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February 21, 2024

Employers Are Leaning on These 5 Strategies to Tackle Hiring Challenges in 2024

From mounting burnout to the rise of generative AI, 2023 flew by in a whirlwind of HR headlines. And while experts predict that 2024 may sail by a little smoother, there are still plenty of challenges for hiring teams.

That’s why every year at Breezy, we ask employers for their point of view.

In the latest edition of our Hiring Challenges survey, we’re uncovering the top challenges businesses are facing this year – including five data-backed takeaways to help you win the best candidates.

Psst! Hey, there. 👋🏻 Rather get straight to the data? Download the full report (it’s free!).

5 hiring strategies for 2024

  1. Embrace the fractional workforce
  2. Be transparent in your job descriptions
  3. Provide work-from-home opportunities
  4. Offer competitive compensation
  5. Improve goal-setting and performance management

1. Embrace the fractional workforce

When asked to name their top market challenge, 58% of the employers surveyed pointed directly to the economy. In a shifting market, job seekers aren’t the only ones demanding increased flexibility.

While 83% of employers say they still rely on a full-time salaried workforce, the rise in contract-based and part-time roles remains steady year over year.

Last year, 22% of companies hired contractors and 18% brought in part-timers. According to this year’s survey, that number has increased steadily, with 24% of employers engaging contract-based workers and 21% employing part-time staff.

Even if you already have a strong full-time workforce, tapping into the fractional talent market can help you access skills on-demand, without committing to opening a net new role.

This is part of a larger trend we’ve been tracking at Breezy, called quiet hiring. While quiet hiring can be a great way to fill talent gaps during a hiring freeze, it can also backfire if not approached with caution.

As more employers continue to engage the fractional workforce this year, consider how you can make it a more intentional part of your broader talent strategy. This could mean offering opportunities for existing employees to upskill into a role with greater responsibility, or creating pathways for moving perfect-fit freelancers from part-time into full-time roles.

2. Be transparent in your job descriptions

Finding qualified candidates remains the top hiring challenge named by the majority (56%) of employers. In the forever-fierce competition for talent, the importance of clear job descriptions cannot be overstated. 

If you do anything to elevate your hiring this year, make your job postings the priority. Include a transparent and accurate salary range, with clearly defined requirements and perks that candidates actually want.

73% of survey respondents cited clear requirements and job descriptions as their most effective tool at the recruitment stage, with work-from-home opportunities (55%) and fair compensation (51%) following behind.

In 2024, it may be time to rethink your compensation framework and uncover new ways to attract highly qualified talent. If budget is an issue, focus on scope and perks instead.

Keep the role, requirements, and job description straightforward. And if you offer sought-after perks like remote work options, don't bury them – bold them.

3. Provide work-from-home opportunities

In addition to economic pressure, employers are acutely attuned to the importance of company culture. 

Today’s candidates want clear expectations, fair pay, and as much flexibility as possible. If you can’t compete on pay alone, offering the support and autonomy they crave could help win them over.

According to the survey, 43% of employers say they recognize the importance of remote work and 40% are actively emphasizing work/life balance in their efforts to attract qualified candidates.

Whether you go remote or hybrid, think twice before calling for a company-wide return to the office.

Fair, compliant, clearly defined work-from-home policies are key to becoming an employer of choice in 2024. As competition rises, now is the time to develop a policy that works for your people and your business.

4. Offer competitive compensation

From groceries to utilities, everything is pricier these days. In the midst of this economic squeeze, it’s no wonder workers are more wage-conscious than ever.

Of course, this isn’t a one-sided issue. Budgets are tight on the employer side, too. 

According to our findings, 41% of respondents struggle to attract qualified candidates due to limited opportunities for salary increases.

And with competition from other companies coming in as the second biggest challenge for employers, many are understandably worried about employees leaving for greener pastures (and greener paychecks).

While it may seem like sky-high salaries are the only way to win candidates, a little transparency can also go a long way. So what can you do?

Always post your salary ranges. And aim to make them as competitive as possible.

Remember, employee turnover is an expensive problem to have. By viewing your workforce as a valuable asset to invest in, rather than just another expense, you’ll be better positioned to attract and retain star performers.

5. Improve goal-setting and performance management

Performance reviews used to be a formal affair. Every December, employees would dive into a mind-numbing stack of evaluation paperwork just to prove their value.

As we move into 2024, things are looking a lot less formal in the world of performance management. According to the data, most employers are managing employee performance with informal check-ins (54%) and rewards (36%).

While we're all for casual coffee chats and spur-of-the-moment check-ins, employees need structure too.

Although it’s common for employers to shy away from routine performance management when they don't have the budget for increases and promotions, this is a mistake that can backfire big time when it comes to employee retention.

According to one study, 63% of employees want more feedback on their performance and 79% feel that assessment is essential to their professional development. This is especially true for younger workers who entered a limited workforce due to the pandemic and are actively seeking to ramp up their experience and progress in their careers

The bottom line? Even if a raise isn't on the table, employees still crave feedback. And if they don’t get the evaluation they need…they might look elsewhere.

In 2024, aim to encourage communication between managers and team members, striking a balance between organic and structured performance management approaches that will give employees regular opportunities to track their progress, ask questions, and be heard.

Find hiring harmony with Breezy

In the world of hiring, no two seasons are ever the same. 

But change isn’t the enemy – it's a chance to level up. And if the latest survey data tells us anything, it’s that there is still plenty of room to do exactly that.

Make fractional hiring an intentional part of your talent strategy, be transparent in your job descriptions, offer fair pay and perks employees care about. Then lean in and actively track their progress against clearly defined goals.

With a clear view of what you’re up against and a plan to meet every hiring challenge, you can strike the right chord in your recruitment and hiring process.

Ready for a fit-for-future hiring strategy? Download the report and get full access to the latest data on all things hiring.