The last few years have held a number of monikers related to workforce trends: 2021 was often called the year of the Great Resignation, while 2022 earned the Great Reshuffle label and 2023 became the year of the so-called Great Reset.
What catchphrase will 2024 bring? That’s yet to be determined, largely because a still-unclear economy will influence this year’s prevailing workforce trends. Yet, employers can be working today to adapt and innovate in order to be successful in whatever economic landscape prevails, according to a recent report from iCIMS, a cloud-based HR and recruiting software company.
In particular, according to iCIMS’ 2024 Workforce Report, business leaders, HR executives and talent acquisition teams will need to rely on the right data and insights to be ready for whatever transformation comes next.
An opportunity for internal mobility
Whereas obvious trends like rising turnover defined previous years, workforce movement is less clear so far this year, says Laura Coccaro, chief people officer at iCIMS.
For example, about 51% of 1,000 people surveyed by iCIMS reported they are “considering” looking for a new job this year. Of those who will job hunt in 2024, their top reason is a higher salary. Meanwhile, 60% of people said they are expecting to get a promotion in 2024, and 50% of them will look for a new job if they do not receive this expected promotion this year.
“Our newest data demonstrates that workers are working to live, not living to work,” Coccaro says, adding that in today’s economic climate, candidates may not receive those expected raises and desired promotions. She explains that rather than throwing in the towel and searching for something elsewhere, their best move might exist within their current employer—highlighting an opportunity for employers to invest more in internal mobility.
“We even see in our own data that organizations are hiring more people internally than externally; in fact, external hires dipped 13% from this time last year,” she says.
According to Coccaro, regardless of economic shifts this year, leadership should work to keep employees engaged through career advancement and development opportunities, which can both help with retention and upskill employees for an eventual desired promotion.
“Providing them with the resources to develop skills—both personal and technical—can get them on the right track for reaching these goals and help to secure career growth internally,” she says.
Staying connected to the data
The iCIMS data also reveals that workplace confidence among employees is rising. Despite marquee employer layoffs making headlines throughout 2023, 87% of people said they were not concerned about getting laid off in 2024.
This optimistic outlook, perhaps attributed to cooling inflation or “surviving” the layoffs of 2023, is contributing to a newly revitalized and bullish workforce, according to Coccaro.
Rhea Moss, global head of workforce and customer insights at iCIMS, concludes that today’s employment landscape is complex and nuanced and bucks conventional projections. So, more than ever, HR and business leaders will need to stay closely tuned in to data about the market and their respective workforces.
“That’s how organizations can adapt and innovate to be successful,” she says, “no matter which way the workforce winds blow.”
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