2022 was coined as the ‘year of recovery’, now we are weeks into 2023, businesses are looking to build on this and drive growth. However, when considering strategic growth strategies, a recent survey of CEOs by Deloitte found that ‘labour and skills shortages’ is the second most significant challenge impacting business strategies.

It can be a rigorous process to assess the strategic needs of the business against the existing skills, but it is imperative that organisations are clear on the skills gap to be address in order to build an effective growth strategy. It may seem obvious to think hiring new talent would be the easiest option but finding and securing new talent is an ongoing struggle for many businesses. Within the current economic environment, hiring is not an option for many companies on a tight budget. So, directors are having to take new measures to build dynamic teams which can effectively complete the planned work.  

Addressing gaps without increasing headcount

Quiet Hiring – Upskilling

Last year the news was inundated with stories of ‘the great resignation’ and ‘quiet quitting’, highlighting workers’ fatigue and burnout as many left the jobs or slowed down the pace of their work. Well, employers are now pushing back with their own term, ‘quiet hiring’. Gartner predict ‘Quiet Hiring’ to be the no.1 trend in the Future of Work for 2023.

Quiet hiring focuses on building flexible teams, with cross-functional skills, to meet the immediate business needs rather than hiring more full-time employees. Businesses are leveraging internal mobility to take on key tasks to be completed, so, rather than recruiting for a new position they will provide opportunities for existing employees to upskill and take on further responsibilities. Alternatively, businesses are opting to hire contract or temporary workers to complete short-term projects.

Read our blog on considerations when hiring a contractor

A key benefit of quiet hiring is that it is a cost-effective and efficient way to address a skills shortage in your organisation, without hiring full-time employees. It also allows you to empower your employees by providing opportunities to upskill and expanding their work in new areas, within their existing role.


Re-skilling takes this a step further than quiet hiring; it focuses on training existing employees to take on new roles. A 2020 study by McKinsey found that organisations are introducing reskilling programs to enable the implementation of a new offering, business model or strategy, or in reaction to emerging technology disruptions. Training is critical to addressing skills gaps within businesses.

Organisations are changing the way they work, with more and more tasks being automated and improved by technological advancements there are new skills needed and job roles are being reimagined.

Finding more effective ways to recruit

Considering a broader talent pool

The increase in remote work also expanded the talent pool. If the work can be completed from anywhere with a strong Wi-Fi connection, then why not consider hiring someone in a different city or even a different country? Organisations are increasingly looking beyond their local talent pool to find their ‘ideal candidate’ and are more open to offering relocation packages or support to process work visas.

It is also a case of reframing the recruitment process. Rather than focusing on finding a candidate with the exact skillset and experience listed, it’s about finding the person who is the best fit for the company overall. Training can then be provided to expand an individual’s skills.

 AI recruiting

In today’s labour market time truly is of the essence, despite the global economic downturn, businesses are continuing to struggle to recruit.

For the organisations looking to increase their headcount many are embracing new recruitment strategies using Artificial Intelligence. The use of AI is driving a more streamlined recruitment process, the technology can be integrated into every step from evaluating CVs, to reviewing candidate assessments, and communicating with applicants. This allows organisations to process a greater volume of applications in a timely manner, reducing the time spent on each application and increasing the chances of finding the right candidate.

The use of AI is not unique to recruitment, we are increasingly seeing AI technology helping enhance operations across industries.

Ultimately, we expect 2023 will be the year of reacting and adapting to the changing labour market. If businesses want to meet their strategic business objectives, they will need to reconsider how they build a team with the relevant skills. Whether that is an audit of the existing talent or expanding the search for new talent, the focus should be on long-term solutions rather than a ‘quick-fix’. Hiring someone to fill a role quickly may not always be the most effective strategy.

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The contents of this article does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. If this article pertains to any matters you or your organisation may have, it is essential that you seek legal and relevant professional advice. 

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