Hanover’s 2023 Predictions: Did We Get Them Right?

ByHanover Team
Posting date: 05 December 2023

In January, we made several leadership and workplace predictions for 2023 - but did we get them right? Let’s take a look…


Prediction 1 - More movement at senior level 

What the prediction said… We’ll see more movement with senior-level candidates seeking new opportunities. There seems to be optimism regarding new roles because of the high employment levels, and a thirst for increased remuneration in light of the cost of living crisis.


Were we right? Across the team at Hanover, we’ve seen similar levels of movement to 2022. However, firms have focused on people and strategy, which has meant some casualties.  High-profile moves have been met with some premium packages to ensure success for those hiring.


Prediction 2 - Gen Zs will feel a squeeze 

What the prediction said… This generation may have to make some compromises to advance in their careers and ensure job stability. For employers, the challenge comes in balancing the return to the office and inter-generational needs and requirements.


Were we right? Yes and no. According to Deloitte, the high cost of living is a top concern for Gen Z, and 70% of Gen Zers say salary is the most important factor in their next role. This would indicate they’re after job stability. But work/life balance is also critical, with the Deloitte report indicating that more than 75% of Gen Zers would consider looking for a new job if they’re asked to work on-site full time.


Prediction 3 - More focus on leadership skills for technical experts 

What the prediction said… Leadership skills for technical experts or those with deep subject matter expertise will come to the fore as they are tasked with leading large teams and delivering results - without necessarily having extensive people management experience or formal training.


Were we right? At Hanover, we’ve seen an uplift in the number of clients asking us to source technical candidates with strong leadership or management skills. The explosion of AI is a contributing factor, as is the focus on cybersecurity. Per a recent Forbes article, “Leaders should be soaking up as much about AI as possible - specifically, its impact on the workforce. [...] Leaders should get ahead by learning how to modernise the skills of their people.”


Prediction 4 - Tech will be integrated into core business

What the prediction said… Technology leaders will feel the pressure to develop better stakeholder management skills, and CTOs will be asked to make revenue growth predictions and work more closely with commercial functions.


Were we right? The impact of AI has been felt worldwide, with increasing numbers of businesses harnessing its potential - and not just in tech teams, but across business units. There seems to be a better understanding that technology is part of your core business structure, and we’ve spoken to several clients that are building commercial responsibilities into their CTO job descriptions.


Prediction 5 - Greater focus on succession planning

What the prediction said… ExCos will be prioritising development for their successors in 2023. They will also be investing in talent they want to engage and retain to prepare them for bigger and broader roles in the future.


Were we right? In 2023, we’ve worked with more businesses than ever before on their succession planning strategy - but that doesn’t mean it’s happening everywhere. According to the FT, around half of business owners have no exit strategy, 37% of businesses don’t have a succession plan and 10% haven’t considered it.


Prediction 6 - Customer expectations will be elevated

What the prediction said… Businesses will need to shift from a product-centric to a customer-centric outlook to, perhaps ironically, sell more products. 


Were we right? Yes - and this trend will continue. Forrester’s data says that the number of businesses analysing customer health scores has increased 55% year-on-year, and 70% of brands say they now see a direct connection between customer service and performance. 


Prediction 7 - Businesses will double down on ESG and DE&I

What the prediction said… Many more businesses will be addressing both structural AND behavioural inclusion to drive sustainable change truly.


Were we right? Yes - but are we doing enough? Regarding sustainability, McKinsey reports that almost every company has a defined strategy, but only 40% have the knowledge and capabilities to achieve their targets. With the government scaling back on its commitment to net zero, this may not improve as quickly as it should. As for DE&I, having a diverse workforce positively impacts the bottom line. And yet, we’ve seen DE&I leadership roles being made redundant and only 41% of UK workers believe their employer values diversity and inclusion.


Prediction 8 - Outplacement will come into its own

What the prediction said… There’ll be an uplift in outplacement needs in 2023 due to the current climate of high inflation, rising energy costs and the wider economic impacts.


Were we right? Yes - and again this is a trend that we expect to continue. Another reason for the uplift is that companies need to manage redundancies more ethically and responsibly. Results from comprehensive research in September 2023 suggest that the outplacement services market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 5.65% from 2022 to USD 3352.78 million by 2028.


Look out for our 2024 predictions coming soon.

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