As we settle into a new year, let’s take a look at what are expected to be the hottest trends and topics in talent assessment for 2024.
With competition for talent fierce in the current climate, organizations are increasingly looking to upskill and relocate existing employees to different areas of the business.
Due to a myriad of factors, some organizations have found it difficult to recruit external talent post-pandemic, leading to a new internal talent marketplace where organizations are looking at the skills of individuals and where these can be developed or repositioned. We expect this to continue in 2024, with organizations trying to really get to grips with the untapped potential of their workforce. According to Forbes, there has been a 15% increase in the number of organizations investing in upskilling and reskilling programs over the past two years to build a future-ready workforce (1).
In an ever-evolving skills landscape, and in a bid to adapt to new challenges and trends, organizations are increasingly looking beyond technical skills to place more emphasis on behavioral skills, seeking to create an agile workforce with employees who are willing and able to adapt or develop their skills where needed.
“We have seen an increase in clients wanting to leverage the untapped digital potential of their employees, in order to reskill and deploy this talent into technology-based roles that drive the organization’s digital agenda,” says Danni Clements, Associate Director at Saville Assessment.
Our innovative Wave-i tool helps organizations get a clearer picture of the potential within their organization. Find out how Ricoh used it to successfully identify individuals for their internal Leadership Talent Program here.
2. Generative AI & Automation
Love it or loathe it, AI is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Generative AI specifically has become one of the fastest adopted new technologies of all time, with nearly 200 million users of ChatGPT since it launched in November 2022. Morgan Stanley estimates that generative AI technologies will likely affect a quarter of all occupations that exist today, a figure which is expected to rise to 44% within the next three years (2).
While AI-powered work buddies can boost efficiency and performance, it will be up to organizations to build a strategy on how to use them, as well as a stance on their ethics.
“When it comes to hiring, the greatest concern ChatGPT brings is undoubtedly around written materials prepared by candidates in their own time, such as CVs, cover letters, competency-based application forms and recorded online interviews. It may be that organizations will need to reduce the emphasis they place on these methods, and ensure additional assessments that can effectively assess candidates’ suitability are used in the selection process,” says Jake Smith, Screening Solutions Manager at Saville Assessment.
You can read our full article on ChatGPT and assessment here.
3. Increased Focus on DE&I & Social Mobility
Embracing diversity, equity and inclusion is expected to be high up on many organizations’ talent agendas again in 2024, with the growing trend expected to be around companies setting transparent targets and goals, rather than just paying ‘lip service’ to it as some organizations have been accused of doing in the past. The idea behind this is that it will encourage honest conversations between employees and their bosses, and increase accountability when it comes to DE&I for those in leadership positions.
“An employer’s commitment to DE&I tells you a lot about the culture. A diverse and inclusive environment means experiencing a culture of respect, innovation and growth,” says Yvonne Smyth of Hays PLC (3) .
A more diverse workforce can not only lead to high productivity – companies with inclusive leadership policies generated up to 30% higher revenue per person compared to those without (4) – it can also help you to attract better talent, with this generation of workers arguably more concerned than ever that their organizations encourage a welcoming and inclusive culture.
“The more diverse the participants, the broader the viewpoints and perspectives. The more creative the problem solving. The more thinking out of the box. The more innovation,” says thriveglobal.com.
You can read more about this subject in the roundup from our recent Workplace Inclusion Network event here.
The importance of neurodiversity in the workplace should also not be ignored. Melissa Chester of 80Twenty, says: “If you’re not focused on neurodiversity as part of your EDI then you’re missing connecting with 15-20% of the population…”
You can find out more about this subject in Epsiode 3 of our Deep Dive podcast.
4. Increased Emphasis on Sustainability
Sustainability and helping to combat climate change is set to continue as a key topic for many organizations. It has also become an important factor for increasingly socially-aware jobseekers, with 70% of those in the job market drawn to environmentally-sustainable employers according to research by IBM Institute for Business Value. Almost half of these individuals said they would take a lower salary to work for more environmentally and socially-responsible organizations.
“Articulating a clear and sincere position on matters of social and political importance can significantly enhance employee trust and loyalty. This clarity in corporate values and stances not only supports a positive internal culture but reinforces the organization’s reputation,” say Forbes.
As with DE&I, many companies are committing to setting their own transparent targets, with Apple, Cisco, Paypal and others now releasing their own annual sustainability report for shareholders.
“When sustainability becomes an essential part of the company’s culture and purpose, it will undoubtedly attract more people to seek a job in the organization. And reason tells us that the more applicants you can draw into the company, the bigger the chances of hiring top performers,” says DoGoodPeople.com (5) .
5. Hybrid Working Is Here to Stay
Many organizations, if they haven’t already, need to embrace hybrid working as the ‘new normal’. Indeed, a study of 32,000 workers by ADP found that 64% of workers would consider quitting their role if asked to return to the office on a full-time basis(6).
Not offering flexible working arrangements can have serious implications on attracting talent too, with more and more jobseekers considering hybrid working options as an important factor when looking at potential new roles. This is backed up by Google data, which reveals a huge increase in individuals searching for ‘hybrid working jobs’, with the volume rising 30,900% from the start of the pandemic in 2020 to 2022.
This is also reflected in a CIPD Survey which found that an increasing number of businesses (66% compared to 56% the previous year) felt it was critical to provide flexible working as a choice when posting job adverts(7).
“Companies that focus on a ‘butts-in-seats’ mentality will lose quality hires to those who create spaces that allow employees to control their schedules and produce great results,” say She Geeks Out.com(8).
As hybrid working becomes standard, one concern is that leaders must have a plan in place to combat ‘proximity bias’; the tendency to favor in-person workers for opportunities and promotions at the expense of those who work remotely.
We encourage leaders to schedule regular check-ins with all employees where they can voice any concerns or issues they are having.
“At Saville, we have employees across the UK (and beyond) and operate with a flexible hybrid model, allowing for a greater work-life balance. We encourage regular in-person team get togethers, as well as virtual ‘drops in’ to foster better collaboration and mitigate against anyone feeling isolated or lacking the support they need,” says Simon Jayne, Associate Director at Saville Assessment.
For more information on making hybrid working work for you, check out our whitepaper Hybrid Working – A Guide to More Effective Collaboration.
Find Out More
Whatever’s on your talent agenda for 2024, get in touch and our team will be happy to discuss your challenges and opportunities and how we can help.