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Hiring Trends 2024: 7 Market Shifts You Can’t Ignore

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In a world of change, the only constant is the need to adapt. As the economy slowly shifts and technology rapidly evolves, change is unavoidable, but it doesn’t need to be another hiring obstacle. In 2024, the companies who persevere will be the ones who don’t fear shifts but embrace them.

To build and retain winning teams, leaders must stay on top of the latest talent acquisition trends. The hiring landscape is ever-evolving, along with the strategies, values, and expectations of the workforce. In response, businesses everywhere are rethinking who to hire, where work is done, and how to achieve their goals.

Whether recruiting for creative, marketing or tech teams this year – if you hope to achieve success, these are the 2024 hiring trends and market shifts you can’t ignore.

  1. The job market is tight. The talent market is tighter.
  2. The hybrid model is the next normal.
  3. Pay transparency laws are changing.
  4. DEI is now DEIA.
  5. Emerging tech roles are on the rise.
  6. AI is changing how we find talent and jobs.
  7. The contingent staffing surge continues.


Hiring Trend #1: The job market is tight. The talent market is tighter.

Despite slowing economic growth, 85% of hiring managers indicate their companies are likely to hire talent this year, based on the data obtained from our 2024 Hiring Trends survey. In addition, over 40% admit their teams are currently understaffed, listing employee turnover as the top reason for new jobs opening.

The latest US jobs report supports our findings, showing there are currently more jobs open than talent available for hire. While recent headcount reductions introduced a wave of new candidates into the market, skilled professionals quickly found new opportunities, and job-switching remains at a historical high across industries. Our recent poll of 1,000+ LinkedIn users revealed that 76% of candidates plan to switch jobs or companies in 2024.

To step ahead of the competition, attract top talent, and improve retention – leaders are making a strategic effort to be more empathetic toward their employees and prospective hires. Companies everywhere are revising their compensation packages, expanding their benefits offerings, and updating their hiring processes with job candidate preferences at heart.

Hiring Trend #2: Hybrid is the next normal.

Our 2024 Hiring Trends survey also demonstrated that today’s employees value flexibility and autonomy more than ever before. 90% of job seeker respondents indicated they would leave on-site jobs for remote opportunities. After experiencing the dual benefits of relaxed work-from-home policies, many individual contributors and managers alike are reluctant to return to the office.

At the same time, business leaders are increasingly in favor of in-person work, with more than 2 out of 3 hiring managers unveiling plans to return to the office at least for part of the time in 2024. In light of recent world events and economic developments, there’s a renewed focus on workplace productivity across industries, and remote work’s impact on employee performance remains a subject of debate.

As companies carefully balance their growth goals with job seeker expectations, 60% of hiring managers say that hybrid work will be the most common arrangement of 2024. In the words of Francine Katsoudas, Chief People, Policy & Purpose Officer of Cisco, “The office should be a magnet, not a mandate.”

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Hiring Trend #3: Pay transparency laws are changing.

Beyond flexibility, today’s talent demand transparency. As of the start of 2024, eight US states and a growing number of cities have implemented pay disclosure laws. Last year also saw a new bill introduced to congress that could require employers in all states to disclose pay ranges, if passed. This year, US pay transparency laws and company policies are expected to multiply, and hiring managers are increasingly disclosing pay upfront on their own accord.

Pay disclosure is not yet a nation-wide legal mandate in the US, but it is a competitive advantage for companies across states. 99% of creative, marketing and tech professionals responded they would be more likely to apply to companies that embrace pay transparency when asked in our 2024 Hiring Trends survey. The survey also found that 1 in 3 professionals still value compensation above all else.

While job seekers have much to consider in 2024, salaries remain among the top reasons that organizations win and lose great hires. As recent pay transparency trends place a renewed focus on wages, companies everywhere are leveraging resources like our 2024 Salary Guide to craft equitable and competitive pay ranges.

Hiring Trend #4: DEI is now DEIA.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) continues to be a focus for job seekers and hiring managers alike. Recent studies revealed that 75% of HR leaders say their company will prioritize diversity hiring in 2024, while 85% of professionals consider digital accessibility a competitive advantage for their organization.

Although “DEI” remains the most common acronym used for corporate inclusion programs in the US, there’s recently been a push to add an “A” for “accessibility” and turn “DEI” to “DEIA.” Accessibility and inclusive design are growing priorities for HR departments looking to improve their hiring processes and accommodate people with disabilities. In addition – marketing, product and design teams are increasingly hiring digital accessibility experts to make their experiences accessible for all.

While the one billion people with disabilities provide companies with more than enough reasons to invest in accessibility, the recent uptick in ADA lawsuits has undoubtedly contributed to the rise in awareness. Resources like our newly released Digital Accessibility Advocacy Guide can help professionals advocate for A11Y initiatives within their organizations. To paraphrase the words of Level Access, there is no “D,” “E,” or “I” without “A.”

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Hiring Trend #5: Emerging tech roles are on the rise.

Digital accessibility isn’t the only area of expertise in increasingly high demand. Over 50% of companies plan to invest in artificial intelligence (AI) this year, and AI advancements are predicted to result in 97 million new jobs by 2025. From Chief AI Officers to AI Prompt Engineers, new AI roles have already emerged, and the demand for these experts is expected to grow through 2024.

Widely regarded as today’s most talked about innovation, AI stole the spotlight from Web3 and extended reality (XR) technologies in 2023, but it is also pushing them forward in 2024. Among its countless capabilities, AI has the potential to accelerate blockchain and metaverse development. We recently polled over 200 professionals on the value of virtual reality (VR) worlds today, and over 70% agreed that brands should invest in immersive experiences.

Emerging technologies have already advanced at an unprecedented rate in recent months, and specialists predict that 2024 will bring more technological advancements than many creatives, marketers and even tech experts could imagine. Businesses everywhere are competing to develop and master the latest AI tools, but a tool is only as strong as the talent behind it, and new innovations call for new hires.

Hiring Trend #6: AI is changing how we find talent and jobs.

In 2024, the rise of AI is transforming the way companies hire and how professionals apply. New AI recruitment tools seem to emerge every day, and over 80% of our 2024 Hiring Trends survey respondents have stated their teams are already using AI or looking into adoption.

Innovative companies are leveraging algorithms for everything from resume filtering to employee turnover prediction. Generative AI tools draft job descriptions, advanced chatbots answer candidate questions in real time, and automated candidate recommendations eliminate hiring bias. At the same time, job seekers are leveraging AI to update their resumes, search for jobs, draft cover letters and more.

When used properly, AI’s possibilities are seemingly endless for talent, recruiters, and hiring managers alike. As new hiring tools, widgets and plug-ins emerge, the teams that adapt will be the ones to thrive.

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Hiring Trend #7: The contingent staffing surge continues.

Entering 2024, companies are racing to upskill their teams while doubling down on cost-saving strategies. As a result, the gig economy’s growth shows no signs of slowing down. From freelance talent to contract consultants and fractional executives, leaders continue to rely upon cost-effective talent solutions to elevate their teams.

80% of companies say they’re leveraging contingent workers for hard-to-fill roles in 2024, while over 60% of professionals say they would consider freelance or contract work. The nature of contingent labor gives businesses the capacity to scale their workforce up or down to meet changing needs. At the same time, contract work provides professionals with the ability to choose the projects that best suit their interests and availability.

The freelance revolution has been steadily building for some time. Recent market shifts only amplified the surge. As 2024 goes into full swing, companies must evaluate if contingent talent solutions are right for their organizations, consider their staffing partner options, and adapt their hiring strategies to our new reality.



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Onward Search specializes in staffing and talent solutions at the intersection of creative and technology. Partner with our award-winning team to stay on top of the latest hiring trends, master emerging recruitment tech, and hire top talent in 2024.


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