Current Trends in Recruiting HR Talent

Recruitment and talent attraction for the wider business is a fundamental part of the Human Resources function, so any trends in general recruitment are bound to affect HR teams in some capacity. However, in this blog, we are looking specifically at trends in hiring HR professionals themselves. How is the HR function evolving and what does that mean for the skills candidates will need? How can business leaders maximise HR talent and remain competitive as desirable employers?

These are the questions we aim to answer. We’ve identified 6 key trends for HR recruitment in 2024…

6 Key Trends in Recruiting HR Talent: Strategic HR, HR and PR, HR and AI, Hybrid Working, Younger Talent Pool, and Renewed Approach to DEI

1.    From Functional to Strategic

One of the major trends we’ve seen in HR over the past few years is the move from a traditional, purely operational role within the larger business, to a solutions-focused role that can have real impact on company performance. HR is no longer just about day-to-day administration, focussed on compliance, benefits administration, and performance management. HR’s new objective is to incorporate the value of employees within the overarching business goals. By leveraging skills development and encouraging employee engagement, companies can gain a competitive advantage.

What does this mean for recruiting HR talent? Companies who want to remain competitive will need to take advantage of all that modern HR has to offer and create a space for more senior HR professionals within their team. Look out for candidates who are comfortable analysing data, making hypotheses, and advising strategic initiatives based on that. Candidates who can see the bigger picture will enable your HR team to truly influence business performance for the better.

Two columns detail the differences between Traditional and Modern HR Functions. In the Traditional column, we have: Administrative tasks, Recruitment-focused, Employee relations limited to conflict resolution, One-size-fits-all approach, and Top-down communication. In the Modern column, we have: Strategic business function, Empowering staff, Employee engagement + well-being concerns, Flexible and diverse, 2-way communication

2.     HR and PR

Employee experience is becoming increasingly public. Dissatisfied employees can easily create a problem for a company by sharing their experiences online. However, satisfied employees can also be a great asset to a company as sharing their employee experience will attract other great talent. HR professionals need to get a handle on how employee experience is communicated to the public and have a pro-active approach to potential PR issues.

What does this mean for recruiting HR talent? In order to protect brand perceptions, and attract top candidates, your HR team should have some PR/marketing skills. Look for candidates who can craft a message to align with your company values and resonate with employees.

3.      HR and AI

Despite the recent boom in AI adoption, the HR department has actually been using AI for some time now to source candidates and pre-filter applications through ATS. However, AI continues to develop, and HR staff will need to get used to using it even more. AI can automate onboarding and offboarding processes, analyse data to highlight skill gaps and predict turnover, or even create company-specific chatbots so that employees can ask questions without bothering the HR team.

What does this mean for recruiting HR talent? Understanding AI and applying it successfully is a skill. Hiring managers should look for candidates who have experience with AI tools and who understand the importance of responsible data usage.

A mindmap graphic with the words HR and AI in the middle. Around the centre are 8 spokes labelled: Candidate sourcing, auto-screening applications, automating onboard/offboarding processes, generate & analyse employee surveys, retention & attrition analytics, internal chatbots, workforce planning and forecasting, personalised training plans.

4.      Hybrid Work and RTO Policies

In the aftermath of 2020 and the remote working revolution, many businesses are enacting Return to Office mandates, or at least a hybrid model. This is creating some sticky situations between employees and their employers: staff don’t want to give up on the improved work-life balance that remote work offers whereas managers feel that the team is more cohesive in the office. It falls to HR to manage this transition in an intentional manner, so as to address the needs of both sides.

What does this mean for recruiting HR talent? Playing the diplomat is a skilful role. You’ll need HR managers who are excellent communicators who can deliver the message in a way that mitigates employee concerns and ensures buy-in. They should also understand how to keep employee engagement up regardless of where the team is based.

5.     Younger Talent Pool

Millennials and Gen Z workers will represent more than 50% of the workforce by 2025 and we know that they have a different approach to work than their predecessors. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that younger workers are more likely to value mental health, work-life balance, and a sense of social purpose. HR candidates are no different. So, if companies want to attract and retain the new generation of candidates, they’ll need to adapt accordingly.

What does this mean for recruiting HR talent? In order to attract the top talent, employers need to ensure their organisation is attractive to a younger working audience. It’s time to incorporate flexible working options if you haven’t already. Young candidates are more likely to consider your CSR programme so talent attraction efforts should focus on your environmental and social impact.

6.     Renewed approach to DEI

DEI roles have suffered in the past few years. DEI job listings dropped 19% in 2022 compared to 2021, and Revelio labs found that attrition rates for DEI roles were at 33% compared to 21% for non-DEI roles. However, DEI cannot be ignored. Consumers are demanding more responsible business, and employees also want to work for responsible companies. Ignoring DEI will lead to difficulties attracting, engaging, and retaining the top talent.

What does this mean for recruiting HR talent? DEI isn’t going anywhere. Companies must find a place for DEI professionals in your organisation, or they are going to lose out on a big competitive advantage. Whether you create space for a designated DEI role or you embed DEI skills across your HR team is up to you.

Quote from Arlan Hamilton, Founder of Backstage Capital; "If you haven't hired a team of people who are of color, female, and/or LGBT to actively turn over every stone, to scope out every nook and cranny, to pop out of every bush... you're going to miss out on a lot of money."

To summarise

Employers seeking to develop their HR team in 2024 should think of HR as a strategic component within wider business goals. Skills such as PR and crisis management will be desirable, as well as experience or knowledge of AI tools. Employers looking to remain competitive on the job market will need to adapt their talent acquisition strategy to align with younger candidates’ values. And finally, a space must be made for DEI considerations if business leaders don’t want to fall behind.

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