Four Talent Acquisition Trends to Navigate the Hiring Crisis

Last week something incredible happened. Dozens of leaders from companies of 50 to 50,000 employees met in person. Crazy, right? What could pull together CEOs, and heads of hiring at companies ranging from start-ups to $40+ Billion companies to take time out of their busy week? Simple. How the hell do we solve the hiring crisis? Let’s dive into the talent acquisition trends for 2024.

We pulled together some of the smartest folks in our space from various industries to trade best practices, talk through their most critical challenges, and to plan for the future. We invited a mix of customers and hiring leaders including several of my former mentors and teammates from Salesforce to Jobvite sharing the challenges their current companies face was insightful. I then took the stage and shared my insights from meeting with and strategically partnering with hundreds of companies. Here are the key takeaways.

  1. Hiring is Harder than Ever in 2024

The one unifying theme across hiring leaders is how difficult is has been to hire. There are a combination of factors at play. Recruiting teams (and companies) have been understaffed for the past few years at a time when they’ve never been asked to do more when it comes to hiring (i.e. hire net new hires and handle a wave of employee attrition with a limited staff). This has led to layoffs and burnout. The increase of remote roles has added fuel to the fire where short-staffed HR teams are fielding 3 to 4 times more applicants.

This has led to a negative impact on the applicants, many of whom wait weeks or even months to never hear back from their potential employers. Their frustration grows every day and they feel more like numbers in a database than humans trying to get hired. This has resulted in a perfect storm where employers struggle to get qualified applicants only to find they may have the ones who burned the bridge.

2. The Modern Workforce is Changing Dramatically

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Another hot topic was the dramatic shift in the workforce where an entire generation of Baby Boomers are transitioning and an entirely new generation of Gen Z is entering the workplace. The change is causing a jolt to companies on how they attract, engage, and hire this new workforce. Most notably is that the traditional methods used to communicate don’t have nearly the effect on the Gen Z talent pool (sorry email!).

One key takeaway is the University and Early-in-Career recruiting teams are now being tapped to share their best practices to adapt to the changing workforce. We discussed trends where Early is where the newest crop of emerging talent acquisition leaders are developing.

3. Candidate Engagement is Essential

Today’s candidates have access to more information than ever before on the companies they choose to apply to. This has elevated the importance of candidate engagement to a whole new level. Think being a big brand will afford you taking weeks to respond to your applicants? Think again. Speed and communication are essential to companies seeking to engage and hire a modern workforce and the companies that are treating each applicant like their only applicant are leaping ahead of their competitors.

Think of it this way. A candidate applies to five companies. Four of them are larger more traditional companies and take the average of 3 weeks or longer to respond (and then take another 1-2 weeks to coordinate schedules for a first-round interview). Now imagine the impact if the fifth company which isn’t as well-known but has adopted a modern hiring process, can get them through their hiring process and hired in that same time frame. All of a sudden the lesser-known company with a better process just took pole position and hired a star while the traditional companies still had that candidate at the starting line.

4. Those Adapting are Seeing Transformative Results

The good news is that it’s not all doom and gloom. I closed out by speaking on the best practices organizations are employing to dramatically improve the way they attract, engage, and hire a modern workforce. By highlighting a large group of restaurants facing the same challenges and realizing they would have to adapt quickly to stay competitive, I shared the story of, “The Bar Group“.

They embraced their employer brand and decided to make their candidate experience stand out from everyone else. They replaced traditional paper applications with instant digital profiles and applications which allowed applicants to humanize themselves and share their authentic selves through quick videos. The Bar Group used data to track not only skill matches but candidate engagement which allowed them to go from delayed feedback to continuous candidate engagement. Suddenly they took an industry plagued by no-shows and replaced it with a modern hiring solution that is now attracting a larger and more qualified workforce and hiring them in half the time of their competitors.

In closing, hiring has never been more important to the ability of a company to grow, scale, and achieve success while also being the hardest it’s been in over a decade. The companies that are looking to adapt and modernize the way they attract, hire, and engage a modern workforce are emerging while the others are being left behind. How are you handling the hiring challenge?

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Andre J. Boulais

Chief Revenue Officer at Cnect

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