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HR survey reveals focus on talent mobility, new technologies and overcoming training fatigue and retention challenges

Human Resource (HR) professionals in the UK navigating economic uncertainty and an ever-shifting work environment will pursue new approaches and new technologies to better develop and retain talent, according to the latest research from CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the information technology (IT) industry and workforce.

CompTIA’s annual “Workforce and Learning Trends” report finds a majority of HR professionals expect their organisations to maintain their current pace of hiring with 66% planning to hire to support growth initiatives during the first half of the year. Layoffs will continue to be a reality with 18% expecting skills gaps to play a factor in layoff decisions.

CompTIA identifies five key trends shaping today’s efforts by organisations to hire new talent and to reimagine how to deploy existing staff.

1.      Talent mobility approaches grow in scope and importance

2.      T-shaped skills models remain integral for future-proofing careers

3.      Algorithms and platforms exert greater influence over talent development

4.      Organisations strive to maintain Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) momentum

5.      Talent marketplaces add new dimension to workforce flexibility

Three-quarters of the respondents to the CompTIA survey report the existence of either a formal or informal talent mobility program within their organisation, and 73% say that their organisation plans to increase their program’s scope and their emphasis on talent mobility.

“Learning and development programs aimed at upskilling and reskilling workers will be essential,” said Nancy Hammervik, chief solutions officer at CompTIA. “Every organisation has untapped talent and an opportunity to empower employees to strive for that next career rung.”

Maintaining a focus on durable skills remains important to most companies. According to the survey, 78% of HR professionals indicate that they use a T-shaped skills model in some capacity to guide talent management. The T-shaped model signifies an employee with significant depth of understanding of a particular field, as well as a breadth of cross-discipline competencies.

“An employee with T-shaped skills – the hard technical skills and the broader soft skills, also referred to as durable skills — is particularly valuable today when flexibility is so important,” said Hannah Johnson, senior vice president of tech talent programs at CompTIA. “When done with intention, this powerful combination can help future-proof an organisation and boost its competitiveness.”

With a constant stream of new HR tech innovation hitting the market, most organisations report a combination of systems upgrades and new implementations. Three of the top four new investments in platforms and systems are in areas that focus on developing and deploying talent: learning and training platforms (82% net); talent mobility and talent marketplace platforms (69% net); and skills inventory, talent intelligence, and career pathways platforms (70% net).

While it is still early stage, artificial intelligence (AI) is on the radar of most HR professionals. Not surprisingly the largest share of respondents has a neutral or to-be-determined view of AI and its impact on HR (52% in the US with the UK showing similar results).

CompTIA’s “Workforce and Learning Trends” report is based on a survey of 450 U.S. and 200 U.K. HR and L&D professionals across a range of industry sectors and company sizes conducted in January and February 2023. Qualitative interviews with L&D experts and other sources provided additional content. The full report is available on the CompTIA website.

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