Customer Success Manager
October 3, 2023
2023 was an interesting year for tech and startup recruiting. Widespread layoffs throughout the year left many qualified candidates seeking roles. Simultaneously, the increasing demand for niche skill sets like Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, and LLM Development posed challenges in hiring. Both candidates and hiring teams exercised caution in role transitions and new hires. In summary, hiring candidates remained challenging in 2023.
At Dover, we’ve supported approximately 2000 companies across 5000+ jobs in 2023. This has given us insight into how various teams are approaching recruiting. Through this lens, we’d like to share 6 key trends we anticipate seeing in 2024:
1. Use of AI in recruiting will be mainstream
AI adoption in recruiting surged in 2023. We expect this momentum to continue despite ethical and regulatory concerns. At Dover, we advocate for leveraging AI to streamline recruiting operations, empowering hiring teams to focus on recruiting strategy to drive successful outcomes. By automating tasks like application sorting, interview note summarization, and scheduling, AI can save valuable hours for hiring teams.
We anticipate stricter and more defined regulations around use of AI across the United States in 2024. California and New York City have already implemented laws that mandate AI-using employers to inform candidates of AI use in the hiring process and undergo annual audits to ensure non-bias in their systems. Prioritizing ethical AI in recruiting is imperative, but addressing a hiring team’s unconscious biases is equally impactful on recruiting outcomes. Time saved using AI to streamline operations can be redirected towards fostering fair and transparent hiring processes.
Dover continues to invest in AI recruiting tools, check them out here.
2. Candidates using AI, leading to increase in application volume and noise
In 2023, employers saw a large spike in applicant volume. Data from Dover users showed that 2023 applications were up 2x from the peak in 2020.
In 2024, we expect application volume to remain high, especially with the growing popularity of candidate AI tools that automatically create resumes to closely align with job descriptions. Additionally, candidates will be using AI to perform better in interviews and processes will need to be updated to account for these changes.
3. As “Return-to-Office” era wins, remote jobs will have a hiring competitive advantage
2023 saw a steady rise in momentum for in-person or hybrid work across North America. At Dover we saw 40% more companies opting for in-person roles, despite longer fill times, reduced candidate interest, and higher salary demands compared to remote positions.
The latest Census data revealed that employee demand for remote jobs outpaces the number of companies offering them. This means remote-first companies are well positioned for higher employee retention and increased candidate interest. According to a Survey of Business Uncertainty, prospective employees are willing to accept an 8% reduction in annual pay for a remote job, suggesting that remote positions can attract strong talent at lower salaries.
4. Transparency in the hiring process
In the wake of widespread layoffs and financial challenges faced by startups in 2023, candidates are increasingly discerning when evaluating companies. Dover conducts interviews on behalf of hundreds of startups and we’ve seen an uptick in questions about the company’s financial health, including its runway, revenue, burn rate, past layoffs, growth trajectory, and upcoming milestones. You can read more about these trends in our blog post, "What candidates want to know in interviews."
5. Lean recruiting teams
In the last year, widespread layoffs led to a reduction in recruiting team sizes across various industries. Currently, the majority of startups don’t have dedicated recruiting team members or operate with a lean team. We anticipate that lean recruiting teams will remain the norm, even when hiring ramps up again. Hiring teams will rely on using technology to automate and optimize recruiting ops to drive productivity. Hiring managers and people outside of the recruiting department will be asked to do more to help with hiring.
The role of a traditional recruiter will focus more on recruiting system expertise and data-driven strategic considerations related to employer branding, sourcing strategy, and candidate experience. Recruiting parallels sales and marketing, and just as sales and marketing roles have evolved with advancements in tools and methodologies, a similar shift is expected for recruiting roles.
6. Fractional leadership will be on the rise
In 2023, fractional executive roles gained popularity, and we anticipate this trend to grow in 2024. This hiring approach is mutually beneficial for employers and employees, particularly in the early stages of a company. Fractional executives contribute industry expertise without the financial and organizational commitments of a full-time hire. For executives, fractional work offers increased income potential, enhanced job satisfaction, and flexibility. In 2024, cautious hiring is expected to continue, and fractional leadership for specialized roles is a strong solution to mitigate the risk of misfit executive hires that can impede the early-stage growth of startups.