The 5 Biggest Talent Trends in 2024
2023 will be remembered for many things, but the evolution of AI and its integration into the way we work and interact undoubtedly takes the prize for being the most memorable.
In under a year, we went from merely wondering whether AI would replace people, to seeing companies deploy AI-generated content and seriously implementing it into their business flows.
Our learnings this year from our surveys and working with over 200 companies are:
- Over 60% want to learn how to integrate AI tools into their work flows
- 87% are considering using fractional and on-demand talent
- 72% express the need for more personalised training
- Companies are shifting towards contextual learning rather than traditional certification
As we enter 2024, here are our top trends for the world of work to watch out for in the New Year, where the state of VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) remains.
- The C-suite gig-worker
Fractional CXOs or part-time leaders often working for a fixed period, sometimes with multiple companies at once will be huge. According to LinkedIn, 57% of companies are planning to use fractional talent in 2024; while 75% of companies believe that fractional talent is a valuable addition to their workforce, according to Gartner. The way fractional roles work is significantly different from part-time positions or consultants, as you get highly experienced individuals of experience who are then embedded into the company and work closely with the leadership of the organization. This will be an era where fractionalization of knowledge work will grow and people can share their superpower skills with different companies.
Aaron Pan is a fractional executive who has been on both sides of the fence –he was previously a VP at financial institutions and a sports media company, then a consultant and a fractional leader. He believes this trend if executed with the right enabler and people, can benefit organisations hugely.
“It’s the survival of the fastest (not the fittest) as they say, and if that’s true then it will be the businesses and individuals who embrace this new way of working the quickest that will not only survive but thrive in this new digital, fractional and gig economy era that we now live in,” says Aaron.
“Because if there's something that I’ve learned in my two decades of career experience, it’s that when people are empowered to be free, to be themselves and to bring their whole selves to work, that’s when something magical happens: the secret sauce is unleashed and new heights that we never previously thought possible are achieved,” he added.
There are also engagement matters that a fractional leader needs to keep in mind when working with companies. As a fractional CFO & Wizly Expert, Bina Khatwani explains that her role goes beyond financial matters.
“The responsibilities of CFOs in early-stage companies often extend to product development and growth enablement. They need to have a diverse skill set to adapt to the evolving needs of their clients. As a fractional overseeing multiple projects, it may not always be realistic to ring-fence hours for various projects; rather, you’re often required to be available to a team you’re managing or founder you’re reporting to,” says UK-based Bina.
- Upskilling The Workforce for an AI era
High on the agenda for companies in 2024 will be to work out the skills needed for their people and organisations as technology and AI become more powerful and integrate into the process. This means understanding how transformative technologies like generative AI will augment or affect existing roles; and what human qualities such as complex, strategic, creative thinking, and problem-solving abilities that require emotional intelligence are needed to work in harmony with technology.
- Go Office or Go Home
Companies are asking employees to come into the office if they want to keep their jobs. Goldman Sachs wants employees five days a week; Google is factoring employees’ in-office attendance into their performance reviews. According to this CNBC article, 90% of companies plan to implement return-to-office policies by the end of 2024, which surveyed 1,000 company leaders. Only 2% of business leaders said their company never plans to require employees to work in person.
- Talent Retention
In keeping with people coming back into the office, ensuring employee well-being by keeping people happy and engaged will be a priority for leaders. They need to let their people see the difference and value of the effort and commute to come into the office and ensure they stay content and don’t jump ship, especially for those high in demand AI skilled people. This isn't just about gourmet coffee, playing air hockey, and a home-like feel – it's about ensuring the office provides opportunities for collaborative productivity, and professional development, creating a culture of growth and purpose that can't easily be replicated. Companies need to look at an all-round approach to not just attract the best talent but retain them as well.
- Gen Z is Coming
2024 will be the year we see larger numbers of Generation Z entering the workplace while millennials move into positions of seniority and management. For companies, the challenge will be managing different generational expectations of culture and values. Gen Z is the most “woke” generation and places greater emphasis on self-care, sustainability, and mental health than any previous generation. They like to work flexibly and independently. Tech-savvy millennials on the other hand are an ambitious group who often value transparency and work-life balance over salary and title.