Future-proof your workforce strategy: Trends to watch in 2024

November 13, 2023

As 2023 draws to a close, business analysts across the board – management consultants, talent acquisition and staffing analysts, technology experts, and business-focused social media – are all rolling out their predictions of workforce and staffing trends to watch for 2024.

The factors influencing the staffing industry and corporate workforces may vary from one list to another, both in substance and emphasis. However, there seems to be a growing consensus around several topics that HR and talent acquisition professionals must address in the coming year.

We reviewed reports by global research and management consulting companies, staffing industry analyst organizations, leading workforce solutions companies, global technology consulting companies, and change management specialists. By comparing their insights regarding trends and priorities, we identified these as the most prominent recruiting, staffing, and workforce trends to watch or act on in 2024.

1. Generative AI

Nearly every list predicts artificial intelligence will be a factor in the recruiting and talent acquisition process in 2024. LinkedIn cites the rise of AI in talent acquisition, with AI-powered tools used to streamline the hiring process, from resumé screening to interview scheduling. But Gartner, in its “Recruiting: 3 impactful trends for 2024,” warns that recruiters using AI-based tools must use them responsively and pay attention to bias mitigation.

Korn Ferry's 2024 talent acquisition trend research report predicts that both recruiters and job candidates will use AI: “The time saved by AI will enable recruiters to focus on the candidate experience and help to discern how candidates match to specific roles.” Meanwhile, “AI will assist candidates by finding openings for roles they may not have considered, optimizing their resumés and cover letters and preparing them for interviews.”

2. Pivot to skills-based workforce

Many analysts predict businesses will shift their focus toward acquiring talent with specific skills rather than academic credentials or past employment pedigree. Instead of tying hiring initiatives toward long-term strategic needs, Korn Ferry says, “many companies are hiring for – and paying top dollar for – the skills workers possess today.”

McKinsey believes that a skills-based approach helps both employers and workers. Removing degree requirements from specific job postings expands the available talent pool and allows workers progress from lower- to higher-wage jobs.

3. Total workforce management & treating staffing as a strategic asset

With organizations facing ongoing talent challenges, Human Resource Executive expects businesses to incorporate more diverse and disparate talent sources in 2024 and the tools to facilitate these initiatives. “Seemingly perpetual skills gaps and skills mismatches … necessitate a more expansive, flexible, and creative approach to planning, sourcing, hiring, and deploying talent. This essentially fuels an updated and modern definition of total workforce management.”

According to Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), the importance of contingent workforce programs will surge in 2024 as businesses treat contingent labor as a comprehensive talent solution rather than just an operational process. “Whether they are including statement-of-work spend, leveraging direct sourcing or adopting global resource tracking, programs that provide transformative, turnkey solutions via transparency and control are at the vanguard of change.”

4. Improving time to hire

Everest Group predicts that improving time to hire will be a crucial differentiator for business success in 2024. They predict that businesses will use contingent workers in 2024 to speed up the acquisition of essential skills and bypass hiring freezes. Everest anticipates that generative AI will reduce the time required to identify, source, and engage talent.

Randstad states, “With top-notch candidates weighing offers from various industries, employers need to make their hiring process quick and effective to stay in the lead.”

5. HR and talent acquisition technology

Gartner ranks HR technology #3 in its “Top 5 Priorities for HR Leaders in 2024.” Noting that 60% of HR leaders are uncertain about the impact of evolving technology trends (including generative AI), they are unsure what technology to adopt. At the same time, 56% of HR leaders confirm that their HR technology solutions do not match their current and future needs.

This is exacerbated by the perception of 82% of HR leaders that their managers aren’t equipped to lead the necessary changes, including digital transformation.

At the same time, according to SIA, “vendor management system (VMS) platforms, robotic process automation (RPA), generative AI, direct sourcing, talent communities, data visualization, and numerous other opportunities have combined to create the fastest evolution of the staffing technology landscape in our history.” SIA asserts that implementing and optimizing this technology in 2024 will be “the most critical differentiator among high-impact, results-driven programs.”

Your New Year’s resolution must be “Take Action”

These are not the only factors that will affect your talent acquisition plans for 2024. Decisions must be made about remote and hybrid work, talent pools, employer branding, up-skilling, re-skilling, and more. But how you respond to the five trends above may determine whether your company has the dynamic, agile workforce you need to respond to your most urgent business challenges and opportunities in 2024.

Before you ring in the New Year, you must ensure that your talent acquisition programs are ready for the challenges you’ll face. In this era of accelerating digital transformation, do you have the technology to source, engage, and manage your entire workforce – including non-employee talent: temporary staff, consultants, independent contractors, and outsourced service providers?

If you have a vendor management system (VMS), ensure that it has the latest technology, like AI-powered resumé visualization capabilities, direct sourcing, and comprehensive services procurement functionality. If you don’t have a VMS in place, you are giving your competitors a competitive advantage, and that is not the way you want to start 2024.

Contact us today at to learn how future-proof extended workforce management technology can empower your business.

Do you want to acquire and manage talent more effectively?

Download Everest Group’s report, The Role of Technology in Enabling Strategic Contingent Workforce Management (CWM), and learn how to leverage VMS technology to meet your most pressing talent acquisition and contingent workforce challenges.

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