“2023 will be a year of cautious optimism,” Prabir Jha

Prabir Jha, founder and CEO, Prabir Jha Advisory believes, "lowering of expectations and realism regarding talent at junior levels, given past experience will also steady the relative volatility in talent movements."

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2022 was a volatile year for HR & workforce

Coming in the aftermath of the Covid crisis, 2022 was a year of recovery. Suddenly the sluice gates seemed to have opened as everyone, big and small, across sectors wanted to cash in on the new hope and possibility. Euphoria outstripped realism. And there was misplaced and aggressive talent hiring. And when the reality of a possible global recession and the unending Ukraine War was felt, the winter frost hit start-up funding and global supply chain. Then there was another knee-jerk reaction of mass layoffs. These ups and downs in business created an opportunity for job hunters who were hired randomly, irrespective of their suitability for the role.

2023: Will it be a turmoil again or peace?

My view is 2023 will be a year of cautious optimism. I think there is room for growth, including a lot led by our own domestic consumption. Globally linked industries like technology will continue to see some headwinds. India as an alternate source of global manufacturing is likely to see a rise. Its leadership of G20 will give it enhanced visibility and many bilateral trade possibilities. So I think overall things will be positive but without premature exuberance. Technology shifts in HR will continue to hold promise and threat. Leadership and culture will be very important talent issues for companies to work on to prepare for the years ahead. The swing of the pendulum – employer’s market to candidates, and back These are all too seasonal patterns. It is always going to be a candidate’s market for the right talent. We continue to see heightened war for the ‘right’ talent. Yes, at a volume junior level there is going to be more choice for companies in the near term. Lowering of expectations and realism regarding talent at junior levels, given past experience will also steady the relative volatility in talent movements.

Lowering of expectations and realism regarding talent at junior levels, given past experience will also steady the relative volatility in talent movements

Balance between rising inflation and changing employee expectations

HR today must be seen as cost of business. For the right talent, one will need to still pay to get and keep it. Yet given overall cost economics, companies will need to decide for what jobs, roles and experience one will loosen the purse strings and where it will be possible to stay stringent. More than just salary, non financial aspects – culture, leadership, reputation, recognition, affiliation – will matter equally. I don’t think salary is the silver bullet to talent.

Technology or new world of work reshaping people managers?

Organisations are already changing. As more routine transactions are being automated or outsourced, it should enable people managers to do their core job – lead and inspire their teams to deliver breakthrough impact. The hybrid working reality has demonstrated the crisis that exists in many companies with managerial competence. Managers need help and coaching, both from their own managers and by experts outside, across levels. Companies must not shy away from focussing on this. Individuals experience corporations through the experience of their people managers. To me, enhancing managerial capability, improving trust, communication and collaboration, will be a non-negotiable for 2023.

33 leaders predict the upcoming trends for 2023. To find out more click here.

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