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Predictions to help you get ahead in 2024

Posted on 24 January 2024

Predictions to help you get ahead in 2024

​6-minute read

Last year was marked by significant events such as widespread layoffs and a remarkable surge in artificial intelligence usage for everyday tasks. Additionally, there has been a growing call for personalisation in job applications, among other notable trends, far too many to list. As we get underway in 2024, it's a good time to pause and consider the valuable lessons we've gained in the field of Talent Acquisition, particularly those that will influence job seekers in the coming year.

Our insights are informed by keynote speeches at major industry conferences and more than 200 in-depth research discussions with talent acquisition teams. By highlighting these key learnings, our goal is to enable you to better understand, engage with, or become aware of factors that can enhance your job application process. Peritus Partners is always available to offer more personalised support for your career journey should you need it.

 

AI Usage

Let’s get this one out of the way first. The rise of AI usage in resume writing, cover letter creation and even job application automation has been staggering and one that the talent acquisition community has noticed.

So much so that products are shifting their ability toward detecting the validity of how ‘real’ an application is so teams can approach those that are genuine first.

What job seekers need to be aware of is that firstly these tools to help enhance the ease of your application should support how you typically would apply: filter, research and apply with intent. They should not be abused to simply apply to every opening with a generic application.

Depending on the company as well, some teams are fully for job seekers using AI whilst others are not, we believe you will start to see more stances being taken within the job descriptions which will automatically reject individuals who use AI when a team doesn’t accept it.

There will still need to be individuality but with AI detection tools like GPTZero | The Trusted AI Detector for ChatGPT, GPT-4, & More it won’t be long until Applicant Tracking Systems build detection systems themselves.

 

Use AI yes, the tools are only going to get better but use them in a way that doesn’t take away the human touch of your application.

 

50/50 Hard to Soft Skills

Throughout 2023, a notable trend emerged, emphasising 'soft skills' in the job market. This trend is expected to gain further prominence as we enter the new year. The abundance of talent has led to a shift towards valuing these skills more so than ever before, as they help teams stand out and make informed hiring decisions.

While soft skills have always been important, there is now a more balanced emphasis we feel between technical expertise and interpersonal abilities, particularly as many teams are either expanding with few new team members or hiring replacements. Our own research conducted last year reveals insights from talent teams and hiring managers, highlighting that a deficiency in soft skills has hindered many job seekers' progress in the current market.

Knowing what to focus on is a challenge in itself and one that needs dedicated focus therefore, we have created (and soon to be released) articles to help learn what soft skills are most sought after in the current job market, keep an eye on our blog to read them first - Peritus Partners - Career Advice

 

110% of the Job Specification

Expanding on the previous point, many teams have revised their hiring strategies in 2023. As reported by Sifted, there's been a 40% decrease in European tech roles in 2023. Despite some instances of significant growth, these are exceptions, and a similar trend is anticipated for 2024.

For companies undergoing expansion, job description criteria might be more flexible. If you're applying to such companies, the general trend might not be as relevant. However, for smaller companies, those replacing positions, or those seeking very specific skills, candidates should be prepared to meet the required qualifications and offer something additional.

What does 'something additional’ mean in this context? With an abundance of talented candidates, it's challenging for hiring teams to make decisions. When hard skills are comparably strong and soft skills are equally impressive, hiring teams look for candidates who can drive the organisation forward in unique ways. This could include experience in similar projects within the same industry, a significant social media following to promote their product, or leadership skills beneficial for rapid growth.

In 2024, candidates who not only meet the job description but also demonstrate the ability to connect dots in other areas and exceed the initial scope will likely have a better standing in the job market.

 

Increase in Freelancing Roles

In response to the unpredictability across various markets, we anticipate a growing trend where organisations will increasingly seek to diversify their workforce by incorporating more freelancers for specific projects.

This shift may not be as prominent in recently funded Series A or B startups as they will likely be hiring on the permanent side to solidify their core teams, but we expect it to be more evident in Pre-seed and Enterprise-level companies. These companies, particularly those needing to launch new products rapidly, are likely to tap into the robust network of freelancers who are currently between projects.

 

Increase in neurodivergent support for prediction

The year 2023 has witnessed heightened sensitivity and support for neurodivergent job seekers. This focus extends from the initial hiring stages, through onboarding, and into the daily work environment, with an aim to enhance the overall support structure for those that require.

This initiative is a significant stride towards achieving true diversity in the workplace, going beyond traditional parameters of gender and ethnicity.

As we move with 2024, it's anticipated that more organisations will recognise the importance of offering additional support to neurodivergent individuals. This will not only benefit the job seekers but also contribute to the enrichment of diversity within teams.

 

Similar H1 but easing off over H2

As of now, the job market continues to underperform, though there have been sporadic signs of growth in the last three months, offering a glimmer of hope. Insights from conversations with venture capitalists, CFOs, founders, and talent teams suggest that the first half of 2024 will largely mirror the current state: limited growth in specific sectors, and cautious investment rounds prompting teams to stretch their financial runways.

Given the high costs associated with hiring and the risk of making incorrect staffing decisions, many companies might experience decision-making paralysis. However, as we progress into the latter half of 2024, there's an expectation of increased movement in funding, which could lead to a rise in hiring activities.

 

The job market dynamics pre-COVID are unlikely to return soon, but by the end of 2024, we anticipate a gradual easing in the job market. This shift should make it easier for individuals of various skill levels to find opportunities and navigate career transitions.

 

Our aim with this article is to not scare you into thinking the job market is all doom and gloom or to panic you if there are areas you are not taking into consideration yet. The focus has been to make sense of what we have learned over these last 12 months, what we have heard from those in decision-making positions within our networks and to give some sort of clarity as to where we believe the job market is heading in 2024.

No crystal ball, no guarantees just educated guesses.

Take what you can from this article, reflect yourself, seek further guidance and check back at the end of 2024 to see how good our predictions were.

Regardless of what happens in 2024, let’s collectively bring simplicity to the chaos of recruitment.

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