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What are the Biggest Challenges for Recruiting in 2024?

It may seem odd to start an article about recruiting with a quote from a military strategist who lived over 2,500 years ago – but here we are. Sun Tzu once said that “in the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity” and there is no better summation of the current recruiting climate than this.

Uncertainty abounds. And for so many reasons. AI is transforming the industry. Layoffs are omnipresent. The right talent is harder to source than ever. What candidates want is changing. And economies seem in a constant state of flux. At first glance, 2024 represents a huge challenge for recruiters and talent acquisition professionals. But it is by no means insurmountable.

In fact, with a little creativity and a shift in mindset, this period of flux also represents a moment for positive change. Let’s get into it! 

1. The Candidate Experience Conundrum

The candidate experience has transformed into a crucible, testing the mettle of every organization’s recruiting strategy. In this era, a candidate’s journey from application to hire is akin to walking through a digital bazaar, filled with opportunities, distractions, and decisive moments. The difference between securing a talented individual and losing them to the competition often hinges on nuances: the clarity of communication, the warmth of interactions, and the personalization of the process. Imagine a scenario where a candidate receives a bespoke video message from their potential team, contrasting sharply with a competitor’s automated email. Which company do you think will capture the candidate’s imagination?

According to LinkedIn, 65% of candidates say that a bad interview experience would make them lose interest in a position. And with talent in such short supply, it’s never been more imperative to get this process right. Remember these essential tips at all times:

  • Ensure communication is clear, concise, consistent, and compelling.
  • Streamline the process for efficiency.
  • Make a moment! Bring some joy and uniqueness to proceedings.
  • Focus on making the experience inclusive and safe.
  • Always follow-up with feedback and support.

So many SocialTalent customers reference candidate experience as a core pain point for their recruiting teams. But to diagnose and remedy the issues, you need to be meticulous in your investigation. Find those problematic moments, work out the root cause of the issue, and impact change.

Learn more: Discover our complete guide to the Perfect Candidate Experience.

2. AI: The Double-Edged Sword

Artificial Intelligence in recruiting is a double-edged sword. On one side, it promises unparalleled efficiency—sifting through thousands of resumes in minutes and identifying promising candidates through algorithms. Yet, on the flip side, it risks slicing through the human essence of recruiting, leaving candidates feeling processed rather than engaged. Furthermore, AI’s bias problem looms large; a tool trained on historical data can inadvertently perpetuate past injustices, offering challenges that demand not just technological solutions but ethical considerations. The true challenge lies in harnessing AI’s power without becoming ensnared in its pitfalls, crafting an AI strategy that enhances human decision-making rather than replacing it.

Balancing AI’s efficiency with a human touch requires a nuanced approach. For instance, deploying AI for initial screening can free up time for recruiters to engage in deeper, more meaningful interactions with candidates. The key is ensuring these technologies are regularly audited and recruiters are given the support and training needed to use this technology effectively. As Natalie Glick, the Director of TA Strategy at BCG, told us during our recent SocialTalent Live event:

Tech is there to help us, but the human needs to be there to make the decisions. Essentially it’s about finding out where the computer computes and the human engages.”

Learn more: Navigating the AI Revolution in Talent Acquisition

3. Sourcing Talent in the Digital Expanse

The global talent pool has expanded into a vast digital expanse, with potential candidates dispersed across various platforms, from LinkedIn to niche online communities. The challenge for recruiters in 2024 can often feel like a ‘needle in a haystack’ situation. Traditional sourcing methods are no longer sufficient. Recruiters must now become adept digital explorers, venturing into specialized forums, leveraging advanced data analytics to identify talent, and engaging potential candidates in meaningful ways. It’s about creating pull through compelling employer branding and outreach, making your organization the center that talented individuals gravitate towards.

We know how tricky sourcing has become, so we recently partnered with renowned expert, Glen Cathey, to create innovative training to help solve this challenge. From leveraging psychology and neuroscience to engage and influence candidates, to applying tactics to go beyond conventional sourcing approaches, Glen’s content is the perfect panacea to find even the most elusive talent! Have a sneak peek at one of his courses:

Learn more: Discover more about Glen Cathey’s sourcing training

4. DEI: Beyond the Checkbox

We’re getting a bit tired of this lingering narrative around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion being a ‘tick-box’ exercise. While it does seem like organizations are starting to creep beyond this mentality – there is still a huge amount of work to be done. DEI often feels like a ‘two steps forward, one step back’ situation and it can be challenging for recruiters who are tasked with finding diverse talent but also understand that it’s not just about filling quotas. 

To find, hire, and engage top talent from underrepresented backgrounds, you have to weave DEI into the very fabric of your organization’s culture. But it requires a monumental shift from performative action to genuine transformation, and recruiters are often caught in the crossfire. They alone cannot inculcate complete change, but they can move the needle. By ensuring that their hiring processes embody inclusivity at their core and continually bang the drum for accommodations, representation on panels, DEI training, and leadership support, talent acquisition professionals can make a difference. 

And as the workforce demographics shift, with Gen Z expecting authentic commitment to diversity and inclusion, the imperative for companies to act is clear. DEI is not a trend but a fundamental shift in how talent is cultivated, valued, and empowered.

Learn more: Download our FREE E-Book ‘The SocialTalent Guide to Inclusive Hiring.’

Conclusion: A Call to Action

The recruiting challenges of 2024 are not for the faint of heart. They demand a blend of innovation, empathy, and strategic acumen. As we delve into the specifics of enhancing candidate experience, leveraging AI ethically, navigating the vast digital talent pool, and truly embedding DEI in organizational DNA, it becomes evident that these are not mere challenges but opportunities. 

Opportunities to redefine the essence of recruitment, to foster a workplace that reflects the diversity and dynamism of the world outside, and to cultivate a culture that thrives on inclusivity and innovation.

Each of these focal areas requires a thoughtful, data-driven approach. Incorporating feedback mechanisms, embracing technology responsibly, engaging with talent on their turf, and living the values of diversity and inclusion are not just strategies but imperatives for success in the 2024 recruitment landscape.

SocialTalent’s Recruiting Training is tailor-made to deal with the challenges any talent acquisition team is dealing with. Talk to our team today to find out more!

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