We are now one week into the New Year and, with ambitions still going strong, everyone is set to attack the plans they laid out last quarter. Revenue targets have been set, marketing initiatives have begun activating and new headcount has opened. It feels like the uncertainty that defined 2023 is behind us as we all recognize that we simply can't predict what's ahead and hesitation will only stall growth.
From a talent perspective, 2024 seems to represent a fresh start where people believe again that bold career moves should be made rather than staying in limbo, waiting to see what the economy will bring. People are ready to make a change and companies are investing in talent. If 2022 was a hiring frenzy and 2023 was the slowdown, 2024 is feeling like the right setting where all parties have come out of the pandemic aftermath and are much clearer on how they want to shape the road ahead.
One week in, here's what we are seeing for 2024 talent acquisition:
- Hiring is a top priority again: Companies are moving past the "let's wait and see" mindset and are ambitious about hiring again. This means 2024 could become a competitive hiring environment with candidates looking at multiple offers.
- Great talent is in the market: As much as companies are accelerating, so are candidates. Our inboxes have been filled this week with best-in-class talent reaching out to state they are open to new opportunities. People are ready to make 2024 a year of personal and professional growth and the best and smartest talent is ambitious about seeing their goals come to fruition.
- The liquid workforce is a business essential: AI came on the scene fast in 2023 and is reshaping every industry and operating division. Employees are struggling to keep up and specialized skills are more critical for business success. Leaders have recognized that to stay ahead, they must bring experts in quickly, and those with expertise have recognized the opportunity this creates for their career and independence. Designing your organization so that it can be "liquid", and can adapt quickly to technology and consumer shifts, will enable companies to stay ahead of the competition and continue to grow.
- An expanded c-suite: As specialization becomes more important, CEOs are grappling with how to shape their leadership teams. This involves determining whether to hire more specialized leaders or consolidate roles, reducing the number of C-suite executives while fostering more specialization within divisions. Currently, there's a trend towards C-suite expansion, but we anticipate future leadership consolidation, where agile, curious, and resolute leaders oversee multiple divisions.
- Values will lead the way: In the post-pandemic world, everyone has taken stock of what matters most to them, how they want to work, and how they want to live. This goes far beyond work from home or work from the office and leans heavily into value alignment. We now have four generations in the workforce, making it more difficult for leaders to please everyone and adapt to the demands of the business. The commonality will sit with alignment around core values, and the best leaders will understand how to unite and inspire their teams under this umbrella.
- Great leaders continue to be a rarity: Being a leader has never been more taxing than it has been in the past five years. Rapid advancements in technology, high demands from a multi-generational and diverse workforce, the expanding and contracting economy, and the rapid shifts in consumer behavior have left many heads spinning. Leadership burnout has become a real issue, resulting in a leadership shortage and more competition for those who have the skills, experience, and passion to take on the opportunities and challenges ahead.
The New Year has launched with optimism as we acknowledged that the decade-long bull market had its limits and we learned that we can't predict what's ahead. With a much clearer understanding of ourselves and our environments, we see that 2024 is ours for the making. With only one week into the year, it is already clear there has been a shift in mindset, both from the company and candidate perspective. It will make for an interesting and competitive year in recruiting but mostly, this brings with it opportunity for all.
Here's wishing you all great success in 2024!