Today’s C-suite leaders are navigating a tremendous shift that will impact their workforces for years to come.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is already emerging as a revolutionary tool in the recruiting process; Gen Z is entering the workforce with higher expectations for companies; and the growing questions around when we work and where we do it are fueling the debate around hybrid arrangements.
Korn Ferry’s 10th Annual Talent Acquisition Trends report outlines some of the biggest trends for talent leaders to understand as this transformative shift unfolds. With 2024 approaching, leaders should begin reimagining their overall recruiting efforts and how they can improve hiring and retention at their organizations, from embracing new technological capabilities to aligning with the needs of current and prospective talent alike.
An All-In Approach to Early Hiring
The battle for skilled talent is only intensifying as organizations rush to hire new graduates that are entering their professional careers. While most employers will continue looking for candidates with a college degree, some employers are broadening their net to build a pipeline of diverse talent.
Some large employers are taking the proactive approach of courting candidates in the earliest stages of their career journey – high school. Going forward, CEOs will need to work closely with CHROs to increasingly expand their talent pools, searching across technical and non-traditional higher education institutions for potential candidates with unique experiences and diverse backgrounds.
This increased focus on early career hiring reflects how organizations are aligning with the needs of Gen Z workers. Unlike previous generations, young candidates are looking for more than just a job, but a company that has their best interests in mind. Whether it’s their overall wellbeing or career development, young hires are expecting more empathy and emotional intelligence from their employers.
As 76% of Gen Z employees say they view learning and development as a central element of work engagement, this overarching sentiment further highlights the imperative for understanding Gen Z’s professional priorities before they join the company.
Emphasizing Skills and Experience Over Connections
With talent shortages complicating recruitment efforts, some employers are placing less of an emphasis on candidates’ educational pedigree and mutual connections from previous employers.
It’s a noteworthy shift from the traditional ‘who-do-you-know here’ approach. However, this heightened focus on candidates’ skillsets is already gaining popularity as organizations not only try to expand their workforces, but simultaneously close skill gaps that can hinder employee development. For example, the rise of generative AI platforms is compelling leaders to prioritize attracting workers who have the proper technical skills to use the nascent technology and are ripe for career development.
The benefits of skills-based hiring are twofold, in that these new skill-based hires are often more aligned with the company’s long-term strategic direction and better positioned to upskill teams of current employees. Similarly, employers are increasingly hiring interim employees or executives to lend their subject expertise to meet immediate business needs, whether it’s in new products such as AI or emerging geographies.
Two Sides of AI’s Role
For both recruiters and candidates, their use of AI shares one common denominator — it’s a tool. Despite CEOs and senior leaders’ concerns around its accuracy and other negative consequences, 82% of respondents expect AI will have a significant or extreme impact on their business.
While the impacts remain to be seen, AI is a cost and time-effective tool when used properly. Apart from daily operations, the technology can support long-term efforts such as diversity, equity, and inclusion by putting candidates forward who might be overlooked in a more traditional recruiting process.
Nonetheless, AI could have immense benefits for recruiters. In addition to chatbots that can provide real-time responses to potential hires’ questions, AI can transform many aspects of daily work, including expediting mundane processes, drafting job descriptions, or identifying the best candidates for job openings.
However, maintaining accuracy and humans’ role in recruitment are key areas that are of mind for leaders. Even though AI can make recruiters’ lives easier, they say that they’re being vigilant in monitoring for AI’s unintended consequences.
Candidates that are using AI also stand to save time in their job searches. It won’t replicate the voice that brings their application to life, but AI is poised to help streamline the manual labor of updating cover letters and resumes. No different than recruiters, AI can help candidates navigate hundreds of job listings through more effective search tools, allowing them to easily compare salary ranges or even discover roles that they may not have previously considered.
Regardless of the use case, AI is emerging as a promising tool that’s capable of transforming how candidates and employers can maximize the hiring process.