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03.11.2023 News & insights

2024 recruitment trends that will impact your work next year

2024 recruitment trends that will impact your work next year

Chances are, you're working hard to wrap up this year while busily budgeting for the next. And, if you're like us here at JOIN (based in Europe), you've sadly said goodbye to Summer by now.

But on the bright side, it also means it’s time to look ahead at what recruitment trends are on the horizon.

Are we able to perfectly predict every change that will come your way in 2024? Probably not.

What we can do for you is make reasonable assumptions based on the shifting hiring needs and priorities of over 80,000 companies worldwide using JOIN’s free recruitment software.

Plus, we spoke to Girish Rohra, Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist, to get his insights on what trends will likely impact the way we recruit and hire job seekers.

So let’s delve into the expected recruitment trends for 2024. And to include a healthy dose of reflection and self-criticism, we’ll start by fact-checking how we actually did with last year’s recruiting trend predictions…

Looking back: 2023 in retrospect

A year ago, at the end of 2022, we had a go at predicting what we believed would be the recruiting trends to shape our industry in the coming year. Now the year draws to a close, let’s start our 2024 outlook article by reassessing our past year’s expectations.

How did we do?

You can find the full list of predictions in our original article about the future of recruiting in 2023.

So, before we dive into the recruitment trends for 2024, let’s quickly look back at the trends we expected to dominate this year’s recruitment landscape:

Growing importance of AI and automation

We can all agree that the buzz around artificial intelligence (AI) has been, well, “intense” this year…

No matter what niche or field you work in. Chances are you still heard someone hail the latest, mind-boggling new use case of AI on a weekly basis. But what has been the actual impact on the work of recruiters so far?

Specifically, did it change the way we recruit and the actual talent we recruit?

Yes, AI is taking the digital world by storm, and recruiters, too, have started adopting it in their processes. From AI-powered job ad builders to helping us craft rejection emails more quickly, we’ve definitely been getting help from AI to automate aspects of our work.

But it’s not (yet) a complete seismic shift. Many recruiters still spend a lot of time screening resumes, interviewing candidates, and manually filling out hiring scorecards.

And in terms of the talent we recruit, we see similar patterns. Yes, some roles have changed, and the definition of “qualified candidates” might no longer be the same. But no, AI and automation haven’t replaced entire industries.

So did AI and automation grow in importance? Yes. And we predict it will next year as well.

Did you know we released an AI-powered Smart Job Ad Builder ourselves? Watch the quick tutorial below or directly sign up for free to try it out for yourself!

Shortages require a broadened search

The 2022 backstory that made us predict this as a recruiting trend was twofold:

  1. Growing skills gap
  2. Global labour shortages

We expected that both these points would still impact the global workforce throughout 2023. And we were, sadly, correct.

For example, although the year isn’t over yet, labour shortages remained high across the European Union during Q1 and Q2 of 2023, with the Netherlands topping the list with a 4.7% job vacancy rate.

As Statista research phrases it:

The labor market in Europe in 2023 is the tightest it has been since the financial crisis of 2008.

Which means recruiters may have to tap into new sources other than the usual suspects such as LinkedIn, Indeed, or Google for Jobs. And here at JOIN, we’ve noticed that need. One of the reasons you can, for a few months now, use our tool to easily promote your job ads on TikTok, helping you connect with more (generally younger) talent.

So yes, shortages (and the ongoing fight for talent) are unfortunately still real.

Hybrid is the new normal

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed most workers into home office, making remote working working the new normal. Quickly, this remote revolution was hailed as the future of work. But soon enough, we saw the Great Return as the employers’ attempt to draw employees back in.

So when we asked ourselves last year, what is the future of talent acquisition, we predicted the working world wouldn’t accept a full return to in-office work. But as it turns out, remote work wasn’t the solution either. A hybrid, flexible model would become the golden standard for most.

Now has the workforce reached that perfect balance? Definitely not. But it does still seem to be headed towards a consensus in that direction.

So was our prediction correct? Partially yes, though we’re not fully there (yet).

Employer branding as the key to success

The combination of employee shortages and increased calls for hybrid flexibility? An increased importance of employer branding. More than ever, you needed to showcase why your company is better than others. Period.

You can check our Glossary for a refresher on employer branding definition.

Now, although we do think this is indeed an important topic, we must be realistic here as well. Our prediction implies businesses had the time and – most importantly – resources to focus on this employer branding.

But in reality, many companies out there have been struggling with financial uncertainties, frugal investors, and a general call to be as lean as possible. And in such a climate, employer branding is generally not on the top of our to-do list.

So were we right? In this case, not that much.

Emphasise DEI

Again, with the market being so tough to attract top talent, areas that were often seen as secondary or “nice to have” for companies grew in importance. To still get candidates for your job openings, you needed to double down on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts.

At least, that was our prediction. But similar to the part of employer branding, this sadly turned into a budget and business priority thing. This topic has often been seen as a nice to have, and with shaking economies and labour sourcing struggles, for many employers, the topic stayed just that.

In many cases, hiring managers were simply happy to find quality candidates, regardless of whether that person fit into DEI-inspired hiring aspirations.

Unfortunately, again, not that right (yet).

Be more adaptable than ever

Ending our 2022 predictions on a high – because this one was definitely true! The changes we’ve seen this year, and keep on seeing, are honestly mind-boggling.

We already mentioned the growing importance of artificial intelligence and the effect it has had on the work of recruiters. For a more detailed take, also see our article: How does AI work in recruitment?

We also highlighted the labour market tightening and economies trembling. And just when we thought the worst was over after the pandemic cooled down, in came a host of new issues, with two horrible wars – first in Ukraine, now also in Gaza – shaking the world.

With so much happening all around, adaptability and resilience were most definitely key skills to master in 2023. So that’s another plus for our predictions.

Next up, let’s dive into what the year ahead might hold for us…

A crystal ball lying in the sand as a representation to predict hiring trends
Photo by Nicole Avagliano on Unsplash

Although we don’t have a crystal ball that tells us the future, we do have insights into the hiring activity and job postings of thousands of companies across the globe.

Plus, we had Girish Rohra, JOIN’s very own Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist, share his hands-on knowledge to carefully curate the list below.

1. Pay transparency

Pay transparency is rapidly gaining traction in the recruitment realm, partially thanks to legislative pushes like the Pay Transparency Directive by the European Parliament. Under this directive (adopted on 24 April 2023), EU companies are required to share information on salaries and take action if the gender pay gap at their company is larger than 5%.

They will have to inform job seekers either about the starting salary for the position or provide a pay range. This information needs to be shared in the job ad or ahead of the job interview.

Although companies will have up to three years to implement the required changes, Girish expects the topic to be high on the agenda of recruiters and HR professionals in 2024.

In the era of empowerment, we’ve seen applicants and existing employees become more vocal at demanding pay transparency over the past few years already. With the new EU legislation, and similar initiatives in other parts of the world, this demand will only grow further. It’s our job as HR professionals to not avoid the topic but rather pro-actively improve pay transparency now rather than later. Let’s embrace CHANGE together!

Girish Rohra, Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist at JOIN.

This trend will surely change your hiring process, making job talks more open and pushing companies to share the pay they’re offering. This lets job hunters make better-informed choices when they’re looking at job offers, which will also positively impact their candidate experience when applying for a job at your business.

But being clear about what everyone gets paid isn’t just about following the rules; it’s about creating a job market that’s fair and equal for everyone. When companies go for pay that’s fair across the board, they’re not just sticking to the law – they’re also earning the trust of current employees and the people they might recruit in the future.

And that brings us to number 2 on our list of recruiting trends in 2024.

2. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)

Wait, wasn’t this one of the predictions from last year that we just confirmed didn’t really come true?

Yes.

So why add it again for next year?

Because based on the information we have right now about the state of the labour market and the workforce, logic (again) suggests this will be one of the talent acquisition and employment trends in 2024.

For example, more Gen Z’ers will enter the labour market. Depending on the country you’re in (in the US, the projection is 23%), Generation Z might constitute a quarter of all employees next year.

And although we don’t want to blatantly group people within an age range together as being a unified entity, there are certain characteristics that will affect the way we recruit and manage companies.

For example, we might have to start adopting different recruitment channels (hello, TikTok). But this is also a generation that strongly believes in and is willing to take a stand for topics around DEI and making the workplace fair and inclusive for everyone. As recruiters and employers, we have to be mindful of this change and adapt ourselves where needed.

Furthermore, recent signs might suggest that the labour market is slowly softening again. We earlier shared the EU job vacancy rate and how it had unfortunately still been a tight market this year. But, a small silver lining here is that it does appear we passed the peak and a (slow) downward trend has now set in.

Assuming this trend will keep going, we might see a much looser labour market in 2024. This, in turn, will mean recruiters have a larger talent pool to pick from. And this opens the door for setting DEI hiring goals.

So that’s why we readded this as one of the talent acquisition trends we expect for the year to come.

Towards more unbiased hiring

At JOIN, we constantly release new features that help you reduce hiring bias and find and attract the best talent that reflects society’s diversity.

Our new Candidate Assessments feature, for example, helps reduce bias by allowing you to assess candidates more fairly. Curious?

Browse our in-app library of 700+ tests and assessments to find out for yourself!

Try JOIN now – it’s free

Candidate assessments screenshot
Screenshot of our Assessments feature – available in your JOIN dashboard

3. Employer branding

And speaking of re-adding… We’ll keep this one short, because much the same logic applies as to our previous point. After all, DEI and employer branding are strongly tied to each other.

Opposed to the survival mode a lot of companies have been in for the past years, we are optimistic that 2024 will be brighter. And that means HR teams will have some more time and resources again to focus on building a powerful employer brand.

Want to learn more? Then check out our in-depth guide to employer branding.

4. Shift from a candidate-driven market to an employer-driven market

Widespread labour shortages meant that recruiters and employers had to accept that candidates were driving the market. Job seekers had the leverage to ask for more, as companies struggled to fill positions.

Next year, we’re likely to see this change. One of the predicted recruiting trends for 2024 is that the market will shift from being a candidate-driven market to an employer-driven market.

How will this impact your work?

Once again, recruiters and hiring managers will have the leverage not to make compromises. And the better we use this to our advantage, the better the teams we will build.

When hiring for a role, carefully think of what the best-qualified candidate looks like. Express this in your job ads and ensure your new hire fits the bill best.

5. Further automation and AI adoption in recruitment

Recruitment in 2024 is growing smarter and more efficient, thanks to recruiting automation and the advancements in AI.

As mentioned above, when looking back at last year’s predictions, we’ve seen a lot of buzz around AI this year. And although our work as recruiters hasn’t completely turned onto its head quite yet, there have been changes to the way we work.

We expect the year to come will only see us adopt automation and AI in even more tasks and parts of our jobs.

On top of speeding up our processes, this will likely also make recruitment a much more data-centric process.

Organisations will leverage AI and big data to make smarter hiring decisions. Metrics such as cost of vacancy and cost per hire will all be measured more meticulously, helping companies hire faster and find better candidates while being better at accurately forecasting the required budget.

6. Transformation of recruiters into business leaders

In the upcoming year, a significant trend poised to reshape the recruitment industry is the transformation of recruiters into business leaders.

Recruiters are no longer just sourcing and placing talent. Instead, recruiters will function as strategic partners with a deep understanding of the broader business landscape. The recruiters of tomorrow are expected to be on top of market dynamics, competitive positioning, and industry-specific challenges.

They will play a pivotal role in shaping the workforce, not just by filling positions but by proactively identifying the skills and roles that will drive business success in an ever-changing economy.

As business leaders, recruiters will need to be great at data analytics to predict talent trends, advise on workforce planning, and contribute directly to the business’s growth strategy.

Getting ready for what’s to come

The recruitment landscape will likely evolve in 2024. Although nobody knows exactly what will happen, the 6 recruiting trends mentioned above are likely to shape the year to come.

By embracing these trends, recruiters can position themselves as strategic drivers to foster healthy business growth. Need more inspiration on how to upskill yourself to meet the needs of the recruitment trends in 2024?

Then how about going through our list of talent acquisition strategies, find out more about building a talent pipeline, or fresh up again on the basics of how to hire an employee.

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