Hiring Process Steps for 2024: Experts Share Hourly Job Market Trends and Insights 

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As Yoda once observed, “Always in motion is the future.” Change is coming to the recruitment landscape in 2024, thanks to a combination of sweeping societal and technological shifts.

Thankfully, developments in late 2023 offered some hints at things to come, and our experts at Ready ATS are here to decode them. Below are three trends employers should be aware of as they make their hiring decisions in the year ahead.

Hourly Workers Will Hold the Cards

It will be difficult for your local coffee shop or convenience store to fill open positions, as the supply of good hourly workers will struggle to keep up with demand. The W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research devised a metric last year called the Labor Leverage Ratio to estimate how much bargaining power employees hold vs. employers in several job sectors. In essence, the ratio stacks up the number of workers who quit jobs in each sector vs. the number of workers who were laid off or discharged by employers.

At the start of the New Year, three of the top four sectors in terms of employee leverage were those dominated by hourly employment: Food services (5.13) ranked number one, leisure and hospitality (4.34) was number three, and retail (3.96) was number four. Even number two, healthcare and social assistance, includes a wide spectrum of hourly workers, from in-home nursing assistants to front desk help at medical offices.

A key driver of the trend is the strong rebound of restaurants and customer service-oriented businesses that began as the pandemic waned. Predictions by some economists of an imminent recession never materialized, as monthly federal jobs reports have remained strong and unemployment rates have held at historic lows. In this economic climate, Ready ATS’ Chief Executive Officer, Arthur Pereless, said that many workers who were laid off from hourly jobs at the height of the pandemic actually got ahead with the help of unemployment and stimulus funding, then transitioned to salaried positions. 

“If we were having problems in 2023 with staffing hourly employees, just think about 2024 when there’s 100 more restaurants on that highway you drive every day,” Pereless said.

Pereless predicts that immigrant workers will be an important part of the solution and pointed to Ready ATS as a tool that can help. “The system’s ability to present job posts and forms in multiple languages can help connect employees eager to fill positions with candidates ready to work,” he said. 


Much of the conversation about the pending impacts of artificial intelligence (AI) on the workforce has centered on displacement – the notion that it will do to many careers what the robot did to the auto factories. That may prove true in the long run, but in 2024, it could actually create jobs. In fields like marketing and online sales, employers are looking for people who understand AI and can begin putting it to use for their companies.

And what could help employers make those hires? AI! As Forbes reports, the recruitment industry seems optimistic heading into 2024 “due to the strategic integration of online recruiting platforms and the increasing influence of AI in the talent acquisition process.” It points to technologies that can assist with resume matching, the prediction of worker success and candidate screening as AI-driven innovations to look out for.

Ready ATS and its sister companies, Pereless Systems and ATS OnDemand have been industry pioneers in the integration of AI in its software. For example, Ready ATS chat bots can help applicants find jobs that match their interests and experience levels, and its resume scanning capability can make life easier for hiring managers when they get a flood of responses for an open position.

“You can use Ready ATS to compare the job requirements with an applicant’s credentials and offer a ranking,” Pereless explained. “So if you get 300 applications for an administrative assistant position, AI will rank them 1 through 300. It’s a huge time saving.”

Hybrid Work Is Here to Stay

Over the last two years, some employers attempted to turn back the clock to the pre-pandemic days, ordering workers back to the office every day for a traditional work week. But data suggests the pendulum has swung as far back as it’s going to. A fall Gallup survey of chief human resource officers from Fortune 500 companies revealed that 8 in 10 had no plans of decreasing remote work flexibility in the next 12 months.

COVID forever dispelled the notion that a remote worker was an unproductive worker, and gave employees a taste of how much more convenient life could be when they had that small measure of flexibility in their workdays. They’re not interested in giving it back. Gallup’s data indicates that 6 in 10 remote-capable workers now expect and prefer hybrid arrangements.

“COVID allowed us to look at this more rationally and say, this is not a beta test anymore,” Pereless said. “We did this for two years successfully. What if we came in with modifications of this policy that make everyone happy? It’s another thing that you can use as a hiring tool.”

Put another way, companies that don’t offer some level of remote-office balance will have trouble attracting top talent. It is an expectation now, and for a lot of jobs, it’s one that can easily be met with the help of tools like Zoom and Slack.

“It’s a big issue in the cities, where workers have to deal with long and expensive commutes,” Ready ATS’ Chief Financial Officer, Frank Su, said. “With all the technologies we have access to, you can pretty much work anywhere. Hybrid and remote work is here to stay and we need to adapt to it.”

Trends for the Hourly Workforce Moving Into 2024

As we look ahead to 2024, the hourly job market is expected to continue evolving in response to technological advancements, shifting workforce demographics, and changing consumer needs. 

With the rise of automation and artificial intelligence, certain manual labor and routine tasks may become increasingly automated, leading to a greater emphasis on roles that require creativity, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence. 

In addition, the gig economy is likely to play a significant role in the hourly job market, offering flexible employment opportunities for workers while also posing challenges for traditional employment structures. 

Furthermore, as the population ages and younger generations enter the workforce, there may be a greater demand for healthcare and wellness-related hourly jobs, as well as a growing emphasis on work-life balance and mental health support within the workplace. 

Overall, the hourly job market in 2024 is expected to continue evolving in response to the changing needs and expectations of both workers and employers, creating new opportunities and challenges for all involved.

Get Ready for 2024

Ready ATS is always improving in response to industry trends and client needs. Stay ahead of the curve by building your workforce with the help of our best-in-class technology. 

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