Exploring HR's skills of the future

It's a rapidly evolving time for the industry

Exploring HR's skills of the future

The world of work is changing and so too is the HR industry. With a seat at the table, HR leaders have a prime opportunity to drive more resilient, successful, and people-focused businesses. The role has evolved from a highly administrative one to being a strategic voice within the business. But what are the skills required for the next generation of HR leaders?

HRD spoke to Melissa Hume, a leading HR professional and excellence awardee in the Australian HR Manager of the Year category at this year’s Australian HR Awards. Hume said the great acceleration in data and AI to predict trends and patterns is opening a new dimension of skills for the HR industry.

“What I'm seeing is that HR professionals who are more comfortable with using computer software and who can actually analyse data and see trends for themselves are the most effective,” she said. “I think people who are reliant on just the basic processes will begin to fall behind.”

Research of the industry supports Hume’s view, which points to the reliance on AI as a pivotal trend to enable businesses to be truly resilient in the face of change. While very few could’ve predicted a global pandemic would be the driving factor behind the recent workplace change, many work futurists knew a major shift was coming and now, it’s arrived.

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According to Deloitte’s State of AI in the Enterprise, 63% of the leaders surveyed said AI was “very” or “critically” important to their business success. Over the next two years, that number is expected to grow to 81%.

Hume believes that for the next generation of HR leaders to keep pace with the accelerating appetite for data, they need to develop their business acumen as well as understand the key pillars of the employee lifecycle.

“It’s about how they can commercially communicate HR strategy with a wider audience of the business,” she said. “It also gives them credibility in the business, so if they are involved in a project or they're leading a project, they can demonstrate the ROI and quantify it using numbers or dollar figures, because ultimately that’s what holds a lot of weight.

“I also think young HR professionals should try to develop their network and their personal brand. If they don't already, try to get a strong digital footprint, whether it's through LinkedIn or some other type of platform, which represents them in the way they want to be seen.”

Melissa Hume is the author of the Amazon best-seller, 'Your HR Ally: Kickstart your human resources career'.

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