In a time of economic uncertainty and rapid market changes, the best course of action your business can take is ensuring your workforce is as strong as possible to address current and future obstacles. While we can’t predict the future, we are seeing some hiring trends continuing into the new year, as well as new trends developing. However, it’ll be imperative for businesses to create plans internally to ensure that you are surrounded by the best talent possible to find unique solutions to weather any economic storm. The businesses that do so are the ones that will come out of this year stronger than ever.

As such, we are sharing our 2024 job market trends to help you set your business up for success in the year to come despite the market uncertainty.

Upskilling and Reskilling of Employees

Whether a business is struggling to find the right talent or is under a hiring freeze, ensuring teams are equipped with the skills needed to succeed is imperative in getting through any level of economic downturn. The most efficient way to address any skills gaps in the workforce is through upskilling and reskilling employees, which is training your employees in new areas of the business or enhancing their current qualifications to meet labour demands.

Rise in AI and Automation

Our workforce is being profoundly reshaped and transformed through the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, which is allowing for unparalleled efficiency and enhanced productivity that we haven’t previously seen. From automated data entry to language translations to virtual assistants, we’re seeing AI technologies being integrated into everyday work at every level to help streamline operations, lessen workloads, and reduce margins of error. While concerns of job displacement exist, we’re not seeing jobs go away, but rather the skills necessary to do them change, as well as the emergence of new roles entirely.

Flexible and Adaptive Work Models

There has been increased demand from candidates who are looking for prospective employers that prioritize a flexible and adaptive work model. Giving employees more control over when, where, and how they work allows them to be their best self when performing their role. A recent study revealed, 6 in 10 workers would rather stay in a job with flexible work options than accept a position with higher salary but rigid in-office requirements. As such, employers that adopt said approach will have a larger talent pool to choose from when hiring.

Continued Uptick in Contract Employment

With the uncertainty of the current economic landscape, we are continuing to see an uptick in demand for temporary and contract work. This allows for workforce flexibility as you can scale up or down your workforce based on workload requirements or seasonal demands. As a result, this is a cost-effective approach to hiring as you are not fixed into long-term financial obligations and can often save on benefits that are typically offered to permanent employees. That said, it’s crucial for employers to strike a balance, ensuring they also maintain a strong core team of permanent employees to preserve institutional knowledge and stability within the organization.

Changing Workplace Demographics

With organizations aware of the value diversity brings, populations aging, and internal immigration increasing, we are now seeing the demographics within industries shaken up for the better. However, employers must now adapt and cater to the needs of different generations and cultures. The companies who not only embrace, but welcome this in their workforce are likely to have the talent and unique solutions needed to weather any economic storm. That said, fully embracing this change and achieving true inclusion is always a work in progress, which is why companies must foster a commitment to ongoing learning and action in this area.

Navigating the Wave of Re-Evaluation

Following the Great Resignation of last year, we are now seeing a transition into the Great Re-evaluation, where many employees are looking at their long-term career goals and values to ensure their current or prospective employers align with their professional vision for themself. For some, this re-evaluation has resulted in the decision to move on from a company, but for others it means they are finding new ways to find satisfaction and success by staying with their current employer. To meet this seismic shift, employers are putting more emphasis on how they manage existing employees to make certain they retain them.

For more job market and salary trends, click here to download our 2024 Salary Guides.

Alita Fabiano

Author Alita Fabiano

Specializing in strategic communications, digital accessibility, as well as diversity and inclusion, Alita Fabiano has a passion for championing a stronger workforce through inclusion. Alita’s insights have also been published in the Ottawa Business Journal and Canadian SME Magazine, as well as she has been invited to speak to several organizations about inclusivity and accessibility.

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