce Report, one in three workers will change jobs in 2023. Considering today’s highly competitive job market, this could mean trouble for businesses already struggling to fill open positions.

To reduce turnover and ease the pressure on hiring managers, HR departments are focusing on company culture and employee engagement — or reengagement, in some cases. By finding ways to help employees connect to the company and the work, HR professionals can help retain top performers. The good news is that effective employee engagement can increase productivity and boost profits by 23%, all while reducing turnover, accidents and call-outs.

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demand for modern benefits

As workers settle into the permanent shift to hybrid and remote working arrangements, they continue to express a need for modern benefits. Flexibility is crucial, but workers also want salary increases that keep up with inflation and market trends. Top benefits for 2023 include performance bonuses and four-day work weeks to help employees maintain work-life balance.

HR goes high tech

One of the top trends in HR jobs is the integration of HR technology into various business practices. Automation will free up HR leaders' time in 2023, enabling them to take on leadership roles. Many companies are mandating an all-in-one HR system for a more streamline, centralized approach.

Studies show 30% of companies plan to integrate AI-based technology into their HR practices by 2023. Many HR departments use digital technology, such as HRIS (Human Resource Information Systems) platforms and chat boxes, to perform a range of tasks including applicant screenings and virtual interviews. AI and people analytics can also offer insight into employee motivation and help HR teams time communication for maximum impact.

HR technology also enables organizations to make data-driven decisions. Hiring managers can use online skill assessments to accurately determine a candidate's specific skill level. While this innovative technology is helping HR departments work efficiently, it also requires skilled workers to manage and utilize the technology.  

investment in training

Employers are investing in training to boost retention and close the skills gap. It's no longer optional; in 2023, employees expect upskilling opportunities. By focusing on internal development through effective training and mentorship programs, companies can equip their current workforce with the skills needed for the future of work.

This type of investment is more economical than hiring new workers, especially in today’s highly competitive job market. Internal training and career development programs can also build loyalty and foster employee engagement.

diversity and inclusion take the spotlight

Employees, particularly those in the Gen Z and millennial generations, want to work for companies with high levels of diversity and inclusion. Unfortunately, a 2022 survey revealed that fewer than 50% of companies in Canada have a DEI policy. In 2023, companies will be working on creating meaningful long-term strategies to boost diversity. These comprehensive plans should encompass both recruitment and work processes.

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Find out how salaries may be affecting your company’s hiring outcome. Download our 2023 salary guide to learn more.

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