Recruitment

Halfway Through 2024: The Most Impacting Recruitment Trends

What recruitment practices are dominating in 2024? Here are five key recruitment trends you must know to stay ahead and win talents.
Last updated on
June 11, 2024 8:00 AM
15
min read
recruitment-trends
Wendy Ng
Wendy Ng
Content Lead for Recruitment & Recruitment Technologies, FlexOS
A Recruitment Tool Content Lead with a devotion to people-centric practices and a passion to help people make hiring better and more enjoyable through insightful, research-driven guides.

It’s important to successfully fill roles when needed to ensure your company’s operations. 

But it’s more important to do it the right way, because “If you aren’t finding the best, brightest, and most aligned people to join your company, all the other management and business process work will fail,” said HR guru Josh Bersin.

The recruitment landscape is drastically transforming, making it difficult for many to keep up. 

Various factors, including economic shifts, shifting labor markets, and the disruptive influence of AI technologies, have collectively reshaped the way companies structure their talent programs, implement recruitment strategies, and connect with the right talents the company looks for.

At the very beginning of this year, we rounded up 11 Expert Predictions for Workplace Trends in 2024 that leaders should watch. As I keep observing the broader themes and surveil the recruitment field, here is my dedicated collection of 5 key trends for recruitment and talent acquisition for (the rest of) this year (and beyond):

Top Recruitment Trends in 2024 That You Should Care About

1. AI Assist 

AI tools are new additions to the recruitment toolkit.

They unlock many technologies to automate routine tasks even more and solve challenges spanning the whole recruitment process, such as candidate sourcing, recruitment marketing, candidate matching, interview intelligence, and predictive analytics.

Jennifer Shappley, VP of Talent at LinkedIn, adds

“The recruiting industry has been a fairly early adopter of using different AI tools, whether that be through chatbots or other ways to help improve the candidate experience and the overall efficiency of the recruiting process.”

This momentum won’t stop anytime soon as long as AI continues to evolve. As David Paffenholz, founder of an AI-enabled outbound recruiting tool PeopleGPT, shares in the interview with us:

"The potential of AI is anywhere where there's a lot of data available, be it structured or unstructured data. That's where AI can often have an outsized impact. And recruiting is a great example of that. There's huge amounts of talent data out there. A lot of it is unused. Some of it is structured. A lot of it is unstructured. And large language models provide us with the first real opportunity to use that data effectively." - David Paffenholz

In our "The World's 40 Most Popular HR AI Tools" report, the category of recruitment applications dominates, with 12.2 million visitors and 356,000 searches at the time of launch. 

Gartner’s Hype Cycle for HR Technology, 2024

Gartner’s Hype Cycle for HR Technology 2024 shows that AI in talent acquisition is moving towards the Slope of Enlightenment. This reflects growing adoption and proven benefits among companies, alongside continuous product enhancements by vendors.

Explore the best AI Recruiting Software to Level Up Hiring in 2024

Generative AI in recruitment is also a growing movement, but “not at the same level of applied maturity,” as Emi Chiba, Gartner HR Practice Principal Analyst, evaluates

Also at the recent Gartner ReimagineHR Conference London, Chiba predicted: “In 2024, we expect generative AI use to continue increasing, particularly to draft job descriptions, candidate communications, and even interview questions.”  

There is always a value in experiment with generative AI in your recruiting workflows now, like the way you can bring AI into daily work practices. By the time it becomes mainstream, you'll already be ahead, with a solid grasp on monitoring inputs, making informed judgements, and fine-tuning outcomes.

Check out our examples of Generative AI in HR, including recruitment, and GPTs (task-specific ChatGPT agents)

2. Hiring for Skills 

'Skills-based' has become a buzzword in recent years. Deloitte said it's “a new operating model for work and the workforce” to adapt to the evolving business environment and workplace expectations.

The model of skills-based organization by Deloitte.

Thus, the practice of hiring based on candidates’ skills and competencies rather than traditional credentials such as degrees, job histories, and job titles, or called ‘skills-first hiring,’ is on the rise.

A 2023 LinkedIn research shows that talent pools expand on average nearly 10x when using a skills-first approach. 

Talent pool size increase per industry with skills-first approach vs job title-only (LinkedIn Economic Graph).

Embracing the skills-first hiring strategies requires a team-up of the whole HR department, from TAs to People Ops and L&D, to proactively identify evolving skills, adapt to emerging workforce needs, and create a dynamic environment that supports ongoing talent development.

"I think if we're not creating environments specifically within the people function, we're not thinking about our strategy from a talent mobility and development standpoint, how we're identifying future skills, how we're identifying those skills that are expiring, how we're kind of identifying skills in people in different teams from a talent mobility standpoint. And so I think that becomes something that is a key part of what our role will be in HR as kind of both identifying what skills the business needs." - said Lars Schmidt, Founder of Amplify Talent and HR Community Leader

According to LinkedIn’s recent AI at Work Report, the skills required for many jobs have changed by 25% since 2015, and are anticipated to be up to at least 65% by 2030.

Aneesh Raman, VP and Head of The Opportunity Project at LinkedIn, comments:

"We know that jobs are changing on us even when we are not changing jobs. Twenty-five percent of skills have changed since 2015. By 2027, this number is expected to double. Systems will have to adapt to that."

Modern ATS software and recruitment CRM accelerate their products to help recruiters act more from the skills base. Some modern technologies are even built with a skills-based approach from the ground up, like Eightfold (workforce planning), Beamery (talent engagement), and Gloat (internal mobility), to complement your HR and recruitment tech stack. Josh Bersin said:

“These really dynamic issues are usually addressed by what we call talent intelligence, or it's now an AI platform that does things like identify every employee's skills, store vast amounts of data about the employee, including their history, where they worked, and what they've worked, and lots and lots of other things that are not stored in the core HR system. It also allows you to organize people into multiple teams.” - Josh Bersin

3. Internal Mobility

Due to a projected hiring slowdown and ongoing layoffs, 2024 was set to emphasize employee retention more than ever. 

Anne Fulton, CEO of an AI-driven talent marketplace platform Fuel50, said in her Forbes article:

“Employees have realized their worth, value, and desire to grow, and they are willing to leave if their employers aren’t offering their full support. To retain employees, leaders must embrace this power shift and listen to their people to ensure they are creating a positive work environment that fulfills employee needs.” - Anne Fulton, CEO of Fuel50

GoFIGR used Deloitte's cost of churn methodology to estimate that it costs companies $50,000 to $64,000 per regrettable leaver.

The concept of “the inside gig,” introduced by Edie Goldberg in her famous book of the same title, lets companies leverage all employees’ skills and experiences to unlock their full potential, help them grow and stay longer, and also solve recruiting headaches of filling newly-formed roles and projects.

“I think that we have a great opportunity to tap into the energy and enthusiasm of our employees to help them learn and grow by allowing people to work on different teams with different people. We simply learn and grow when we work with people who work differently from us. The idea of doing project-based assignments within a company or small internal gigs—what I call it—provides an opportunity where employees can work.” - Edie Goldberg

This trend aligns well with what I discussed earlier about skills-focused movements in hiring and AI as an enabler. Josh Bersin shares:

“We do all these big studies, and over the last couple of years, there's been this enormous interest in internal mobility inside companies. Filling jobs internally with internal candidates, moving people around, re-skilling people, and so forth. [...] Once we started to get the research back, we realized. This wasn't really just about internal hiring. This was about culture. This was about diversity, growth, development, and a sense of creativity in the company that allows it to redesign itself as needed.”
GoFIGR, a talent marketplace platform.

Internal talent marketplace platforms, like Gloat, Fuel50, Eightfold, and GoFIGR, have received more attention and gained significant traction in recent years. 

These AI-driven skills-based technology platforms help companies strategically (but effortlessly) allocate internal job opportunities, side projects, mentorship, and tailored learning resources that align with employees’ expertise and career aspirations.

4. Clarity on Flexibility

The pandemic is long gone, but its aftermath remains. As many experts have confirmed, the nature of work will not be back to what it was.

The swoosh trajectory of remote work is one of our key workplace predictions in 2024, and according to LinkedIn data, most recruiting professionals advocate for more flexibility policies to “yield a larger talent pool, more job applicants, and a better employer brand.”

However, there is a potential expectation gap in flexibility at work because of the long spectrum of hybrid remote work. And autonomy is not just where but also when to work, with proven data from our hybrid remote work survey last year.

The hybrid spectrum

I’ve read and heard many conversations about employees being excited about flexible working opportunities only to find that the reality falls short of those claims, leading to frustration and distrust for the “fake flexibility.”

Michael Page’s Talent Trend 2024 Report, which surveyed over 50,000 workers worldwide, highlights flexibility still being the top priority, but “job-hunters expect hybrid practices to be clearly outlined—these are prioritized in both job searches and when considering whether to stay in current roles.” 

To address this, it’s crucial for organizations to be explicit about the types of flexibility you offer, whether it’s remote work, flexible hours, or specific arrangements of hybrid work and hybrid work schedules

Try to establish your hybrid work policy (check out our free template) and showcase it in your EVPs. 

Example from remote-first company Docker. 

5. Refining Candidate Experience

None of the other trends matter if you fail the candidate engagement and leave them with poor candidate experience across the application journey.

Kevin Grossman, VP of Talent Acquisition and Candidate Experience Research at ERE Media, shares that “candidate expectations across the candidate journey (pre-application to onboarding) will seemingly continue to increase, although year after year, most candidates simply desire timely acknowledgment and closure.”

But even though improving the candidate experience is always on the recruiter’s agenda, “marginally delivering recruiting and hiring experience” will continue to drive candidate resentment.

Ultimately, this [poor recruiting experience] will continue to drive candidate resentment—the percentage of candidates who will no longer be willing to apply again, refer others, have any brand affinity, or make purchases from a company that’s consumer-based.” - Kevin Grossman, VP of Talent Acquisition and Candidate Experience Research at ERE Media
Top 5 recruitment priorities from over 100 companies across size and industry (Source: ERE Media)

Companies can gain a competitive edge with a better candidate experience through (1) streamlining and meaningful application processes, (2) consistent and transparent communication regardless of the outcome, and (3) thoughtfully using technology to enhance personal interactions. 

Quite opposite to what you might think, many AI-powered technologies are adopted to make recruitment connections more effective while being candidate-centric.

We had a chance to sit down for an interview with Amber Wanner, the founder of Vette, an AI-enabled applicant screening platform. The platform actually lets people interview when they want and allows them to be interviewed by someone who really understands them, so it feels more empathetic.

“We found after launching the platform that our vets are gig workers and they are our neighbors; they are stay-at-home moms, retirees, and military veterans. They also could be the company's existing employees. So we can get to that in a little bit, but it's a conversation. It's a scripted conversation that we're able to really just understand the applicant, what matters to them, and the data takes care of the rest. So it's a data-driven conversation led by a human essentially.”

And AI is only put at where it does best:

“We're taking those conversations, and we're summarizing the conversation. We're pulling out data from it. So really the vetter’s purpose is just to show this person that they matter to really just have that one voice on the other line, showing this person who maybe is scared that they may not get a job or it's giving them hope.
And so the better purpose is just to be that warm voice where the conversation we're pulling in data and information out of the conversation along the way. So we are using AI to summarize it. We're really big on words. So if someone's saying, I love or I'm passionate about, we can pull out what this person really enjoys doing and do sentiment analysis there as well.”

More than 70% of U.S. jobs are in the service sector, including healthcare, retail, entertainment, and transportation. Platforms like this are necessary to help companies engage, evaluate, and recruit frontline employees. 

And if you refer back to the Gartner Hype Cycle, the frontline worker employee experience technology sector is also on the rise, allowing companies to improve the experience of this underserved section.

The Bottom Line

As the recruitment landscape keeps shifting, I believe it is circling back to the core of what this profession is all about—a people-to-people business. 

All the practices that help you stay ahead in the talent competition (although being still stick to the business strategic requirements) boil down to how much you care about the unique human abilities, experiences, development, and growth of your talents. 

Technologies and AI can then augment your abilities and help you execute your people-first recruitment strategies in the way you design them, as confirmed by many HR tech founders and experts we spoke to. 

Do you feel the same?

It’s important to successfully fill roles when needed to ensure your company’s operations. 

But it’s more important to do it the right way, because “If you aren’t finding the best, brightest, and most aligned people to join your company, all the other management and business process work will fail,” said HR guru Josh Bersin.

The recruitment landscape is drastically transforming, making it difficult for many to keep up. 

Various factors, including economic shifts, shifting labor markets, and the disruptive influence of AI technologies, have collectively reshaped the way companies structure their talent programs, implement recruitment strategies, and connect with the right talents the company looks for.

At the very beginning of this year, we rounded up 11 Expert Predictions for Workplace Trends in 2024 that leaders should watch. As I keep observing the broader themes and surveil the recruitment field, here is my dedicated collection of 5 key trends for recruitment and talent acquisition for (the rest of) this year (and beyond):

Top Recruitment Trends in 2024 That You Should Care About

1. AI Assist 

AI tools are new additions to the recruitment toolkit.

They unlock many technologies to automate routine tasks even more and solve challenges spanning the whole recruitment process, such as candidate sourcing, recruitment marketing, candidate matching, interview intelligence, and predictive analytics.

Jennifer Shappley, VP of Talent at LinkedIn, adds

“The recruiting industry has been a fairly early adopter of using different AI tools, whether that be through chatbots or other ways to help improve the candidate experience and the overall efficiency of the recruiting process.”

This momentum won’t stop anytime soon as long as AI continues to evolve. As David Paffenholz, founder of an AI-enabled outbound recruiting tool PeopleGPT, shares in the interview with us:

"The potential of AI is anywhere where there's a lot of data available, be it structured or unstructured data. That's where AI can often have an outsized impact. And recruiting is a great example of that. There's huge amounts of talent data out there. A lot of it is unused. Some of it is structured. A lot of it is unstructured. And large language models provide us with the first real opportunity to use that data effectively." - David Paffenholz

In our "The World's 40 Most Popular HR AI Tools" report, the category of recruitment applications dominates, with 12.2 million visitors and 356,000 searches at the time of launch. 

Gartner’s Hype Cycle for HR Technology, 2024

Gartner’s Hype Cycle for HR Technology 2024 shows that AI in talent acquisition is moving towards the Slope of Enlightenment. This reflects growing adoption and proven benefits among companies, alongside continuous product enhancements by vendors.

Explore the best AI Recruiting Software to Level Up Hiring in 2024

Generative AI in recruitment is also a growing movement, but “not at the same level of applied maturity,” as Emi Chiba, Gartner HR Practice Principal Analyst, evaluates

Also at the recent Gartner ReimagineHR Conference London, Chiba predicted: “In 2024, we expect generative AI use to continue increasing, particularly to draft job descriptions, candidate communications, and even interview questions.”  

There is always a value in experiment with generative AI in your recruiting workflows now, like the way you can bring AI into daily work practices. By the time it becomes mainstream, you'll already be ahead, with a solid grasp on monitoring inputs, making informed judgements, and fine-tuning outcomes.

Check out our examples of Generative AI in HR, including recruitment, and GPTs (task-specific ChatGPT agents)

2. Hiring for Skills 

'Skills-based' has become a buzzword in recent years. Deloitte said it's “a new operating model for work and the workforce” to adapt to the evolving business environment and workplace expectations.

The model of skills-based organization by Deloitte.

Thus, the practice of hiring based on candidates’ skills and competencies rather than traditional credentials such as degrees, job histories, and job titles, or called ‘skills-first hiring,’ is on the rise.

A 2023 LinkedIn research shows that talent pools expand on average nearly 10x when using a skills-first approach. 

Talent pool size increase per industry with skills-first approach vs job title-only (LinkedIn Economic Graph).

Embracing the skills-first hiring strategies requires a team-up of the whole HR department, from TAs to People Ops and L&D, to proactively identify evolving skills, adapt to emerging workforce needs, and create a dynamic environment that supports ongoing talent development.

"I think if we're not creating environments specifically within the people function, we're not thinking about our strategy from a talent mobility and development standpoint, how we're identifying future skills, how we're identifying those skills that are expiring, how we're kind of identifying skills in people in different teams from a talent mobility standpoint. And so I think that becomes something that is a key part of what our role will be in HR as kind of both identifying what skills the business needs." - said Lars Schmidt, Founder of Amplify Talent and HR Community Leader

According to LinkedIn’s recent AI at Work Report, the skills required for many jobs have changed by 25% since 2015, and are anticipated to be up to at least 65% by 2030.

Aneesh Raman, VP and Head of The Opportunity Project at LinkedIn, comments:

"We know that jobs are changing on us even when we are not changing jobs. Twenty-five percent of skills have changed since 2015. By 2027, this number is expected to double. Systems will have to adapt to that."

Modern ATS software and recruitment CRM accelerate their products to help recruiters act more from the skills base. Some modern technologies are even built with a skills-based approach from the ground up, like Eightfold (workforce planning), Beamery (talent engagement), and Gloat (internal mobility), to complement your HR and recruitment tech stack. Josh Bersin said:

“These really dynamic issues are usually addressed by what we call talent intelligence, or it's now an AI platform that does things like identify every employee's skills, store vast amounts of data about the employee, including their history, where they worked, and what they've worked, and lots and lots of other things that are not stored in the core HR system. It also allows you to organize people into multiple teams.” - Josh Bersin

3. Internal Mobility

Due to a projected hiring slowdown and ongoing layoffs, 2024 was set to emphasize employee retention more than ever. 

Anne Fulton, CEO of an AI-driven talent marketplace platform Fuel50, said in her Forbes article:

“Employees have realized their worth, value, and desire to grow, and they are willing to leave if their employers aren’t offering their full support. To retain employees, leaders must embrace this power shift and listen to their people to ensure they are creating a positive work environment that fulfills employee needs.” - Anne Fulton, CEO of Fuel50

GoFIGR used Deloitte's cost of churn methodology to estimate that it costs companies $50,000 to $64,000 per regrettable leaver.

The concept of “the inside gig,” introduced by Edie Goldberg in her famous book of the same title, lets companies leverage all employees’ skills and experiences to unlock their full potential, help them grow and stay longer, and also solve recruiting headaches of filling newly-formed roles and projects.

“I think that we have a great opportunity to tap into the energy and enthusiasm of our employees to help them learn and grow by allowing people to work on different teams with different people. We simply learn and grow when we work with people who work differently from us. The idea of doing project-based assignments within a company or small internal gigs—what I call it—provides an opportunity where employees can work.” - Edie Goldberg

This trend aligns well with what I discussed earlier about skills-focused movements in hiring and AI as an enabler. Josh Bersin shares:

“We do all these big studies, and over the last couple of years, there's been this enormous interest in internal mobility inside companies. Filling jobs internally with internal candidates, moving people around, re-skilling people, and so forth. [...] Once we started to get the research back, we realized. This wasn't really just about internal hiring. This was about culture. This was about diversity, growth, development, and a sense of creativity in the company that allows it to redesign itself as needed.”
GoFIGR, a talent marketplace platform.

Internal talent marketplace platforms, like Gloat, Fuel50, Eightfold, and GoFIGR, have received more attention and gained significant traction in recent years. 

These AI-driven skills-based technology platforms help companies strategically (but effortlessly) allocate internal job opportunities, side projects, mentorship, and tailored learning resources that align with employees’ expertise and career aspirations.

4. Clarity on Flexibility

The pandemic is long gone, but its aftermath remains. As many experts have confirmed, the nature of work will not be back to what it was.

The swoosh trajectory of remote work is one of our key workplace predictions in 2024, and according to LinkedIn data, most recruiting professionals advocate for more flexibility policies to “yield a larger talent pool, more job applicants, and a better employer brand.”

However, there is a potential expectation gap in flexibility at work because of the long spectrum of hybrid remote work. And autonomy is not just where but also when to work, with proven data from our hybrid remote work survey last year.

The hybrid spectrum

I’ve read and heard many conversations about employees being excited about flexible working opportunities only to find that the reality falls short of those claims, leading to frustration and distrust for the “fake flexibility.”

Michael Page’s Talent Trend 2024 Report, which surveyed over 50,000 workers worldwide, highlights flexibility still being the top priority, but “job-hunters expect hybrid practices to be clearly outlined—these are prioritized in both job searches and when considering whether to stay in current roles.” 

To address this, it’s crucial for organizations to be explicit about the types of flexibility you offer, whether it’s remote work, flexible hours, or specific arrangements of hybrid work and hybrid work schedules

Try to establish your hybrid work policy (check out our free template) and showcase it in your EVPs. 

Example from remote-first company Docker. 

5. Refining Candidate Experience

None of the other trends matter if you fail the candidate engagement and leave them with poor candidate experience across the application journey.

Kevin Grossman, VP of Talent Acquisition and Candidate Experience Research at ERE Media, shares that “candidate expectations across the candidate journey (pre-application to onboarding) will seemingly continue to increase, although year after year, most candidates simply desire timely acknowledgment and closure.”

But even though improving the candidate experience is always on the recruiter’s agenda, “marginally delivering recruiting and hiring experience” will continue to drive candidate resentment.

Ultimately, this [poor recruiting experience] will continue to drive candidate resentment—the percentage of candidates who will no longer be willing to apply again, refer others, have any brand affinity, or make purchases from a company that’s consumer-based.” - Kevin Grossman, VP of Talent Acquisition and Candidate Experience Research at ERE Media
Top 5 recruitment priorities from over 100 companies across size and industry (Source: ERE Media)

Companies can gain a competitive edge with a better candidate experience through (1) streamlining and meaningful application processes, (2) consistent and transparent communication regardless of the outcome, and (3) thoughtfully using technology to enhance personal interactions. 

Quite opposite to what you might think, many AI-powered technologies are adopted to make recruitment connections more effective while being candidate-centric.

We had a chance to sit down for an interview with Amber Wanner, the founder of Vette, an AI-enabled applicant screening platform. The platform actually lets people interview when they want and allows them to be interviewed by someone who really understands them, so it feels more empathetic.

“We found after launching the platform that our vets are gig workers and they are our neighbors; they are stay-at-home moms, retirees, and military veterans. They also could be the company's existing employees. So we can get to that in a little bit, but it's a conversation. It's a scripted conversation that we're able to really just understand the applicant, what matters to them, and the data takes care of the rest. So it's a data-driven conversation led by a human essentially.”

And AI is only put at where it does best:

“We're taking those conversations, and we're summarizing the conversation. We're pulling out data from it. So really the vetter’s purpose is just to show this person that they matter to really just have that one voice on the other line, showing this person who maybe is scared that they may not get a job or it's giving them hope.
And so the better purpose is just to be that warm voice where the conversation we're pulling in data and information out of the conversation along the way. So we are using AI to summarize it. We're really big on words. So if someone's saying, I love or I'm passionate about, we can pull out what this person really enjoys doing and do sentiment analysis there as well.”

More than 70% of U.S. jobs are in the service sector, including healthcare, retail, entertainment, and transportation. Platforms like this are necessary to help companies engage, evaluate, and recruit frontline employees. 

And if you refer back to the Gartner Hype Cycle, the frontline worker employee experience technology sector is also on the rise, allowing companies to improve the experience of this underserved section.

The Bottom Line

As the recruitment landscape keeps shifting, I believe it is circling back to the core of what this profession is all about—a people-to-people business. 

All the practices that help you stay ahead in the talent competition (although being still stick to the business strategic requirements) boil down to how much you care about the unique human abilities, experiences, development, and growth of your talents. 

Technologies and AI can then augment your abilities and help you execute your people-first recruitment strategies in the way you design them, as confirmed by many HR tech founders and experts we spoke to. 

Do you feel the same?

FlexOS | Future Work

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Recruitment

Recruitment remains the pivotal HR function, but is being transformed significantly by AI, remote work, and skills-based demands. Here's how recruitment could and should look like in 2024.