The role of Human Resources has shifted from an administrative function into a more strategic position. Today, organisations expect HR professionals to lead them forward in these challenging times.
Aside from recruitment, onboarding and payroll and benefits management, HR practitioners' contributions to business have evolved as they adapt to the requirement of modern human capital management. These include forecasting and managing skills demands, recruitment investing, and talent development, among others.
In the Asia Pacific region, for instance, there has been a significant shift in what HR professionals see as the top skills necessary to keep up with their job demands. A report by career growth specialist BPP – “Skills for the future: Asia Pacific” – shows a growing demand for future-focused skills in HR.
What are the top future skills in Human Resources?
Digitalisation has ushered in the rise of artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual/augmented reality, blockchain and the metaverse, alongside new HR specialisations such as people analytics and even cloud data management.
According to the BPP report, to help your HR department prosper in the digital age, HR leaders can encourage their team to master power skills, such as the following:
Future readiness and organisation capability analysis
Future readiness requires HR people to undergo training on facing uncertain times and ever-changing environments, also known as change management. They need to develop resourcefulness to provide clarity when major shifts happen.
For instance, HR managers who were seen as future-ready during the early months of the COVID pandemic were able to lead their teams from office-based work to a work-from-home set-up seamlessly and with fewer disruptions than those who weren't future-ready.
With change management fast becoming a capability, some organisations are far better equipped to improve the implementation of remote work and coordinate complex organisational changes, suggest new structures, and ensure a smooth transition than ever before.
Leadership skills are the foundation of a successful HR practice. Elements of leadership include persuasion, communication, coaching, advising, adaptability, and organisational management, among others. They are invaluable in today’s working environment because they ensure collaboration even in challenging times.
People analytics is the ability to collect and transform HR data into actionable insights that fuel business growth. Managing big data complements this skill, streamlining large internal and external datasets for easier use.
People analytics, for example, can help identify the common causes of attrition, absenteeism, or overtime work. It measures the impact of HR metrics on business performance; helps HR identify, train, and retain exceptional talent; and allows leaders to make decisions based on data, not on gut feeling or intuition.
Training facilitation and development
Organisations can build, create, and share knowledge both internally and externally.
When HR and Learning & Development (L&D) professionals partner to develop courses and facilitate learning across platforms and environments, organisations are able to enhance collaboration between stakeholders. This, in turn, encourages better decision-making, innovation, and growth.
Digital adaptation is the ability to incorporate processes, techniques, tools, or technologies to help organisations make successful transitions during significant changes. Keeping up with the trends of virtual reality training and artificial intelligence, for example, will help organisations retain an edge over their competitors.
HR activities such as recruitment, onboarding, training and L&D are now supported by advanced technologies. To keep up with innovation, HR professionals must acquire knowledge of digital tools and platforms and incorporate them seamlessly into their everyday practice.
Data and technology are becoming more and more accessible to employers as we see big and small players in different industries doing sharp digital pivots.
HR professionals should maximise this trend by upskilling continuously to steer company growth and innovate practices for the future.