Companies need to consider how to develop resilience in their workforce, future-proof their workers, and offer alternative learning and career pathways, according to a new report by the US-based Computing Technology Industry Association. The report, which incorporates input from 400 HR and workforce learning professionals in the US, identifies five key trends that are likely to characterize workforce development and training in the near future:
Companies renew focus on worker resilience
Business gets more proactive about DEI
Continuous learning is the new personalized learning
Alternative learning and career pathways are extending and branching
AI becomes a strategic partner of human-digital teams
According to the findings, 41 percent of HR leaders believe that their organizations will be placing new emphasis on communications and emerging technology skills for remote workers, and 42 percent expect to see increased upskilling and reskilling efforts for existing employees. 67 percent of companies actually consider upskilling and reskilling to be more important in 2021 than it was in 2020.
In addition, the traditional expectation for job candidates to have a four-year degree is becoming less important. 57 percent of senior leaders expect that this requirement will continue to be deprioritized, and 76 percent of HR leaders support relaxing or totally eliminating the requirement, preferring to focus on industry-valued certifications instead.
The report looked into how this particular mindset around alternative career pathways may interact with future hiring trends. 62 percent of respondents said they expect to hire for technology roles within the next 12 months, and given the great demand for IT professionals, they are willing to look at other ways of assessing candidates. 83 percent of HR professionals say they will consider candidates for IT support and helpdesk positions who do not have a four-year degree, and will offer similar levels of consideration for more specialized positions such as data and databases (80 percent), software or web development (75 percent) and even cybersecurity (73 percent).
However, HR leaders also cited organizational resistance to change and reluctance to take the risk of hiring a non-degree-holder as obstacles to alternative career pathways.