At the start of 2022, the job market was in the midst of a great ongoing upheaval – namely, the Great Resignation. Employees, buoyed by a massive change in the status quo, left their former companies for greener pastures in droves. It seemed like nothing could stem the tide, and that companies were just going to have to get used to the new normal.

In a shift almost unimaginable at the start of this year, businesses that were enthusiastically hiring are now opting to put a pause on hiring plans or making offers well below candidates’ desired salaries. This changes the game for 2023 hiring trends, but how? Read on.

From a Candidate’s Market to an Employer’s Market

Earlier in the year, we had little reason to doubt that the Great Resignation would continue to have a profound impact in 2023 hiring trends. It was truly a “candidate’s market,” with companies offering competitive salaries and generous benefits to woo workers away from unsatisfying positions. The first half of the year saw retention rates continue to suffer, and companies were adjusting.

Then, suddenly, the post-pandemic economy that had once been steaming along seemed to hit a wall, with the hopes and dreams of workers the main casualties. Sadly, all of the ongoing economic uncertainty – inflation, recession, the war in Ukraine, and so on – has forced a U-turn in hiring strategies, with even some of the biggest corporations tightening their belts.

It is truly remarkable to see the wave of rejection letters now hitting qualified job seekers’ inboxes, a bitter irony since only a few months before they had had trouble finding time on their schedules for competing interviews! Workers who had planned to quit find themselves questioning their future with much less confidence as they ponder new strategies.

Workers Left Behind Under New Pressure

The effective scuttling of many companies’ hiring plans puts a different kind of pressure on the job market – specifically, on those staff members who remain. Don’t get me wrong: The Great Resignation is still happening to some degree, but it’s a shadow of its former self.

So, while people will continue to leave jobs they don’t like in 2023, a budgetary inability (or reticence) to fill open positions means those who continue working at companies others leave will face more work with every colleague’s exit – and will see considerably less flexibility in scheduling and work-from-home arrangements than we saw earlier in 2022.

Such inflexibility was originally expected to be a retention rate liability in 2023, since those who wanted to work-from-home indefinitely felt they could use that as leverage over companies trying to force them back to the office. Plus, unsympathetic scheduling by managers led many workers to walk off the job, since they figured a new one would soon come.

Now, though, we may be seeing a return of sorts to the pre-pandemic status quo, might be termed an “employer’s market”. Workers’ options for finding a new position are far more limited if they resign, and they know it. And, while some WFH workers may still quit if forced to return to the office, even they might see the logic in opening their minds to hybrid work arrangements.

So Long, Great Resignation; Hello, Quiet Quitting?

The worsening economy overall has forced unsatisfied workers to adopt a new strategy: “Quiet quitting.” Essentially, this means employees are drastically reducing their engagement with their jobs, only performing the exact duties laid out in their job description. If asked to take on more work or shifts than they were originally hired to do, they find a way to avoid it.

A severe morale drop in the work environment like this can obviously have a seriously detrimental effect on productivity, and if you think about it, that’s kind of worse than the Great Resignation once was. After all, at the moment companies can’t really fire employees who only want to do the jobs they were hired to do, and nothing more – at least, not yet.

The great irony in all this is that reduced productivity across the board, due to quiet quitting, contributes to companies’ sense that they need to reduce or completely pause their hiring plans; in other words, workers are in some sense ruining their own and others’ chances of escaping jobs they hate!

Patience Could Run Out

Of course, we could see a drop in “quiet quitting” in 2023 if companies lose their patience, and see no real downside in an “employer’s market” to firing even high potential employees whose productivity didn’t live up to expectations; they know others will eagerly fill those roles.

What to Expect with 2023 Hiring Trends? Assessments.

The job market in 2023 will not be what it was like earlier in 2022, but companies of all sizes are still going to be looking for new workers. For the companies that know the benefits of utilizing pre-hire assessment tools to improve the hiring process, not much will change. They’ve already been doing something right, and won’t have to make too many adjustments to match trends.

Companies which use competency-based pre-employment testing tend to have higher retention rates than those that don’t take advantage of such testing; since they hire for competency and cultural alignment based on pre-hire assessments, and make use of results with evaluations and promotions, their employees tend to be much more satisfied overall.

This, in turn, will give these companies more confidence than others when requisitioning and posting jobs. They know they don’t need to worry as much about any worrisome 2023 hiring trends. So, as other companies see the stability of competitors thanks to improved hiring practices, they may retool efforts themselves and incorporate pre-employment testing into their process.

Stay Ahead of 2023 Hiring Trends with Reveal

The future isn’t written. There’s every chance the economy could start to turn around in the first quarter of 2023, giving companies renewed confidence to begin hiring pushes anew in the spring. Then again, economic malaise could continue to linger into the second and third quarters, exacerbating employee morale issues.

Whatever happens in 2023, Reveal can help you weather the storm. The best possible strategy to cope with whatever the job market throws at you in 2023 is to hire not for the moment, but for the future. Your best bet is to utilize pre-hire assessment tools to ensure that you have the right people in the right seats, and keep them there.

Ready to see what we can do to help you improve hiring now, and in 2023 and beyond? Schedule a call with Reveal today to get the ball rolling before the ball drops!