Crystal Ball Image Source GriloiCIMS has published the January 2024 Workforce report. This is the fourth annual report that looks at job seeker behaviour trends. It is based on data from the iCIMS platform and a survey of 1,000 US adults.

Rhea Moss, Global Head of Workforce & Customer Insights, iCIMS, summarises the aim of the report. She said, “Our analysis of iCIMS data captures the insights that employers need to understand an ever-changing labor market and make better decisions for their businesses. That’s how organizations can adapt and innovate to be successful no matter which way the workforce winds blow.”

Rhea Moss, Global Head of Workforce & Customer Insights, iCIMS
Rhea Moss, Global Head of Workforce & Customer Insights, iCIMS,

The report is ten pages long and contains a mix of data points, data visualisation and analysis. It is a good, if short, read with less than 2,000 words. It also contains comments from industry leaders, including several pieces of advice.

The report is structured into several brief sections:

  • The top findings from the data
  • A look back at the predictions for 2023 and the reality with hindsight
  • An analysis of some of the trends seen in 2023 and what they hold for 2024

In terms of trends identified, it is left to Susan De La Vega, Vice President, Global Client Success, to reveal what she believes are the 3 biggest talent acquisition trends to watch for in 2024.

  • AI and recruiters will find harmony. Used in the right way, AI saves money and time and has a lot to offer recruiters, like pre-screening video interviews and answering candidate questions.
  • Employers will double down on early career hiring. Recruiters will cast their nets wider, wooing candidates still in high school or considering hires from non-traditional routes.
  • A new focus on skills. It’s not about where you’ve been, but what you know. With so many skills gaps to close, businesses will focus on what they need to help them achieve their goals.

Key findings from the iCIMS report

Some notable data points indicate what might happen in the coming year.

  • 87% of people said they aren’t concerned about getting laid off in 2024. This seems high, with economic disruption continuing and layoffs from several tech vendors especially continuing.
  • 51% of people said they are considering looking for a job this year. Broadly consistent with other research, this was not a surprise.
  • A 14% increase in applications between December 2022 and December 2023, but will that continue to rise?
  • 52% of people who will look for new jobs in 2024 said that their top reason is salary. The second highest was benefits (13%). Is this a reflection of inflation? Though the economic backdrop is not mentioned anywhere in the report.
  • Forty-six applicants per opening for tech jobs in December 2023, up from 26 in December 2022. It would have been interesting to dive into this data to understand the age demographic of applicants. Are these older people struggling to obtain jobs or graduates looking for a first role?
  • 32% of people said they would consider looking for a new job if their company announced a return to the office full-time. Note that this is only “consider”, though.
  • With COVID introducing remote working and companies’ office advertising positions as remote working rather than a specific location, there is little surprise that out-of-state applications rose by 3% last year to 22%.

Other notable trends

One prediction that iCIMS will be happy to see is the time to fill a vacancy. Those statistics remained pretty static throughout. The time to fill in days fell in the first three months of the year from 45 to 40. However, it stabilised after that and closed the year in December at 40 days. The iCIMS solutions aim to help companies reduce that delay.

Megan Della, Director of business enablement at Master Electronics, noted, “Having iCIMS in place has reduced our recruiting team’s time-to-fill. That’s huge. When someone is applying for a job, it’s crucial for us to respond quickly. Before iCIMS, our average response time was upwards of a week. Now it’s 24 hours. We get engagement more quickly, meaning we’re able to bring in candidates sooner.”

While internal hires dipped (5%), external hires plummeted (13%). The authors fall short of predicting whether organisations will continue to look internally, but this might be a trend that continues in 2024.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

This report is less about predictions and more about the existing trends from which the reader can and should draw their conclusions. It is also limited to the sentiment in the US. Remote working will remain a hot topic in many organisations across many countries in 2024. Whether employees will actually leave companies because they are forced back to the office is difficult to predict. However, for many, a full-time return to the office might do so. A hybrid situation, demanding presence in an office for a few days a week, is a realistic compromise that many organisations are likely to make.

The challenge for doing that is the costs of real estate and how organisations will evolve their working environments. What iCIMS has not done within this report is break down the responses from different industries or functions. For some sectors, such as manufacturing, retail and hospitality remote working for many is not an option. For others, especially in the tech sector, companies are promoting remote working to access global talent for hard-to-fill positions.

iCIMS has access to a wealth of data. It could have created a much more comprehensive and detailed report. However, at a high level, this report is well worth a read. iCIMS may find the time to produce more focused industry insights in the coming months.


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