Talent acquisition and retention priorities in 2024

These days, people management leaders have not only to respond to immediate situations, but also to plan strategically for the long-term future.

BCG’s survey data shows that while current trends reflect the impact of recent disruptions – health and safety, flexible work schemes – our focus needs to shift toward building capabilities that ensure sustained success amid ongoing changes.

In this context, we’ve identified several key priorities for people management leaders in 2024 and beyond.

Looking beyond the horizon – shaping long-term priorities

While many leaders report that their organizations’ current strengths lie in addressing short- to medium-term challenges, the true differentiators for overall company performance lie in focusing on medium- to long-term goals. Prioritizing things like mobility, staffing, upskilling and the efficiency of people management functions positions you to weather the complexities of an always-on transformation environment. Being holistically people-centric is crucial for anticipating future needs and adapting to the reality of constant change.

Four recommendations for people management leaders

Based on BCG’s survey data and client experiences, we’ve got four recommendations to guide people management leaders in setting the right priorities:

  1. Leverage data for strategic workforce planning – strategic workforce planning is becoming ever more urgent as organisations face disruptive forces like digital transformation, generative AI, climate concerns and evolving talent preferences. Map your current job architecture, align it with business strategy and model future talent supply and demand to proactively address critical talent gaps. AI-powered recruitment tools can help with accurate forecasting, transparency and cost-effective planning.
  2. Enhance talent acquisition through digital transformation – digital technology offers a solution to the increasingly tricky problem of talent acquisition. Critical success factors include clear business goals, user input, agile ways of working and a focus on long-term technology viability. Digital transformation increases recruiter satisfaction and productivity and can attract high-quality applicants while making you less reliant on head-hunters.
  3. Strengthen employee relations – harmonious relations with employees are vital. Direct communication and interaction with employee representatives make your people feel included and that their understanding and acceptance of change processes is important to the organisation. This will help you to build a psychologically safe workplace, promoting physical health, mindfulness and compliance with safety regulations.
  4. Effective policy management – manage HR policies and standards to achieve your organisation’s goals with regard to changing legal requirements like labour law, data protection and other regulations.

Insights from job seekers – key findings and recommendations for employers

A survey of over 90,000 job seekers has emphasized the need for employers to treat them as individuals. The key findings include:

  • Talent market dynamics – the talent market is competitive, especially in high-demand fields. Job candidates who know their value can negotiate confidently.
  • Job preferences – candidates prioritize stability and work-life balance. Within these spheres, their preferences may vary based on the stage of their career.
  • Recruitment experience impact – a negative recruitment experience can lead candidates to reject an otherwise attractive offer. Employers should focus on trust-building moments in the candidate’s journey.

Recommendations for employers

  • Segmentation – tailor recruitment approaches to different personas, wooing potential employees as you would customers
  • Candidate-centric design – focus on creating positive and persuasive experiences, including honest communication about roles and ongoing engagement
  • Overcoming biases – broaden the talent pool by employing people from non-traditional backgrounds; focus on skills, motivations, and potential
  • Digital tools – use digital tools selectively for better efficiency, but balance technology with personal contact
  • Culture fundamentals – address long-term needs with an emphasis on work-life balance, flexibility, and individual employee value
  • Internal talent mobility – implement programs for internal talent mobility to foster career development and retention

In the competitive talent market, a strategic and people-centric approach is crucial for organizations to not only meet immediate challenges but also thrive in the ever-changing future of work. By aligning with these key priorities, people management leaders can shape a resilient and future-ready workforce.

You may also find our article on ‘Navigate people management landscape’ relevant as you continue exploring current talent acquisition trends.