2023 – a new, atypical year for the labour market. What can companies and employees expect and what does the future bring?

Claudia Indreica alb negru

The end of 2022 presented us with a picture of the labour market in 2023. After October – reserved for budgeting and major decisions – November began to feel like the month when actions for implementation kick off. Much faster than in other years, but 2023 is also proving atypical. In fact, this is the reality we have to get used to – change and the need to innovate around every bend we take.

What does the labour market mean for companies in 2023?

  1. Organisational realignment: posts removed from the organisational structure – also a merging of roles due to automation processes implemented in 2021-2022. Defining new roles – along with business decisions – creating new products and services, strongly correlated with customer/consumer needs.
  2. It means answering several questions: What is our higher purpose? What are we doing for the community in which we operate? What are we doing for the countries where we have commercial or production subsidiaries? What do we do for the employees in our teams, each having an identity linked to where they operate? What are we doing to have a sustainable economy that includes the Millennials (born between 1981 – 1996) and Generation Z (born between 1997 – 2012)? – they are those conscious consumers who want to know the traceability of products from the raw material to the product on the shelf.
  3. We hire people, not positions! Increasingly aware that people make the difference – as a whole – they come to the company with their skills, desires and fears, but also with the opportunities they see, their motivation to grow, but also with the limits they set for themselves because of their history. Hence the need to get to know them before they join the company. Because the approach is a win-win, we want to know what they bring to the company, but we also want to know if we can give them what they need.
  4. The work model, whether on-site, hybrid or remote, strongly demands a CULTURE OF TRUST! A culture of transparency, of communication, where the leaders’ list of goals includes the development of the people in their team, against a background where we are constantly connected with the market and the need for innovation.
  5. Once again there is a need to take assumed decisions, even if at first glance they may seem harsh. Where the pace is much slower, where people are stuck in outdated working habits and struggle to maintain them, despite the permanent need for change, replacing them is a reality that we have to take on board. In fact, companies tend to be lenient during economic booms, but tougher times, as the first six months of 2023 are shaping up to be, force them to see reality starkly. We have felt it too – in the last 4 months the managerial positions we are working on all have in common the need for a different kind of manager profile; because the organisation is preparing to enter a new market, it is implementing major internal changes, it needs different skills in a world where the question is no longer whether we have a crisis or not, but what kind of a crisis we have!

What does the labour market in 2023 mean for employees and job seekers?

  1. First of all, the need for self-awareness: that mirror you hold up to yourself from time to time, in which you are prepared to see what skills you have, what you know and what you don’t know, where you have defined your limits and what is holding you back when the need for learning is great.
  2. Companies are on the move, and with them, we develop a range of skills, closely related to the industry and the role we play. But we need to check 3 more aspects:
    a) what is the current trend and need in the market – what skills are required?
    b) what level am I at?
    c) And the next step is to answer the question: what resources do I allocate (time, money, etc.) to increase my competitiveness on the job market, now but also for the future?
    We should abandon the comfort of waiting for companies to tell us where we should develop, and if they don’t communicate anything, we just “enjoy” the passivity of the situation. The world is moving and we are each responsible for our own Good, this responsibility cannot be delegated!
  3. If you’re newly employed, maybe even entry-level, struggle to be able to work in the office! With all the inconveniences of time spent in traffic, having some colleagues you don’t like, having bosses too close to your space, with all the feeling of being monitored, get over it all and go! I’ll tell you what you gain:
    a) you will get a genuine induction, not perfect, but you will “decipher” the company’s expectations;
    b) you will develop the discipline of a schedule, a rhythm of work, you will understand what deliverables mean and the time frame in which you can deliver them;
    c) you will interact spontaneously with your colleagues, you will have contradictory discussions with arguments on both sides, sometimes you will win, sometimes you will lose, but you will gain a very valuable thing: RESILIENCE! And on the basis of this resilience that you develop, you will build your professional and personal development.
    You can’t achieve all of this from the comfort of your bed, in online meetings, where we enter in an organized manner, speak according to our allotted time, or sit passively most of the time, pretending to listen or participate.

What does the future bring? Two concepts that are in full swing right now.

DAO – decentralized autonomous organisation, collectively owned and governed by its members, with rules established and enforced by code (smart contracts). The DAO may represent in the 21st century internet and blockchain economy what stock companies represented in terms of impact in the 19th century. These decentralized, autonomous organisations are owned and run by members who normally have tokens that give them decision-making and economic rights in the organisation. DAOs have increased in 2021 from 13,000 to 1.7 million people worldwide, becoming a hot issue until a clear definition of their accountability is given, but also of how the web space should be governed (WEF2023). Such organisations will be a source of entrepreneurship in the digital space. Regulation and definition of the legal framework will have to be achieved.

METAVERSE – may be the next generation of the internet. It combines the physical and digital worlds in an exciting way. The use of metaverse includes areas where we use the internet today: gaming, commerce, art, media, advertising, smart manufacturing, healthcare, virtual communities and social collaborations (including business and education). Citibank estimates in its report Metaverse and money – descrypting the future (2022) that the metaverse economy will be worth between $8-13 trillion and that by 2030 the number of global users will be 5 billion people.

The next step – JOBS in METAVERSE – is waiting to be defined, as well as the framework, rules and rights of those working in such a space. How will we work in a metaverse environment? What skills do we bring to the table? What will productivity mean? What new services will we offer?

Let’s be present in today’s reality! Let’s be active! Let\s take our lives in our hands, looking for answers to today’s questions and tomorrow’s scenarios! Sometimes contexts will be favourable, but we should be prepared for unfavourable ones – then we will face them without problems. Once again, the question is no longer whether we have a crisis or not, but what kind of a crisis we have!

Claudia Indreica, Ph.D, psychologist, CEO of Psihoselect, 22 years of expertise in recruitment and candidate profiling services, with clients in companies from the fields of production, IT, services, sales and distribution, active member of Romanian Business Leaders and member of the DWNT Board. Member of the working group – Labor Market – of RBL, part of the Coalition for the Development of Romania, with objectives in the direction of increasing the competitiveness of the labor market.

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