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Brush up: HR skills that are in demand now

Many HR professionals talk about the value of business acumen, but few see formal study as the best way to develop their skills. We speak to Craig Mason of The Next Step, Rose Clements of Microsoft and Kerrie Field of St Vincents and Mater Health Sydney for their thoughts on the best L&D strategies.

Video transcript below:

Stephanie Zillman, HC TV
Stephanie Zillman:
 Hello, I’m Stephanie Zillman and you are watching HC TV.

For all the talk about learning and development in the HR community, it may surprise you to hear that just 14% of HR professionals think formal study is the best way to upskill.  Craig Mason of  The Next Step says i’s latest viewpoint report indicated very few HR professionals want to improve their business acumen. 

Craig Mason, The Next Step
Craig Mason:
 Interestingly enough very small percentages even now after all the years, after all the commentary, after all the discussion of people in HR needing to be led by the business and to really understand business drivers and commerciality, the numbers of people that say: a) that I want to develop myself in financing, commercial business acumen; and b) that the market is looking for that is in the single digits as far as the percentage was concerned.

Stephanie Zillman: Many HR professionals find learning and development avenues such as networking, online forums and conferences more useful than traditional academic study.  
Lee Golding, Travelport
Lee Golding:  Most of my development has been on the job, networking, I try and go to a conference at least once a year because you learn a lot through, well you learn about the key trends through some of the keynote speakers, but also just talking and listening to case studies from other companies gives you insights into some of the challenges other companies face and how they are addressing them.
Rose Clements, Microsoft
Rose Clements:  I do a lot of reading, I take advantage of some of the leadership visitors that come to Australia that I get to interact with and meet.  I am part of a number of different networking groups and discussion forums which enables me to keep abreast of what my peers and colleagues are doing in different industry groups.  And then we do have a enormous suite and curriculum of formal training that I attend from time to time.  But after a number of years in the company I have exhausted most of the relevant training for me.  So a lot of my personal development and learning is really self driven.
Stephanie Zillman:  Kerrie Field of St. Vincents & Mater Health, Sydney says mentors have played a key role in her professional development.
Kerrie Field, St. Vincents & Mater Health
Kerrie Field:  I have been very very privileged in my career to have worked with a number of incredible CEOs and that working relationship has really been in both coach mentor but also in a strategic partnership.  So for me that’s really really important.  So that the relationship between the CEO and the HR professional and on a personal level as well as a business level is critically important because I think you learn skills about leadership from a very dynamic CEO.
Stephanie Zillman: So what skills do HR professionals need to brush up on?
Craig Mason: Overwhelmingly we see that the area where most people believe that they need to develop their own skills and that the market is demanding a skill set is in change and developing organisational culture.
Stephanie Zillman: For more on learning and development and other HR issues, click around HC Online.  I am Stephanie Zillman and I will see you again soon on HC TV.