The demand for skilled talent remains high in 2024. To meet their hiring goals, companies must continue finding innovative ways to attract and retain both long-term and short-term talent.Approaches such as offering above-average compensation and engaging recruiters to help you tap into the pool of passive job seekers are more important than ever. In addition, attracting skilled talent is increasingly about how well a company can provide a healthy work/life balance.Another key to successfully building a team is to understand the current hiring environment and which roles are in highest demand, whether you’re actively recruiting for a role or simply want to keep hold of your current employees. Research from Robert Half’s Demand for Skilled Talent report highlights the latest data from surveys of hiring managers and our analysis of thousands of job postings to help you make informed hiring and management decisions.
According to analysis of a proprietary dataset of more than one million U.S. job postings, including 100,000 Robert Half placements, hiring within the customer support job market remained vibrant and competitive in 2023, with over 682,000 new job postings in customer service and call center functional areas. The role of customer service specialist accounted for a third of all category postings or around 273,000 positions. Customer experience specialists, account managers and customer service managers also enjoyed a notable increase in job opportunities. Despite over 2.8 million Americans employed as customer service representatives, the substantial volume of job postings underscores the ongoing challenge of attracting top talent within this sector.What about the admin job market? Unemployment rates among administrative assistants, executive assistants and office managers dipped well below the national average, coming in at 2.1%, 2.2% and 2.0%, respectively.The government sector made significant strides in bolstering its administrative and customer support workforce. Compared to the previous year, government entities doubled their hiring in this segment, adding 17,000 administrative assistant positions over the last 12 months. The professional services sector wasn't far behind, hiring over 21,000 new customer service roles.Work-life balance doesn’t feature highly in admin and customer support hiring trends. Only around a quarter of positions offered flexible work arrangements, including just 12% that provided hybrid schedules. They may be missing an opportunity. As more employers require more in-person time, companies that can offer adaptable work schedules, including flexible scheduling or hybrid or fully remote options, are particularly poised to distinguish themselves in the talent market.
Looking forward, are companies hiring talent in the first half of 2024? Robert Half surveys of administrative and customer support hiring managers reveal that yes, hiring skilled talent is top of mind for many leaders in the field. Forty-seven percent are hiring for new permanent roles, while an additional 52% say they plan to staff vacated permanent positions. To help augment their permanent teams, 66% of administrative and customer support managers plan to increase their use of contract professionals, especially for contract professionals in roles such as executive assistants, project assistants/coordinators and customer service specialists, as well as managerial positions in call centers.
But hiring continues to be difficult, and managers may face a smaller hiring pool in 2024. With a majority (73%) of professionals in the administrative and customer support job market inclined to stay in their current roles, the challenge for companies to recruit for open roles intensifies. To attract these passive candidates — those not actively seeking new opportunities — employers must offer competitive salaries, flexible work arrangements and opportunities for career advancement. These incentives are critical to enticing professionals who are content but might be swayed by an offer that aligns more closely with their career and work-life balance goals.Learn more hiring insights in the full Demand for Skilled Talent report.See 2024 In-Demand Finance and Accounting Roles and Hiring TrendsSee 2024 In-Demand Human Resources Roles and Hiring TrendsSee 2024 In-Demand Legal Roles and Hiring TrendsSee 2024 In-Demand Marketing and Creative Roles and Hiring TrendsSee 2024 In-Demand Technology Roles and Hiring Trends
The Demand for Skilled Talent report by Robert Half is an authoritative source providing essential insights into employment trends. This report has offered a deep dive into the U.S. hiring landscape for over a decade, spotlighting challenges and strategies to attract and retain talent. It explores what employees seek in their careers, identifies common recruitment errors and suggests solutions. The report spans finance and accounting, technology, marketing and creative, legal, administrative and customer support, and human resources, proving crucial for business leaders and managers.
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