Home > HR Pro Shop > Top Labor Trends HR Professionals Need to Know Heading into 2024

As we approach the year 2024, it’s essential for HR professionals to stay ahead of the curve and be aware of the top labor trends that will shape the workforce.

With rapid advancements in technology, changing demographics, and evolving work environments, HR professionals need to adapt and prepare for the future.

So, dive in for some top labor trends HR professionals need to know heading into 2024.

Elevate your HR experience.

Explore PrimePay HR, our state-of-the-art HR software.
Learn More

As we reflect on 2023 thus far, there are several key factors that have shaped the job market and affected employment prospects in various industries.

Let’s take a closer look at what the employment landscape has looked like in 2023.

1. Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Automation and AI have been transforming industries for years, and this trend is expected to continue in 2024. While automation may lead to job losses in certain sectors, it will also bring a new age of efficiency for organizations. HR leaders should look for a mix of creativity, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence paired with adaptability to these new technologies. By maintaining adaptability within your organization, you can position yourself as an attractive employer for ambitious individuals seeking to revolutionize business operations.

2. Remote Work

Remote has been a part of many employment trends over the years, and it’s here to stay. Many companies have realized the benefits of remote work, such as cost savings and increased employee satisfaction. HR professionals and hiring managers should focus on sourcing candidates with skills that are conducive to remote work, such as strong communication and time management skills.

3. Skills Gap

The rapid pace of technological advancements means that there is a growing skills gap in many industries. HR professionals need to identify the skills that will be in high demand in 20234 and beyond and develop strategies to bridge the gap. This may involve upskilling and reskilling existing employees, partnering with educational institutions, or implementing training programs.

4. Diversity and Inclusion

The importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace has gained significant attention in recent years, and this trend will only continue to grow. HR professionals need to prioritize diversity and inclusion initiatives, including diverse hiring practices, creating inclusive work environments, and providing opportunities for underrepresented groups. This not only aligns with societal expectations but also has a positive impact on employee engagement and organizational performance.

5. Employee Well-Being

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of employee well-being and mental health. This theme has been brought into 2023, and is expected to be prioritized from here on out. HR professionals need to prioritize employee well-being by implementing initiatives such as flexible work arrangements, mental health support programs, and wellness activities. This will not only help attract and retain top talent but also contribute to a positive and productive work environment.

In general, a couple of the big labor trends from 2023 will still apply in the coming year. Think remote work opportunities and the greater flexibility afforded to many employees as a result of the pandemic. While those trends continue, here’s what else is likely to happen in the labor market in 2024:

  • Job seekers keep the upper hand. Qualified candidates have the luxury of entertaining multiple offers, and if you have a slow hiring process or one with too many hoops to jump through, you give candidates incentive to turn down your company and take a more attractive offer from a more agile business. 
  • Baby Boomers are retiring. More and more Baby Boomers are retiring, if they haven’t already done so, and this trend is likely to continue in the next year or two.
  • Hiring in economically disadvantaged areas opens up new avenues. Remote work will still be a big trend for 20224, but now it’s taken on new dimensions, such as hiring more workers in rural or economically disadvantaged areas. Doing so may open up a wider pool of talent and bring opportunities to workers who may otherwise not have considered the role and/or organization. 
  • Employee retention remains critical. With so many fluctuations in the labor market that may continue long into 20224, retaining the employees you have now is of topmost importance. 
  • Employee engagement is a differentiator. All kinds of curveballs were thrown at U.S. employees during the pandemic. Suddenly, worries about child care and education, access to health care, and the possibility of layoffs and furloughs loomed at the forefront of many people’s minds. For many, work seemed to have become just one of many priorities that had to constantly be re-evaluated, and some had to make the tough decision to leave work entirely. Engaging your employees by helping them find satisfaction and giving them a path to advancement, while still being able to balance work with life, can help set your company apart.

With a better understanding of what’s to come, you can lay the groundwork now to meet these trends head-on and ensure a more engaged and competitive workforce. Here’s how you can start to prepare:

  • Learn labor and HR compliance across different states. Every state has its own employment laws. Get to know the ins and outs of each so you can hire remote workers in different geographic locations quicker and with more confidence — giving you a leg up over your competitors and helping you mitigate local labor shortages.
  • Update compensation packages. In the same vein, employing remote workers in different states requires wage adjustments. Determine the appropriate level of compensation that allows you to compete for talent but is still fair and sustainable for employees and your business. 
  • Get creative with recruiting. Standing out is key in a tight labor market that’s seen plenty of recent upheaval and worrying shortages. Don’t leave any stones unturned, which might require dipping into new, previously unexplored talent pools and offering more upskilling and career development to new hires. Whatever you can do to adapt recruiting practices now can almost certainly reward you later in an increasingly competitive job market. 
  • Plan for retiring workers. If you have a cohort of older workers eying retirement, start planning now for how you’ll manage when they do choose to retire and you need to fill the subsequent labor gaps.
  • Pay employees faster. With more workers living paycheck to paycheck, the demand for faster pay — such as weekly instead of monthly — is on the rise. One way to meet the demand is to adopt an automated payroll solution that can speed up the process and bring some financial peace of mind to employees. 
  • Rethink management practices. Traditional employee management is shifting toward managing the employee experience. Put the right tools and communication methods in place now that will enable managers to listen to employees, understand what matters to them, and provide positive workplace experiences and opportunities — instead of maintaining old-fashioned hierarchies and structures that tend to be rigid and one-directional. 
  • Make sure your workplace is relevant. It’s no longer just about salary. Today’s employees want to be motivated, perform work that aligns with their values, and be given lots of flexibility. They want to advance their careers and be given the support and respect to do so. Review your workplace culture, perks, benefits, and job postings now to make sure they reflect the changing world of work and the wants and needs of today’s workforce.

Stay Organized & Informed

If 2024 is anything like 2023, there may be some twists, turns, and surprises in store. Being able to clearly assess the current gaps in your staff and identify future needs, as well as respond quickly and effectively to change, is much easier with a workforce planning system. With access to real-time data about your workforce, you can better prepare for whatever 20224 may bring while ensuring your workforce stays aligned with business objectives and budgets.

The end of the year can be challenging. PrimePay’s HR Software is here to support you.

Learn more about PrimePay HR