Close up of hand holding abstract globe with connections on city background. Communication concept. Double exposure

Talent leaders are recognizing technology’s crucial role in finding and keeping employees, with many investing particularly in AI solutions. Almost all (97%) of the 1,000+ C-suite and talent leaders surveyed for Randstad’s latest Talent Trends report note that adopting technology has improved talent attraction, engagement, and retention at their company. This is up 8% from last year and marks the highest percentage in the nine-year history of the report.

AI search and match had the highest growth rate among technology investments this year, with 66% investing in this technology, a 14% jump from last year. Despite concerns like reduced human touch (34%) and irresponsible use of AI technology (32%), most leaders agree on AI’s benefits, including finding needs and gaps in their workforce (78%) and identifying opportunities for internal mobility (78%). 

Outside of technology, some of the top challenges talent leaders are anticipating include more competition for hard-to-find skills (34%) and specialty skills becoming more scarce (32%). Nearly three in four leaders (72%) say the skills gap at their organization is increasing, the highest percentage since 2019. So it’s not surprising that 80% of surveyed companies are moving to a skills-based hiring model. Yet only 21% have taken a foundational step in this direction by building a skills ontology. 

Many leaders are already adopting a skills-first approach to assessing candidates, valuing factors like the potential to learn to grow (83%), intellectual or personality traits (80%), and personal motivations and aspirations that align with the role (80%) ahead of industry experience and college degrees.

Other highlights of the 2024 report include: 

  • Almost half (48%) of talent leaders aim to improve or expand their DEI initiatives, while one in 10 plan to reduce their focus on DEI efforts. 
  • A quarter (25%) of surveyed leaders want to increase their investment in how they communicate strong company values and their value proposition to employees. 
  • More than half (64%) are feeling pressured to do more with less this year.

See the full report for more of 2024’s top talent trends.