Navigating Business

5 Trends That Should Inform Your Business & Staffing Strategy

Graphic showing the business trends that could affect a staffing strategy.

The first quarter of a new year is a time for owners and executives to look back and consider whether business results and strategy are on track to achieve 2023 goals.

One important consideration as you move into Q2: does your strategy align with anticipated trends on the horizon?

The uncertain economy, employee expectations, and skills specialization are – and will continue to be - the driving factors behind five of the year’s most crucial business trends. This article will dive deeper into each trend and discuss how they will impact your staffing strategy.

#1: Employers navigate an uncertain economy.

High inflation, rising interest rates, bank failures, mid-size bank vulnerabilities and the prospect of a weakening economy are weighing heavy on the minds of both business owners and workers. Uncertainty is forcing C-suites to make difficult decisions. The mass layoffs that hit the tech industry were just a starting point as more companies across industries begin evaluating where they can make cuts.  

What this means for your business:

The reality is that work continues even when hiring pauses, so taking another look at your staffing strategy is always a good idea. A recent survey found that 78% of companies will rely on freelance talent in 2023 rather than add full-time staff.

“In 2023, smart companies will employ a talent strategy that balances traditional employees with appropriate use of flexible, skilled freelancers,” said Elizabeth Eiss, Founder and CEO of the talent curation platform ResultsResourcing. “Hiring freelance talent will help small businesses address their staffing needs with less risk and overhead.”

“Businesses should continue to invest in full-time employees for the essential work of the firm that delivers on their core value proposition. For non-core work that supports customer value delivery, freelance workers give businesses the flexibility they need to ensure customers receive an undisrupted level of service while seamlessly adapting to the changing market.”

#2: Remote work becomes the expectation – not the exception.

As of 2023, 64% of workers operate fully remotely - up from 49% percent in 2022. This same survey found that 71% of workers desire to be fully remote while 20% want a hybrid and remote-first option. As more workers choose not to return to offices, these statistics make it clear - remote work has become the new normal.

What this mean for your business:

This data highlights the upward trend of virtual work, and the opportunities businesses will have to tap into a more diverse workforce as workers who have opted not to return to the office move towards freelance opportunities. This is a win for business owners as they’ll have access to even more quality, experienced resources to meet their talent needs. Implementing an agile talent staffing strategy will help you benefit from this shift.  

Eiss suggests tapping into the gig economy to begin creating or expanding your hybrid workforce. “Working with freelancers is a great place to start since most contract professionals work remotely,” advised Eiss. “For companies with one foot already in remote work, freelancers offer opportunities to fill talent gaps or deploy specialized skills more cost-effectively.”

ROI calculator graphic

#3: Skills specialization will remain essential.

Over the past few years, workplace skills have become increasingly specialized, and that trend is expected to continue throughout the coming decade. However, investing in skill building in roles that are not core or essential to your business, is a questionable use of your finite resource. There’s a freelancer for that!

What this means for your business:

Putting a hold on hiring and laying off staff has become a reality amidst concerns of a recession, and often, niche or specialized skills are the first to go. However, those skills are often still wanted and needed. An agile talent staffing strategy allows businesses to benefit without the costs associated with using full-time resources.

This approach utilizes innovative employment practices, such as hiring project-based or part-time freelancers, to address specialized skill needs, fractional roles and talent shortages. “When you have a specialized assignment or you want to try something new, hire a freelancer with the skill and experience you need. That way, you get immediate value added to your team, avoid the opportunity cost of a learning curve, and your new idea or project is more likely to succeed or fail on its merits – not because of team inexperience or ineffective execution,” advises Eiss.

#4: Employers must prioritize the employee experience.

Alongside remote work expectations, 2023 is the year of prioritizing the employee experience from work-life balance to engagement. Amidst layoffs, job shortages, and an uncertain economy, recruiting and retaining quality talent will become even more essential for businesses. Two focus areas include closing skill gaps and addressing burnout.

What this means for your business:

Skill gaps and unbalanced workloads can impact the morale and output of your core team. Finding ways to ensure workers are supported and workloads are balanced is essential. “We’ve seen freelance talent used to augment teams for years,” said Eiss. “Whether it’s closing skills gaps, expanding a team’s knowledge, or taking non-core work off employees’ plates to create a balance – fractional resources can help add value to your team where you need it most.”

#5: Customer expectations continue to evolve.

This year is set to bring about a new type of customer with higher expectations than ever before, regardless of your industry. According to Zendesk, 72% of customers expect immediate service while 73% say their experience with a brand drives their purchase decisions. This all leans towards an increased need to meet and anticipate customer demands.

What this means for your business:

Increased expectations mean an increased need for quality resources. “Businesses can proactively address this trend by adding freelance talent into their staffing strategy,” said Eiss. “Freelancers allow businesses to staff up or down as their needs change. So, you can bring on contract talent when you need them, for however long you need them, and then adjust when things slow down again – minimizing risk and reducing overhead.”

ResultsResourcing Can Help Elevate Your Workforce

Implementing an agile staffing strategy is one way to minimize the impact these trends will have on your business, and indeed, advance your business. ResultsResourcing is here to help you reap the benefits of qualified, pre-vetted virtual freelance talent matched to your needs. Schedule a quick, no-obligation chat to learn if freelance talent is right for you or get started on the platform today.  

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