Professional Comment

Predictions 2023: Everything’s Changed, Now Nothing Will Change

By Chris Grimes, Sales Director, Matrix (

After two years of disruption, namely the fallout from Brexit and the global pandemic, the recruitment market has been fighting for stability. And now, in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis and a black cloud of recession looming, it’s unlikely we’ll see much movement in the care sector in 2023 – but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. The country can’t cope with too much more change – and 2023 will be the year of stability, as we settle into what has become the ‘new norm’.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve seen some positive changes this year. The focus for many businesses in 2022 has firmly been on ‘building back better’ as part of the wider Covid recovery efforts. From a recruitment perspective, we’ve seen the wider acceptance of flexible, hybrid ways of working in the care sector, which was a significant pivot for many but has quickly proven that it can work and has now become the norm.

And because of that shift, we’ve seen the implementation of better, smarter technologies to support this new way of working, speeding up decision-making and paving the way for flexible recruitment technology to make the hiring process much more seamless.

An underlying theme in response has been wage increases and pay inflation to try and attract workers into those roles. Research conducted by Matrix earlier this year hinted that bringing people back into the care sector may be the solution to the staff shortage crisis. In the last year alone, the number of over 55’s placed in temporary work declined from 25.8% in Q2 2021 to 21.67% in Q2 2022. Older people are leaving the sector and whilst there are younger people coming into care, there’s an urgent requirement to entice young people into roles.

Moving into 2023, there’s much chatter around what impact the recession might have on the care sector job market and we’ll be following closely to see how this sector will lean in and face those unforeseen challenges. Political instability (local and global) coupled with inflation, and a desire to focus on upskilling and reskilling will be among the top priorities in 2023.

We’ve already seen a shift within local authorities towards trialling a four-day working week so it will be interesting to see the impact this might have on agency usage.

For talent acquisition leaders, the focus will be on demand planning, optimisation, ensuring buy-in for investment, providing consistency in their offer and focusing on the employer brand proposition.

And for the candidates themselves, LinkedIn data shows that they’ll be expecting excellent compensation and benefits (top priority), followed by organisational support to balance their work and personal lives, flexible working arrangements and opportunities to learn new, highly desired skills – this list of highly valued priorities surfacing as a result of the pandemic.

After two years of uncertainty, it’s difficult for anyone to predict what might come next. Let’s hope that 2023 brings the care sector the stability it has been seeking. But in case it doesn’t, local authorities and the private sector should use this time to assess the technologies and processes they have in place to work smarter and be prepared for further change, if it comes.