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True Trend or Tall Tale? 2024

Updated: Jan 29

TTS devotees may remember last year we ran an article analysing the biggest Talent Trend predictions for 2023, ranking them based on how realistic they were. Well, we’re back to do it again for 2024, but before we kick off, why don’t we recap what we said last year to check how right we were?


Recap on 2023 Trends

In 2023, we said that hybrid work was here to stay, and I think we can all agree that this is certainly the case in Australia’s professional working landscape. We also said that automation would be hitting in a big way, and while that one has been a little slower than anticipated, we’re still seeing a huge interest in recruitment software that automates many of the low value, repetitious tasks which can supercharge the efficiency of recruiters.


We were a bit cautious on generative AI, however, saying that while impressive, it won’t become commonplace for most roles for a while yet. This prediction has also held up - we’re still not using ChatGPT alongside PowerPoint on a daily basis, and arguments around the ethics of training these tools on artists' work without their consent has prompted caution.


Regrettably our prediction around DE&I and inclusive hiring didn't materialise through mass market implementation and tangibly improved outcomes in the way we any many had hoped.


As for our duds, the predictions we didn’t think held much water: recruitment marketing is still very much a back-of-mind afterthought for most companies, and will likely continue to do so with the exception of forward-thinking trendsetters. The 4 day work week was another one that people buzzed about post-pandemic, but again, aside from a handful of (albeit, successful) experiments, we’re not seeing that being adopted in any major way.


Now, on to 2024!



True Trends or Tall Tale. Trend Analysis.


What's Hot

Generative AI in Talent Acquisition

Trend direction: Red hot

While we were a bit cold on it for 2023, generative AI is certainly stealing the spotlight in 2024. We predict that during 2024, the majority of of TA professionals will adopt some form generative AI into their daily workflows, in part due to existing tools within the HR tech stack rolling out AI features but also due to enterprise tools like Microsoft Copilot being accessible. However, we note differing views on the speed of generative AI adoption with a 2023 survey reporting only 20% of Talent teams in various sectors consider using generative AI, revealing a gap between hype and adoption.


Skills Development

Trend direction: Red hot

Skills development continues to be a key focus. We agree that it's a hot topic, but emphasise the need to delve deeper into the types of skills required and how technology facilitates skill acquisition and development. The discussion revolves around the effectiveness of micro-learning, gigs & secondments, mentoring and its impact on internal mobility. We’ve previously talked about the specific kinds of skills you’ll need to equip your employees with to future proof your organisation.


Employee Experience/Wellbeing

Trend direction: Warm

Prioritising employee happiness remains a hot topic. We note a shift towards financial well-being programs to address the rising cost of living. The focus on tangible benefits and programs highlights a move away from soft benefits. I.e.: We’ll be seeing more companies spruiking bigger employee discounts and better bonuses, and less of the “great work culture” and “learning and development opportunities” spiel.


What's Just Around the Corner

Technology Integration

Trend direction: Warming

While technology integration is essential for employee experience and data-driven insights, we're ranking technology integration as a developing trend. We anticipate increased activity due to easier, cheaper and faster system integration. Despite progress, some companies face challenges, expecting a shift from point solutions to consolidated platforms.


Evolving Role of HR Professionals

Trend direction: Warming

The role of HR is changing beyond our control. The speed of change is now accelerating due to a combination of economic and tech factors. Within a few years we expect HR to have evolved into a strategic and data-driven function. Bersin frames this evolution as Systemic HR and we agree that its inescapable. The only choice you have is if your team will be leaders or laggards.


Data-Driven Insights

Trend direction: Warming

Look into the crystal ball and see the future. How many req's will we have, how will we fill them, how healthy are our talent pools? Formerly hocus pocus but increasingly real world due to big data and the commoditisation of BI tools. in 2024, HR and TA teams will increasingly leverage data to identify problems, develop solutions and shape strategy. While bigger, well funded employers already have access to the skills required to make this possible, the mass market will struggle to fill this critical skill gap. To bridge the gap you should consider managed People Analytics services like seeHR.


What's Not

Flexible/Hybrid Work

Trend direction: Cooling

A hot button topic which never fails to divide an audience. Flexible work arrangements gained traction through 2020 - 2023, however, we're now anticipating a shift in the opposite direction in 2024. We're noting several high profile companies around the world pushing for a full or partial return to the office, with debates about its necessity for career progression, culture and productivity. If we continue to experience an 'employers market' we'll see the pace in this trend reversal accelerate. For now we'll eagerly be the fly on the wall for more radical proposals, such as paying “remote” workers less money than their in-office colleagues.


Pre-pandemic TA Team Sizes

Trend direction: Cooling

The continual reduction in the size of TA teams is a stark reality. Experienced TA specialists are turning to freelancing, and organisations are outsourcing TA functions to cut costs. We predict a sustained decrease in TA team sizes, reflecting tough economic times and the aftermath of over hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic.


DE&I

Trend direction: Cooling

Unfortunately, we predict that DE&I will continue to take a backseat for many companies going into 2024. There has been a lot of talk in this space, but little tangible action aside from a few pioneer individuals working against the establishment. Gender based pay transparency and WGEA reporting becomes a thing in Australia from the 27th of February, and with reports suggesting that we are currently in an employer’s market, we’re doubtful companies will otherwise be compelled to drive forward a DE&I agenda.


Conclusion

2024 promises a dynamic HR landscape with hot trends making waves, others poised to emerge, and some aspects requiring a more patient approach. As the industry navigates these trends, adaptability and strategic planning will be key to success.


About us

Talent Tech Solutions is the leading Talent Operations and Tech consulting firm. We provide expert advice and hands-on support so our clients can overcome their talent challenges.


We believe that designing solutions which balance and optimise; People, Process and Technology provides organisations with a competitive edge in how they compete to attract, engage, hire, develop and retain talent.


With over a decade of local and international experience we add capability and capacity to our clients existing team get in touch to find out more.

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