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What's Ahead in 2024? HR Leaders, Other Experts Share Predictions

Coworkers talking in an open office

​The way organizations operate—including training initiatives, the ongoing debate over the return to the office, and approaches to hiring—is rapidly changing. Workplace experts shared the following predictions with SHRM Online on what they think is ahead for 2024.  

Skills-Based Hiring  

"2024 is all about opening the aperture for talent. My prediction—and hope—is that 2024 is the year when organizations make skills-based hiring and internal talent mobility a reality for their workforce. It's time to help eliminate bias from talent in terms of who should do what job and why. The way to do that is to ensure external hires aren't prioritized over internal talent mobility and that hiring focuses on the skills people have." 
—Susan Tohyama, CHRO of Minneapolis-based Ceridian, a human capital management technology company 

"While technology equips individuals with job-specific skills, we can expect to see a notable shift placing a heightened emphasis on soft skills like resilience, creativity and communication, as these are skills AI cannot replace. With these hiring processes and landscape evolving, HR professionals will find that adaptability and human-centric skills become increasingly crucial in navigating these shifts and will be key for best hiring practices." 
—Anthony Knierim, managing director, Americas, at Boston-based Reward Gateway  

Investing in Training 

"2023 started to address the skill gaps that companies were seeing as a result of three years of remote/hybrid/disrupted working. In 2024, companies will need to improve this investment to build the manager pipelines of the future. The realities that most people are facing at work today are really challenging—uncertainty on in-office requirements, changing resource levels at work (often declining), [and] increased expectations for performance against a volatile macroeconomic environment and ominous geopolitical landscape."
—Melanie Steinbach, chief people officer at MasterClass on Employee Development, headquartered in San Francisco  

Learning and Development (L&D) 

"Continuous and lifelong learning will become even more important with the fast pace of technological advancements. … Learning as a social activity, through peer interactions, mentoring and collaborative projects, will continue to be a key trend. It fosters communication, teamwork and problem-solving skills. 

"As sustainability and ethical practices gain importance globally, training in these areas will likely become more prevalent in corporate L&D programs. With the evolving workforce demands, upskilling and reskilling remain a priority. Organizations are adopting a skills-based approach to talent management, emphasizing skills over roles to ensure employees possess the competencies needed for success."
—Hendrik Dietrich, head of Custom Summary Service and learning expert at getAbstract, an L&D platform based in Lucerne, Switzerland  

Supporting Managers 

"Manager support will be prioritized, and managers will be recognized as the diverse group that they are. … Brand-new managers, managers of managers, and seasoned executive managers each contend with their own long and evolving list of expectations. But when you think about the linchpins who make things happen inside the organization—whether that's performance management, building culture or managing priorities—managers are at the center. Because of the diverse needs and critical role each manager has, personalized and applied development will be prioritized across industries."
—Lindsay Smith, client success director at Social Media Torch, a coaching provider based in Prosper, Texas 

Return to Office 

"As more employers require their people to return to the office, we'll begin to see the impact of these policies in the form of heightened burnout, increased turnover, diminished engagement and reduced DEI [diversity, equity and inclusion]. Thus, effectively measuring and tracking employee burnout, diversity and sentiment within the organization and creating tangible solutions will be key to ensuring workplace maximum productivity and supportive culture. 

"Moreover, a return-to-work policy could add more expenses and put employees at a financial breaking point. In 2024, HR teams will need to pay close attention to the discrepancy between a living and minimum wage and how it impacts workplace productivity and engagement."
—Brittany Schmaling, principal data analyst at Ceridian

"Companies that continue to rely on a mandatory office presence will face an even more severe talent shortage. Employees value the flexibility and benefits of remote working, and there will always be someone to offer them that flexibility for the same pay."
—Thomas Bergen, CEO and co-founder of getAbstract  

"Trust issues are at the core of the flexibility debate—companies that are monitoring keystrokes [and] hours at the computer are doing it wrong. As organizations strive for more equitable flexibility, they need to rethink how they're looking at performance management and refocus on outcomes."
Dean Carter, chief people and purpose officer at Guild, a social impact company headquartered in Denver  

Millennials and Generation Z 

"The coming year will still represent a pivotal moment of cultural change that U.S. companies cannot ignore as Gen Z workers—who care deeply about community connections, about having their voices heard in the workplace, about transparent and responsive leadership, and about diversity and inclusion—make up a rapidly growing share of the workforce."
Glassdoor's 2024 Workplace Trends report
"[W]ith Millennial and Gen Z representation in executive roles growing amid Boomers' declining labor participation rates … these younger leaders intend to do things differently than their predecessors.

"Our Recruiter Nation report revealed that, in 2024, Millennial and Gen Z respondents plan to hire more employees and embrace AI more quickly than Boomers or Gen Xers. Additionally, these younger leaders are more likely to utilize alternative channels to identify talent pools and find success with social media campaigns. They're also more committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives than their predecessors, an aspect of company culture that's near and dear to the hearts of the labor force at large. With all this in mind, I suspect that having younger voices represented in the C-suite will help drive success in 2024."
—Terry Terhark, executive vice president of partner relationships at HR solutions provider Employ Inc., headquartered in Waltham, Mass.


​An organization run by AI is not a futuristic concept. Such technology is already a part of many workplaces and will continue to shape the labor market and HR. Here's how employers and employees can successfully manage generative AI and other AI-powered systems.