From the importance of work wellbeing to the impact of AI, these lessons from the past year can help shape your 2024 hiring and talent strategy

Key Takeaways

  • Feeling good at work is a win-win for everyone. Satisfied employees lead to higher retention, profits and even stock performance.
  • Business leaders should empower employees to feel like they’re beneficiaries of the AI revolution, not victims of it.
  • Work-life balance continues to be essential for employees, especially members of Gen Z. Leaders will need to be more transparent than ever before, starting with pay.
  • Erasing bias within AI — and ourselves — is an ongoing process. The responsible use of AI along with fair chance hiring are critical to building inclusive teams.
  • Indeed predicts 2024 will be a year of reconciliation between what employees want and what employers are able to offer.

As the new year dawns, we tapped some of our top experts at Indeed to share what talent leaders need to know to succeed in 2024. Here’s what they had to say on topics like work wellbeing, AI and employee expectations. Then, take a deeper dive into five key topics by exploring our top stories from the past year.

Work Wellbeing

Thriving employees lead to thriving businesses, not the other way around. Managers of the happiest teams are kind, empathetic and not afraid to be vulnerable. 

“Essentially, only 29% of people are thriving at work. It’s time to look inward. Companies need to focus on the resources they already have: time and employees. Investing in managers, helping people find their strengths at work and upskilling are more important than conventional perks. Do your employees feel appreciated? Are they learning? Are they energized by the work they do? The sentiment of your workforce is the driver of wellbeing.”

— Janeane Tolomeo, Corporate Marketing Director at Indeed and co-creator of the Work Wellbeing Initiative and the Work Wellbeing Score

Dive deeper: the top ‘work wellbeing’ insights from 2023

Be Well: Six Experts on How to Elevate Wellbeing

Apparently, nice guys finish first when it comes to the workplace. An Oxford study based on Indeed data found that companies with satisfied employees saw higher retention, profits and even stock performance. We asked six experts on wellbeing to weigh in on how leaders can make work a better place. Some themes? Be kind, be optimistic and do good for others. As one shared: “When I’m in front of a roomful of CEOs, I tell them that their No. 1 moral obligation is to be a healthy, cheerful person at work — not a jerk.”

To Break the Cycle of Nursing Burnout, Prioritize Work Wellbeing

Caretakers need caregiving too. More than 800,000 U.S. nurses are projected to quit by 2027 due to burnout, and staffing shortages will profoundly impact patient outcomes and bottom lines. In a time when many healthcare organizations are struggling with retention, Indeed shared six ways leaders can better support the wellbeing of their nursing staff, such as embracing scheduling flexibility and investing in training. One key strategy? Uncover more time for patient care. “Give nurses the capacity to do what they came into this profession to do,” said Maria Schaefer, Vice President of Enterprise Talent Acquisition at BrightSpring Health Services. Because for many, nursing is more than a job — it’s a calling.

AI and the Future of Work

AI and globalization of the workforce will continue to impact hiring. Leaders who invest in their teams by upskilling current talent and leverage AI tools responsibly to recruit new talent will come out ahead.

“We know that, eventually, all jobs will be impacted by AI in some way. While it’s already proving to be a helpful partner in getting work done more efficiently, we also know it has vulnerabilities. AI is not a replacement for people. People will always be needed to manage the technology, problem-solve, make judgment calls and oversee programs and progress. To stay competitive, companies can focus on upskilling their employees and emphasizing that they play an important role in the change.”

— Ryan Batty, Vice President of Employer Marketing at Indeed

Dive deeper: the top ‘future of work’ insights of 2023

Indeed FutureWorks 2023: Making Hiring More Human in the Age of AI

At the most recent Indeed FutureWorks event, CEO Chris Hyams took the stage to address both the growing excitement and concern surrounding artificial intelligence. He explained how Indeed is embracing AI in hiring and introduced new AI-powered product offerings. Most importantly, Hyams pledged to keep people at the center of everything. “We’re not trying to build a recruiting robot to replace humans,” Hyams said. “What we’re really trying to do is build a Tony Stark Iron Man suit that makes recruiters able to fly and shoot lasers.” 

Ask an Economist: What You Need to Know About Global Hiring Trends

No matter where you sit, understanding the differences between labor markets around the world — and how to navigate them — is critical to developing the right hiring strategies. In the U.K., inclusive hiring is essential post-Brexit. In Germany, offering subsidized child care or more flexible hours may help attract more women to work. In Japan, job seekers have their sights set on competitive wages. We asked Indeed Hiring Lab economists to break down what’s happening in their region and what it means for employers seeking top talent in a tight labor market deflated by aging populations, low birth rates and limited immigration. 

How to Responsibly Use AI HR Tools 

From reviewing resumes and scoring job candidates to writing job descriptions and identifying opportunities to promote employees, AI is already integrated into many HR functions. However, these tools are imperfect, and without careful attention, AI has the potential to perpetuate, and even amplify, hiring bias. To combat this, we outlined four strategies to help organizations make sure their use of AI is fair, ethical and effective. 

A collage style image of a person who presents as a woman with calendars, coffee, a pen and baby bottle around her.

Better Work for Better Lives

Work-life balance is perhaps the most important part of a role for modern employees and job seekers. It begins with salary transparency on a job listing and lasts until even after a person has left the organization.

“The need for work-life balance is real and here to stay. Gen Z demands it; they expect transparency around compensation, PTO, performance and other aspects of how a company operates. Older leaders who didn’t have that level of transparency might think these demands sound like entitlement, but they need to be educated because, really, the next generation is just smarter about their wellbeing.” 

— Lori Aiken, Vice President of Global Talent Management at Indeed

Dive deeper: the top ‘better work’ insights of 2023

For Untapped Talent, Hire Moms and Others with Resume Gaps

A gap in a resume used to set off alarms: “Why exactly didn’t you work during those years?” But millions of Americans sideline their professional pursuits to care for young kids or an elderly relative, for example, and they represent a huge source of untapped talent. In this story, we outline four strategies for companies to attract “hidden workers,” or people who are often overlooked in the hiring process and have the potential for greatness. The payoff? Harvard Business School reports that hidden workers outperform their colleagues in productivity, quality of work, engagement and innovation. 

Pay Transparency: the 2023 Indeed Discussion Guide

Pay transparency benefits job seekers and employers alike. In our recent survey, 93% of HR leaders said enacting pay transparency was “definitely” or “mostly” worthwhile, and 83% said the benefits outweigh its challenges. To help your business improve its approach to pay transparency, Indeed created a comprehensive guide featuring eye-opening statistics and real-world case studies. We debunk common myths, too, like: “pay transparency means employers give up some power.” Actually, posting salaries helps candidates make informed decisions so they can avoid pursuing roles that aren’t a good fit. And if that means they don’t apply? “That’s a good thing,” said Indeed CEO Chris Hyams.

What Labor Unions Teach Us 

The past 12 months saw a record-breaking number of Americans either striking or threatening to walk out of work, and the U.S. approval rating for organized labor is at its highest since 1965 (71%). These mobilizations focus on issues central to all companies — wages, workplace safety and benefits — which means that business leaders everywhere could learn a thing or two from unions on how to keep a skilled, loyal and satisfied workforce. It boils down to asking people what they want and need, communicating changes and expectations clearly and giving a voice to the voiceless. 

A collage style image of people with  Capitol building, pride flag, and document around them.

AI and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

Understanding and mitigating our biases, with ourselves and our technologies, is critical to building a diverse and inclusive workplace.

“At Indeed, we’ll continue to deepen our focus on AI for 2024 because of the intersection with diversity, equity and inclusion. Artificial intelligence is data; the data is not artificial. The data comes from humans, and every human, even myself leading this work, has bias. Indeed published its first set of AI principles last year and publicly committed to fairness in use of its algorithms and to building a team that is diverse and representative of job seekers to focus on this important area.

— Misty Gaither, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging at Indeed

“I firmly believe in a guarded optimism that doesn’t shy away from addressing the real risks we face from AI, and that will allow us to fully take advantage of this epoch-defining moment. In doing so, we have the real power to build a more equitable future with AI.”

—Trey Causey, Indeed’s Head of Responsible AI 

Dive deeper: the top ‘DEIB+’ insights of 2023

How Company Leaders Can Step Up for LGBTQ+ Employees

In 2023, a record 520-plus anti-LGBTQ+ bills were introduced in state legislatures. For organizations who truly want to be an ally to their LGBTQ+ workforce, frank and ongoing dialogue is critical, as well as supportive initiatives like Indeed’s gender-affirming care relocation benefit. We sat down with three activists to discuss how business leaders can show up for their employees in ways that matter. Ains Hill, Director of Global Workplace Experience at Glassdoor, provided a practical example: “We started a Slack channel for parents of LGBTQ+ youth so that they have a place to connect and find support.”

DEIB+: What It Means, Why It Matters and How to Do the Work

DEIB+ stands for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. The plus symbol represents Indeed’s commitment to remain agile and open-minded. In our recent survey, 62% of respondents said they would consider turning down a job offer or quitting if they didn’t think leaders supported DEIB+ initiatives. So what can you do? First, conduct an analysis to understand your company’s current landscape so you can figure out what needs improving. Where are you sourcing talent? What’s the rate of promotion across gender, race, age or other demographics? Gather the data first. Then, do the work to enact change.

On 4/20 and After: Giving Candidates with a Criminal Record a Fair Chance

More than 70 million Americans have a criminal record, many for a crime that is no longer illegal in some states: possession of marijuana. “When managers balk at hiring people with criminal histories, it’s because fear and emotion override rational business considerations,” said Andrew Glazier, CEO of a national nonprofit. In fact, 85% of HR professionals surveyed said that individuals with criminal records perform the same as — or better than — employees without one. By addressing unconscious bias and adopting fair chance policies, employers can not only be part of a more inclusive future of work, they can find the ideal candidate for the job.

The Great Disconnect

Employers can’t give job seekers and their workforce everything they want. But to attract and retain top talent, leaders should understand where the gaps are and do what they reasonably can to close — or at least narrow — them.

“There’s always been a divide between what job seekers and workers desire in a job and what employers are willing to offer. But in the wake of The Great Resignation, and now the rise of return-to-office mandates, there’s a growing trend for employers to watch in 2024 that we’re going to be following closely on Lead with Indeed. We’re calling it The Great Disconnect. And resolving it will be pivotal in the competition for talent.”

– James A. Martin, Editor-in-Chief of Lead with Indeed

Dive deeper: Examples of The Great Disconnect

When Candidates and Recruiters Vanish: Indeed’s Ghosting in Hiring Report

In 2023, 46% of job seekers and 77% of employers say ghosting — when a candidate or employer disappears from the hiring process — has become more common. And while more than two-thirds of candidates feel it’s “fair” to ghost employers, more than half experience regret after they’ve done it. To give business leaders an in-depth look at this phenomenon, Indeed surveyed thousands of job seekers and employers in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada to learn why ghosting happens, what strategies employers can use to reduce it and what it says about our hiring culture as a whole.

Return-to-Office Resistance? Here’s How to Overcome It

The clear winner of the return-to-office tug-of-war: Hybrid work, which boosts work wellbeing and productivity, and is a competitive recruiting tool in a tight labor market. “The most successful organizations today are embracing flexibility,” says Priscilla Koranteng, Indeed’s Chief People Officer. “And not just implementing return-to-office policies, but also giving people a place they want to return to.” To do that, experts recommend reimagining the office to accommodate all types of working styles, focusing on equity, inclusivity and belonging, and creating opportunities for people to meaningfully connect with each other.

New Survey Reveals Disconnect Between What Black Employees Need and What Employers Offer

Nearly half of Black workers in the U.S. don’t feel supported at work and are open to leaving, or are actively looking to leave, their jobs. A recent survey reveals “pay transparency,” “company values that align with my own” and “a diverse leadership team” as the three most important things Black workers want in a company to feel satisfied. However, the top DEIB initiatives that respondents said their companies had implemented were “diverse hiring practices,” “diversity committees” and “DEIB employee awareness events.” In order to create an equitable and inclusive workplace, employers still have work to do.