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HR trends in 2023 – what’s on the agenda for HR professionals

Three People Sitting Inside Room

How will organisations deal with turbulent times in 2023? SD Worx, the leading European HR solutions provider, outlines the most important evolutions and trends for the new year. Flexibility, digital acceleration, investments in smart HR Tech, the financial well-being of employees, and their talent management are central. Everything starts with a crucial mindset shift: turning change into opportunity.

The HR world is changing at lightning speed. New business models, consolidating markets, accelerated digitalisation and societal evolutions are exploding the demand for flexible HR. This trend is as much about the internal design of the organisation as it is about a crucial mindset shift across the board: turning change into an opportunity to rethink HR policies. How can companies organise themselves flexibly so they can move quickly? What technologies, trends, or tools will help them on their way in 2023 to deploy their talents, work processes, resources, and even interactions between employees in a modular way?

    Flexibility thanks to fluid HR

    Flexibility will be the key concept in 2023. Thanks to fluid HR, the boundaries between different departments are disappearing. Organisations are looking at how all talents can complement each other in the best possible way. For example, internal marketplaces, or so-called talent platforms, ensure an optimal match between the available talents (permanently employed or via temporary employment) and the type of work to be filled, so that supply and demand are better matched internally.

    More and more HR and workplace technologies will also allow a highly personalised approach towards employees, for example via personal targeted notifications: 'Don't forget to take your remaining vacations', or 'Take a look at this relevant training for you’.

      A higher gear for digitisation

      More flexibility is possible thanks to digitisation. At the same time, it also catalyses the digitisation of HR solutions. The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, almost three years ago, already set the acceleration of digitalisation in motion. Yet digital maturity is not yet a reality for most organisations, so this will be a focus for HR departments in 2023 and beyond. While some digital solutions have already been adopted, there’s a real discrepancy between countries; China and the United States, for example, are already a lot further ahead than some countries in Europe.

      It is time to move beyond fragmented HR applications and to move to integrated end-to-end solutions within one digital platform. Deeper and smarter integration is paramount, with the prospect of medium-term cost savings.

        Companies create sharper balance sheets with Smart Spend Management

        With current energy prices and inflation, the financial well-being of organisations is becoming quite a challenge. Not surprisingly, therefore, Smart Spend Management is high on the agenda for 2023. Companies are now zooming out of the previous investments they made during the pandemic and taking a measured assessment. More than ever, they are weighing what tools they will invest in to support employees in an intelligent and integrated way. Outsourcing payroll processes will also have more opportunities in 2023: organisations are increasingly open to outsourcing this often time-consuming and complex activity so they can focus on their core business.

        With rising (energy) bills, people's financial well-being is getting more and more attention. Organisations are more often integrating smart rewards into their strategic pay policies, with customised options, flexible pay periods (pay on demand), alternative forms of pay or flexible reward where employees partially determine the composition of their pay package.

          Employees seek personalisation, organisations engage with data

          The war for talent will continue in 2023, so companies need to position themselves as attractive employers more than ever. At the same time, this allows employees to make more conscious choices. In recent years, employees have been increasingly concerned with what really matters to them, both at work and in their personal lives.

          Specifically for 2023, the talent challenge is characterised by a power shift: employees are more conscious of what is important to them. They sit at the table to develop their talents and to make choices, and they expect a listening ear as well as a say. Flexibility also comes into play here: employees demand flexible rules about job content, employment contracts, working hours, workplaces and full-time or part-time employment.

          To respond to that demand for additional flexibility, for example in terms of employability, human resources departments are using HR analytics: it provides them with data-driven insights about what talents, skills and competencies they have. By proactively mapping employees' talents, organisations not only increase their maximum employability, but they also support their employees in their development opportunities and career planning. In this way, they also strengthen their internal drive and connection with the company, which is no luxury in times of change.

          Bruce Fecheyr-Lippens, Chief People Officer of SD Worx, explains, "The exercise companies will make in 2023 is primarily one of agility. You have to look at investments from all angles. Do you build financial well-being with it, both for your organisation and for your employees? How can you digitise HR so that it is valuable to all employees? With what data can you optimise talents and skills? The current context requires a mindset shift: not only to recognise opportunities, but also to use them to their maximum potential so that a positive impact occurs for the entire organisation."