The working landscape has undergone a series of transformations in recent years – from the normalization of remote working to the advents of concepts like “quiet quitting” – and 2023 has been no different, with significant workplace trends and developments defining the past 12 months.
To find out what job seekers really care about, employment specialists at Jobseeker analyzed Google Trends data to uncover the workplace trends that have gained the most traction in 2023 and discuss what this means for 2024. AI makes a significant (yet not unexpected) appearance, while factors like flexible working and global hiring remain key.
Jobseeker analyzed Google search trends, mapping the change in search trends for key hiring and job market terms between January and December 2023. Interest in AI jobs saw the biggest uptick (67.11%), but work-life balance was still a key concern for all – with the idea of a four-day workweek becoming increasingly popular (67.05%).
Other major trends include AI skills (65.06%), skills-based hiring (58.44%), managing up (46.99%), global talent pool (46.88%), workplace wellness (46.48%), boreout (41.56%), hybrid work (40.43%), and asynchronous work (20.37%).
AI is a Dominant Force
Perhaps unsurprisingly given it has been one of the year’s most talked-about topics – even being declared the Collins Dictionary’s word of the year – artificial intelligence has had the most significant impact on the employment landscape in 2023, with searching surging for AI jobs and AI skills.
Initially, the rapid advancement of generative AI tools like ChatGPT brought fears of industry-spanning job losses, but as this early panic somewhat subsided, job seekers have started to consider the possibilities offered by AI, whether through AI-related careers or upskilling.
Still Searching for Work-Life Balance
Many countries have experimented with “compressed workweeks” in recent years, and search trends indicate a growing desire to move to a four-day workweek from the traditional five-day workweek. Some experts predict that by 2023, up to 80% of global companies will adopt a four-day work schedule.
Concepts such as hybrid and asynchronous work also remain significant in 2023, indicating that flexibility and work-life balance are high priorities for job seekers. As the work landscape evolves, these factors are increasingly viewed not as benefits but as expectations.
Employers Prioritize Skills over Background
In 2023, recruiters and hiring managers were increasingly turning to skills-based hiring, a recruitment approach that focuses primarily on a candidate’s skills and abilities rather than on traditional credentials like academic qualifications or related work experience.
Search trends show a progression of interest in skills-based hiring between January and December, indicating that both employers and candidates are becoming acutely aware of the merits of this method of recruiting talent, where suitability is determined solely by proficiency rather than formal education or career background.
Employees are Managing Up
The idea of managing up has gained significant traction throughout 2023, with searching increasing over the past 12 months. By understanding the needs and objectives of their direct line manager, an employee who manages up is effectively helping their employer to do their job more effectively, ensuring a productive, mutually beneficial relationship.
This approach becomes more important in dynamic work environments or remote work settings, where proactive communication and collaboration are paramount. To showcase their proactivity, job seekers should highlight their strong communication skills, initiative, and leadership qualities during the hiring process to complement this workplace trend.
Workplaces Continue to Go Global
Search trends across 2023 have also illustrated the increasing globalization of workforces, with employers progressively dipping into a global talent pool. Remote and asynchronous working practices have made this a possibility for businesses of all sizes, enabling them to access a wider range of skills and experiences from different cultural backgrounds.
Of course, this global approach to hiring may have many advantages for employers — reduced costs, increased time-zone coverage, and access to specialist market knowledge, for instance — but will also offer more opportunities for job seekers, with the promise of working for an overseas employer without the wrench of relocation.
The job market in 2024 is set to be shaped by a diverse set of trends, carrying both risk and opportunity for job seekers. From the growing demand for AI skills to the drive for greater efficiency, job seekers should be prepared to demonstrate not only their technical proficiency and adaptability but also their commitment to personal and professional development. By staying attuned to these trends and adapting accordingly, job seekers can position themselves strongly in a dynamic and ever-changing employment market.