Key Takeaways: Lessons from 2023 for a Bright 2024

As we dive into the challenges of 2024, there are some lessons we can take with us from 2023.

In our recent webinar, Lessons from 2023 for a Bright 2024, panelists reflected on what was top of mind as they wrapped up 2023, including job advertising, the candidate experience during the hiring process, and HigherEd workforce trends. Attendees heard from Andy Boom (JobElephant), Ircka West (PeopleAdmin), and Lucas Del Priore (PeopleAdmin) as they shared their valuable insights—check out some key takeaways below.

JobElephant’s Innovation in Job Board Optimization

Did you know that on average, 40% of job advertising spend is wasted? Andy Boom, Director of Business Development at JobElephant, noted that his team sees this budget waste frequently because customers want to “spread the net as far and wide as possible, adding multiple publications to a campaign, which might make sense—but it all depends on the specific job description.” The reality that not all job boards are created equal, and not all are going to have the right audience for every job description. JobElephant tracks every ad they post for their customers, and has seen that some publications fail to drive traffic and lack optimization. Andy’s team utilizing machine learning and AI to curate the top ten options for specific searches. By analyzing keywords, JobElephant ensures that job descriptions are matched with the boards that promise the best potential return, reducing ad spending waste.

Elevating the Candidate Experience

Ircka West, Solution Engineer at PeopleAdmin, spoke about improving the candidate experience as a top trend from 2023. She emphasized the power of presentation in attracting candidates—creating excitement about the workplace begins with focusing on the candidate experience. Reflecting the candidate’s values and interests is crucial, and your team can take advantage of existing information by linking to pages that show off the institutional experience. Ircka recommended re-evaluating the application process by streamlining lengthy forms and implementing two-step application processes can encourage completion. “To get feedback on the application process, there are a few different ways,” said Ircka. “One would be to use your reporting capabilities and seeing what their actions do. What parts of the application process are they stopping at? Where are you losing them in the process? That’s a more passive way to find out some answers. Another way is to remember that everyone who works at your institution went through the application process at some point. You can reach out to your staff and get feedback from what they remember.”

Adapting to Workforce Trends

Lucas Del Priore, Product Manager at PeopleAdmin, spoke about the evolving landscape of workforce trends in higher education. One major trend that Lucas thought institutions should focus on is the continued normalization of hybrid and remote work, which presents a number of opportunities for growth. While hybrid work isn’t new in 2023, there are still a lot of improvements to be made with digitization and automation. “The implication is a big cultural shift of engagement, where engagement is becoming problematic for faculty and staff,” said Lucas. “The most concrete example is how to reconfigure every task and event to fit in that digital format. Not everything converts clearly, and we’re continuing to learn and understand how to implement tools that work for hybrid models and continue to encourage engagement.” In 2024, HigherEd teams should focus on institution resilience, purposeful and innovative digitization, and providing meaningful opportunities for faculty development are key strategies to navigate these changes successfully.

Final Thoughts

The world of HigherEd is becoming increasingly complex, and staying informed about the latest trends and leveraging innovative tools is essential. From optimizing job boards with JobElephant’s data-driven approach to enhancing the candidate experience and adapting to a digital workforce, there is a lot to learn from 2023 as we launch the strategies of 2024. Check out this webinar on-demand for more insights.