13 Recruiting Trends for 2024

Wooden blocks that spell out 2024 trends

What are the recruiting trends for 2024 that we can plan for?

There’s one word that describes the labor market as we head into 2024: slowdown. It’s a slow slowdown, but a slowdown nonetheless, as employment numbers ease back toward pre-pandemic levels and economic growth decelerates. Unemployment remains persistently low–under 4%–but it’s a number economic experts expect will tick upward throughout the year ahead. 

It’s a wacky job market to analyze, even for the professionals whose job it is to study it. So, how can recruiters prepare and ensure their hiring needs are met in 2024? Here are some 2024 recruiting trends and changes we can expect. 

Recruiting Trends For 2024 to Expect and Prepare For

1. ‘Great Resigners’ reenter the workforce

After multiple years of record-high quit numbers, resignations returned to pre-pandemic levels in mid-2023, marking the official end of the Great Resignation. The uncertain economic conditions that have plagued most of this past year have made many quitters reconsider their decision and prompted employees who were on the fence about quitting to remain at work. 

We can likely expect several pandemic-era quitters to begin job searching in the year ahead, which means employers should prepare recruitment strategies to attract them. Some ideas include offering workforce reentry programs to help quitters come back and recruitment campaigns with messaging specifically targeting people who are having buyer’s remorse about their decision to leave the workforce. 

2. Remote work causes a disconnect

The Pandora’s box of remote work has long since been opened, and many employees never want to return to working in an office full-time. An overwhelming 98% of people who currently work remotely say they want that to be the case for the rest of their careers. 

At the same time, companies have realized the limitations of letting everyone work from home and are calling workers back to the office, much to employees’ displeasure. This has created a stark disconnect between what candidates want and what employers say they need. 

Companies can gain the upper hand amongst in-demand candidates by making positions flexible, allowing for remote work at least some of the time. Making hard-to-fill roles fully remote can ease some of the hiring difficulties. Organizations that are unable or unwilling to offer any location flexibility will be at a recruiting disadvantage. 

3. Talent strategies adapt around freelance labor

Freelance labor has become a standard–and valuable–part of a strong staffing strategy. Some companies have moved to fully depend on freelance workers to fulfill certain roles, while others initially onboard new team members under a freelance agreement before making an offer for full-time employment. 

The freelance market will likely experience continued growth in the decade ahead as more workers move to self-employment or supplement their W-2 income with side hustles. Companies can adapt by crafting talent acquisition strategies that cater to freelance, contract, and gig workers. 

4. Sustainable hiring grows in prominence

Sustainable hiring is the practice of recruiting employees in a manner that’s aligned with broader social, ethical, and environmental principles. It’s becoming an important factor for a growing number of candidates. 

Employers can create an attractive value proposition to such candidates by employing sustainable initiatives such as:

  • Providing a fair hiring process that’s free from bias
  • Offering equitable, transparent wages
  • Participating in community development 
  • Adopting environmentally friendly business practices
  • Prioritizing employee well-being

5. Healthcare and leisure see strong demand

Though job openings have contracted in certain fields, growth in some sectors, particularly healthcare and leisure, remains strong. Healthcare alone accounted for over a third of overall employment growth in the second quarter of 2023. By 2031, healthcare positions in individual and family services are projected to grow by 31%, while leisure industry jobs in settings like amusement parks will grow by 38% and accommodation by 23%.

Unfortunately, it’s unwelcome news for employers in these fields, who have already faced disproportionate hiring challenges for several years. Recruiters in these sectors must be diligent about leveraging cutting-edge recruiting technology, prioritizing candidate engagement, and offering a benefits package that’s tailored to the candidates they want to attract. 

6. Family priorities take a front seat

Parents, primarily mothers, left their jobs by the millions during the pandemic. Those workers are returning to the workforce, but they have demands, mainly flexibility, that allow them to balance the requirements of personal and professional life. 

Many candidates now say flexibility is more important to them than pay when weighing job opportunities. Companies looking to attract top talent must ensure their policies reflect these post-pandemic preferences. 

7. Remote recruiting will remain popular

Though employers may have cooled a bit on workers being completely remote, recruiters have fully embraced the conveniences of recruiting remotely. 

Seventy-seven percent of recruiters believe in-person interviews are the most effective way to qualify a candidate, but 61% say they believe video interviews will be the default interview mode moving forward. Between 25 and 50% of positions can be onboarded without the employee ever visiting the company’s physical headquarters. Sometimes, this will be a make-or-break factor in a candidate choosing whether to accept a role. 

Related: Virtual Job Interview Tips for Hiring Managers

8. Quality of candidate is paramount

Fifty-two percent of recruiters say improving the quality of their hires is one of their most important goals.

So, how does that differ from previous years? While recruiters are interested in growing their talent pipelines, they’re more interested in ensuring their talent is quality. This contributes to higher retention rates, which aids companies in their widespread efforts to reduce costs. 

9. Mental health benefits go mainstream

One of the most troubling implications of the pandemic is its effect on our collective mental health–implications we probably won’t fully grasp the scope of for some time. And yet, it’s become commonplace for candidates to weigh companies’ approach to mental well-being into their decision whether to accept a job. Almost half of the recruiters say job seekers are asking about mental health benefits more frequently since the onset of Covid-19. 

It’s worth pointing out, too, that candidates aren’t the only ones grappling with increased demands and the resulting stress; 61% of recruiters say their stress has increased by some level since the pandemic began, while nearly 20% say the amount of stress they’re under has increased drastically. 

Related: Ways to Improve Employee Mental Health and Why It Matters

10.  AI offers assistance

The use of artificial intelligence in recruiting has been on the rise for several years now, and the trend continues heading into 2024. Hiring managers’ top uses for AI include job candidate matching, screening, and engagement, as well as getting assistance with writing materials like job descriptions and outreach messages. 

AI-powered tools, like smart applicant tracking systems, are increasingly being used to offload repetitive tasks like sending automated communications to candidates and scheduling interviews. Smart chatbots offer a way for candidates to engage around the clock. AI and machine learning have the potential to save recruiters time and cut down on tedious tasks while helping companies tighten their belts and reduce recruiting costs.

11. Retention, retention, and retention

While the Great Resignation may be behind us, one goal should be a top priority regardless of what happens with hiring: holding onto the workers you’ve already invested in. 

Prioritizing retention eliminates many of the struggles that come with vacancies, like attracting qualified candidates and the heavy resource drain of conducting interviews.  

Companies can’t drop the ball when a candidate accepts an offer. Instead, that should be when a new strategy comes into play, creating an excellent employee experience that keeps strong workers around. 

Related: Highly Effective Strategies for Employee Retention

12. More organizations adopt diversity hiring goals

More companies are working toward specific goals for diversity in hiring concerning race/ethnicity and gender, with 22% of employers naming it as their top objective. 

It’s a topic of growing interest for candidates, too. A third of recruiters say more applicants are asking about diversity and inclusion initiatives than they did in the previous year. 

More diverse organizations tend to be more creative and have stronger bottom lines than their more homogenous counterparts, but that’s not the only upside to setting and working toward diversity hiring goals. Prioritizing diversity hiring can help you stay competitive, especially in fields like tech, where the struggle to win top talent has become ultra-fierce in recent months. 

Related: How to Hire for Diversity

13. Reaching passive candidates is more important than ever

The fierce competition for the best workers will continue into 2024, so recruiters must spend more time reaching passive candidates. This is especially important for highly niche roles and positions that are in high demand, like developers and social media strategists. Recruiters should work to build a pipeline of passive candidates who are open to hearing about new opportunities.

Related: How to Attract Passive Candidates

Achieve Staffing Success in 2024 With Help From the Recruiting Experts

From new technology to shifting social trends, the staffing landscape is evolving more rapidly than ever before. Do you have the infrastructure in place to keep up with the recruiting trends for 2024? Stay ahead of the hiring curve by enlisting our team of dedicated professionals for your 2024 staffing needs. 

We can help you hire the right person for the job the first time around, saving you time and money. But our services don’t end there; when you work with our team of pros, you’ll get expert recommendations for improving your hiring efficiency and prioritizing the roles that will impact your organization. 

Start the conversation by scheduling your complimentary consultation today.

Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the President of 4 Corner Resources, the staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. 4 Corner is a member of the American Staffing Association and TechServe Alliance, and the top-rated staffing company in Central Florida. Recent awards and recognition include being named to Forbes’ Best Recruiting Firms in America, The Seminole 100, and The Golden 100. Pete also founded zengig, to offer comprehensive career advice, tools, and resources for students and professionals. He hosts two podcasts, Hire Calling and Finding Career Zen, and is blazing new trails in recruitment marketing with the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Connect with Pete on LinkedIn