Talent & Tech Asia Summit 2024
6 key global talent trends to note in 2024

6 key global talent trends to note in 2024

A survey of finance professionals in 157 countries showed positive results on aspects of the DEI agenda, but also raised concerns on whether employers are stifling the creativity and innovation of their employees by not recognising the broader markers of diversity in the workplace.

In 2024, AI will evidently continue to be the talk of the town. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)'s annual Global Talent Trends Survey saw 9,889 finance professionals in 157 countries across the globe suggesting excitement to the possibilities that AI affords, but also expressed their concerns about its impact on jobs. 

The survey findings showed positive results on aspects of the equity, diversity and inclusivity agenda, but it also raised concerns on whether employers are stifling the creativity and innovation of their employees by not recognising the broader markers of diversity in the workplace. 

A total of six key global talent trends were reported, ranging from cost-of-living concerns to mental health issues.   

AI

On the topic of AI, across the finance profession, there is much excitement. However, employees feel that they need support to better capitalise on its potential. 

As AI technologies drive productivity benefits and technology change continues relentlessly, employees are sharing a vary of sentiments, spanning from excitement to anxiety, demanding a clear focus to equip employees with the right technology skills and a need to provide reassurance on job security as roles in the industry augment. 

  • 78% of respondents believe that AI will enable finance professionals to value add.
  • 54% believe that they are not developing the required skills for the future workplace. 
  • Over half of respondents have concerns about the impact of AI on their own role (51%) 
  • Compared to 42% in 2023, 37% of respondents feel overwhelmed by the change of pace of technology.

Cost-of-living

The global economy is facing strains that are placing huge pressures on talent attraction and retention models. The survey results suggest that mounting pressures from price growth represent both an economic concern and an employer talent retention risk if left unaddressed. 

  • 58% of respondents foresee themselves asking their employer for a pay rise in the next 12 months. 
  • 50% believe that by leaving their current organisation, it will improve their salary.  
  • 37% are satisfied with the current amount of pay they are receiving. 

Hybrid working

Hybrid working is slowly gaining traction but working practices across regions & sectors remain polarised. Although not every employer is convinced, most employees are. 

Employers who have successfully transitioned to hybrid working models, there is plenty of upside, but there are still many ongoing risks and challenges that need to be managed.

  • 76% of respondents say that hybrid working is their preferred working arrangement. 
  • 76% of employees still working in the office full time say it's because their employer demands it.   
  • 41% of respondents say they are hybrid working, but over half still claim to be full office based (52%) 
  • 66% say that they see productivity levels rise when working remotely, but 47% say that it hinders team collaboration.
  • 47% suggested that managers need to develop new skills & behaviours so they can better manage their remote employees more effectively.
  • 73% of respondents believe that new joiners of an organisation should spend more time in the office to better understand the ropes of the company, as compared to the average employee.

Diversity 

The survey suggests equity, diversity and inclusivity practices (EDI) are important as a key part of the employee proposition, playing a big role in the perceived attractiveness of an organisation to employees, as well as wanting to stay.

However, some existing diversity initiatives are seen as too heavily focused on singular facets like gender and forgetting that other factors such as age or neurodiversity may enhance creativity and innovation. 

  • 73% of respondents believe that a workplace with a diverse and inclusive environment would be a key factor in deciding to work at an organisation.
  • 58% agree that their organisation is inclusive and employees are equally valued. 
  • 41% believe that their organisation focuses more on certain aspects of diversity than others.
  • 34% find that a low socio-economic background is a barrier when considering career progression in an organisation.

Mental health 

Work-related stress, anxiety, and burnout remain widely cited problem across the profession, but indicators have moved marginally in the right direction. Organisation wellbeing programmes are expanding but issues around work-life balance, peak workloads, and questions on prioritisation are still resurfacing. 

  • 63% wish for more support from their employer in managing their mental health. 
  • 57% say that their mental health is suffering because of work pressures, which is slightly lower than in 2023 (61%)
  • 47% say that their employer does not consider mental health as a priority. 
  • 36% of employees considered resigning from their current organisation due to wellbeing issues. 

Global mobility 

Joining the accountancy profession opens wide career opportunities to move quickly to enhance careers, but keeping hold of great talent is becoming a real retention puzzle for employers.

There’s evidence of significant mobility and high aspiration in every direction in terms of career moves, undoubtedly some of this driven from the challenging cost of living crisis as well as a natural feature of the optionality that a professional qualification in accountancy affords, yet whilst candidates may obviously be lured to other organisations by high salaries.

The survey results showed that employees choosing to stay at an organisation are more nuanced in the data. 

  • 44% of respondents want to move roles in the next 12 months. 
  • 45% want to internationally at some point in their career. 
  • 36% of respondents say the best way for them to develop the skills required for the future is to leave their current organisation.
  • 41% are not satisfied with the career opportunities their current employer has provided them with.

READ MORE: Global economic uncertainty is the #1 challenge businesses expect to face this year

Lead image / GTT 2024 Slides Master

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