SHRM Foundation Supported by CKF Announces Partnership to Elevate Skills-Based Hiring in the Workforce

New Skilled Credentials Toolkit and Panel Featuring Skills-Based Hiring Best Practices Set to Launch at SHRM23

June 5, 2023

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Today, the SHRM Foundation, with support from the Charles Koch Foundation, announced its new partnership and the launch of the "Ready for Success: Adopting a Skills Mindset in Employment Practices" toolkit. Last year, the SHRM Foundation launched its Skilled Credentials at Work campaign to engage employers to adjust hiring attitudes and processes toward individuals pursuing credentials and certifications instead of two- or four-year degrees. The Foundation's research report, The Rise of Skilled Credentials, showed that more resources need to be added to the hiring field to discuss how skilled credentials work and connect the right individual to a job. Through the SHRM Foundation's partnership with the Charles Koch Foundation, employers will find it easier to embrace and expand their existing hiring pools while preparing their companies for the new skills-based economy ahead.

The partnership will work to develop tools and training that help employers effectively engage skills-based hiring and retention strategies. This campaign works to solve the talent recruitment and retention challenges facing many industries across the country. Additionally, there is an upcoming panel at the SHRM Annual Conference & Expo 2023 (SHRM23), "How a Whole Human Talent Strategy Can Make You a Hiring Hero", showcasing the themes featured in the toolkit. The panel will similarly highlight how employers can benefit from skills-based hiring and how to overhaul their recruitment practices effectively.

"Businesses looking to succeed going forward must continue to evolve their hiring practices," said Wendi Safstrom, president of the SHRM Foundation. "The U.S. has entered a skills-based economy. And to fit this new environment, employers will need to adopt skills-based hiring practices in their HR departments."

The SHRM23 panel will focus on how HR can adjust hiring mentality and systems to better recognize and accommodate a person's aptitudes, talents and skills. It will provide tips and demonstrate the benefits of a skills-based hiring program. The discussion will feature Alex Alonso, Chief Knowledge Officer at SHRM; Clayton Lord, Director of Foundation Programs at the SHRM Foundation; Kate Smalkin, SVP of Employer Partnerships, Climb Hire; and Cara Chennault-Reid, Human Resources Director, Koch Industries.

"We're thrilled about our partnership with SHRM Foundation and the opportunity to connect with employers to drive action around skills-based hiring," said Ryan Stowers, Executive Director of the Charles Koch Foundation. "With the launch of the skilled credentials toolkit, we are making strides towards a modern workplace focused on the potential of every individual"

The skilled credentials toolkit provides 12 tangible action items that workplaces can take to improve hiring practices and make in-roads to more diverse hiring. Broken into three categories—technology-enabled steps, job promotion comms, and organization changes—the toolkit will empower employers to transform their hiring practices today. The steps include:

  • Aligning technology to have eligible skilled credentials in their sourcing and pairing.
  • Communicating organizational needs to potential employees.
  • Changing institutional structure organizationally to be more inclusive.

The skilled credentials panel and toolkit are just the beginning of this effort to drive the adoption of skills-based hiring in the world of work. Visit to learn more about the skilled credential campaign. And, for those individuals attending SHRM23 in person in Las Vegas, the panel will take place on Tuesday, June 13, from 2 p.m. -3 p.m. PT in room W205.

About the SHRM Foundation  
Founded in 1966, the SHRM Foundation is the 501(c)(3) philanthropic arm of the world's largest HR professional society, SHRM. SHRM represents nearly 325,000 HR professionals across the globe, impacting 235 million workers and their families. The SHRM Foundation mobilizes and equips HR to lead positive social change so that all talent and workplaces can prosper and thrive. Its robust resources, meaningful partnerships and evidence-based programming educate and empower HR professionals to hire diverse talent, build inclusive workplaces, prioritize workplace mental health and wellness, develop and support the next generation of HR professionals, and help employees find purpose at work and beyond. Learn more at  

About Charles Koch Foundation

The Charles Koch Foundation partners with social entrepreneurs to remove the barriers that prevent people from reaching their potential. It does this by supporting innovations in postsecondary education that allow all learners to discover, develop, and deploy their unique aptitudes and gifts to benefit themselves and others. CKF also supports best in class research exploring the key issues of society, such as immigration, criminal justice, and economic progress.



Hire the best HR talent or advance your own career.

Member Benefit: Ask-An-Advisor Service

SHRM's HR Knowledge Advisors offer guidance and resources to assist members with their HR inquiries.

SHRM's HR Knowledge Advisors offer guidance and resources to assist members with their HR inquiries.



HR Daily Newsletter

News, trends and analysis, as well as breaking news alerts, to help HR professionals do their jobs better each business day.