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10 Top Talent Acquisition Trends We’re Noticing in 2024

From skills-based hiring to job description bias checkers, what’s new in the recruitment landscape in 2024?

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Since the pandemic, each year has offered a different theme in talent acquisition. 2021 was the year of the Great Resignation, 2022 brought in a wave of diversity and inclusion initiatives, and 2023 saw the rise of AI. 

Recognizing and understanding these latest recruitment themes can give your organization a serious edge in attracting and retaining top talent. 

10 current trends in talent acquisition

With the latest data and expert insights, here are 10 top trends business leaders need to know about in 2024: 

1. Candidates and recruiters use AI-generated content 

Recruiters are frequently leaning on AI to whip up ads and job descriptions to post on job boards in a flash. Some may use integrated bias checkers to ensure the language isn’t too masculine or feminine; others may use AI-based screening tools to match best-fit candidates to open vacancies. It’s worth noting that new local or state laws, such as NYC’s Local Law 144, now require companies that use AI tools to make employment decisions to conduct and publish regular bias auditing. 

On the other side of the coin, candidates are also exploring the technology. Some may lean on generative AI to craft cover letters, resumes, and certain sections of their job applications. Recent research suggests that 53% of hiring managers frown on AI-generated resumes. Yet, a separate MIT study reported that candidates who used AI tools to flag or correct grammatical errors in their resumes were 8% more likely to be hired. This suggests that AI can give candidates a successful edge so long as it’s not detectable. 

2. Resumes grow in importance 

Talent managers pay more attention to resumes than we think. While a 2018 Ladders Inc. eye-tracking study revealed that recruiters spend an average of seven seconds looking at a resume, new data from Resume Genius highlights that 57% of hiring managers spend roughly 1 to 3 minutes reviewing a resume; Baby Boomers are the most thorough, with 37% spending more than 3 minutes scouring the details, compared to 24% of Gen X, 19% of millennials, and 16% of Gen Z managers willing to give this document a thorough scan. 

54% of talent acquisition leaders prefer a two-page resume and consider the Resume Introduction and the Hobbies & Interests among the most important sections. 

3. Recruiters pivot to skills-based hiring 

Recruiters frequently focus on the skills a candidate brings to the table or their potential to learn new capabilities. Resume Genius data reveals that 65% of managers would consider candidates with relevant skills even if they lack relevant work experience. In contrast, 47% consider educational qualifications important, although only 25% believe they’re absolutely essential. 

But what skills are recruiters looking for?

  • 54% believe soft skills are highly important, although 66% of hirers believe they can be taught.
  • 35% of managers look for candidates with analytical thinking and customer service skills. 
  • 27% require project management and writing and editing skills.
  • 20% seek sustainability, business development, and data analysis skills.
  • 12% are interested in mastery of AI tools. 

4. Recruiters prioritize candidate experience 

One of the biggest trends we’ve spotted this year is the drive to provide a positive candidate experience to all job applicants, whether you end up hiring them or not. Candidates don’t want to waste their time, so this means: 

  • Providing regular communication about each stage of the hiring process, including skills aptitude test scores, interview feedback, and making timely decisions 
  • Not expecting candidates to jump through hoops with an insane number of interviews or requiring lengthy work samples that resemble unpaid consultancy 
  • Delivering a smooth onboarding experience for your successful candidates 

Caroline Pennington, Executive Search Recruiter and host of the Feminine Founder podcast, describes: 

“I’m noticing that companies that are enhancing the candidate experience during the interviewing process are the companies that are landing top talent. The days of 5+ interviews are over. There must be a streamlined process in place to make sure your organization hires the best!”

Rob Boyle, Marketing Operations Director at Airswift, sees an even deeper trend of using technology to personalize communication during recruitment and better engage every candidate. He shares: 

“Personalized communication can prevent tech-driven recruitment from coming across as too impersonal or automated, while data can help employers better identify the right candidates to reach out to. An HR department has more time to engage candidates in a more personalized way if they are utilizing technology to streamline some of the other aspects of the recruiting process, so I definitely see these two trends having a symbiotic relationship.”

5. Talent acquisition teams make data-based decisions  

Big data is powering many recruitment decisions this year, not just in terms of candidate selection but also in shaping specific recruiting and hiring processes to ensure they’re swift, streamlined, and compliant. For example: 

  • Candidate sourcing: By understanding which platforms yield the best candidates, recruiters can fine-tune their sourcing strategies to be more efficient and cost-effective. For example, you might analyze data on job posting performance across different platforms using talent acquisition metrics like application rates and candidate quality. 
  • Candidate screening: Analytics related to candidate responses and interactions can identify patterns that predict success in a role. For instance, data on candidates’ performance in skill assessments or their communication styles during interviews can guide the development of more predictive screening criteria.  
  • Candidate engagement: Data gathered from candidate surveys or communication engagement rates (like email open and response rates) can reveal insights into candidate preferences. This tailors talent acquisition communication strategies, improving the candidate experience and potentially increasing offer acceptance rates.  

6. Diversity initiatives intertwine with recruitment 

While DEI initiatives have taken a battering recently, with companies like Meta and Google cutting their diversity programs, savvy employers understand that improving minority representation across org charts and in leadership starts at the hiring level. 

Michael Hurwitz, CEO and Co-Founder of Careers in Government, explains how to do this:  

“Companies are recognizing the importance of fostering diverse and inclusive workplaces to drive innovation, enhance employee engagement, and meet the evolving expectations of customers and stakeholders. As a result, recruiters are implementing proactive measures to attract, retain, and advance diverse talent, including targeted outreach efforts, unbiased hiring practices, and DEI training programs for hiring managers.”

7. Companies lean on global talent pools 

Part of creating a diverse workforce hinges on looking beyond geographical confines and attracting highly skilled people from further afield—in some cases, globally. While popular cities like New York, San Francisco, or Chicago may always have a pull for job seekers, many underrepresented groups may not have access to these opportunities if they can’t afford to live there. Pat Schirripa, CEO of People 2U, explains the alternative:  

“Companies can now access talent pools worldwide due to the widespread use of digital applicant evaluations, asynchronous recruiting procedures, and virtual interviews. Additionally, AI-powered tools for selecting and screening candidates continue to develop, simplifying the hiring process and boosting productivity.”

8. Hiring teams collaborate internally 

Previously, hiring teams worked in siloes, separate from the main organization. In 2024, the silo walls are abolished, and we’re seeing closer relationships between the following key stakeholders: 

  • Hirers and the team with the open vacancy: They discuss the key strengths and skills needed in the person for the role and include the team’s manager throughout the interview process. 
  • Hirers and HR: Connecting from the outset, hiring teams may request help drafting job descriptions or ask for guidance on diversity initiatives within recruitment processes. 
  • Hiring teams and marketing: Marketing teams can develop and shape employer branding initiatives that will attract more candidates to apply. 
  • Hiring teams and IT: These departments work closely together to implement cutting-edge technologies to enhance the recruiting experience for both candidates and recruiters.

9.  Employers offer short-term contracts 

When hiring for permanent positions seems like too much of a commitment or is too lengthy, contract work is a happy medium that offers multiple advantages: 

  • Employers can hire specialists for specific projects.
  • They can scale operations quickly in response to market changes. 
  • They can cover employees on leave or bridge the gap between a departing employee and onboarding a new person. 
  • They ensure productivity remains uninterrupted. 

Benepass tip: Employers must be careful not to misclassify employees as independent contractors. Refer to the Department of Labor’s Employee or Independent Contractor Classification Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, RIN 1235-AA43, for full guidance. 

10. Employers emphasize their attractive benefits 

While a healthy salary, thriving company culture, and professional development opportunities all play a crucial role in attracting and retaining the best talent in the industry, a creative benefits package can also be a game-changer for your talent acquisition strategy. 

Employers have traditionally shared details of their benefits plans quite far along the talent acquisition process, either during an interview discussion or when making a formal job offer. However, the recent trend is for hirers to include more details in their initial job ad so candidates know exactly what’s up for grabs. 

Michelle Forstrom, HR Manager at BYU Library, shares what she’s noticed recently: 

“As an HR Manager in a university setting, one trend I’ve noticed is that we don’t post the job description in its entirety anymore. We post selected portions of the job description and use the rest of the posting to highlight benefits. Candidates can request the full job description, but the majority of the posting is used to emphasize the full compensation package.”

Curious about the variety of stipends you can offer to employees? We put together a guide to employee stipends to provide an overview of this popular employee benefit and offer inspiration as you design your stipend program. Download the guide to learn about the types of stipends available and how to design a successful program.

A Complete Guide to Employee Stipends: 14 Ideas With Tips and Best Practices

Acquire and retain top talent with Benepass benefits

In a competitive job market, the right blend of benefits can ensure your vacancy and employer brand stand out from the crowd. Benepass offers a wide variety of pre-tax and perks programs to tempt the best talent to your organization and keep them there. Choose from:  

Book a free Benepass demo today or contact sales@getbenepass.com to connect with a benefits specialist.  

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Rebecca Noori

Rebecca Noori is a freelance HR Tech and SaaS writer who is obsessed with our world of work. She writes about everything from employee benefits and performance management to upskilling and productivity tips. When she's not writing, you'll find her grappling with phonics homework and football kits, looking after her three kids.

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