From Flexibility to Recruitment and Performance to Leadership: The HR Challenges

1/17/2023 8 min read
Max Teams

2022 was a challenging year for businesses, and therefore human resources. The global pandemic was still having an impact, we entered an environment of war in Europe, and faced big financial pressures both commercially and personally. These resulted in a year of rising inflation, scarce and expensive talent, and global supply constraints. In order to build the best teams, HR leaders were having to balance talent investment with cost savings, and employee needs with the business requirements. This came at a time when organisational and technological change had also been rapid. It has created new issues, exacerbated old ones, and will require a new focus on the way forward for HR in 2023.

Recruitment and Talent

The total number of jobs in Jersey’s economy is at its highest level since 1999 with record low unemployment. It’s resulted in a ‘difficult’ employment market with retention levels under pressure and recruitment struggles. Many HR professionals think this will remain a priority in 2023, and have been looking at how to attract workers to key roles; but a new focus is required. It is not about making the job ad more attractive, or simply about paying more. Indeed, we’ve seen that wage inflation is not as high as people think it is within Jersey. Organisations are keeping a tight lid on people costs.

Grow your Own

The first priority for 2023, has to be that organisations need to think more about growing their own through internal talent management. In a recent global Gartner survey on employee career preferences, only one in four employees were confident about their career at their current organisation. The traditional career path is less clear now that the workplace has changed along with employee expectations. Another factor giving employees less confidence in their career paths, is that around one third of job roles are estimated to become redundant in the next few years. HR managers will need to map out and measure their skills gaps and build a skills profile for each team member. Look at what you have, what can be shared and what you need to bring in. It should be talent mobility from within, where possible, not just importing or poaching externally.

Remote and flexible working

Part of the issue is that employee expectations have changed since the pandemic. A Gartner employee survey found that 52% want flexible working policies. Beezy’s workplace trends and insights report, found that 73% of employees were working in either a hybrid or fully remote setting in 2022. This provides big issues for learning, development, and collaboration. While Jersey doesn’t have the commute to work issues that are found in other jurisdictions, there is nevertheless a push for more flexibility. This has in turn thrown up several issues during 2022, which will require a change in mindset and practices in HR. This year, most organisations just modified legacy processes and ways of working, but in 2023, we will need to improve how we monitor remote workers. A Clear Review Performance Management Report found that while 76% of HR directors think staff are just as productive at home as in the office, only 55% of employees felt the same way.

New job titles started to appear in 2022 and this will accelerate next year. The redesign of these processes is being led and driven by  “Collaboration Specialist”   “Head of Remote” “Hybrid Work Consultant” “ Employee Experience Manager”. Instead of trying to crowbar the hybrid working into an existing business model – they are changing the model. How do we balance the shared and mutual needs of all the stakeholders?


2022 saw a huge growth in investment in and attention to wellbeing arising from Covid, and also mental health. Despite this wellbeing is still a big issue. Employment Hero’s 2022 Wellness Report found 54% of UK workers feel burnout. Almost half of employees don’t think their managers do enough, even though the managers think they are doing a good job at it. It’s clear a webinar or wellbeing week won’t fix this. The flexible, hybrid or remote working has added to employees struggling to switch off from work at home. HR needs to get to the root of this. 2023 will also see a new focus on monitoring the financial wellbeing of staff.

Performance management

Part of the issue with stress and burnout, is down to a drop in the focus on performance management during the pandemic years, which continued to some degree in 2022. Survey after survey of business leaders and workers show that neither appraisees or appraisers like or value traditional annual performance appraisals and there has been a shift away from these. The trend that started in 2022 is for bonuses to start being tied not just to individual performance but increasingly to their employee’s performance and engagement levels. The way forward is a continuous feedback model with shorter and more frequent check ins with staff and using HR software and systems to integrate data and enhance management insights.

Employees want to be a part of ‘something’

The trend towards people wanting to be part of an organisation that takes actions on issues they care about increased in 2022 and is set to continue. Despite the economic climate, organisations are also still getting this message from their customers. It is therefore critical for an HR manager to be able to communicate the ethos of the business and for the business to listen to its staff. Employees want a shared purpose.

People are tired of Change

Organisational change has been rapid in answer to both the pandemic and digital transformational needs. It’s now under pressure again with the financial climate.

According to an HR survey by Gartner, 45% of HR leaders say their employees are fatigued by change and are getting resistant to it. Digital transformations, economic uncertainty and political tensions will continue to force change within organisations into 2023.  How this is handled needs to be a top priority, or organisations risk more employee attrition.

But… this all relies on the top

The top priority in the Gartner survey of more than 850 HR leaders, was leadership. What’s required of leaders changed in 2022. The modern work environment demands more authenticity, empathy, and adaptability. Leaders need to listen and be more human. HR’s role in 2023 is to ensure that managers and leaders are given the training to develop those skills. They are no longer a nice to have but are essential.


All your managers need to be able to communicate effectively across the board, whatever their core strengths and experiences are and yet so many people are promoted into leadership roles without this critical skill set. HR Now has developed Effective Conversations training to equip your managers with the right tools to get the best from their teams. For more information:


If you would like our help with any of your HR challenges, get in touch with us now for a chat about how we can assist.