In the ever-evolving landscape of talent acquisition, 2023 presented a year of both challenges and opportunities. As the global economy navigated uncertainties, the recruitment industry witnessed a shift in dynamics, with both employers and candidates recalibrating their expectations and priorities.
Big trends in 2023
2023 was a fascinating year with the greatest trend dominating all the news being artificial intelligence and its usage in talent acquisition and sourcing. Apart from artificial intelligence, there were a number of other key trends that are worth mentioning. To get an idea on how important each trend is, we turned to Google Trends, to understand what was being searched for online. We compared five terms that we’ll explore across different parts of this article:
- Employee experience
- Internal mobility
- Diversity and inclusion
- Hybrid working
- Remote working
We also compared other terms like upskilling, reskilling and boomerang employees but the search volume was so low for each that we left them off the below graph. That being said there were certain markets where these terms were appearing for example, boomerang employees with almost all of the global search in North America and upskilling was looked at mostly in the USA and India.
It was interesting to note in the trends that the remote working trend ended the 2022 year on a high and slowly dropped during 2023 with hybrid working, diversity and inclusion and employee experience all dropping at the end of 2022 in December. This trend can probably be attributed to the holiday season in many Western countries. All search terms picked up again after December.
However, employee experience and diversity and inclusion both fell out of favor during the year but picked up towards the end of 2023 leading them to look significant trends for 2024 as we suggest below.
We’ve highlighted in bold the above trend terms searched for below to show how they fit into the bigger picture.
1.Employee Experience and The Rise of the Candidate-Centric Approach: With the talent pool having shrunk in key sectors as a result of COVID-19, the power balance still remains with candidates but that is changing. Companies were still forced to prioritize employee experience at every stage of the recruitment journey, from crafting compelling Employer Value Propositions (EVPs) to offering flexible work arrangements and fostering inclusive work environments. The employee experience search term was a term searched for globally.
2. The Embrace of Technology: The adoption of AI-powered tools accelerated in 2023, automating repetitive tasks and providing data-driven insights to streamline the recruitment process. From virtual assistants to candidate screening platforms, technology played a crucial role in improving efficiency and reducing bias in hiring decisions. The AI search term was dominant everywhere and most searched for.
3. Internal Mobility Increased in Importance: As talent acquisition budgets tightened, companies saw the value in developing existing talent. Internal mobility programs gained traction, with organizations investing in upskilling and reskilling initiatives to fill open positions with qualified individuals already familiar with their culture and values. Internal mobility was big in the USA, India and Australia.
4. The Remote and Hybrid Work Model Maintained Importance: The COVID-19 pandemic’s lasting impact saw the rise of hybrid work models, offering employees greater flexibility and autonomy. This trend required companies to adapt their recruitment strategies to attract and retain talent across geographical boundaries. Remote and hybrid working was searched for globally.
5. Upskilling and Reskilling for the Future of Work: The rapid pace of technological change highlighted the need for a workforce equipped with future-proof skills. Companies emphasized training and development programs to bridge the talent gap and ensure their employees remained adaptable and competitive in the evolving job market.
Predictions for 2024
- Employee Experience: and Personalized Recruitment Experiences: Building on the candidate-centric trend, 2024 will see companies personalize the recruitment experience to attract and engage top talent. This includes tailoring job descriptions, utilizing targeted advertising, and providing personalized feedback throughout the process.
- Enhanced Data-Driven Decision Making: As was part of the big AI trend in 2024, the use of data analytics in recruitment will continue to grow. Companies will leverage data to identify high-potential candidates, predict employee performance, and optimize the effectiveness of their recruitment strategies.
- The Continued Growth of Remote Work: While some companies may encourage a return to the office, remote work is expected to persist in many industries. This will necessitate further adaptation of recruitment processes to attract and manage talent across geographically dispersed teams.
- Increased Focus on Diversity and Inclusion: Companies will prioritize building diverse and inclusive workforces to foster innovation, creativity, and a stronger sense of belonging for all employees. This will require addressing unconscious bias in the recruitment process and actively promoting equal opportunities for all talent segments especially addressing mature aged candidates as populations age in many countries worldwide.
As we enter 2024, the talent acquisition landscape will continue to evolve, driven by both technological advancements and changing workforce expectations. Companies that prioritize a data-driven, candidate-centric approach, invest in upskilling and reskilling programs, and embrace diversity and inclusion will be best positioned to attract and retain top talent in the competitive year ahead.