What Talent Acquisition Trends Will Dominate 2024?

With 2024 just around the corner, executive recruiters have already begun to look at what trends we are likely to see. Global talent solutions provider WilsonHCG details the top seven talent acquisition trends for this coming year.

December 8, 2023 – It’s been another busy year for talent acquisition leaders but what does 2024 have in store? Will AI continue to dominate? Will we see more organizations adopting skills-based hiring strategies and will there be more uncertainty? The answer is a resounding yes, according to a new report from Wilson Human Capital Group (WilsonHCG). The firm outlined the top seven talent acquisition trends for 2024 (in no particular order).

1. Navigating Uncertainty.

Navigating uncertainty is going to be somewhat of a certainty in 2024, according to the WilsonHCG report. “Yes, we know you were hoping to leave uncertainty behind, but as we get ever closer to the new year, it’s clear that uncertainty will be a key theme, again,” the study said. “Unfortunately, the economic fluctuations and escalating conflicts that were prevalent in 2023 show no sign of abating. The Russia-Ukraine war is still causing huge apprehension across the world, as is the Israel-Hamas war. Continued geopolitical tensions, high interest rates and inflation could trigger a global recession early next year. The uncertainty surrounding the economic outlook is weighing heavily on business leaders and talent acquisition leaders alike. One of the biggest fears among talent leaders is being left behind when the economy does lift. CFOs don’t want to spend money, but one thing remains certain – the right talent fuels business growth. Without it, businesses can’t succeed, but the uncertainty about what’s next is making it harder than ever for talent acquisition leaders to plan.”

WilsonHCG also notes that there’s a possibility the Great Resignation 2.0 could be on the cards (if this occurs, it will likely be the latter half of 2024). “While voluntary separations are at an all-time low, so, too, is worker satisfaction,” the report said. “There’s way too much uncertainty to predict what exactly will happen in 2024, but the Great Resignation 2.0 is a possibility that we can’t rule out. Navigating an uncertain future is going to continue to be a key theme (and challenge) for all talent leaders and CHROs in 2024.”

2. Revolutionizing Hiring with AI 

AI is expected to contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy in 2030, according to research from PwC. “We’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to the capabilities of AI, quite literally,” WilsonHCG said. “Although talent teams have long been using it to draft job descriptions, email replies and answer questions from candidates in real-time with chatbots, it can do way, way more than that. However, AI is not without its risks. For 2024, talent leaders must ensure their strategies are balanced and don’t underestimate the human element, while also ensuring AI usage adheres to regulation and upcoming legislation. In New York, for example, employers must show the AI they use is free of bias with annual bias audits. WilsonHCG explains that employers must let candidates know if they’ve used AI in the hiring process, too. Other states will likely introduce similar legislation next year, while the National AI Commission Act will be working on a comprehensive regulatory framework on AI in the U.S. 

3. Skills-Based Hiring  

Skills-based hiring has risen in popularity over the past year, and WilsonHCG expects this to continue in 2024 and beyond.

The number of job postings in the U.S. that didn’t mention qualifications such as academic degrees, certifications, or licensure has increased steadily over the past year, according to labor market intelligence from Claro. The percentage reached 41.6 percent in September 2023, up from 37 percent in November 2022. WilsonHCG expects this upward trend to rise further over the coming 12 months, as skills-based hiring can really help to plug skills gaps.

“Employers that focus more on skills and responsibilities rather than formal qualifications are already benefitting from a more diverse talent pipeline, the retention of existing staff members through internal mobility (and much more),” the report said. “The key to the success of skills-based hiring is ensuring the correct skills taxonomy sits within your talent framework for hiring.”

Claro chart showing the total U.S. job postings that don’t list qualifications between November 2022 and September 2023.

4. Hybrid Working 

“Return-to-office mandates were commonplace in 2023, and we think this trend will continue into 2024,” the WilsonHCG report said. “It’s worth noting that a large proportion of the companies that ordered employees back to the office did so on a hybrid basis, rather than a full-time basis. Companies get the best of both worlds with a hybrid working program, as they’re able to balance organizational success with the interests of their employees.”

Data from Claro shows a slight decrease in the percentage of fully remote job postings in the U.S. from November 2022 to September 2023. It peaked in November and December 2022, reaching 5.9 percent and reached a low of 4.8 percent in June and July 2023.

Related: Predicting 2024’s Talent Acquisition Trends

However, the consistent presence of remote job postings (around five percent) shows there’s a sustained demand for remote work opportunities. This aligns with research from FlexJobs which showed a staggering 97 percent of workers want some form of remote work. The survey revealed 65 percent of respondents reported wanting to work remotely full-time, while 32 percent wanted a hybrid work environment. Hybrid programs will continue to grow in popularity in 2024.

Claro chart showing the percentage of US remote and hybrid job postings between November 2022 and September 2023.

5. Prioritizing Learning and Development (L&D) 

Learning and development is not really a trend as such – it’s a necessity, according to the WilsonHCG report. “As a talent leader, you’ll already be well-versed in the benefits of comprehensive L&D programs, but as we head into another year of uncertainty (at least during the first half), it’s worth emphasizing the importance of close collaboration with your L&D team,” it said. “Strategic workforce planning data and the resulting skills forecasts are invaluable, but oftentimes, the info is not shared with learning and development teams. This is a huge miss as this data is needed to create L&D programs that are effective in developing the future skillsets organizations need.”

Related: Strategic Talent Acquisition Planning in 2024

Some 89 percent of learning and development professionals agree that proactively building employee skillsets for today and tomorrow will help navigate the evolving future of work, according to LinkedIn’s 2023 Workplace Learning Report. “Robust L&D programs help to boost retention, especially among high performers,” the WilsonHCG report said. “Using L&D to keep star performers engaged is also imperative when opportunities for career growth and promotion are limited. If they have the chance to develop their skillsets, they’ll be more likely to reward you with loyalty when economic uncertainty lifts as they’ll be able to move roles to progress rather than employers.”

6. Evolving Recruiter Duties  

The WilsonHCG report explains that the evolution of a recruiter’s role is going to be a huge trend next year and is something talent leaders must drive. The report says that recruiters have long had to think like marketers to attract talent and be able to articulate an organization’s EVP effectively, but now with generative AI, they also need to think like editors. “Drafting suitable prompts and being able to edit prompts effectively are key requirements of recruiters today,” WilsonHCG said. “After all, with generative AI, you only get out what you put in. Recruiters also must become adept at reviewing, editing and tailoring any AI-generated content to ensure accuracy, personalization and alignment with company voice and values.”

Predicting 2024’s Talent Acquisition Trends
No individual can see the future clearly. But when we blend the expert views of global talent leaders with comprehensive data, it becomes clearer. It’s this powerful combination of insights that fuels Korn Ferry’s annual talent acquisition trends report. Each year the search firm, which is the largest globally as ranked by Hunt Scanlon Media, lays out recruitment trends and talent trends you will be seeing in the coming year and offers advice on how to stay ahead of them. “In 2024, it’s your skills that count,” the Korn Ferry report said. “It’s a big win for diversity, equity and inclusion. And widening the talent pool will bring big advantages to organizations. With so many skills gaps to close, we expect businesses to focus on the skills they need to bring on and develop now.”

The report also notes that talent acquisition leaders must ensure AI training programs are fit for purpose. What does your program currently look like? Is it being updated regularly? We’ve already had several iterations of the most well-known large language models (GPT, BARD, LlaMA, Falcon and CLAUDE) and talent leaders must ensure training programs are revised regularly to keep up with the updates to platforms.

“Let’s not overlook the fact that talent acquisition is, and always will be a people business,” the report said. “Never has there been more demand for what’s needed to be a trusted advisor to stakeholders and hiring managers. Being digitally adept and using data to inform hiring strategies is a necessity but isn’t enough for successful talent acquisition. Empathy, strong listening skills, emotional intelligence and building trust remain key skills for talent acquisition professionals.”

7. Talent Intelligence 

The WilsonHCG explains that top talent leaders and CHROs have long understood the importance of talent intelligence. “It has quickly become a staple in talent acquisition for leaders wanting a strategic advantage in this highly competitive and ever-evolving talent landscape,” the report says. “With another uncertain period approaching and talent intelligence will become even more of a top priority, especially for those organizations that haven’t quite realized the benefits yet. Many talent leaders are evolving their data interrogation skills too. Partnering with data scientists/analysts to ensure the tools available to provide intelligent data insights are being used to their full capability is key when using data to lead people decisions.”

In summary, the WilsonHCG says that the rapidly evolving talent landscape presents both challenges and opportunities for talent leaders and CHROs. And despite the looming uncertainty, the ability to innovate will be the cornerstone of successful talent acquisition strategies in the year ahead.

Related: Why CEOs are Looking to Prepare Now for 2024

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media


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