By Joe Mullings, Chairman & CEO of The Mullings Group
Following a year of mass layoffs, hiring freezes and record low unemployment, employers, recruiters, and candidates alike are all navigating the ever-changing world of work. As we head into the new year, here is what we can expect for the 2023 job market.
Since the pandemic shook up the world of work, employees have realized their world shouldn’t revolve around work. The calls for a work-life balance, greater benefits, and more flexibility have been at the forefront of conversations from the technology industry to education and healthcare.
For the first time ever, talent is calling more of the shots than employers. Those open to work and potential candidates in all sectors expect far more out of employers than in previous years. Negotiations begin with high salaries before transitioning to sign on bonuses, work from home flexibility, and more.
The best candidates have multiple job offers, requiring employers to counter and continue increasing salaries and benefits. Talent is playing a game that is outside of the corporate playbook, throwing the entire process of kilter.
The Playing Field
The market is not only affected by talent looking for roles, but also everything that goes on in the world around us. Last year, we saw multiple diseases sweep the nation, war, continued supply chain shortages, and rising inflation.
Those stressors will continue playing a large role in 2023. The Russian invasion in Ukraine is going on its 11th month, inflation continues to play a key role in prices everywhere, and interest rates are on the rise. The 2022 election cycle may be over, but the 2024 cycle is just beginning, bringing with it challenges that will affect both employers and employees.
Supply chain challenges will continue wreaking havoc on the market as well.
Given the global conflicts involving Ukraine and Russia and underlying tensions with China, the supply chain dynamics is requiring entire sectors to reimagine not only where they will move their primary activities, but also their alternatives as new geographies and suppliers are explored.
Despite the unpredictable hiring market, growth and innovation continue to lead the charge. Growth and innovation that comes from private and public investments.
Venture Capital and Private Equity are repricing and still available for good models.
The venture markets are still slower than public markets in readjusting for the markets at hand. The emerging technology markets had a very frothy run over the past 5 years and we can expect flat rounds, and more likely, down rounds when it comes to follow up financing activities. The ego and pride of investors, entrepreneurs, and existing investors are likely to get in the way of new financings.
Public markets are stabilizing and appropriately adjusted. The IPO and SPAC markets are going to have a tough year. The fact that companies have a less than ideal path to public markets and venture dollars are going to be more prudent with their investments – this will make the acquisition pathway to exit more likely. Having said that, it will be a buyers market.
Tech and the Reckoning
There were 153,937 tech workers laid off from 1,020 companies in 2022, according to Layoffs.fyi. The internet sector is the tail that wags the dog. For years, companies like Twitter, Apple, and Amazon have gotten away with massive over-hiring of talent, over inflated salaries, and working 15 hours a week, rather than the 50 other tech employees are used to. Following the intense scrutiny and watchful eye the internet sector faced in 2022, all eyes will be on the biggest names in the game.
In 2022, Elon Musk purchased Twitter and pulled back the curtain on the model, exposing the status quo of the tech company workplace. Amazon has been overbuilt from the COVID era where online purchasing was the only way to go. Apple, Lyft, Shopify, Netflix, Stripe, and more have felt the shift, with stock prices falling and employees vocalizing their unhappiness.
Over-promising and over-optimism was the name of the game in the internet economy. Those business models, like the entitled generation that has been affected by last year’s shift, are getting an overdue dose of common business sense.
- Hard times create strong businesses.
- Strong businesses create good times.
- Good times create weak businesses.
- Weak businesses create hard times.
What you should be doing
- Build your brand. Make sure your LinkedIn, Social Accounts, and online presence illustrate what you would bring to the table. Great brands come out of hard times much faster than those that do not have a brand.
- Double down on your existing talent. Enhance training and skills. Increase communication with your team. Don’t be afraid to include them in tough conversations as you lead them through the battle. The great ones love the battle, by the way.
- Hire when there is blood in the streets. Short-sighted companies will not take care of their high performers like they should. Bring in “tip of the spear” individuals. Those who drive sales, R&D, innovation, and new business models in your category. Then, outwork everyone.
As we go into 2023, I am incredibly optimistic for the year and for the organizations that are built for revenue, have great leadership, hyper-communicate with both their market and customer base, and empower their teammates. The best is yet to come!
Joe is the Chairman & CEO of The Mullings Group The Mullings Group Companies, including TMG Search, Dragonfly Stories and TMG360 Media. The search firm is responsible for more than 8,000 successful searches in the medtech / healthtech / life sciences industry with clients ranging from multi-billion-dollar companies to emerging tech startups worldwide. Dragonfly Stories, which produces attention and awareness campaigns for companies globally, is the media production company behind the Award-Winning video docu-series, “TrueFuture,” of which Joe is the host. TMG360 Media utilizes the power of media and outreach in medtech / healthtech to move businesses and health forward.
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