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Trends and Predictions HR Leaders Need to Know for 2024


With 2024 upon us, HR and organizational leaders are pondering on what challenges and trends to expect as the new year unfolds. Our leaders here at CCI Consulting have weighed in on their top potential organizational impacts and offer their insights, best practices, and recommendations to help better prepare your leaders for what 2024 holds.

WORKFORCE TRENDS IN 2024

TREND #1:

Pay transparency is becoming the new normal – With the passing of pay transparency regulations in many states, there is increasing pressure to ensure that companies have considered their overall design and management of executive and employee pay. Currently, where required, regulations enforce the addition of pay ranges in job postings when looking for prospective candidates. Ultimately, pay transparency can affect an employer’s brand, reputation, and ability to attract and retain talent while ensuring some level of pay equity.

WHAT HR CAN DO:

Accurately represent pay ranges – When publishing job postings, it is important to look at the compensation strategy that currently exists within the organization. If none exists, now is the time to start the process. Start with well-written job descriptions. A job description is the driver for determining the worth of a particular role. Work in tandem with managers to update responsibilities, competencies, education, and job experience needed to perform the role. Using updated job descriptions, conduct a market study for each role. Compare your organization with others in your industry of similar size. Leveraging industry-leading compensation databases ensures the delivery of salary benchmarking, grades, and market pricing data that is directly relevant to your organization’s strategic compensation plan. Analyze current internal salaries against the market price for each role to determine how the current compensation for each individual employee compares and formulate a plan to address this. Determine the best way to communicate externally, for job posting purposes, but also internally for the benefit of employees.

Generally, the goal is to take steps to ensure a compensation strategy that meets the needs of the organization while being mindful of the regulations. Use this as an opportunity to build strong relationships, loyalty, and trust with your employees and future employees.

 

TREND #2

 

Hybrid workplace remains the mainstay – A couple of years post-pandemic, many organizations are still struggling to normalize the workplace. Recognizing what employees value from their employer is evolving and things like workplace flexibility, and remote working, remain a strong pressure. Many companies continue to struggle with the future of the physical workspace. There have been some big headlines recently on companies who have mandated their employees return to the office, but most companies have settled into a hybrid model.

WHAT HR CAN DO:

Offer development and team-building opportunities – Even though we have had a lot of practice working in a remote environment, collaboration, communication, and building relationships remain an obstacle for many. By offering development and team-building opportunities, individuals and teams are likely to work together more effectively.

 

TREND #3

Economic uncertainty and challenges attracting and retaining talent remain – “Changing Conditions Ahead” would be an appropriate caution sign for the talent market in 2024. The road ahead is shrouded in fog as traditional measures of economic health and the labor market have become more difficult to discern and have not been as responsive to levers pulled by governing agencies. The 2023 recession that was widely expected never materialized. The labor market demonstrated remarkable resilience throughout 2023, despite the Federal Reserve’s moves to increase interest rates and tap the breaks on growth; however, the inflationary pressures impacting business materialized. Employers were to be in the driver’s seat again, however, making changes to popular hybrid and remote working arrangements forged during the pandemic have resulted in employee discord and damage to the company’s reputation. Prognostications for 2023 did not play out as anticipated. Couple economic uncertainty with the ongoing challenge of attracting and retaining skilled talent, major demographic headwinds, and an election year on the horizon; uncertainty is the norm. It is tough out there for human resources professionals.

WHAT HR CAN DO:

Be prepared and mindful of changes to the labor market – The message to business leaders and HR professionals is to stay alert to shifts in the business and talent landscape and be prepared to act to mitigate risk to your organization. As the year has drawn to a close, there has been an uptick in layoff activity across a variety of industries, and unemployment data indicates that it is taking longer for displaced individuals to land their next position. If your business circumstances indicate a reduction in force may be necessary, a reorganization or merger has resulted in redundancies, or a single individual is being separated from the organization; being mindful of how your employees are treated in the offboarding process will make a significant difference in the preservation of your brand and your ability to attract talent in the future.
An important part of being prepared for changing business conditions is to proactively establish a relationship with a reputable Career Transition service provider before an emergent need occurs. Ensuring your departing employees are personally assisted in preparing for their next career opportunity will have an impact on their future success and perception of the organization. Harsh reviews on social media are a red flag to talent considering joining your team. Transparency, empathy, and direct support through Career Transition programs help minimize reputational risk to your business. It also allows remaining employees to stay engaged and productive by knowing their peers are supported in the exit process. In the ever-changing business world, the employees released today may be those you will need to return when the market shifts again.

 

TREND #4

Concern grows with effective hybrid leadership and the influence of AI technology – In 2024, the business landscape will undoubtedly continue to gain complexity. Given the increasing number of recent lay-offs and uncertainty in the market caused by geopolitical controversy and a precarious election, leaders will likely find themselves navigating the challenging terrain of the heightened anxiety and burnout of key members of their teams while also striving to maintain effective leadership in a hybrid model. In addition, leaders must keep their finger on the pulse of AI-influenced technological advances that they need to leverage to remain current and competitive.

WHAT HR CAN DO:

Leverage Executive Coaching services – In this environment, Executive Coaches will prove to be invaluable allies on the leadership journey, offering a unique blend of professional guidance and personalized support to leaders on the brink. This level of complexity can impede decision-making and compromise the overall well-being of leaders. Executive coaches specialize in helping these leaders regain balance by identifying stress triggers, clarifying priorities, and fostering a resilient mindset.

Executive coaches are the strategic partners that give leaders the edge they need to enhance their effectiveness and remain successful. From facilitating effective communication across dispersed teams to promoting inclusive leadership, executive coaches play a crucial role in helping leaders hone these capabilities. By offering a safe space for reflection and equipping leaders with tools to foster team cohesion, these coaches contribute significantly to the success of leaders in today’s dynamic work environment.

 

TREND #5

Top talent is reluctant to take on a new opportunity – Candidates, particularly passive ones, are becoming increasingly selective amid changing market environments. At the executive level, the quality of the opportunity from the standpoint of compensation, benefits packages, growth potential, company, and challenges are critical, as the costs associated with changing jobs are higher in today’s volatile market. Many companies are having difficulty “closing the deal” on their own. Even organizations with robust, experienced internal recruiting teams are facing a great deal of unexpected occurrences and surprises coming up during (and after) the offer process (e.g., extensive negotiations, counteroffers, etc.).

WHAT HR CAN DO:

Partner with a trusted executive recruiter – The intense competition for executive talent in today’s market has exploited another facet of the executive hiring process – the treacherous time between the offer and the start date. While losing a candidate to a last-minute competing offer was not previously unheard of, the frequency and aggressiveness of incidents happening in today’s market require CEOs, Boards, and hiring teams to respond strategically to compete.
To best mitigate risk, CEOs and hiring teams must change their mindset. Know the fight is still looming, understand how risks may manifest themselves within the hiring process, and deploy thoughtful, proactive tactics to meet the demands of today’s talent market. This is where a trusted executive recruiter can add a lot of value, shaping the perception of candidates and aligning a company’s value proposition with a candidate’s goals and requirements. A well-seasoned executive recruiter knows how to truly partner with organizations and candidates to ensure the best possible outcome for both, marrying together their mutual long-term success.

 

TREND #6

Defining your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) Statement – According to the Mercer 2024 Global Talent Trends© Survey, when asked “What are the top priorities for HR in 2024”, 61% of respondents said EVP. An EVP is a statement of the benefits, perks, and opportunities that an organization offers to its employees. The goal of an EVP is to attract, retain, and engage employees, and to help build your employer brand.

WHAT HR CAN DO:

Human Resources plays a huge role in defining an organization’s EVP. HR can take these three immediate steps to understand and drive your organization’s EVP. These include:

  • Collect employee feedback. When employees feel like their voices are heard, they’re more likely to be engaged and invested in their work. Collect data through an engagement survey or focus groups to understand what is most important to your employees.
  • Offer internal career development. It is estimated that 40% of employees in the US have changed jobs or roles since 2020. An internal mobility strategy will help your organization become more agile and efficient in moving and developing existing employees so that you can grow your business’s best asset: Your People!
  • Offer development options. In addition to the search for better work-life balance, pay, and benefits, a big reason employee are quitting their jobs is a perceived lack of professional development and career growth opportunities. In a 2021 report by Monster, 45% of surveyed employees said they would be more likely to stay at their current jobs if they were offered more training. Employees respond with better performance and higher commitment when they know you care about their development.