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Analysts unpack key recruiting trends that will impact TA in 2024

October 9, 2023
6 min read

When talent acquisition innovators gathered for iCIMS’ fourth-annual INSPIRE conference this summer, attendees discussed the challenges that define the TA profession. Among the participants were analysts who brought deep knowledge about the ideas, techniques and technologies transforming TA now, and those that will shape it in the future.

iCIMS sat down with several of these analysts to discuss the current issues they see defining TA and the challenges they foresee for 2024. Read on to discover the trends you’re likely to encounter next year and ideas for how you might prepare for them.


#1 recruiting trend: TA tech will elevate the candidate experience

Emerging employment laws may prompt companies to prioritize candidates, but they won’t give them the tools to do so. According to Elaine Orler, managing director of consulting at Cielo, employers can start by addressing a three decade-old challenge: Striking the balance between the talent they need and the talent that’s available.

Employers can begin to find this balance by thinking about the necessities: What jobs does the organization need? What tasks do these jobs accomplish? What skills do these jobs require?

From there, employers must personalize the candidate experience. “It’s not just a dry experience anymore,” Orler said. It’s not slow, either: According to the iCIMS Class of 2023 Report, 64% of US college seniors expect the entire process, from application to job offer, to take 3 weeks — about half the actual time (6 weeks).

That’s where technology comes into play, Orler said. “We’re continuing to find ways for technology to enable us to do our jobs better, not replace us, the way a lot of the market noise seems to project,” she said. “We’re able to actually improve the conversation, improve the relationship and make those actual acquisitions and those hires more successful.”

Recruitment marketing automation tools, for example, can create and schedule email campaigns and track campaign effectiveness based on opens, clicks and applications. By sharing career opportunities, highlighting networking events and distributing company information, recruiters can uncover engaged job seekers and cultivate go-to talent pools.

Take action: Tap recruitment marketing automation tools to nurture talent at scale.


#2 recruiting trend: Persistent skills gaps will cost businesses

Not a new trend, but a persistent one. A growing skills shortage will motivate employers to boost recruiting, according to Gina Smith, PhD, research director of IT Skills at IDC.

“I’ve been in technology for 30 years, and there’s always been a skills shortage,” she said. “But now because of the pandemic, inflation, the recession, and resignation rates, it’s worse than ever. And it’s bound to get a lot worse.”

IDC projects that by 2025, IT skills shortages will affect 90% of companies worldwide, costing organizations more than $6 trillion in missed revenue goals, lost competitiveness, and quality issues.

To combat skills gaps, companies need to ensure they have buy-in from the C-suite when it comes to learning and training initiatives, Smith said. Next, companies need to pinpoint their gaps — the places where the skills they need and the skills their workers have are misaligned. Employers should assess their workforce for tech skills, human skills and business skills. Workers’ capacity for creativity is as important as their ability to code.

These efforts will safeguard employers from the costs of outsized skills gaps. They’ll also improve organizational health: Skills-based growth cultures drive employee satisfaction and retention. In fact, a lack of learning opportunities drives dissatisfaction in about 40% of workers. When employers offer robust learning opportunities, they not only protect themselves from skills gaps, but they also set the stage for employee success and worker satisfaction.

Take action: Conduct skills assessments of current and incoming employees.


#3 recruiting trend: Emerging laws will prompt better candidate relationships

Analysts at INSPIRE pointed out that employers have seen an uptick in worker-friendly labor laws in the last few years, with statutes demanding greater pay transparency chief among them. Companies operating in states like California, Illinois and Rhode Island, for instance, must include salary information when posting job opportunities. And outside the states and localities where pay transparency is law, many companies are adopting transparent pay practices.

This rising tide of pay transparency statutes and other worker-friendly labor laws need not intimidate employers. These laws are intended to ensure that businesses are treating candidates and current employees fairly. Or as one analyst puts it: “As long as you keep that as your north star, then usually you’re going to be able to be compliant.”

Employers adopting transparent pay practices see benefits beyond compliance. These practices support recruiting, for example, by attracting job seekers, many of whom expect to see job posts include a salary range. In fact, 43% of entry-level applicants would not apply for a job if the salary range wasn’t included on a job post, according to iCIMS’ Class of 2023 Report.

Transparent pay practices do more for recruitment than draw applicants. Pay transparency builds trust between candidates and companies early on. By prompting companies to be clear about compensation from the beginning, pay transparency laws and efforts align employer and candidate expectations from the get-go. These practices also give candidates a taste of company culture: Applicants see how organizations value their workers in how they approach compensation.

Take action: To stay compliant and keep up with candidate expectations, employers need to understand what pay transparency laws demand and adjust their practices accordingly.


#4 recruiting trend: Turnover will frustrate recruiting

Analysts warn that even as TA specialists work to elevate the candidate experience, high turnover may threaten their progress. High quit rates rush recruiting and put pressure on TA as current employees become overworked and productivity and output falls.

These analysts suggest that TA broaden their focus from hiring quality to hiring quality people who are going to stick around for the long term. That’s no easy feat, given that recruiters are, in some cases, already working with limited talent pools for the roles they’re trying to fill.

To boost retention, analysts say companies should focus on things that entice workers to stay. One of the most effective methods to quell attrition is to provide employees new opportunities in house — before they look elsewhere. When organizations establish a strong culture of internal mobility, they bolster employee engagement, improve company culture and strengthen institutional knowledge.

Despite these benefits, employers with strong internal mobility programs are somewhat uncommon. According to iCIMS’ 2023 Workforce Report, 58% of workers find it difficult to find internal roles they’re interested in. And fewer than 30% believe that if they work hard and apply skills effectively in their current job, they will be promoted to a better job with a higher-ranking title at their company.

Of course, internal hiring still leaves TA backfilling roles. But this challenge has a silver lining: A robust internal mobility program creates upward movement among employees. This momentum provides experienced, familiar candidates for more advanced roles and leaves lower-level positions, which are easier and less expensive to fill, open to external candidates.

Take action: Employers can begin to establish an internal mobility program by building out an internal career page.


Stay on top of recruiting trends with iCIMS

You’ve what analysts say are some of the pressing trends set to impact employers most in 2024. Which trend gets your attention the most? And what do you plan to do about it?

Learn more about how to future-proof your talent acquisition with our TA transformation playbook.

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About the author

Alex Oliver

Alex is well-versed in content and digital marketing. He blends a passion for sharp, persuasive copy with creating intuitive user experiences on the web. A natural storyteller, Alex highlights customer successes and amplifies their best practices.

Alex earned his bachelor’s degree at Fairleigh Dickinson University before pursuing his master’s at Montclair State University. When not at work, Alex enjoys hiking, studying history and homebrewing beer.

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