Talent acquisition trends are inevitably going to break new ground in 2024, spurned on by the changes seen in 2023. Technology companies hiring for sales and other go-to-market (GTM) positions will find emerging challenges and opportunities popping up in the next year, as will many job seekers.
This blog will take a look at how recruiting trends are shaping up for 2024:
GTM & Sales Hiring Trends from 2023
2023 was a year of stark contrasts when it came to talent acquisition trends, as well as for the factors that impacted them the most. Inflation and rising interest rates caused venture capital investments to slow down considerably in most parts of the tech market, yet outliers in new and changing markets managed to still attract billions in VC funding. These startups are moving to the head of the pack and driving the trends that will shape those in 2024, giving us an early look into what will be the biggest shifts in tech recruiting.
- The Evolution of the SaaS Sales Motion
For years, most SaaS companies have been regurgitating the same set of job descriptions for their ideal sales hire. This one-size-fits-all approach is becoming an obstacle to scaling in the current market, where many startups are seeking a very different skill set from their GTM teams (more on that below). Businesses across tech have been forced to reevaluate their traditional sales motion, which will transform what the ideal candidate looks like for each organization.
- Tech Hiring Hyper-focusing on Specific Skill Sets
Expanding on the previous trend, we have seen recruiting demands shift across the industry as talent acquisition teams narrow their searches to candidates with more esoteric skill sets that are better suited to their organization’s unique pain points. Disruptions over the past year have highlighted the need to remain flexible in a market that is still evolving, and what is increasingly being prioritized now by many companies is experience – not just in technology sales, but for their particular challenges.
- Increasing AI Usage at All Levels
By 2024, AI will be as ubiquitous in reality as it has been in press and marketing buzz, with many vendors learning from trial and error what is viable and what was just a gimmick. It is inevitable that talent acquisition trends – including likely every one on this list – will be impacted by the deployment of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools in the field. Overwhelmed hiring managers and teams will find new ways to scale their workflows, and candidates should expect to have AI involved in their interview and onboarding processes.
- Data-driven Candidate Sourcing
With recruiting searches becoming more narrowly focused in the technology sector, it goes without saying that data is playing a bigger role in finding the right candidate. This is a talent acquisition trend that has been growing over time, but promises to take center stage in 2024. Hiring platforms that provide quick and tailored insights into key performance indicators (KPIs) are going to grow in popularity as hiring managers are tasked with sourcing unicorn candidates at a faster pace.
- Refining Candidate Journey
Tech hiring became a game of musical chairs at times in 2023 as mass layoffs were paradoxically coupled with job growth. Horror stories of ghosted interviews and worse have made the rounds on social media, making many job seekers more wary of the slightest hint of a red flag when engaging with recruiters. Those talent acquisition teams that put forth a more human experience when working with candidates are going to stand out in 2024 and have an easier time retaining their ideal candidate.
- Fractional Executives
In keeping with the themes of flexibility seen with the other talent acquisition trends here, this one also highlights how the startup world is adjusting to new normals. Fractional executive positions – essentially a middle ground between advisors and interim employees – are being increasingly sought after to scale project management in the short-term for smaller teams. For startups that are still ramping up, contracting a fractional C-suite officer or departmental manager is a great way to capture expertise on-demand.
- Emphasizing Soft Skills
When hiring for sales and customer success (CX) roles in particular, we are seeing a growing emphasis on the candidate’s demonstration of “soft skills.” Connecting with prospects and clients on an interpersonal level is becoming more vital as businesses are evaluating their SaaS costs with more scrutiny in the face of the current economy, and an easy-to-overlook metric is the ability of customer-facing teams to fully understand the challenges on the other side. More importantly, new hires can always be trained in static technical knowledge, but emotional intelligence usually requires more experience and development.
- Flexibility for Remote Hiring
The news is dominated by clickbait headlines of return-to-office (RTO) debates when it comes to discussing remote work, but the reality is that most technology companies have to be strategic about considering distributed teams for GTM departments. SaaS organizations can end up shooting themselves in the foot if they are not flexible about hybrid and remote options, especially when it comes to ensuring sales and CX coverage in all of their markets. By 2024 and beyond, work from home and hybrid work offers will increasingly be treated as an optional benefit and will become a point of negotiation for compensation.
- Retention & Retraining
The challenges many organizations ran into for scaling headcount in 2023 (and in 2022, 2021, 2020…) made one truth abundantly clear – it can become considerably more expensive to have to rehire for an empty position. Companies will be looking to fight attrition and cut down on hiring costs, making retention a bigger priority when it comes to unicorn candidates. Some orgs will also be looking into providing additional training to employees that have already been onboarded to expand their roles and fill gaps in GTM operations.
- Keeping an Eye on Mental Health
That the past few years have been stressful would be an understatement for many – for the technology industry, which has been in a whirlwind of change since the 2020 pandemic, it is a stark reality. No business in this sector can afford to let mental health go unaddressed if they want to attract top talent in 2024. We are already starting to see mental health support go from a topic of discussion to an integral part of a benefits package in many tech companies.
Get Ahead of the Trends and Make Recruiting Easier with Betts
There is some bad news about these trends: they’re going to change again. It is both an exciting and uncertain time in technology, which makes planning for scalable goals a lot harder. Betts Recruiting can help you future-proof your talent acquisition process for all eventualities and position your organization for hiring success even when the market evolves again.
Contact Betts today to learn more about our solutions for scalable hiring and how we will empower you to get ahead of new recruiting trends.