Gartner Makes CHROs Workplace Predictions
HR Leaders Must Navigate Continued Uncertainty
January 4, 2023
workplace volatility continues in 2023, Gartner has
revealed its top nine workplace predictions that HR
leaders must address this year and beyond to
successfully navigate today’s labor market and continue
to drive business outcomes.
“HR leaders have faced an increasingly unpredictable
environment amid many organizations mandating a return
to office, permanently higher turnover and burnt out
employees,” said Emily Rose McRae, senior director in
the Gartner HR practice. “This year’s predictions
highlight the aspects of work that HR leaders must
prioritize over the next 12 months.”
The top nine predictions for HR leaders are:
“Quiet hiring” will create new avenues to snag
Despite worries about a forthcoming recession and some
layoff announcements, Gartner benchmarking data shows
that a majority of HR leaders still expect the labor
market to get more competitive.
Progressive HR leaders will turn to “quiet hiring” to
acquire new skills and capabilities without acquiring
new full-time employees. For example, they will deploy
current employees to the highest priorities, which may
necessitate reskilling and stretch assignments. Leaders
will also emphasize upskilling to fulfill employees’
career aspirations while meeting organizational needs.
Hybrid flexibility will reach frontline workers
Many organizations have sought to make the
workforce-wide experience fair by simply making it
equal: mandating on-site work for those who could work
elsewhere. More than six in 10 organizations have some
sort of on-site requirement for employees whose work can
be done remotely.
In 2023, smart organizations will stop limiting
flexibility in the name of fairness and will pursue
formal strategies for more flexibility for the frontline
workforce. To do this, organizations will provide
frontline workers more control over their schedules,
more paid leave and more stability in work schedules.
Managers will be sandwiched by leader and employee
“Many managers are struggling with how to balance the
need to implement corporate strategy on behalf of senior
leaders and providing the sense of purpose, flexibility,
and career opportunities that their employees expect,”
said Peter Aykens, chief of research in the Gartner HR
In 2023, leading organizations will recognize the
increasing pressure on managers, and they will provide
support and training to mitigate the widening managerial
skills gap while clarifying manager priorities and
redesigning their roles where necessary.
Pursuit of nontraditional candidates will expand
Organizations are being forced to expand and diversify
their talent pipelines due to employees increasingly
charting non-linear career paths. These organizations
are also faced with an inability to meet talent needs
through traditional sourcing methods and candidate
To fill critical roles in 2023, organizations will need
to become more comfortable assessing candidates solely
on their ability to perform in the role, rather than
their credentials and prior experience. Organizations
will take several approaches to do this, such as
relaxing formal education and experience requirements in
job postings and reaching out directly to internal or
external candidates from nontraditional backgrounds.
Healing pandemic trauma will open a path to more
The challenges of a global pandemic, including
unemployment, supply chain shortages, isolation from
family and friends and divisive political fractures
created intense stress. In fact, in 2022, employees’
stress and worry grew above even 2020 peaks — nearly 60%
of employees are stressed at their jobs every day.
This year, leading organizations will shift from
offering rest as a recovery solution and instead will
support proactive rest for employees to help them
maintain their emotional resilience and performance. A
July 2022 Gartner survey of nearly 3,500 employees found
that when organizations offer proactive rest, they see a
26% increase in employee performance.
Organizations will drive DEI forward amid growing
Although organizations still prioritize diversity,
equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts, many employees say
their organization’s DEI efforts are divisive. This
pushback to DEI efforts can decrease workforce
engagement, inclusion and trust.
To address this fraught moment for DEI, in 2023, HR must
equip managers with tools and strategies to engage
resistant employees and address pushback early before it
evolves into more disruptive forms of DEI resistance.
This is crucial for maintaining the momentum of DEI
efforts and achieving greater maturity and strategic
As organizations get more personal with employee
support, it will create new data risks
Organizations are increasingly using emerging
technologies – artificial intelligence (AI) assistants,
wearables, etc. – to collect more data on employees’
health, family situations, living conditions and mental
health in order to respond more effectively to their
needs. However, using these technologies has the
potential to create a looming privacy crisis.
Progressive organizations will use 2023 to create an
employee data bill of rights that prioritizes
transparency around how they collect, use and store
employee data, and which allows employees to opt out of
practices they find objectionable.
Concerns around AI will lead to increased
transparency in recruiting tech
more organizations leveraging AI in recruiting, the
ethical implications of these practices have become more
urgent. For example, a new law in New York City went
into effect on January 1 that limits employers’ use of
AI recruiting tools and requires organizations to
undergo annual bias audits and publicly disclose their
Organizations that use AI and machine learning in their
hiring processes, as well as the vendors they rely on
for these services, will face pressure to get ahead of
new regulations and be more transparent about how they
are using AI – and give employees and candidates the
choice to opt out from AI-led processes.
Gen Z skills gaps will reveal workforce-wide erosion
of social skills
The rise in remote and hybrid work has meant that many
new-to-the-workforce employees have had few in-person
opportunities to observe norms and determine what is
appropriate or effective within their organizations.
Rather than forcing employees back to in-person work to
establish connections, leaders need to build intentional
connections among employees across geographic – and
generational – boundaries.
Gartner research shows that there are three key elements
to creating intentional interactions among employees:
employee choice and autonomy, a clear structure and
purpose, and a sense of levity and fun.