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After a very challenging year for recruitment in 2023, more feathers are set to be ruffled in 2024.

Last year saw many lay-offs in the tech industry, the introduction of ChatGPT–as well as other forms of AI, remote working becoming the norm, and more businesses tapping into the global talent pool.

As the recruitment landscape continues to evolve, so too do the strategies and approaches organizations employ to attract, recruit, and retain top talent. Here, we'll delve into the latest trends shaping the world of talent acquisition.

From the continued impact of technology and data-driven recruitment methods to the evolving change in the skills market and the recession of the tech workforce, the talent acquisition landscape is undergoing significant change.

Let’s go over the top 10 talent acquisition trends shaping 2024.

1. An unprecedented amount of layoffs

After all the layoffs in 2023, 262,735 to be exact, the tech industry has shown no sign that this is slowing down. As of mid-February 2024, the number of layoffs in tech has reached just under 40,000 and at this rate, looks set to be higher than last year.

Experts have cited that this could be down to a variety of reasons: The over-hiring binge that happened during the pandemic, rising inflation, and lower demand among consumers. This unfortunate turn of events will trickle down to the supplier side too and the recruitment industry could face long periods of hiring droughts.

2. The continuous impact of AI

For what feels like an eternity, it’s hard to remember that ChatGPT has only been around for a year or so. Its impact has already caused dozens of tech companies to slash thousands of jobs. So far, AI and LLMs have barely hit their stride as Google and Microsoft continue to create new variations of their chat model and battle for the top spot, with the former recently coming out with “ChatGPT killer” Gemini.

As for the recruitment world: Recruiters are now able to automate a large chunk of their work using AI by creating screening questionnaires, personalized outreach emails, job descriptions, interview scheduling, resume analysis, and more.

Expect more advanced features in 2024 such as automated interviews with AI bots, conversation analysis, and AI candidate sourcing.

3. Skills-based hiring

Skills-based hiring is another common trend that will drive talent acquisition in 2024. The focus is shifting from degrees and certifications to skills and competencies. In 2023, 55% of companies said that they were dropping the bachelor’s degree requirements from their open job roles.

The trend will grow in 2024 as companies recognize the need to fill skills gaps in their workforce and create a more inclusive environment. Recruiters will have a bigger talent pool the more that this requirement becomes a bygone.

4. Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics is a type of data analytics that uses data to find patterns, uses those models to predict outcomes, and shows you what’s likely to happen based on historical data.

For recruiters, predictive analytics can help them analyze and predict many aspects of the recruitment process including finding out how long it will take to fill a role, analyzing resumes, applications, and other candidate data to identify patterns associated with successful hires, and identifying which candidates are likely to stay at an organization.

This trend is getting more popular in the hiring world and will grow in 2024. Most likely, ATS systems and CRMs will come equipped with predictive analytics; so you’ll need to collect as much data as possible during your recruitment process, format it correctly, and keep on top of it in your CRM/ATS to get the best predictions.

5. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) decline

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are structural frameworks within an organization that seeks to promote "the fair treatment and full participation of all people". Since its inception, many companies have adopted DEI initiatives as they look to make a more fair and diverse workplace. However, in the last 2 years, DEI has slowly declined.

In 2023, companies that were investing in DEI fell to 27%, down from 33% in 2022. That number is set to drop further to 20% in 2024 with many companies citing a lack of funding and a lack of commitment from leadership as being the source.

6. The recruitment marketplace

One talent acquisition trend that will take over in 2024 is recruitment referrals. Many companies are getting increasingly tired of having to manage multiple recruitment agencies in their recruitment process outsourcing (RPO)–managing several points of contact, keeping tabs on which candidate came from which agency, dealing with multiple terms of business, and having to repeat the brief over and over again feels a full-time job in itself, let alone the extortionate fees that agencies charge.

Luckily for them, there has been an emergence of bounty platforms which are recruitment marketplaces that allow companies to sign up, post a role, set the reward (bounty), and have vetted, and mostly freelance, recruiters refer a candidate from their network. Companies are able to fill the role faster, save time by not having to manage an RPO, and save a ton on agency fees. Expect this to keep breaking ground and disrupting the recruitment world.

7. Reskilling

Reskilling is the process of learning new skills or updating existing ones to adapt to changes in the workforce and meet the demands of evolving industries and technologies. It's becoming increasingly important as automation, artificial intelligence, and digital transformation reshape the job market.

Data from the World Economic Forum suggests that 50% of ‌employees in the workforce will need reskilling as ‌in-demand skills are changing across jobs. New and in-demand skills such as AI, Machine Learning, and Big Data are going to shape the workforce in the coming years and jobs in data entry, accounting, administration, and various entry-level jobs are going to be obsolete. More people will look to reskill themselves to keep up with the future workforce and more companies will invest in initiatives to reskill their existing employees.

8. More freelancers

Freelancers and the gig economy are on the rise. Studies show that 45% of people in the United States currently have a second freelance job or side hustle and that number is set to keep growing. With the rise of remote working and jobs that can be done online, more people are going freelance. The ability to work on a variety of projects, with more than one client simultaneously, and increase your income is an opportunity that many are finding hard to pass‌ up.

Over the next 4 years, the number of freelancers in the US is set to reach 90 million, so expect to see more employees leaving their jobs and going independent this year and companies open to employing someone on a freelance contractual basis. And with the emergence of recruitment marketplaces, expect to see many recruiters also leaving their jobs and going solo. 

9. Employee retention strategies

Losing an employee is hard for a business–a valuable member of your team will no longer work with you, someone leaving can be a bad look from a PR perspective, and the true costs of replacing a senior-level employee are now around 6-9 months of their annual salary. So for top positions, companies could be looking at a 6-figure sum. Businesses are now implementing more effective initiatives to keep their staff at bay. These include hybrid and remote working, async and compressed hours, courses for development, staff well-being policies, and more time off.

For recruiters, it’s pivotal to understand how a candidate will fit in, culturally, at an organization as companies will be more proactive in reducing employee attrition.

10. Recruitment marketing

Another talent acquisition trend that we’ll see more of in 2024 is recruitment marketing. With a large chunk of the recruitment process being automated and assisted by AI, recruiters are now having more time freed up to focus on building their personal brand and recruitment marketing. Recruitment marketing involves applying marketing principles and techniques to the recruitment process in order to effectively reach and connect with potential candidates and clients.

It isn’t enough to just send a business development email to win clients or to post a job description on LinkedIn to find candidates. Inbound strategies are more important than ever before with 28% of hiring managers saying that the most effective resources for finding candidates are through their online profiles.

With the ever-changing job market, recruitment is more competitive than ever before–there are fewer roles to fill at the moment and the skills and talent market is at a restructuring point. The deck is reshuffling. Be prepared to reshuffle your own deck of cards and get accustomed to the in-demand skills and jobs of the future as you’ll find a new wave of candidates and jobs that might not have existed in previous years.

By leveraging data-driven insights, focusing on building your personal brand, and embracing AI, you can position yourself for success in attracting the best candidates and accumulating more roles to fill.

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