Korn Ferry Unveils 2024 Talent Acquisition Trend Predictions

10th annual report highlights role of AI, empathy and early career hiring, among others

Los Angeles, Oct. 25, 2023 – Korn Ferry today unveiled new research highlighting key global talent acquisition trends for 2024.

“With the explosion of AI in recruiting, as well as the challenges of greeting a new generation of workers and grappling with when, where and how people should work, there is a lot for talent leaders to consider when shaping the hiring and retention landscape,” said Jeanne MacDonald, Chief Executive Officer, Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Korn Ferry. 

Following is a synopsis of what will guide talent acquisition in the coming year.

Cautiously, AI and recruiters will find hiring harmony.

AI will increasingly handle time-consuming recruitment tasks, such as AI-driven assessments and scheduling. The time saved by AI will allow recruiters to focus on the candidate experience and help to discern how candidates match to specific roles. 

A cautionary note, however: a Korn Ferry survey found that 73% of leaders will be closely monitoring the use of AI tools for potential negative effects on their companies. A recent Stanford study shows generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT, may be regressing in terms of accuracy.  

The takeaway for recruiters is that AI tools are just that – tools. It is critical that these assets be used in conjunction with human input, checks and balances. 

AI will help candidates apply themselves.

AI will assist candidates by finding openings for roles they may not have considered, optimizing their resumes and cover letters, and preparing them for interviews.  AI will also keep the lines of communication open, as it can continually update candidates on where they stand in the recruiting process.

It should be noted, however, that there have been reports of fake AI-generated job postings that are trying to obtain candidates’ personal information such as social security or bank account numbers. The best advice for candidates is to double check the validity of postings and be very judicious in sharing personal information. 

It’s never too early: doubling down on early career hiring.

There is a growing battle for workers who are fresh into the professional field. Employers are interested in the new ideas they bring and, in times of economic uncertainty, it’s easier to justify bringing on people with entry-level salaries than hiring more experienced (and more expensive) workers.

Some larger employers are starting to woo candidates as early as high school, and others are broadening their candidate searches beyond top-tier colleges to technical and non-traditional higher education institutions. This larger candidate pool is critical to achieving DE&I goals. 

While most professional jobs still require college degrees, many organizations are also offering in-house certification programs.  

It’s not where you’ve been, it’s what you know: hiring for skills.

Instead of tying hiring initiatives to long-term strategic business needs, many companies are hiring for – and paying top dollar for – the skills workers possess today, such as generative AI specialists.

Job postings will focus more on specific skillsincluding both technical and leadership skills, depending on the roleinstead of qualifications such as the university the person attended.

Another increasingly common practice will be to hire interim employees and executives who will bring niche skills to help organizations through periods of change or evolution, such as mergers and acquisitions or expansion into new products and geographies.

Listen up or step down: empathy regains importance at the top.

Many employees believe there is a decline in pandemic-era empathy from top organizational leaders. CEO-led return to the office mandates are perceived as ignoring workers’ personal commitments. An early 2023 survey of 3,000 HR professionals found that 32% don’t find their CEO to be empathetic—16 points higher than in 2022.

Korn Ferry research shows that empathy is associated with high retention and positive job performance. More leaders will recognize increased empathy benefits their company and their employees and will address the issue by taking the time to interact with – and listen to – employees at all levels.  

Relocate or resign: an impossible choice is on the rise.

Job relocation seems to be a thing of the distant past. According to a recent study, less than 2% of Americans moved for work in the first quarter of 2023 – in 1986, that number was 45%.   
As more leaders demand employees head back to the office, there may be a resurgence in relocating for work. In fact, some large companies are already requiring employees who were hired as remote workers to relocate as part of a mandate to be in the office, at least part-time. 

While some employers already pay relocation costs for senior executives, if employers want to attract top talent at all levels of the company, they will need to start folding relocation or housing assistance into their employee incentive packages. 

The full report can be found here.

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We work with our clients to design optimal organization structures, roles, and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people and advise them on how to reward and motivate their workforce while developing professionals as they navigate and advance their careers.

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Dan Gugler