2024 hiring trends in boston

Two jobs for every unemployed individual – that is the state of the job market in Massachusetts, according to the Harvard Business Review. This makes for a unique hiring landscape in its capital, Boston, which is facing an extremely tight labor market.  Coupled with the challenge of returning to an office in a city with the fourth-worst traffic in the world, companies face a difficult task when it comes to hiring. But it doesn’t have to be. Below, we explore four aspects of workforce management in Beantown and how to navigate them. 

Competitive Hiring Landscape 

According to an article in the Boston Business Journal, experts are warning that companies cannot expect the labor market to return to its previous state and should instead prepare for a permanent shortage of skilled workers. Harvard Business Review also notes that the state’s aging population is contributing to this trend. This phenomenon, known as Peak 65, is when more Americans are expected to reach the age of 65 in the same year than ever before, which will lead to an increase in retirements. This is particularly concerning for Massachusetts, which has a larger than average proportion of people over the age of 65. To address these challenges, many companies are turning to contingent staffing solutions. 

Pay Transparency

The recent passage of a new pay transparency bill means employers with over 25 employees in Massachusetts could be required to disclose salary range information on job postings and to provide pay range information to current employees, among other requirements. A lack of compliance with this pending law could lead to costly fines for companies. The continued focus on pay transparency means that companies need to have a close read on the pulse of the job market. If you haven’t developed a compensation assessment strategy that aligns with industry standards and meets the demands of top talent, now is the time to do so. Luckily, there are many resources available, including Atrium’s annual salary guides, to ensure you are paying a fair and competitive wage for this tight labor market.  

Skills-Based Hiring

Skills-based hiring is leveling the playing field, diversifying workforces, increasing efficiency, and resulting in more engaged employees, promising to continue to reshape the hiring process. In fact, Massachusetts Governor Healy recently signed an executive order to focus on skills-based hiring for all state positions, meaning a “focus primarily on applicants’ skills, knowledge, and abilities rather than educational credentials.” The newly enacted order could have implications for hiring in Massachusetts, given that the government is the state’s largest employer. This is an excellent time to look at your job requirements and consider if they are all necessary for that particular position. 


After a period of uncertainty, many of Boston’s largest employers have adopted a hybrid work schedule, resulting in a massive return-to-office. For most candidates, we expect to see an adjustment in their expectations for in-office requirements. As companies prepare to bring their employees back to work in the office full-time, it’s important to approach this transition with careful consideration. Although there may be some pushback, it’s also an opportunity to create a productive and cooperative work environment. However, research suggests that companies that provide flexible work policies are growing faster than those that require their employees to be present in the office all the time. Regardless of the approach you choose, there will be operational challenges that you may not have encountered over the past few years as a primarily remote company. 

Atrium Boston is Here to Help

The job market in Massachusetts is facing a unique set of challenges, including a competitive hiring landscape, an aging population, pay transparency laws, and a return-to-office shift. To successfully manage this tight labor market, companies can address the challenges and adopt innovative solutions such as skills-based hiring, contingent workforce strategies, and flexible work policies.  

Atrium Boston’s experienced recruiters specialize in providing customized talent solutions for Finance & Accounting, Administrative, HR, Real Estate, and R&D positions, helping you navigate a competitive local job market and attract top talent. Whether you need to hire administrative support staff for your return-to-office plan, fill out your HR department, or simply need guidance on your overall staffing strategy, we’re here to help. Contact us to learn more about how we can assist you. 

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