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The Two Essential HR Trends of 2024 – And Why Your Business Should Embrace Them

08.02.2024 | Mikko Matikka | Read time 6 min

The HR trends of 2024 are not just fleeting phenomena – they're pivotal turning points. In this blog, we unveil what these trends are and why they are crucial for the success of businesses rebounding from a recession.

Our insights are based on discussions with our clients in early 2024, as well as evaluations from our recruitment, HR, and financial experts. At the end of the article, we'll also discuss how HR investments made this year could create a competitive edge as markets begin to revive.

Trend 1: Leveraging Hidden Talent for Competitive Advantage

Many companies are now looking inward, tapping into the hidden potential within their workforce. Those who can identify the skills critical to their business – and areas for growth – will reap greater rewards as the economy recovers. The challenge lies in effectively sowing the seeds of skill development.

It pays to integrate employee development into business objectives and make career advancement opportunities visible. The most common reasons experts leave their jobs are due to a lack of progression and development opportunities.

Just like in a well-tended garden, where each plant receives the right amount of light, water, and nutrients, investing in skill development provides a foundation for employees to thrive. This not only ensures that every team member can develop according to their strengths but also builds a solid foundation for the company's success.

aTalent Recruiting, rekrytointiyrityksen brändikuva

Investments in workforce skills go to waste if the acquired knowledge doesn't support the business.

Anna-Katariina Parkkasaari, HR Consultant

Trend 2: Intensifying Competition with Reward Strategies in the Talent Market

Many companies have recognized the benefits of remote and hybrid work and have made them permanent options. Meanwhile, job flexibility has become as standard as health benefits and meal vouchers. Employers now need to get creative to offer rewards that cater to every employee's taste.

Especially in companies without their own HR department, limited resources become a challenge: Whipping up a five-star dinner in five minutes is impossible – yet it's the reality for many decision-makers. Identifying individual needs, designing benefit systems, and implementing them are part of the strategy. It's also crucial to regularly check if the benefits are genuinely valuable to employees.

If you're looking for reasons to invest in these areas, consider the world outside the office and breakroom walls – today, rewarding employees is a competitive edge in recruitment. Companies seen as investing in their workforce traditionally attract the most eager talents.

aTalent Recruiting, rekrytointiyrityksen brändikuva

Employers who meet their employees' individual needs are in a strong position to attract and retain top talent.

Iida Tapaninen, HR Consultant

Why Invest in Skill Development and Rewards During a Recession?

It boosts revenue

  • Productivity growth: For instance, developing sales skills internally can open up avenues to do more business with limited resources.
  • Innovation and product development: By enhancing employee skills, new competitive products and services can be brought to market faster, attracting new customers and increasing market share.
  • Improved customer satisfaction: Investing in staff directly affects the quality of customer service, leading to happier customers who are more likely to recommend your product or service.

It saves costs

  • Reduced training costs: Developing business-supporting skills reduces the need for expensive external training services. Over time, this can lead to significant savings as employees stay up-to-date with new working methods, tools, or trends. For example, the ability to leverage generative AI could significantly lighten the load on expert work.
  • Lower health costs: Skill development – and often intangible rewards – fosters a sense of achievement in the workplace, maintaining and often improving work capacity. This reduces sick leaves, lowering healthcare and insurance costs.
  • Reduced recruitment costs: Investments in employee skills and well-being can decrease staff turnover, leading to savings on recruitment and induction costs.

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