2023 Tax Labor Shifts
Here's what's on the horizon and our suggestions for getting ahead.
Up-skill, re-skill, just let your staff re-brand instead of finding somewhere else to do it
Each younger generation is increasingly used to changing careers, but there is an important difference with Gen Z. They don't just expect it; they seek it. If you want to retain your staff, create job responsibilities and opportunities akin to a career change, just in-house. Tax professions get funneled into a field early, which makes sense based on how technical tax gets. But if you want to retain staff, give them a chance to work on different projects, allow for leaps into different fields, and train them to succeed.
Moving your existing staff into a different team or role is less risky (as long as they are excited about the change) than a brand-new hire. This flexibility acknowledges the person, not just their skills. Plus, learning new skills is good for the brain; it is linked to higher job satisfaction and overall well-being. Human brains are designed to learn, so ensure your staff has ample opportunities for it! However, staff will also resist changes they didn't design because humans love predictability, and we are creatures of habit. Good leaders create a safe space for staff to embrace changes as learning opportunities, support them to take on new challenges, and balance this with access to the same grounding work routines within their comfort zone. Balance a predictable work environment with a growth mindset, and your staff will flourish and stick with you for all the chapters ahead.
HR focusing on bridging management with acquisition:
Recruiters often stop connecting with their candidates after they place them. ICK! We like to keep in touch, not only to understand how they are doing but to improve our recruiting process and be a part of their career progression, whether internally or externally, 5,10,15 years down the road.
When new talent moves in, HR must work inter-organizationally, from hiring through career progression/succession. This builds a team around this person, ensuring the career cycle of that person is supported. The best hiring manager and talent acquisition team continually protect and support their staff.
Tax leaders can strengthen the connection between themselves, talent managers, and their new hires by bridging these stages and teams by sharing important stats on how their hires are doing. As a result, new hires will feel valued and respected, knowing they have a team invested in their success.
Interim employee strategies
Short-term hires are always an option, and the talent within this pool is ever-increasing because of boomers seeking some work in retirement or younger generations wanting more flexibility and freedom than being locked into one company.
Experts recommend keeping a balance of 70 FTE/30-Interim employee ratio. There's an untapped pool of talent willing to forego the benefits and security of full-time work to do more of what they want in life and work. This type of person is typically vision-driven and highly goal-oriented; they are there for a specific skill and want to get in, deliver and head on to the next job. This also means they are skilled at integrating into a new group quickly. If there is an immediate need for staffing, we suggest this approach while you either search for a long-term hire or if you have a short-term project needing expertise.
MORE hybrid?! Yes, more hybrid
As the workforce loses more and more boomers every year, work preferences will continue to trend to hybrid and remote environments because each younger generation increasingly prefers online communication platforms over face-to-face. That is not to say there is no value in in-office work. Impromptu brainstorms, better professional development opportunities, better leadership with direct reports, and skill sharing all come easily with in-person environments.
Hybrid has been proven successful over the last three years. Now 2023 will be all about maintaining and IMPROVE work culture in a hybrid environment and focusing on bringing in-person benefits online.
Work-life integration is the new work-life balance.
This means clocking in and out when it makes the most sense. That way, parents can pick up their kids, take care of their family's needs, and add a few hours after bedtime. Wake up early, and take the afternoon off. Night owls and early birds can follow their ideal schedule! The key focus shift is that managers are assessing success by output, not hours. YES!
Bommeranging back: retired boomers want to work again, so let them!
This was already starting to happen in 2022, but even more so in 2023; we will see more and more boomers looking to work part-time, contractually, or full-time as the economy turns uncertain and retirement accounts shrink.
For managers, focus on a healthy offboarding process that ensures the relationship stays warm so that should they want to work again, they will call you first. In 2023, ensure your company is keeping track of former workers to source the right skills within your recently retired staff.