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The workplace trends to keep an eye on in the coming year

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read

As the year nears its end, employers will be forced to look to the future. With 2024 sure to bring surprises, as did this year, keeping on top of expected trends can help organisations stay ahead.

What to expect was recently outlined in Randstad’s 2024 Outlook Survey, which provided six key themes that workplaces “can’t afford to ignore”.

1. Improved economic outlook


“Business leaders are relatively optimistic about Australia’s economic outlook in 2024, with nearly 79 per cent of survey respondents expecting the economy to stabilise or improve. This positive sentiment aligns with hopeful hiring projections, with 71 per cent of respondents predicting an increase in hiring needs and 87 per cent expecting to see the availability of talent improve or stabilise.”

2. Scarcity of the right talent with the right skills

“The availability of talent might be predicted to stabilise, but business leaders are concerned about the availability of the right talent with the right skills, with almost half (47 per cent) identifying this as a pressing issue keeping them awake at night. This concern is not unique to Australia but is a global phenomenon, exacerbated potentially by rapid technological advancements and a shift in skill set requirements. The focus on retaining staff (37 per cent) and increasing talent demands (33 per cent) also highlights a shifting landscape in employment where employees are as valuable as the work they produce.”

3. High demand for tech skills

“The emphasis on technology roles – revealed as the most difficult to fill – underscores the increasing reliance and integration of technology, AI and machine learning in virtually every sector. Technology skills are also noted as the most critical skills in demand for organisations in 2024, according to almost 57 per cent of respondents. Problem solving (45.5 per cent) and creative skills (38 per cent) are also in high demand, reflecting a multifaceted workforce needing to adapt to evolving digitalisation and automation across industries.”

4. Need to optimise hybrid working models

“The large majority (59 per cent) of business leaders are still struggling with staff productivity in remote/hybrid working models, indicating that organisations are still playing with different operational models. This aligns with the 56 per cent of organisations aiming to bring staff back to the office more deliberately in 2024 to better balance productivity and in-person collaboration with the benefits of remote work. It’s important to note though that not all organisations find remote working challenging, with 44 per cent of business leaders saying they’re not looking to change the status quo as they are happy with current flexible work practices.”

5. Impact of AI and technological transformations

“The impact of AI on job roles is noteworthy, with over half of the respondents believing that AI will impact some roles, and 21 per cent believing it will create new roles. This indicates an ongoing transformation within the job market due to technological advancements. The 60 per cent of organisations hiring new skills and 55 per cent reskilling impacted employees demonstrate proactive approaches in adapting to AI and technology transformations. This adaptability is key for organisations to remain competitive and for employees to maintain relevance in the evolving job market and an AI-driven world.”

6. Wage inflation putting pressure on organisational sustainability

“Businesses will have their eyes set on managing operational costs next year, as 58 per cent of respondents expect the cost of talent to increase. Balancing talent costs with talent needs will be crucial for organisational sustainability.”

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.