Breaking down the top tech trends: Must-read industry insights for 2023 & beyond

Breaking down the top tech trends for 2023 & beyond

If you’re a hiring manager or a job seeker in the job market we have no doubt you’ve found the last few months a little different to the one we saw in the years post-COVID. 2022 was pegged as the year in which life would return to normal (and in many ways, it did). However, the tail end of 2022 showed some rapid shifts in employment stability, capital availability and consistency in the tech sector that has profound effects on businesses and workers. In many ways, it has been a reminder that the only constant in life IS change. In this article, we break down some of the top tech trends as documented in our 2023 Digital Salary Guide to provide more context to the remuneration of the talent market within the digital industry and discuss how to stay ahead in 2023.

The Great Tech Correction

Following major geopolitical and economic instability, we saw listed tech giants like Microsoft, Amazon and Google pause hiring in response to market conditions and stock market losses. This was dubbed the ‘Big Tech Hiring Freeze’. We also watched closely as high-growth scale-ups made portions of their team redundant, many citing challenges in extending capital runways under tougher funding market conditions in what was labelled ‘The Great Tech Correction’.

We have continued to see the ongoing impacts of these market changes. More recently, Atlassian made 500 of their staff redundant, Xero up to 800 people and Salesforce a whopping 10% or about 8,000 employees in the largest round of lay-offs in its 24-year history, citing overhiring through the pandemic as the cause. The list goes on and locally we have seen this translate to general hesitancy in hiring and decision-making from both candidates and businesses. Read more about the Great Tech Correction here. Though we never like to hear of redundancies and understand the discomfort that comes with these major market shifts, we can tell you that the current course corrections represent an important recalibration that is hoped to create positive change. Demand for skilled talent remains strong!

The considered candidate – what’s in it for me?

Under this general market uncertainty, we are seeing candidates approach their job search with incredible consideration. In many cases, candidates who are actively in the job market will have multiple offers on the table and are taking the time to meticulously look at the options that are in front of them. Often these candidates are waiting for additional offers to come through before making a decision. This has also slowed down the recruitment process and increased the prevalence of counter offers.

We have also seen many people emerge from the COVID crisis with a clear mission – prioritisation of happiness and purpose in their lives. This period has had a fundamental impact on the way each of us views work and our careers. In a 2022 Australian survey by PwC with 1,800 workers, 22% of employees valued support of their well-being (including work-life balance, mental health support and general health and wellbeing) above all other factors. This ranked as the number-two EVP (employer value proposition), second only to remuneration and reward. Candidates want to know “what’s in it for me” and employers need to be able to answer quickly, confidently and genuinely. Irrevocably, this has shot Employer Branding up the top of many priority lists. But more on that later…

It’s all about the Main Character Energy

The idea of sacrificing a few years in a tough but rewarding role to ‘achieve more in the long run’ is no longer acceptable. Employees want to feel happy, fulfilled and refuse to accept that their career accomplishments should come at the expense of their personal lives and aspirations.

In the past couple of year years, many of us have taken a deeper look inwards and pondered some of life’s big questions. This introspection has revealed that professional successes and personal aspirations can harmoniously coexist without conflict. Now like never before, we are seeing candidates telling employers what they truly want and need to be fulfilled in their role. We have defined this as candidates stepping into their ‘Main Character Energy’.

Main Character Energy explained:

A movement that grew popular in the wake of the pandemic, Main Character Energy describes a person that puts themself in the ‘front seat’ and focuses on making their wants and desires a priority. You could equate this to acting as a protagonist (or main character) in a film.

What we are seeing is more candidates taking control of their story by becoming the ‘main character’ of their life, particularly as it relates to the job market and putting their wants and needs first. We see this as an opportunity to encourage organisations to break away from a one-size-fits-all approach and create bespoke arrangements for team members to build greater employee loyalty and tenure.

Many people-centric organisations are designing ways of working to treat their team members like individuals and enable them to ‘choose their own adventure’ within a company when it comes to working arrangements, benefits, career pathways and support for the whole person (not just their professional self). However, a big question remains for many employers – how do you create bespoke individual arrangements in a scalable way whilst maintaining ‘felt fairness’ and equality across the team? We believe 2023 will see many employers address this question through greater investment in their Human Resource Strategy and Employer Branding.

Building an authentic employer brand

With broader market uncertainty and a talent shortage in technology that prevails, there is immense pressure on existing teams to achieve business goals. Through this, companies are realising the importance of marketing their employer brand just as much as their products and services to attract (and retain) the best talent.

How an organisation communicates its employment experience to the outside world, including how it lives and breathes its company values, is something that discerning candidates are checking closely (even before engaging with a company and its job vacancies). An authentic employer brand should simply create a window into the day-to-day culture of your organisation for those on the outside to look through. This transparency, while daunting, can force leaders to become more aware of the realities of working in the organisation and drive meaningful improvements to the employee experience.

In 2023, Employer Branding will become even more critical for companies’ success as they look to stand out in the face of ongoing talent shortages. We expect savvy companies to increase their investment in authentic Employer Branding exercises to not only attract talent but the right type of talent for their business.

You can learn more about the importance of Employer Branding here.

We also recommend you check out our current Digital Salary Guide where we explore the tools and practical ways to craft an employee experience that provides purpose and alignment that consistently attract high-performing team members.

Get pumped about policies

The desperate shortage of skilled technical talent has pushed many organisations to look at what more they can do to attract talent. The common thread? Enabling individuals to achieve their personal and professional goals.

With that in mind, some of the more progressive (and headline-worthy) policies we’ve seen include:

  • Work from anywhere for 6 months – enabling employees to reclaim their lost COVID travel years without choosing between their career and their wanderlust (or re-connecting with their globally dispersed families)
  • Family planning support such as fertility treatment and extended parental leave (for both the primary and secondary caregivers)
  • Mental health support/coaching
  • Professional development support to facilitate internal career progression from one area of the business into another
  • The 9-day-fortnight (or even a 4-day working week)

It is changes like these that clearly indicate that the way we work and relate to our workplace has shifted forever with work-life integration seen as the new normal.

Connection is everything

The debate over the significance of in-person interaction is currently causing discord between many employers and employees. For many employees, hybrid work is seen as the holy grail, and many employers are happy to offer this. However, there is friction around the terms of hybrid work, specifically around the days and times of in-person work.

It’s true. Most organisations already recognise the necessity of providing flexible, hybrid, or remote work options to attract top talent. Where companies are struggling is implementing these arrangements while maintaining a strong company culture without the impromptu water cooler chit-chat. To find a middle ground, many companies are opting for a hybrid model that requires all employees to attend the office on the same day. This approach provides flexibility while also instilling a sense of connection and consistency within the organisation. For fully remote workplaces, it is becoming clear that without a solid structure and commitment to remote rituals in place, these companies will experience turnover and a lack of connection, support and mentoring is often to blame.

All in all, what we know to be true is that for organisations not willing to embrace any level of remote, hybrid or flexible work, recruiting top talent in 2023 and beyond will be difficult.

Cybersecurity is a top priority

We simply couldn’t publish a 2023 Digital Salary Guide without mentioning the top trending role of Cybersecurity (thanks to a number of high-profile cyber breaches).

Changing behaviour often requires motivation or pain avoidance and for cybersecurity, it seems that the avoidance of pain has been the factor that is moving the needle. Organisations are reconsidering how much data (customer and company data that is) they need to manage, where and how they are storing this data, and how they can reduce the risk of any cyber-attacks or breaches. We expect to see this translate to greater investment in cyber insurance, prevention training and greater prioritisation on building technically-skilled cybersecurity teams.

AI is A-okay with us

And finally, it would be remiss of us not to mention the game-changer that is conversational artificial intelligence (AI) technology, particularly the hugely popular ChatGPT. The full ramifications of this innovation are yet to be fully determined but I think we can all agree that the implications for the way we work, study, live and interact on and offline are expected to be revolutionary.

Recruitment is your no.1 sidekick

If one thing has become abundantly clear throughout these trends, it’s that digital technology continues to shape the world we live in making it essential to stay ahead of the curve and keep up with industry trends. That’s why proactive companies with the most success choose to align themselves with talent partners that deeply understand their business needs and root problems that great talent will help to solve.

If you would like personalised advice specific to your business or career, please reach out to our team! Whether you’re planning a career move, preparing for your next salary review or ready to hire, our team is ready and waiting in the wings to help you get from where you are to where you want to be in your career or business. Send us an email at hi@huntandco.io and we will be in touch shortly.

Industry & Career Insights