Skills-First Approach to Hiring, Digital Fluency Seen By HR Professionals as Critical to Addressing Talent Needs

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Monday, May 20th, 2024

Human resources professionals are sharpening their focus on skills-based hiring and job candidates' digital fluency as they navigate another year of workplace change, according to a new report released today by CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the information technology (IT) industry and workforce.

A majority of U.S. companies expect to hire workers to support growth initiatives in the year ahead (66%). For technology workers specifically, 72% of companies expect to increase hiring. Expectations of adding workers are offset to a degree by the potential of layoffs (cited by 24% of firms), separations due to skills gaps (22%) and hiring freezes (19%).

CompTIA's annual "Workforce and Learning Trends" report provides data and insight into five key focus areas:

  1.       Skills-first approaches sharpen focus on outcomes

  2.       Adaptive learning elevates competency-based education

  3.       Digital fluency grows in scope and career value

  4.       HR tech alignment with people and process takes center stage

  5.       Navigating the promise and limitations of generative AI in the workplace

To facilitate both hiring and retention, one in two HR leaders report a desire to leverage new and compelling approaches to skills-based hiring and talent management. At the same time, they acknowledge challenges in time, predicting outcomes and validating skills.

"In this period of rapid change, it has never been more critical for companies to take a hard look at their talent management practices," said Tim Herbert, chief research officer, CompTIA. "Cultivating a continuous learning culture that is outcomes driven provides an ideal foundation for meeting the challenges ahead."

The Presidents Forum and Skills First Coalition will host a briefing to discuss the critically important roles higher education, industry and policy makers play in preparing current and future generations of workers for career success. Panelists at the "Innovation in Workforce and Education Policy Briefing" will include

  • Anne Kress, president, Northern Virginia Community College (moderator)

  • Kristin Fracchia, head of growth, Chegg

  • Lydia Logan, vice president, global education, IBM

  • Tim Herbert, chief research officer, CompTIA

The briefing will take place May 8 at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington.

The CompTIA survey data indicates many HR professionals have taken this to heart and plan to increase investments in learning platforms (net 86% upgrading or adopting) and skills inventory or talent intelligence platforms (net 84% upgrading or adopting). Additionally, a slight majority of organizations plan to increase their staff training and development budget in the year ahead (55% vs. 50% intent the prior year).

The "Workforce and Learning Trends" study incorporates subject matter expertise from CompTIA and the results of a survey of nearly 1,200 HR and L&D professionals across industry sectors. The full report is available at