This fall our business leaders and subject matter experts hit the road to attend several wonderful staffing and recruiting industry events, from Staffing World and its THRIVE LIVE Event for Women to RPOACON and Linkedin Connect. Suffice it to say we had a brilliant time connecting and diving into the trends businesses, partners, and friends have on their minds as we race towards 2024. 

What did we hear about the most? 

AI was, without a doubt, the most ubiquitous topic at every conference. Business leaders shared their goals and their frustrations with learning how to manage AI as well as their hopes for how it can improve efficiency and win new time for busy, stretched teams. The AI buzz was so loud that we reached out to contacts we had seen on the road to confirm what we were hearing and to dig into some of the issues that were feeling important to 2024. We conducted a quick pulse survey, which you can still respond to here, and it has yielded some very interesting perspectives on the trends shaping our industry right now. 

Which trends? Here are the top five based on the survey input so far. We will continue to track the data as the New Year approaches and provide you, and all our audiences, with updates on the trends to know and track 

Trend #1: AI Captures All the Attention 

AI adoption and disruptions will play a major role in how the industry works in 2024. In our pulse survey the majority of respondents said AI will have a “strong impact” and one respondent summarized economic realities and pressure as key reasons for the AI embrace:

“Due to softening of the market in 2023, I think that the staffing industry will continue to look for ways to minimize or optimize spend on operational tools and continue to demand ROI.”

Others respondents spoke to AI’s potential for removing bias from the recruitment process while several others shared how it could transform recruiter efficiency. Most important, and likely you feel this too, AI will be a powerful influencer for staffing and recruiting firms everywhere in 2024. 

Trend #2: Reducing Spend with Digital  

AI may be one avenue for increasing revenue and reducing spend but it’s not the only technology on the minds of industry professionals. The survey found that businesses are looking at all kinds of technologies for optimizing how teams, and specifically recruiters work. As one staffing leader explained, digital tools “impact all customers, candidates and recruiters as it enables a better service overall. The companies with the best tools to create efficiencies, will win over time.”

Trend #3: Closing the Sales and Marketing Gap

With continued economic uncertainties on the mind of employers and their talent partners, strong sales and business development are top of mind for industry leaders. One area where plenty of improvement is needed is aligning sales and marketing efforts. Sirius Decisions, now part of Forrester, found companies with aligned sales and marketing teams over the course of a year will grow 24% faster and see a 27% higher profitability. Look for a strong push from staffing leaders to achieve this critical area of strategic alignment. 

Trend #4: Adapting Journeys to Gen Z

Every generation brings new preferences and tech to the job search and recruitment process and Gen Z is no exception. This year’s fall conferences and our informal survey found that staffing leaders plan to work on adapting their candidate journeys in 2024 to address the newest generation to enter the workforce, their values and their search styles. As one survey respondent shared, “Workers have so many firms to choose from. It will be those that can create an attraction and onboarding experience that is automated, simple and personalized that will come out on top.”

From reviving employee referral programs (trust, relationships and authenticity matter to Gen Z) to balancing out personalization with digital efficiency, watch for creativity and innovation to shape 2024 candidate journeys. 

Trend #5: DEI Values Hold Strong

Across the talent industry, the push for DEI best practices in hiring, in building culture, in creating places where people feel comfortable coming to work and pursuing their goals remains front and center. While technology and economics have taken center stage in these more turbulent times, DEI remains a top priority for staffing and recruiting leaders who have seen diversity and equity transformations reshape the recruitment mindset. While the hope is that AI tools and candidate journeys will be optimized to support DEI, our respondents made it clear that they will keep DEI efforts and best practices a focus of their work and organizations.

Want to weigh in with your perspective on the issues shaping the industry in 2024. Share your feedback here.