Report: With the continuing rise of AI, employers are struggling to find talent

A new General Assembly survey reveals HR leaders’ insights around AI

Everyone in education, workforce development, and industry is talking about AI and its impact. A new global survey from General Assembly – conducted with Wakefield Research – finds employers are having difficulty finding talent who can utilize AI technology and tools.

The State of Tech Talent 2024 surveys more than 1,000 HR leaders that are trying to fill jobs in software engineering, data analytics, and UX – and notes the concerns they have around making sure employees remain competitive in the “AI-enabled world of work.”

The report reads, “There’s still a lot to be done if we want to fulfill [AI’s] potential while minimizing the troubles of bias, invisibility, reactivity, and inequity that so often surface with technologies — especially when they’re trained with inherited data and hastily embedded in complex systems.”

It continues, “Because of AI, employers around the world have already begun to search for entirely new skill sets and entirely new roles.”

Among the survey’s key findings:

  • Companies are hiring for AI skills. Data from Hired indicates more than two-thirds (68%) of tech employers are interviewing more candidates per role than they did a year ago and that 56% of tech hiring managers ranked quality of hire — someone with at least six years of industry experience — as their top key performance indicator for hiring for 2024.
  • In North America, 73% of HR leaders in the U.S. and Canada say it’s difficult to find this talent versus 63% in Europe.
  • Ninety-one percent of HR leaders at companies using AI say job candidates are requesting higher salaries.
  • Ninety-three percent of HR leaders say the skills that managers want included in job descriptions are rapidly changing – more than they have in the past.
  • HR leaders say they do not fully understand the day-to-day responsibilities for 29% of their open positions.
  • About one-third (35%) of HR leaders fill their tech hiring needs with contingent or freelance workers.
  • Almost half of respondents (49%) say it’s “entirely” or “primarily” the job of an organization to provide AI reskilling and upskilling. But 37% of HR leaders say it’s up to employees to keep current, with 20% saying it’s entirely the responsibility of each employee.
  • Fifty-four percent are increasing their hiring budgets.

The survey resulted in a number of recommendations:

  • To prepare for the new reality, HR and company leaders must assess the current and future state of the organization to pinpoint the headcount, roles, and skills profiles necessary for success.
  • AI should be integrated into the core components and daily operations of a business.
  • “Don’t sleep on existing talent.” Many companies have an urgent need to offer their current employees the opportunity to learn relevant, new skills — which is something that people want from their employers.
  • Recruit non-traditional talent by adopting skills-first approaches to hiring.

Read all the insights in The State of Tech Talent 2024 here.