Talent Acquisition Trends for 2024: What to Know

Talent Acquisition Trends for 2024: What to Know
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Between The Great Resignation, economic fluctuations, and emerging technology, HR and talent acquisition leaders have had to navigate significant changes in recent years. Staying informed about the latest trends and disruptors in the talent space and job market can help leaders streamline recruitment processes, build effective workforces, and be better prepared to adapt to shifting business priorities.

Learn about the latest hiring trends and how you can key advantages and shifts to maximize the outcomes of your talent acquisition strategy.

Top talent acquisition trends for 2024 include:

Technological advancements in recruitment

Technological advancements are reshaping the future of recruitment and talent acquisition. The latest technology solutions offer many benefits, including increased hiring efficiency, minimized bias, and an improved candidate experience.

Talent acquisition and business leaders recognize these benefits and are increasingly embracing technology. According to a survey from Jobvite, among talent teams surveyed that plan to increase their recruitment spend in 2024, 50% will increase recruitment technology budgets. Among those investing in more technology, 59% of the budget increase will come from artificial intelligence (AI)-powered recruiting tools.  

Examples of technology solutions seeing increased adoption include:

  • AI-enabled chatbots. Some companies are adding AI-enabled chatbots or virtual assistants to their career pages to drive candidate engagement. Chatbots can provide real-time answers to frequently asked questions, guide job seekers to open roles that align with their skills and experience, and initiate the hiring process as soon as individuals apply.
  • Machine learning-powered resume parsing tools. Many applicant tracking systems (ATS) and related technology solutions leverage machine learning capabilities for candidate screening automation by identifying resume keywords that match job descriptions and requirements. These tools also often include features to send automated emails to candidates letting them know whether or not they’re moving forward with the hiring process. This helps speed up the screening stage and enables recruitment and talent acquisition teams to dedicate their time to top talent.
  • Automated video analysis software. Organizations are also embracing AI-powered hiring technology to analyze video interviews. In some cases, this technology is used to provide summaries and key takeaways from interviews with the hiring team. In other instances, candidates may complete one-way video interviews with a preset list of questions for initial screening and the video analysis algorithm evaluates the responses to predict each candidate’s likelihood of success.

While technology can drive efficiencies in the talent acquisition process, human input and expertise remain essential to hiring. Members of your HR, talent acquisition, or recruitment team should always review and connect with top candidates, along with making final hiring decisions.

The role of data analytics in hiring

Leveraging the latest technology can also enable your organization to tap into data analytics to better understand what’s working and what’s not with your talent acquisition strategy. A survey conducted by Findem and KarmaCheck featuring more than 300 HR leaders found that 95% of respondents use technology to track recruitment and talent acquisition metrics.

Technology platforms like human resource information systems (HRIS), recruitment platforms, and talent management software centralize talent acquisition metrics and data-driven insights to improve talent acquisition over time.

As an example, your HRIS data may show that many candidates drop out of the hiring process during the interview stage, which points out an opportunity to increase candidate engagement, perhaps by streamlining the interview stage. Or, your recruitment platform data may show that one of your paid talent sourcing channels, such as a sponsored job post, is delivering few qualified candidates, which may highlight the need to reallocate your budget in higher-performing channels.

Important talent acquisition metrics to track include:

  • Total number of applicants
  • Number of applicants by sourcing channel
  • Percentage of qualified candidates
  • Total time to hire
  • Cost per hire
  • Cost per talent sourcing channel
  • Time spent in each hiring step
  • Candidate drop-off rate throughout the hiring process
  • Offer acceptance rate
  • Quality of hires

Your team can also embrace predictive analytics to increase the chances of hiring the right candidates. Many talent sourcing tools use predictive analytics to evaluate candidates’ skills, career trajectory, and other criteria, predict their likelihood of success in their next position, and match best-fit candidates with open roles.

Continued demand for remote and flexible work

In recent years, workers have experienced increased flexibility and autonomy at work due to an uptick in remote and hybrid arrangements—and many don’t want to go back to traditional full-time office work. Data from LinkedIn shows that while remote job postings are declining, with only 10% of open roles listed as fully remote in December 2023, those jobs received 46% of all applications on the platform.

If your organization doesn’t support remote work and other forms of workplace flexibility, you risk missing out on qualified workers in your talent acquisition efforts and losing top-performing team members to more flexible opportunities. A Future Forum survey of 10,243 workers found that 75% of respondents who are dissatisfied with their level of flexibility plan to look for new opportunities within the next year.

Your team can support flexible work and attract remote workers in many ways by:

  • Developing and implementing defined remote and hybrid work policies
  • Promoting your commitment to remote and flexible work in your recruitment materials, such as your job descriptions, career page, and social media channels
  • Ensuring all team members have the tools and technology to succeed and drive positive business outcomes
  • Offering flexibility with which days and hours team members work in the office if your company has a hybrid work policy
  • Supporting flexible schedules and work-life balance for all team members, rather than requiring all individuals to work exactly 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Encouraging individuals to be transparent about their schedules and unplug outside working hours
  • Prioritizing asynchronous communication to enable seamless collaboration between in-office and remote workers, as well as across time zones
  • Leveraging collaboration tools, such as email, video conferencing software, messaging apps, and project management tools
  • Implementing a flexible time-off policy, so workers can take time off for the personal priorities and holidays that matter most to them
  • Distributing employee engagement surveys and asking workers about their workplace flexibility preferences
  • Expanding your search for remote workers outside your direct geographic area
  • Including a mix of both in-house, full-time workers and independent professionals in your talent search

Including independent professionals can help you expand your talent pool and reach highly motivated workers who value flexibility and autonomy. The Upwork Research Institute recently surveyed 1,070 U.S.-based Gen Z workers. According to the research, 53% of Gen Z freelancers work full-time hours on freelance projects and are abandoning traditional 9-to-5 jobs. This generation will make up 30% of the U.S. workforce by 2030. Supporting ongoing flexibility can help your organization attract this next generation of qualified workers.  

Skills-based hiring

In addition to supporting flexibility, many organizations that expand their talent pools to include independent professionals also embrace skills-based hiring. According to research from Deloitte, organizations with a skills-based approach to workforce planning are 63% more likely to achieve results than those that haven’t adopted skills-based practices.

Rather than exclusively relying on full-time workers who meet a lengthy list of skills and requirements, a skills-based hiring strategy involves identifying which skills an organization needs both now and in the future. With this information in mind, companies can determine which skills are the best fit for in-house and full-time roles and which may be best suited for independent professionals.

By embracing skills-based hiring and engaging independent professionals, you can access specialized in-demand skills and quickly respond to disruption and shifting business priorities. According to Upwork’s Work Innovator Framework, which analyzes what sets high-performing companies and leaders apart from others, 94% of high performers (Work Innovators) agree that freelancers give their team access to specialized skills, compared to 56% of leaders overall. Additionally, Work Innovators are 2.6 times more likely to know what work is better suited for freelancers than full-time, in-house employees.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in recruitment

Prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) can help organizations build workforces in which team members with different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences feel valued. A diverse workforce can also drive increased innovation, creativity, and problem-solving by taking different viewpoints into consideration.

Talent leaders understand the importance of supporting DEI in recruitment efforts. The Jobvite survey cited above also found that 75% of HR decision makers plan to place more emphasis on diversity hiring.

Ways to show a commitment to DEI in recruitment include:

  • Developing a formal DEI policy
  • Scheduling training sessions with recruiters and hiring managers to share best practices related to inclusive hiring
  • Leveraging technology solutions that review job descriptions and recommend inclusive language, such as neutral terms instead of gendered terms
  • Promoting open jobs on recruitment marketing channels that target diverse and underrepresented groups
  • Using resume parsing tools and other candidate screening technology to minimize conscious and unconscious bias in the recruitment process
  • Featuring testimonials and success stories from team members, including those from diverse backgrounds, on your career page and in employer branding resources
  • Including a diverse panel of team members in the interview process, including the recruitment team, hiring manager, and peers

Social media use for passive candidate engagement

Research from Workable shows that 37% of U.S. workers are passive candidates, meaning they’re open to opportunities but not actively looking for a new job. Highlighting your organization’s open roles and employer brand on social media can help you reach qualified passive candidates who may not have otherwise considered joining your team.

According to a Content Stadium survey of 100 in-house recruitment, talent acquisition, and employer branding professionals, 98% of respondents use social media for recruitment and employer branding purposes. Individuals who follow and engage with your brand on social media have already expressed interest in your organization, making them an ideal candidate pool.

Beyond simply sharing your open roles on social media channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, X, Instagram, and TikTok, identifying creative recruitment strategies to promote your employer brand can help you attract both active and passive candidates.

Consider the following strategies:

  • Posting links to both open roles and opportunities to join your talent network and hear about future opportunities, which can help you build a talent pipeline
  • Highlighting your organization’s mission and values in your social media content
  • Producing video content, such as team member testimonials and success stories, an office tour, and highlights from company events
  • Applying for and promoting awards that recognize your company as a top workplace
  • Partnering with social media influencers to promote your open positions or develop videos highlighting key elements of your employer brand
  • Implementing an employee referral program and encouraging team members to share unique links to your open positions on social media
  • Hosting live Q&A sessions on your social media channels and encouraging potential candidates to ask your talent acquisition team questions directly
  • Investing in paid social media advertising to target specific workers who align with the requirements of your open roles
  • Engaging with social media followers by responding to messages and comments
  • Joining relevant groups on LinkedIn and other social channels and participating in discussions
  • Tracking metrics related to your social media strategy to understand what content resonates most with prospective candidates

Prioritizing talent development and internal growth opportunities

An effective talent acquisition strategy goes beyond attracting external workers for open opportunities and also focuses on developing and retaining existing team members. When workers leave your organization, this leads to lost company knowledge, decreased team morale, and increased costs associated with recruiting and training new workers.

Offering talent development, upskilling, and career advancement resources can help drive retention and enable your business to better respond to disruption by fostering an always-learning work environment and encouraging team members to build new skills. According to a Cornerstone OnDemand, Inc. survey featuring 1,060 employers and 1,000 learners, more than half of workers surveyed said that opportunities to explore other career opportunities internally would make them more likely to stay in the job.

Highlighting your commitment to internal mobility can also help you attract new workers who are eager to grow and learn with your team.

Here are some ways to prioritize talent development and internal growth opportunities at your organization:

  • Conducting talent reviews to analyze worker performance across your team
  • Implementing a formal succession planning strategy to identify and develop workers to take on critical positions when individuals transition out of the team
  • Creating defined career paths for departments across your company
  • Encouraging existing team members to apply to open positions
  • Discussing workers’ career and development goals during employee reviews
  • Granting workers access to online learning platforms
  • Offering opportunities for stretch projects and experiential learning activities
  • Pairing team members with mentors or career coaches
  • Providing stipends for professional development events and courses
  • Asking for team member feedback on your talent development resources and opportunities

Leverage Upwork for your hiring needs

Following and embracing the latest talent acquisition and recruitment trends can help your organization drive efficiencies and improve the candidate experience. Keeping pace with the talent acquisition trends and technology is an ongoing process and may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Consider engaging talent from Upwork to share their insights on emerging trends and support your talent acquisition efforts.

Experienced independent talent acquisition professionals are available through Project Catalog™, offering one-on-one consultations and fixed-price projects. Simply book a consultation or select a project that aligns with your talent acquisition goals and begin working with an expert right away. Browse available talent acquisition and recruitment consulting services on Project Catalog and get in touch today.

Also access diverse independent talent to support your talent acquisition goals on Talent Marketplace™. Independent professionals with more than 10,000 skills across many specialties are available to help your team quickly fill skills gaps and scale up and down as needed. Get started—search for talent today.

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Author Spotlight

Talent Acquisition Trends for 2024: What to Know
Beth Kempton
Content Writer

Beth Kempton is a B2B writer with a passion for storytelling and more than a decade of content marketing experience. She specializes in writing engaging long-form content, including blog posts, thought leadership pieces, SEO articles, case studies, ebooks and guides, for HR technology and B2B SaaS companies. In her free time, you can find Beth reading or running.

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