Leap Into the New Year: Titus Talent’s Hiring Themes and Predictions for 2024 

January 3, 2024

Ashley Meyer

Ashley Meyer

Election years can be tricky, but we believe there are going to be some key hiring themes of notable interest in 2024. Dive in to learn more about the six hiring themes that we believe will define 2024.

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At the end of last year, we reviewed our 2023 predictions, assessing how accurate they were. We were pleased to see employer branding, data-driven hiring, and the candidate experience were correctly predicted. One surprise we saw, was that DE&I didn’t feature as strongly, and we should have guessed that the remote, hybrid, in-office conversation would continue to be top of mind. Who could forget, once ChatGPT entered the room, all eyes were suddenly on AI…  

2023 was a year marked by reactive shifts and survival-focused decision-making. Companies experienced mass layoffs, causing a flood of candidates to rush into the market. The steadily rising tide of inflation also saw candidates become more open to exploring new opportunities, so they could retain their current standard of living, albeit with the apprehension of wondering whether a move was a good idea. 2023 was a rocky and unstable year for many, but if economists are to be believed, “GDP growth and the pace of job gains are expected to remain positive, and inflation is expected to decline to around 2.5%” Kevin Kliesen, Business Economist and Research Officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis. 

So, what about 2024? Election years can be tricky, but we believe there are going to be some key themes of notable interest (if we are to believe AI who helped us compile this list, and who seems set on making sure it’s part of the conversation). Also, don’t forget that it’s a leap year this year, so that’s got to mean something, right? 

Here are six hiring themes that we believe will define 2024:  

  • The Rise and Refinement of AI in Hiring 
  • The Growing Importance and Focus on Skills-Based Hiring 
  • The Battle Between Remote and In-Office Work and Virtual Hiring 
  • The Deepening Importance of Employee Engagement and Retention 
  • The Potential Mass Exodus Brought About by Lack of Training and Development 
  • The Continued Importance of Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) 

The Rise and Refinement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Hiring

AI is being used to automate tasks such as screening resumes and scheduling interviews. This is freeing up recruiters to focus on more strategic tasks, such as building relationships with candidates and developing employer branding strategies.  

We recently read that “AI is only going to replace the recruiters who don’t adopt it.” AI as a tool used to increase efficiency and improve experience will continue to grow, and according to a study by Gartner, 70% of organizations will use AI for hiring by 2024.  

Indeed, they are saying that AI-powered hiring tools can reduce the time to hire by up to 50%.  

These are significant numbers that signify that the way we approach hiring are set to drastically change. Candidates will also be using AI to strengthen their resumes and research organizations. The importance of human connection has never been higher; some things simply can’t be automated.  

The Growing Importance of Skills-Based Hiring

Companies are increasingly looking for candidates with the skills they need, regardless of their academic background or experience. 2023 saw a widening of the skills gap, with many companies seeing it increase by 55%. According to a study by LinkedIn, 57% of hiring managers believe that skills are more important than experience. We would echo this sentiment as our advice to Partners is to look less at tenure and more at achievement.  

The Battle Between Remote vs. Office Working, and Virtual Hiring

Remote work and virtual hiring are becoming increasingly common, and companies who want to attract top talent need to be prepared to adapt their hiring practices accordingly. This is going to be one of the leading subjects of discussion this year. 

There are studies that challenge the productivity stats related to remote work, claiming that employees are less productive and available when working from home.   

However, this would be something of an anomaly. The common perception is that people are happier, more productive, and more engaged when working remotely, or in a hybrid environment. The bottom line is (depending on the role) that work-from-home/remote roles are simply more attractive. 

The stats:  

According to a study by Upwork, 57% of the U.S. workforce will be working remotely by 2024.  

A study by Gartner found that 82% of organizations have increased their use of virtual hiring since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

On average, those who work from home spend 10 minutes less a day being unproductive, work one more day a week, and are 47% more productive – Apollo Technical

The Importance of Employee Engagement and Retention:  

The cost of replacing an employee is high (as much, if not more than 30% of that person’s yearly salary), so the need for companies to continue their focus on employee engagement and retention remains essential. Strategies for succeeding at this include providing opportunities for growth and development, creating a positive work environment, and offering competitive compensation and benefits. 

Through the impact of an unstable economy (and the ripple effects as it settles) and the increase in candidates making moves, we expect to see more of a focus on survival-based hiring vs growth-based hiring. Retention will be at the top of the list for the majority of companies as the stakes in hiring new candidates are so high.  

The stats:  

According to a study by Gallup, 71% of employees are not engaged at work.  

A study by SHRM found that the cost of replacing an employee can be up to 21 times their annual salary.  

Lack of Training and Development Could Lead to a Mass Exodus:   

The pace of change in the workplace is accelerating, and companies need to ensure that their employees have the skills they need to succeed. With the widening skills gap, we will see highly skilled workers retire, which means a loss of information passed on.  

The desire for growth coupled with diversity of priorities from a generational level will continue to impact the workforce.   

Forbes predicts a dynamic shift in the market, claiming that 41% of employees are ready to walk out of their jobs due to lack of support, training, career pathing, and creative opportunities for growth are going to continue to rise.  

The stats:  

According to a study by LinkedIn, 57% of employees believe that their skills are not aligned with the demands of their jobs.  

A study by Deloitte found that companies that invest in employee training and development are 21% more likely to have a highly engaged workforce.  

The Continued Importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI):   

In 2023, the DEI conversation was somewhat quieted. The desire to build a diverse workforce was hindered by low candidate availability. We expect to see an increase in DEI initiatives, and the spill over from internal processes into outward strategies will grow. Companies are increasingly focused on DEI and using their hiring practices to create more diverse and inclusive workplaces.  

The stats:   

According to a study by McKinsey & Company, companies with a diverse workforce are 21% more likely to be profitable.  

A study by Glassdoor found that companies with a strong DEI commitment are 5 times more likely to be considered a top employer.   

Conclusion  

The hiring market is constantly evolving, and companies need to be prepared to adapt to change. To ensure success in 2024, it will be important to keep our eyes open to the fact we are dealing with people; living, breathing, unpredictable human beings with thoughts, feelings, fears, goals, and desires.  

With the development of AI tools helping to speed up results, the widening skills gap requiring additional learning and development opportunities, and the continued discussions surrounding remote vs in-office work, we are in for quite a year. Whatever happens from a circumstantial basis, we continue to hang our hats on a people-first philosophy. If you can understand what motivates a top performer, and you can present them with an opportunity that is superior to their current role, you’ll be on your way to attracting top talent. 

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