The recruitment marketplace is set to undergo some significant changes in 2024, driven by a shift in working habits, the widespread adoption of new technologies, and an emphasis on environmental and social responsibility. So, what are the top recruitment trends we can expect to see in 2024?
1. Changes to Flexible Working
Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic, flexible and hybrid working models have seen a huge increase in popularity. We saw three years of an upward trend since the beginning of 2020, as hybrid working became the norm. However, according to the Timewise Flexible Jobs Index for 2023, the proportion of job adverts which offer flexible working appears to be stalling. The 2023 rate of 31% represents a negligible advance on 30% in 2022, indicating that perhaps the year-on-year increase has plateaued. Many major companies including Apple, Google and Meta are recalling employees to the office full-time.
The complexity of this situation will be compounded by the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023, which has been passed in parliament but has yet to come into effect. Employees will have the right to request flexible working from day one and can make two requests in any 12-month period. However, this does not make flexible working a right – the decision is still ultimately down to the employer. The future of flexible working seems to be at a critical juncture.
2. Technology will be Further Integrated into Recruitment Processes
Technology and automation can help massively to reduce recruiter workloads and help relieve pressure. New tools and evolving technologies are entering the recruitment space all the time, and 2024 will be no different. Of course, there’s no substitute for a talented recruitment team, but HR tech stacks can include solutions for chatbots, candidate screening, AI skills matching, video interviewing and much more! This can all help to streamline the recruitment process and help the recruiter focus on what they do best.
However, there is a growing distrust of AI. According to the ONS, 28% of UK adults believe that AI brings more risks than benefits, while 43% believe there are equal benefits and risks. Only 14% believed the benefits outweigh the risks. Will these fears slow the development and adoption of AI tools?
3. Focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) continues to be a focus for many employers and society at large. They are no longer only buzzwords, they are essential elements of forward-thinking and successful organisations. Research shows that companies that champion diversity and inclusion are more successful and innovative, and more attractive to customers, staff, and potential job applicants. McKinsey’s study (2018) showed that companies with ethnically diverse leadership are 33% more likely to outperform on profitability and 21% more likely to have above-average profitability with gender diverse leadership teams.
In hiring processes, companies should give priority to DE&I initiatives, such as using inclusive interviewing techniques and diverse placements. This trend aims not only to meet societal expectations but also to foster innovation and create a more robust and dynamic work environment.
4. Pay and contract transparency will increase
As candidates’ priorities and expectations change, there is a greater need for transparency throughout the recruitment process, especially when it comes to salaries. Job listings with no pay range may be overlooked by candidates who are searching for a role based on salary, and even for other candidates it may put them off applying if they feel the company lacks transparency in general. Most UK workers would be more likely to apply for a job if the pay is included in the job listing, especially as the rising cost of living forces more employees to reconsider their financial position. Including a pay range and stating that the exact salary will depend on experience, for example, allows a company to set expectations from the start while still leaving room for flexibility and negotiation.
Pay transparency can also help to eliminate discrepancies between candidates from different backgrounds and demographics who are equally qualified. This is a key consideration as diversity and inclusion come under the spotlight, and people are becoming more conscious of gender and ethnicity pay gaps. These considerations will only continue to grow, and so companies who are transparent about pay should have an easier time attracting talent in 2023.
5. Focus on upskilling and reskilling
According to Microsoft’s Future of Recruiting Report 2023, 74% of UK recruiting professionals say upskilling and reskilling employees will be an important factor shaping the future of recruiting over the next 5 years.
Over the last few years, we have seen a real shift in focus from employers. The focus today is less on qualifications and more on transferrable skills and experience. This is a refreshing trend for Diversity & Inclusion efforts, as members of underrepresented groups are less likely to have attended a higher education institution. Offering learning and development opportunities is critical for advancing Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace.
Not only is upskilling becoming a priority for employers, but also for jobseekers, who now rank advancement as the 4th highest priority when searching for new roles. Candidates are increasingly interested in more than just the role they are applying for - they want to see an integrated career development path that they can grow into.
It's clear that learning and development is a key pillar for securing a stronger future for any organisation.