Future-Proof Your Workforce: 2024’s AI and Remote Talent Trends

March 25, 2024

As artificial intelligence (AI), cyber threats, return-to-office mandates, and organizational shifts reshape executive recruitment, C-suite leaders need to be resilient and ready for unpredictability. Once again, it’s an employer’s market, where companies want executives who are forward-thinking, strategic, and adaptable. To help you stay on top of what’s new, we asked our practice group leaders across industries to share key trends to help business leaders stay ahead for 2024 and beyond.

Here are the four key trends to watch:

AI will transform recruitment, hiring, and work at warp speed.

As many as 83% of employers use algorithms to help in hiring; that’s 99% for Fortune 500 companies, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. As AI gains traction in the workplace, the human touch is still important in talent acquisition. That’s largely being driven by ethical, legal, and social implications around the technology. A number of AI systems have been found to discriminate, tipping the scales in favor of certain races and genders, among other criteria. The risks are at the forefront of legislative measures to regulate against bias. It takes strong technical and business leadership to apply AI and understand the associated risks and benefits.

Accelerated AI adoption will help improve the employee experience, engage the workforce, and allow organizations to improve innovation and productivity, and realize efficiencies. AI is already affecting every function and will increasingly automate tasks. As a result, employees must learn new skills or strengthen existing skills to remain competitive. And, the C-suite is expected to understand, articulate, and measure the effects of the transformation.

Cybersecurity and compliance will remain top concerns.

Boards and business leaders are concerned about cyberattacks and the risk of cyber threats from AI and other advanced technologies. The National Association of Corporate Directors ranked cybersecurity threats, technological changes, and advances in AI among their top concerns for 2024. Having preventive systems in place, such as security integrated with AI, will help improve threat detection, incident response, and data analysis.

Meanwhile, the increased focus on advanced technology has triggered the need for new or evolving leadership roles across industries, such as chief data officer, chief digital officer, chief information security officer, and information security manager.

Executives will face challenges in finding talent.

Business leaders are walking a “talent tightrope,” and must focus on retaining key people to help deliver results. Aside from periodic compensation discussions, boards are focusing on leadership and pipeline talent development, while addressing succession and talent gaps. Executives must look at new hires through a 2025 lens, deciding who can add the right qualities and skills to their teams. We expect to see C-suite turnover this year due to retirements, mergers and acquisitions activity, and financial challenges in some industries. In their replacements, companies will look for leaders who are resilient, inspiring, and technically skilled to help build and maintain strategic partnerships, drive growth, and ensure long-term success.

Demand for flexible work will continue.

The U.S. has one of the highest rates of remote work globally; however, return-to-office mandates are on the rise. Consequently, 72.6% of executives said they plan full in-office policies by 2028, according to an SHRM survey. That may be to their detriment, however, as remote work retains team talent, offers flexibility, and gives employees a sustainable work-life balance.

The landscape is still shifting, as companies that have mandated in-person work report difficulties finding great talent. While workers have grown accustomed to flexible work arrangements and are looking for remote and hybrid jobs, those opportunities are shrinking.

Looking ahead

The significant issues confronting boards and executives this year are unprecedented in an environment of rapid change and unforeseen events. DHR’s clients in the boardroom and C-suite rely on our actionable insights and strategic guidance to help them navigate complex talent challenges with confidence and clarity. With our support, they can build high-performing teams and position themselves for long-term growth and success.

Stay Connected

Insights in your inbox