We recently celebrated 35 years in business here at Cathedral Appointments and two years of our sister business, CA Tech Talent. In that time, the working landscape has evolved rapidly, and as we look to 2024, here are our predictions for the next year ahead.
Hybrid working will become the norm, with increasing office presence
Hybrid working tribunals are on the rise, a 50% increase from 2021-2022 but despite this, 63% of CEOs still think in-office working will return by 2026 (KPMG). Hybrid working seems to be working well for many businesses, but others have already changed tact and I do expect we’ll see more of a return to office presence in 2024 as businesses reconsider their remote/hybrid policies.
We’ve already experienced a slight upturn in specialist talent looking for jobs closer to home and foresee this increasing, as certain fully remote roles are no longer fully remote! This should be welcome news for South West businesses who have been unable to compete for talent due to salary levels offered for remote roles, particularly those offered by South East businesses.
Downsizing in certain sectors
It’s no secret the past year has seen a turbulent economic market, and while the economy is on the up and inflation has levelled, there are still plenty of business challenges ahead for 2024 particularly when it comes to the labour market!
Demand will continue to be high, candidate availability low and wage inflation for specialist talent will continue to slow down wider economic performance. It’s probably going to be a flat year for most businesses with some winners and some losers.
We will see certain sectors trimming their operations and not replacing natural attrition in order to weather the rocky seas as the financial market continues to be squeezed. This may result in more available talent entering the jobs market which will help other sectors who have been crying out for skilled workers.
The skills gap will continue to widen
As we have seen, especially in the past few months, there is a disparity between available jobs and candidates with the right skill set to match those roles. This skills gap will widen further as new technologies, like AI, become more prevalent in our everyday lives.
91% of UK businesses say there is an IT skills gap and a 1/3 of businesses are set to invest in internal training to address the disparity (Forbes). This is a good time to upskill your workforce to improve performance and retention of good employees.
But there is good news for some candidates. Those with sought after skills will have their pick of the available jobs as leaders seek top talent to futureproof their businesses.
The impact of AI
AI is the topic on everyone’s minds at the moment, and for good reason. AI has the potential to disrupt the recruitment market in both beneficial and challenging ways.
I expect we will see more CVs written with AI technology, causing more expansions of the truth so improving candidate screening to check they are fit for the role will become even more vital.
Since the pandemic, there has certainly been a shift where businesses are conducting interviews via video call, a 57% increase from 2019-2023 (StandoutCV). This method of interviewing is threatened by new AI technologies such as live interview response, whereby the software listens to the interviewer's question and provides a live response the candidate can read back, which could become more commonplace. As such, we might see a return to more live interviews, even for hybrid and remote positions to mitigate this.
Gen Z will enter the workforce at a larger scale
More Gen Z candidates are entering the jobs market as they age out of university and further education.
Social responsibility is a key value for this generation, who seek flexible working policies and benefits packages. These socially conscious employees will add pressure on businesses, forcing them to adapt their policies to foster diverse and inclusive teams. They will also need to align their environmental and diversity goals with the expectations of these employees, who are shaping a fairer and greener future.
What’s clear is that 2024 will mark another season of change as a new workforce comes more into play, emerging technologies shift the requirements of roles across all sectors and the financial market continues to be squeezed. At both Cathedral Appointments and CA Tech Talent, we are ready to address these market shifts and help businesses prepare for the future.