January 10, 2024

Top CHRO Challenges and Priorities for 2024

By: sanjay sathe

The past few years have been a whirlwind for CHROs and other human resources professionals. Between navigating the pandemic and a rapid shift to remote work, a tight labor market and the “Great Resignation,” and widespread technology adoption—including artificial intelligence (AI)—HR leaders have had to quickly adapt to ongoing change. In fact, according to research from Sage, 91% of HR leaders say the profession has changed dramatically over the last five years and 84% report regularly feeling stressed. 

As the world of work continues to evolve, here are some of the top CHRO challenges and priorities to expect in 2024. 

CHRO Priorities: AI Adoption, Talent & Leader Dev, Cost Efficiency, DEI | SucceedSmart
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1. AI technology adoption

Embracing AI and other HR technology is no longer an option—it’s a necessity. A survey from The Conference Board found that 65% of CHROs surveyed believe AI will have a positive impact on the HR profession in the next two years. 

Contrary to the common misconception that AI will replace jobs, AI can empower CHROs, talent partners, talent acquisition teams, and other employees to work more strategically and focus more on the human side of human resources.

AI technology can be integrated into recruitment, onboarding, employee engagement, and performance management, among other processes, to significantly enhance efficiency and decision-making.

Some of the benefits of adopting AI and other HR technology include:

  • Automating routine tasks such as talent sourcing, candidate screening, interview scheduling, and administering employee surveys
  • Centralizing candidate and employee data in a streamlined platform
  • Unlocking insights about the hiring process, candidate experience, and employee experience to make data-driven improvements over time 
  • Minimizing conscious and unconscious bias by leveraging AI-powered technology to match candidates with jobs that align with their skills and experience
  • Freeing up time for HR professionals to build relationships with candidates and employees

2. Skill and talent gaps

While the Great Resignation is no longer in full swing, identifying, attracting, and retaining qualified talent is always a critical priority for CHROs. Research from Boston Consulting Group found that 70% of HR professionals cite people challenges and talent gaps as their company’s biggest business obstacle. 

Hiring and retaining qualified executives is particularly challenging for organizations across industries. Data from Challenger, Gray, and Christmas found that a record number of CEOs quit their roles in 2023. Additionally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an average of 311,600 openings for top executives each year through 2032.

To close talent gaps in executive and other leadership roles, organizations should move away from focusing primarily on skills and evaluate candidates based on past accomplishments. Taking past accomplishments into consideration can be a strong indicator and predictor of future performance for executive candidates. Accomplishment-based matching technology can automatically match best-fit candidates that align with job requirements.

Companies can also quickly close talent gaps by identifying ways to decrease the total time to hire across all roles. Whether hiring for an executive or leadership position, or any other role, top candidates get taken off the market soon after beginning their search. Leveraging AI tools to automate manual steps throughout the hiring process can help speed up hiring time, while enabling HR teams to focus less on administrative tasks and more on keeping candidates engaged. 

3. Leader and manager development

According to Gartner’s annual Top HR Priorities survey, the number one HR priority in 2024 is leader and manager development. The survey found that 73% respondents believe leaders and managers at their organizations aren’t equipped to lead change.

An effective way to ensure newly hired leaders quickly assimilate to the business is offering executive coaching. Research from Development Dimensions International (DDI) found that HR leaders consider about half (53%) of outside executive hires to be failures in their roles. By offering executive coaching, new leaders can improve their self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and communication skills and learn to lead with empathy. With the support of coaching, executives can also make a more immediate impact on the business and be better prepared to lead change. 

In addition to executive coaching, as in-demand skills rapidly evolve and technology adoption continues to increase, organizations should offer leaders and all employees resources to reskill and upskill. A survey conducted by IBM shows that executives believe that 40% of their workforce will need to reskill as a result of implementing AI and automation over the next three years. Resources to offer employees may include access to online learning platforms and skills assessments, stipends for professional development, and team or company wide training sessions on AI and other emerging technologies.

4. Driving cost efficiencies 

Amid ongoing economic uncertainty, many organizations will face budget and resource constraints in 2024. The Sage survey cited above found that 93% of HR and C-suite leaders are worried about the economic climate and 90% of HR leaders say limited budget is the biggest challenge going into 2024. Because of this, driving cost efficiencies across HR functions will be a top priority among CHROs throughout 2024.

Prioritizing a more efficient, modern approach to executive recruitment is one step HR leaders can take to optimize costs and fill their most critical roles with qualified talent. Retained executive search firms typically charge about 33% of each executive’s first year total compensation, often exceeding $100,000 total. With traditional executive search firms, much of the process takes place offline and the total hiring time can take between four to six months and requires exorbitant fees—even if the search doesn’t result in a placement. Additionally, a lengthy process can lead to a poor candidate experience and lost productivity the longer an executive role is unfilled. 

A modern approach to executive recruitment includes a blend of advanced AI technology and human expertise, which can help businesses fill executive roles quickly and cost-effectively. Rather than relying on a traditional executive search process that hasn’t changed or innovated in over half a century, a modern, technology-enabled approach can reduce total hiring time to a matter of weeks and decrease executive search costs by 70%.  

5. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)

Promoting diversity and inclusivity continues to be a top focus area for CHROs. In fact, research from Jobvite found that 75% of HR decision makers reported that their organization will place more emphasis on diversity hiring in 2024. 

Building a diverse workforce starts at the top by placing an emphasis on hiring diverse executives and other leaders. However, organizations continue to fall short when it comes to building diverse executive teams, with only 13 of the top 50 Fortune 500 CEO positions being held by gender or racially diverse leaders in 2023. 

Showing a commitment to hiring diverse leaders starts with writing inclusive job descriptions. With the right technology in place, such as SucceedSmart’s generative AI platform, Taylor, unbiased, accomplishment-based job descriptions are created in minutes. The platform can also review existing job descriptions, flag biases and exclusionary language, and instantly  recommend essential changes. 

As highlighted earlier in this article, taking an accomplishment-based approach to evaluating executive candidates can help organizations hire qualified executives. Another benefit of accomplishment-based matching is that it eliminates conscious and unconscious biases by focusing on specific achievements, rather than demographic or other personally-identifiable information.  

Hire qualified leaders to overcome key business challenges

As CHROs and other professionals continue to navigate the complex talent and business landscape in 2024, addressing the top priorities and challenges outlined here will be essential to achieving business goals in the coming year and beyond. 

Effectively managing shifting business dynamics requires having an experienced, qualified leadership team. Leaders have an immeasurable impact on business success, yet organizations continue to see struggle to fill executive roles and see increased turnover. SucceedSmart is on a mission to modernize recruitment for director to C-level talent. Using a blend of proprietary, patent-pending technology and human expertise, SucceedSmart helps companies fill leadership positions with unmatched agility, accuracy, and affordability, while promoting diversity and transparency throughout the process.

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