Recruitment Trends to look for in 2024

2023 was a tough year for companies and job seekers alike, as a result of the residual impact from the pandemic, high inflation globally and the war in Ukraine, impacting energy costs. Many companies cut swathes of employees from their payroll and opportunities, especially in the marketing and advertising sectors opportunities were few and far between. Although we’re only into the first few weeks of the new year, there are signs that recruitment activity will increase, although there are still headwinds that could steer any recovery in the job market away.

At Future Work, we have spoken to clients and other specialists in the field of recruitment and talent acquisition and as a result have put together what we think will be the likely trends for recruitment in 2024. 

Working from Home

Hybrid working is here to stay. Any business that insists its employees work 5 days a week in an office will be competing with companies that are relaxed about hybrid working and will struggle to fill vacancies. We have seen a trend of companies moving away from 100% remote working and this approach, we believe, will continue to wane throughout 2024.

Employer Branding

An employer brand represents the reputation of a company as a place to work, encompassing its values, culture, and overall employee experience. We have written a longer blog on the importance of employer branding but in essence it involves crafting a narrative that resonates with current and potential employees, highlighting the unique aspects that set your company apart in the job market.

Potential employees, especially Gen Z, are very clear that they want to work with businesses with values. These could include elements such as sustainability, purpose, diversity and inclusion within the business, and the impact it has on the environment. Equally, career progression, training and development, salary and location also play an important part in the decision making, when candidates are deciding whether to accept an offer or not. It will be essential for businesses to consider how they represent themselves and create an employer brand that makes the organisation a place to work. For more details about employer branding check out our blog on how to build a strong employer brand.

Diversity, Equality and Inclusion

DE&I will continue to impact recruitment in 2024 and companies will continue to promote themselves as being cognisant of needing to be more inclusive. Equally, companies will continue to invest in elements in their businesses that will improve mental health, mindfulness, that can have a positive impact on productivity, and how the business is perceived by employees and potential employees alike. 

Artificial Intelligence

AI burst on to the scene at the end of 2022 and has been the ‘buzzword’ of industry ever since. We will see more benefits of AI this year and recruitment will be no different. Anyone looking to attract talent will use Generative AI to create Job Specs, crib sheets for interviews as well as CVs and covering letters, whereas Symbolic AI will be used to process applications and sift through data to handle response, send emails and potentially organise interviews. 2024 won’t be the year a machine decides who actually gets hired, although by 2030, it most likely will! 

Head of People vs. HR Director

Companies will increasingly move away from having Human Resources departments to “People Departments” who will take on more strategic roles in determining headcount based on the needs of the business and create job roles that fulfil these needs, as well as being responsible for the needs of a typical HR department, they will take charge of DE&I, Learning and Development, and organisational management as well as Talent Acquisition.

Permanent Hires

As the economic outlook improves, so companies will be willing to take on more employees, especially for new initiatives. In times of uncertainty, they would employ someone on an interim basis to fill what had been a full-time, permanent role. 2023 was a lean year for interims, but we anticipate that there will be more opportunities for them, as well as an improvement in the number of permanent vacancies compared to last year. 

In conclusion, despite the wars in Europe and the Middle East, a looming general election and interest rates still high after the pandemic, the prospects for recruitment will improve throughout the year as inflation, energy costs and interest rates begin to fall further.