HR leaders’ top five priorities for 2023

An unprecedented amount of disruption, the continual shortening of planning-to-action times and the emergence of new crucially important matters, are on the collective HR radar for 2023. Gartner, the information technology (IT) research and consultancy giant, recently surveyed 850 HR leaders across 60 countries and all major industries to explore their views on the associated challenges and opportunities. Leader and manager effectiveness was found to top the priority list, followed hot on its heels by change management, employee experience, recruiting and the future of work.


Please download the report here or jump straight to our summary of the top five emerging HR priorities and trends for 2023 below.

  1. Leader and manager effectiveness is a priority for 60% of HR leaders. The working world continues to evolve at a dizzying rate and, in response, so too does the role of leaders. Today’s leaders are expected to be more authentic, empathetic and adaptive, adopting a more ‘human’ leadership style. Yet 24% of HR leaders say their current leadership development approach does not prepare leaders for the future of work.

HR professionals need to continue to help leaders demonstrate commitment, courage and confidence. But they also need to address the emotional barriers that are holding leaders back, namely doubt, fear and uncertainty.

  1. Organisational design and change management is a top priority for 53% of HR leaders, as organisations suffer the results of unprecedented levels of digital transformation, economic uncertainty, political tensions and general disruption. Change fatigue has set in, with many employees declaring themselves unwilling to change their work behaviours to support organisational changes. One of HR’s key challenges is to help employees to navigate change and mitigate any potential negative impact that it may have had on their work and well-being in recent times.
  2. Employee experience ranks top of the list for 47% of HR leaders, and 44% believe their organisations do not have compelling career paths.


The pathway to success is less clear than ever. People are spending less time in the office so career options become less visible. Current skills are becoming outdated and employees aren’t prepared for the requirements of future roles. As people reimagine the role of work in their lives, current options don’t necessarily offer satisfactory solutions. All these factors combine to make it difficult for HR professionals to identify the internal moves that employees can and must make to grow their careers and satisfy their aspirations.

  1. Recruitment came top of the list for 46% of HR leaders, and 36% say their sourcing strategies are insufficient for finding the skills they need. 50% of organisations expect the competition for talent to continue to hot up over the next six months.


By way of response, HR leaders need to rethink and reprioritise their recruiting strategies to align with current business needs, plan for multiple potential scenarios, and make data-based decisions. Gartner’s recommendations on the subject are to build an intelligence-based sourcing capability, create an equitable internal labour market, and build onboarding for engagement.


At ABL, we believe that working with a transparent, trustworthy, truly expert recruitment agency is another crucial HR tool in this matter. The right recruitment partner will efficiently find (and vet) talented, qualified, flexible candidates who want to commit to companies for the long term, saving hiring managers time and money with both recruitment and retention.

  1. The ‘future of work’ is a top priority for 42% of HR leaders, yet 43% say they do not have an explicit future of work strategy. Generally associated with remote and hybrid working issues, the term in fact has a much broader meaning. And the biggest challenge in its remit relates to workforce planning. According to Gartner, current strategies to anticipate future talent needs fail to address issues including shifting skills requirements, talent scarcity, high turnover and a shift in the employee-employer dynamic. A new approach is essential to effectively tackle these trends.


Clearly, there are challenges ahead for the HR community. We wish you all the best with your strategic planning for 2023 and invite you to get in touch so we can lend our support with the recruitment element of the task. We have a vast pool of talented, active job seekers on our books and we will quickly source great candidates for all your open vacancies. Please email us at or call us on 020 7092 3939 to brainstorm the options.