1. Hybrid Work Model:Signs of Decline in 2024
After the COVID-19 pandemic, flexible working gained widespread popularity, with a surge of almost one-tenth in adoption between 2020 and 2021, followed by a 4% increase in the subsequent year. However, recent data from the Timewise Flexible Jobs Index for 2023 reveals a modest 1% growth, with only 31% of job ads explicitly mentioning flexibility.
Major companies like Google, Apple, and Meta are actively recalling employees to the office, expressing concerns about productivity, collaboration, and maintaining a consistent company culture among remote workers. This shift raises questions about the sustainability of flexible work arrangements.
However, the Africa’s upcoming Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act in 2024 allows employees to request changes to their work patterns twice a year from day one of employment. Despite expedited response times reduced from three months to two, employers can still deny requests based on eight permissible reasons.
This impending legislation adds complexity to the evolving narrative of flexible working. Organizations must navigate the implications of this new legal framework, prompting questions about its impact on recruitment and employee retention. Will the once-enjoyed convenience and flexibility of remote work become less prevalent as companies weigh the benefits against perceived drawbacks? The future of flexible working seems poised at a crucial juncture.
2. Proactive candidate engagement
Proactively engaging candidates has long been a common practice when filling C-suite executive vacancies; it was rarely used when hiring for entry-level positions.
However, the scenario is changing now. In a LinkedIn survey, 84 % of recruiters said that engaging passive candidates is becoming important in lower and middle-level roles and for bringing top talent into the funnel.
3. Use of Recruiting Automation
2024 will witness more recruiting and staffing firms turning to automation to simplify repetitive tasks and reduce admin work
In a survey done on 2848 recruiting professionals, most agreed that investing in better recruiting tools and technology is the best way to improve recruiter performance.
With recruitment automation solutions like Recruiterflow, you can parse resumes, manage candidate and client pipelines, post jobs on multiple job boards simultaneously, and much more. Recruiterflow also helps you efficiently engage candidates at various stages of hiring while improving important recruitment metrics like time to hire and time to submittal.
4. Diversity and inclusion
Business leaders globally accept that a culturally diverse workforce fuels innovation, creativity, and higher profitability.
However, currently, only one in three recruiters track the diversity of candidates. Diversity metrics like gender or ethnicity of candidates sourced, interviewed, or hired—are rarely used today. But 2024 will witness a change in this ratio.
According to research by Eagle Hill Consulting, fifty-three percent of U.S. workers say diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is a key factor when considering a company for employment. A company’s DEI efforts are substantially more important for younger workers, with Gen Z at 77 percent and Millennials at 63 percent.
Due to increased inclination of candidates towards diversity and inclusion, more and more companies are increasingly investing more in diversity and inclusion efforts. So, recruitment agencies will have to focus on deploying innovative candidate evaluation tools designed to eliminate bias in recruiting and hiring.
Employer branding is extremely important, and it will only become more so. It’s vital that you position yourself as a company that cares about its recruiters’ and other employees’ well-being and development. Even if you have a team of 3-4 people, it’s time to make it a priority; the potential recruiters in 2024 will expect their well-being to be a focus.
6. Data-Centric Recruiting
The use of data in recruiting is in no way a new concept. For a long time, recruiters have used data to help make decisions. But what’s evolving is the use of advanced technology to make hiring decisions more precise. This has led to a change in focus from grades or experience to the candidate’s overall personality.
Tactical metrics —like time to fill, candidates per hire, or offer acceptance rate—will still be important to track your recruiters’ immediate actions. However, future recruiting will revolve more around strategic metrics that measure the business outcomes of the team’s efforts—not just the actions they take. Developing a client’s talent strategy will be just as important as executing it.
7. Gen Z entering the workforce
Gen Zers are all set to enter the workforce in junior-level roles. The major drift they will bring into the recruitment business is – speed, they will expect everything to be virtual and fast-paced.
Outdated recruitment methods will be a major turn-off for them. So, recruitment and staffing agencies will have to gear up accordingly. Recruitment automation, mobile-optimized application processes, and candidate engagement at each and every step of the hiring stage will become a necessity.
8. Transformation of Recruiters into Business Leaders
“In the future, recruiters will look more and more like HR business partners.” Tristan Klotsch, Vice President of HR at Serrala.
As of now, Recruiters are considered order-takers. But, no more. In the coming time, recruiting will increasingly be recognized as a strategic role. Recruiting leaders and recruiters will be expected to bring a perspective, push back, and lead the way forward. That means aligning with the client’s business goals and advising clients on the best way to achieve them.
Recruiting will get more creative and complex as the most administrative and routine parts of work get automated. It will be less about execution and more about talent strategy. The recruiters will be responsible for anticipating hiring managers’ needs, solving their problems, and spotting opportunities for them.
9. Gig work and gig economy
The gig economy is expected to continue to grow in popularity, with more people seeking out flexible, project-based work. This will have implications for how companies approach recruitment and talent.
10. Pay Transparency
The gender pay gap has been a persistent issue despite equal pay legislation being in place for over 50 years. To combat this, pay transparency has become an increasingly important part of HR legislation, with new laws being introduced in many jurisdictions during 2022.
This trend is expected to continue into 2024 and beyond. Currently, several countries such as Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Iceland, Lithuania, the UK, and the US have already implemented pay transparency legislation or policies. Other governments, including the European Union (EU), are in the process of enacting similar measures.
A recent research report by Staffing Industry Analysts has identified nine different legislative measures related to pay transparency, including access to pay information, requiring employers to disclose individual pay information to employees, advertising salary information in job postings, prohibiting employers from requesting salary history, creating an independent body to provide equal pay certification, obliging enterprises to publish gender and pay information, regular audits on gender and pay, undertaking pay assessments, and promoting equal pay discussions during collective bargaining. As such, pay transparency is becoming an increasingly important issue for recruiters to pay attention to in order to comply with legislation and promote gender-neutral pay.
11. Fear of Recession
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the US declined in August, falling 0.4% to a reading of 105.4. August’s decrease follows a decline of 0.3% in July.
These numbers prompt us to evaluate the potential consequences for recruitment businesses:
- Reduced Hiring Demand: A contracting economy leads to a decrease in business expansion plans, resulting in lower demand for new hires.
- Hiring Freezes – Economic uncertainty may trigger hiring freezes as a short-term risk mitigation measure, limiting available job opportunities.
- Increased Talent Competition: A tighter hiring market intensifies competition for top talent. Recruitment firms must differentiate themselves to attract and retain skilled professionals.
But no worries, we have expert recommendations on how recruiters can tackle the recession like a pro. To read them, click here.
12. The Great Resignation Continues
A recent PwC survey indicates that the Great Resignation shows no signs of slowing down. As the cost of living rises, more workers are seeking better-paying jobs, with 26% planning to change jobs next year, up from 19% last year. This global trend poses significant implications for staffing and recruiting agencies.
As employees increasingly seek new opportunities, staffing and recruiting agencies will witness a surge in demand for their services. With a larger pool of job seekers, agencies will be crucial in connecting talented individuals with organizations looking to fill vacancies. Competition for skilled candidates will intensify, requiring agencies to refine their sourcing strategies and enhance their ability to match candidates with suitable positions.
The need for higher pay and improved work-life balance, highlighted by the survey, will compel staffing and recruiting agencies to collaborate closely with clients to understand their specific employee value proposition. By aligning job offerings with candidate expectations, agencies can attract top talent and retain a competitive edge in the evolving job market.
13. Preparing Workforce for Generative AI and Automation
In a recent IBM report based on a survey of 3,000 global C-suite executives, the transformative impact of generative AI and automation on the workforce emerges as a dominant theme. The report underscores that 40% of executives believe a significant portion of the global workforce (approximately 1.4 billion individuals) will require reskilling within the next three years. This highlights the increasing importance of reskilling programs as a strategic recruitment and talent development approach.
The report also notes that entry-level positions are already experiencing the effects of AI and automation, with 77% of executives acknowledging this impact. Consequently, businesses will likely adapt their recruitment strategies for entry-level roles, seeking candidates with a blend of technical and soft skills that facilitate effective collaboration with AI systems. Moreover, most executives (87%) envision AI as an augmentation tool rather than a replacement, emphasizing the need for recruitment strategies that identify candidates who can complement and enhance technology.
To prepare for this transformative landscape, IBM recommends a future-focused approach involving redesigning work processes, substantial investment in talent development alongside technology adoption, a skills-centric workforce strategy, and empowering employees to pursue meaningful and skill-enhancing tasks as automation becomes prevalent.
14. Shift from Candidate Driven Market to Employer-Employee Driven Market
The new trend in the US labor market reflects a paradigm shift in the employer-employee relationship. With surging demand for specific skill sets and high inflation rates, both workers and employers find themselves in a position of influence. Wage growth has surged, indicating increased bargaining power for employees. However, economic uncertainty and rising costs give employers leverage as well. In this evolving landscape, prioritizing retention has become paramount, with employers recognizing the importance of flexible work options, raises, bonuses, benefits, and training.
Engaging employees on a personal level is now a critical aspect of the employee experience, as only a fraction of workers are currently fully engaged in their roles. Moreover, fostering a harmonious corporate culture that values collaboration and communication is essential in this new dynamic, where both parties hold significant sway in shaping the work environment. By embracing these shifts, employers and employees can forge a stronger, mutually beneficial relationship that celebrates and rewards their contributions.
What will be new in recruitment for 2024?
2024 will be an era of proactive rather than reactive recruitment. Creating and managing talent pipelines even before job vacancies materialize will be a salient feature. Recruiters and employers, both will engage in skill-based candidate sourcing that they expect to be of need to the business in the future.
While recruiting businesses are facing plenty of uncertainty in 2023, these recruitment trends 2024 will help them hire the right talent to better capitalize on the opportunities presented to them by 2024. By focusing on proactive engagement, advanced screening, flexible workplaces, D&I, and data-centric recruiting, companies are working hard to gain and retain a competent workforce in the face of a general talent shortage.