The 5 Most Important Recruitment Questions for 2024 … Answered 

Businesswoman with notebook in hands, question marks and light bulb sketch

By Dr Helmut Schuster and Dr David Oxley 

Whatever challenges your company faces in 2024, people will be at the heart of the solution. But the world is changing. There are seismic forces reshaping jobs, careers, and work. In this article we look at the 5 big hiring questions all companies need to address. Make sure your company doesn’t get left behind. 

What are the 5 most important recruiting questions for companies in 2024? Let’s start with a little context. Our perspective is shaped by three significant themes.  

The economic realities of 2024 create the starting point for our observations. Then there is the changing expectation for the role of work in our lives, personified by GenZ’s distinctive outlook. And finally, there is what we call the democratization of jobs.1 This is the observation that increased accessibility and global literacy are creating new possibilities for companies to rethink jobs and workforces. 

Against this backdrop, we arrive at the following questions designed to promote discussion on the most critical issues for companies: 

1. Is finding elusive talent essential to achieve business goals in 2024? 

Some companies need to acquire talent to allow them to meet critical short-term targets. Whether it be funding milestones, product/project launch dates, or to address an existential threat, this may simply be the singular priority.  

Success will depend on two things, one tactical, one more strategic.   

Great recruiting campaigns require, (a) a good recruiting team (b) a fully engaged management team (c) a well-articulated employment pitch including reassurances on the nature of work and quality of management, and (d) a competitive package of pay, benefits, and working conditions. 

However, companies with a strong employer brand will always have the edge. Pay attention to Glassdoor feedback and invest in opportunities to promote your company’s reputation as a great place to work. 

2. How aggressively do we want to think about talent renewal in 2024? 

There are good reasons to think about refreshing a company’s talent mix, including (a) aligning capabilities with a new business strategy, (b) reshaping the employment cost equation, or (c) being faced with succession holes.  

Tackling this challenge requires careful consideration. Too often these decisions are made in a reactionary and, dare we say, flippant way. It is critical that executive teams take the time to think about the holistic picture and ensure the desired company culture and values are exhibited throughout. 

In addition to the same recipe for success in external recruiting listed earlier, here companies also need to have an effective internal re-organisation and change program. This may even include some form of outplacement or early retirement program. We would emphasize the need to delicately orchestrate both sides of this equation. 

3. Is our employment proposition as compelling as we think? 

Over the past 20 years, the traditional corporate management tracks have become far less attractive. There is a real danger that companies are living in a delusional state of believing they are offering a compelling product when in reality it is more like a 10-year-old laptop.  

The work itself just isn’t that interesting. Waves of reorganisations and a burden of bureaucracy mean that only a minority of time is focused on building new products, innovating, and dealing with customers. And there are far more alternatives. Competition from start-ups, freelance gig-work, entrepreneurship, and even the NGO sector, are all getting more appealing. 

So, an important question for companies is to think carefully about whether their career options have been significantly eroded. It’s probable they have and 2024 would be a good year to do something about it. 

4. What’s our next-generation job appeal?  

Attitudes to work are changing. GenZ, in particular, have a desire to work for companies who are working to solve consequential problems for society.2 Money, while important, often matters less than working for a cause, doing meaningful work, and being encouraged to blend personal and professional aspirations.  

The evidence of this shifting perspective and the implications of getting it wrong are everywhere. From the ‘great resignation,’ to the current tug-of-war over return to the office mandates.   

The challenge for inter-generationally progressive businesses is to proactively invest in understanding, simplifying, and communicating how their organisation is better equipped than others to deliver in these non-financial dimensions. It is a mistake to try to shortcut this. There are significant dangers in paying lip service to them. The right answer here is to ensure your organisation is vigilant and being progressive in modernising its ways of working.   

5. How should we think about a workforce in 2024 and beyond? 

Generative AI is the headline but if you dig a little deeper you can see evidence of the broader democratization trend. In 1980 only 2 billion of the world’s population were literate. Today, that number is over 6 billion. In 1980 only half a billion had access to dial up internet. Today, 5 billion have broadband connectivity.3 The corresponding explosion in virtual outsourcing, the gig economy, and other derivatives of traditional ways of working are a result. 

Deciding how to proceed is complicated. There are issues of ethics, regulations, and company values to be considered. The nationalist protectionism popularised by some politicians should be balanced against the more egalitarian approach of providing opportunities to highly motivated virtual workers in South America, Africa, and Asia.  

The answer here should be considered as part of the broader business strategy and planning process. We recommend all companies need to understand and think through how they want to play in this fast-changing environment. In the long term, this will become a necessity for all companies. However, in 2024 the only really wrong answer is not to have spent some time thinking this through and deciding how and when you might play in this new world.  

Good, Fast or Cheap  

We are fond of the good, fast or cheap adage. There is something that rings so true about it. However, when it comes to recruiting in 2024, the spectrum of questions runs more from focusing on the immediate to optimising for the long term. There may be very legitimate reasons to choose either end of the spectrum.  

We think the key take away for business executives thinking about recruiting talent in 2024 is to take the time to balance short- and long-term implications. To weigh up the pros and cons. After all, as a legendary sage once said, ‘If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” 

About the Authors

David and Helmut

Dr Helmut Schuster and Dr David Oxley are leading career futurists and pioneers of new approaches to work. They are also co-authors of A Career Carol: A Tale of Professional Nightmares and How to Navigate Them published by Austin Macauley Publishers and available on Amazon. 

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