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Are your HR skills becoming extinct?

Posted on by from Hays

The world of HR is changing, as are the expectations of the skills needed to succeed in HR. Barney Ely questions whether enough is being done – from both the employer and employees – to resolve the issue.

Consensus over skills shortages

Our research, the Capability Gap report, found that over two thirds (67%) of HR professionals were concerned that their skills would not be needed by employers in the future, which suggests they are aware of the need to develop their acquired and soft skills and yet still many are not taking steps to develop their skills in the right areas.

This is despite the finding that over a third of employers are not confident that they will be able to recruit the skills they need to meet the demands of the organisation.

Finding a focus

It is important for HR professionals to understand the commercial environment in which their organisation operates as they become more involved in wider business issues. The findings of our survey suggest there should be a focus on increasing commercial awareness, as 58% of UK employers and 73% of HR employees believe that industry and professional knowledge will be the most critical for their organisation. Yet, despite this, only 42% of employees are actually taking steps to develop their skills in this area.

There was also a significant gap shown in capabilities around compliance and legislative framework and communication particularly for new entrants and intermediate level professionals. The capability gap in employer and employee perception of the required analytical skills and IT and systems understanding was also significant.

Looking toward the future

Employers and employees alike need to focus on developing the right skill sets in order to ensure HR professionals are equipped with the skills that will be needed by employers in the future. If organisations are struggling to recruit intermediate level positions, upskilling new entrants in the short term will help to fulfil the increasing demand for HR expertise.

Receiving regular feedback from employers is one way to help employees to understand their proficiency levels and develop relevant skills, which will enable them to overcome some of the most prominent capability gaps we found in our research.

Employees must work on staying up to date with technology, build strategic partnerships and increase their industry knowledge in order to keep one step ahead and ensure their skills remain in demand.

The HR function plays a central role in any organisation therefore this investment in and focus on development will quickly have an impact, enhancing performance within the wider organisation.

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Barney Ely

By Barney Ely

Barney is director for the UK Human Resources specialism, leading a team of 80 expert HR recruitment consultants in 42 locations across the UK. He joined Hays in 1993 as a business graduate and has spent much of his career recruiting for blue-chip organisations and SMEs in London and the South.

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