Back in my recruitment advertising days, we used to run a sweep stake at the is time of year on how many times we’d see this over-used, cringeworthy headline on job ads. Yet it holds a ring of truth. The Christmas and New Year period is no doubt a period of reflection for many – with employees returning after an extended break with new plans and new ideas for the future.

So, what will employees be returning to in January 2023? No doubt that will include more and more headlines about inflation, recession and increasing interest rates. Just in my own social circle I know of people who are turning a “blind eye” to the cost of Christmas this year – but when those credit card bills start landing in the New Year the harsh realities of the economy will no doubt come home to roost.

The concept of Blue Monday has been with us for some time. It is usually the third Monday in January when employee morale and engagement drops to its lowest ebb. The holiday season is well behind us and day-to-day reality hits home.

The cost of living will no doubt be high on the agenda. So, will employers be talking to their people about it? We know of a few businesses that are deliberately planning to announce pay reviews in January this year – rather than perhaps April. The idea being to counter Blue Monday with good news – and hopefully achieve maximum impact.

What also tends to happen in times of economic uncertainty is that people become more defensive in their career planning. If the clouds of recession really do gather in the early months of 2023, we can expect application rates for jobs to slow as individuals worry more about keeping the job they have than finding a new one.

Given how hard hiring has been in 2022, some respite from attrition will no doubt be welcome in many quarters. However, there is a double-edged sword to people staying in jobs, or with employers, they have fallen out of love with. A re-visit of Chiumento’s “Corporate Prisoner” research might well be timely.

Being made redundant in a stalling job market becomes even more stressful. After two years when getting another job was relatively easy, those exiting in 2023 may find things much tougher. Our Arbora partners are already reporting signs from around the world of employers easing up on hiring. Even some recruitment freezes starting. The job market will be different in 2023 – we just don’t yet know by how much.

Providing outplacement support is a great way to protect your employer brand. Both in terms of those leaving and those staying. Employers are often judged more on how they behave in tough times than good. Managing redundancies well was the headline story in the latest issue of People Management so clearly that’s back on the HR agenda.

If what we are seeing at Chiumento is to be believed, employers are looking at different ways of delivering outplacement in the post-COVID world. Fewer workshops, more e-learning. Matching individuals to the best coach – not the one based closest. Remote delivery much more popular in a world accustomed to working on platforms like Teams and Zoom. And value-for-money paramount.

Delegate’s expectations have changed too. More writing CVs for people rather than sending them on a CV writing course. Increased focus on pace as individuals want to minimise the time, and lost earnings, gap between exiting one job and starting another. And a more personalised experience – being treated as an individual not part of a group.

At Chiumento we focus on offering the best experiences and the best value to clients and delegates alike. Small enough to be intimate, large enough to deliver large scale projects. No one-size-fits-all mindset. From the UK we can support delegates not just in the UK but around the world. And that’s what makes us different.