2023 Workforce Trends to Watch

Demand for green jobs, AI roles, and remote work are on the rise — here are the workplace intelligence trends you need to know to build a strategic and successful 2023 talent plan.

Published on Feb 2, 2023

Updated on Oct 16, 2023

Workforce trends

When it comes to staff management, 2022 was tumultuous, to say the least. The year started out with workers continuing to switch jobs en masse, while seeking out flexibility, better pay, and improved work-life balance. By the end of the year, widespread layoffs increased fears that the economic instability triggered by the COVID pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, among other factors, was far from over. 

So how should your company weather the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead in 2023? We pulled all the most relevant job market data and analyzed key trends for employers and job candidates to find out.

We’re excited to share the 2023 Global Talent Playbook. It’s full of current insights and strategy ideas, as well as future trends in recruitment. Keep reading as we outline some of the major themes of the playbook. 

Workplace trends to guide your recruitment efforts

1. AI hiring trends

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is making its way into all types of industries. Despite fears that computers are coming for our jobs, our data shows that AI isn’t really taking away jobs, but instead, adding them. 

In 2022, the US, UK, and Spain all showed the highest interest in hiring for AI-related jobs. And since 2014, the share of total postings in AI fields has more than tripled in the US, UK, and Canada. 

AI job postings

2. Digital workplace trends

Employees wanting flexibility in their working location isn’t going anywhere. The remote workforce trends we’ve been watching closely indicate that the ability to work from home, even just part of the time, is extremely important to applicants across industries and age groups. And companies everywhere know this: our data shows that remote postings continue to grow in the US and worldwide. 

Remote job postings

Remote jobs now make up 15% of all postings for roles requiring degrees (up from 2.5% pre-pandemic), and the top three remote jobs in 2022 were Web Developer, Video Game Designer, and Computer Programmer

The global talent pool is far larger than a local or regional talent pool, so opening up your workforce can mean you find exactly the right person for the job. It can also mean lower labor costs for the same skills, among other benefits.

However, in order for remote working to be sustainable and productive, remote leadership training is crucial. Without the ability to walk by the desks of their direct reports, managers need to learn to remotely check in with their team members, help them grow their skills and improve where needed, and feel supported by their manager.

Want to learn more about remote hiring? Check out our Talent Analyst tool, which provides the data necessary to find people nationally and globally.

3. Candidate recruiting + skills trends

One way that hiring has become more equitable is by recruiters and hiring managers taking a reality check about which roles actually require degrees. Companies everywhere have learned that it behooves everyone — the company and the workers — to value skills over degrees

So many new roles require specialized skills, the fastest-growing of which are machine learning operations, TikTok, and Jira Align. None of these skills require a Master’s Degree, and some don’t even require a Bachelor’s. Opening the hiring pool to include skilled workers who know how to do what you need them to, but don’t necessarily have the right formal degree, helps people of all walks of life to grow their careers. 

General (or “common/human”) skills that were in high demand in 2022 were, unsurprisingly, telecommuting, virtual collaboration, and growth mindedness. Companies want employees who know how to work effectively wherever they are, and are looking to find ways to get better every day. 

If you want to help your employees build in-demand skills, check out our Ideas for Better Upskilling.

4. Workplace pay equity trends

An uplifting trend we’ve seen is that companies everywhere are proactively working to reduce the wage gap. One major stride involves wage transparency: advertised wage rates on job postings more than doubled between 2019-2022.

25% of degree position postings now include an advertised salary, which helps job seekers know whether an application (or a company) is worth their valuable time. 

Companies have also implemented Lightcast’s Talent Transform feature, which helps them standardize job postings, prioritizing the necessary skills, and helping job seekers find the best position they can. 

Over time, wages have increased the most drastically for those at the lowest wage levels, which indicates that companies are trying to improve wages and quality of life for those currently struggling economically. 

Wage growth has also been high for job switchers, which is a large part of why we saw the Great Resignation in 2021 and 2022. People, understandably, started seeking out better workplaces with better compensation and benefits

Speaking of benefits, long-term benefits are increasingly valued by workers and provided by companies. Longer term benefits, like tuition assistance and retirement benefits, are growing in use, compared to shorter term benefits like sign-on bonuses. 

To plan your equity and benefits strategy for 2023, check out our Guide to Improving Recruitment, Retention, Advancement, and Equity.

5. Green jobs trends

Around the world, companies are recognizing that we’re in a climate crisis, and they’re prioritizing climate-conscious jobs. Green jobs and skills related to lowering the carbon footprint are increasing in demand globally, and are particularly sought-after in the US, Germany, and Canada.

green job growth

In the United States in particular, the demand for green jobs has grown by over 50% since 2019.

Recruiting is more data-driven than ever

We now know that companies who strategically manage their workforce using labor market data generate higher returns — and those that don't stand to lose $125,000 per employee per year.

Get the labor market data you need for 2023 by reading our full 2023 Global Talent Playbook.

Learn more about how Lightcast talent intelligence can help you hire, train, and retain a great team — and protect your bottom line in the process — sign up for a demo today.