Major shifts in legislative and economic priorities, the reorganization of the modern workplace, and a new awareness of the value of “essential” work have filtered down through every aspect of our lives in recent years. Even as organizations return to pre-COVID normalcy, some evidence suggests that we may be living in a “new normal,” one in which these changes to work and life will persist.
Perhaps no line of work has faced more change than human resources, which has been forced to deal with remote work transitions, massive employee turnover, as well as the delicate and frightening implications of tending to a workforce during a pandemic.
Whether we’re returning to normal or transitioning into something new, many of these recent trends in recruitment and staffing will continue, and new ones will emerge. Here’s an exploration of three major staffing trends for 2024.
1. The remote work debate will be settled. Or not.
Arguably the hottest topic in HR and around work in general is the question of hybrid and remote work. Despite claims by some that in-person work results in more productivity, there seems to still be a genuine lack of clarity on the issue. Some industry leaders support a return to office, but others are pushing back, saying that a return to in-person work has more to do with commercial real estate prices than worker collaboration or productivity.
The reality is there are advantages and disadvantages to all modes of work, and those tradeoffs may or may not have a role to play in each company’s decision about whether to allow remote work. For HR professionals, this means that they will likely have to get used to priorities shifting frequently, whether toward or away from remote or hybrid work. In other words, look for this trend to remain a major subject of discussion, if not necessarily a consensus.
2. AI adoption makes soft skills, strategy and planning more important.
The creation and adoption of generative AI tools has taken up a tremendous amount of thought and attention, and for good reason. Generative artificial intelligence could, if some predictions are to be believed, automate a great deal of work, changing the way people approach tasks and measure productivity. Although there is understandable concern about the elimination of jobs, what is more likely in the short term is that jobs will simply change, with AI making certain predictable tasks easier or automating them altogether.
For HR and staffing, this could mean that recruiting individuals with “soft skills” – such as interpersonal collaboration, brainstorming, and long-term planning – could be more valuable as the more creative and collaborative aspects of work are less subject to AI automation.
3. Diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives remain a priority.
DEI has become a major point of emphasis for companies both large and small, so much so that it is now something Fortune 500 companies proactively evaluate. Promoting and encouraging diversity, equity and inclusion in a workplace can benefit an entire organization – not just the HR team – but the work often starts with the HR professionals whose day-to-day responsibilities are to recruit and retain staff.
Being a DEI advocate in HR is not just “checking the box,” but being proactive and courageous in seeking out and challenging established norms, helping staff feel comfortable speaking up about their needs and issues, and helping everyone learn the importance and value of DEI as a key component of organizational success. This requires clear communication, transparency, and accountability, as well as the ability to collaborate across departments.
HR Education at CSU
One way to stay updated about the latest staffing and recruiting trends is by enrolling in a human resources degree program. Here at Columbia Southern University, our online human resources degree programs at the bachelor’s and master’s degree levels are aligned with the Society for Human Resource Management Curriculum Guidebook, helping HR leaders develop the skills and confidence to excel in their field.
To learn more about our online degree programs in human resource management, visit our website.
Multiple factors, including prior experience, geography and degree field, affect career outcomes. CSU does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase, eligibility for a position, or other career growth.