Essential skills for HR professionals in 2020

The era of machines is upon us! Automation, AI, and robots are changing the market faster than you could possibly imagine, and humans seem to be at the receiving end of it. Traditionally human skillsets will not work anymore, and a new approach is in order. 

Repetitive tasks such as admin, billing, and compliance will soon be taken over by digitization. This is, of course, going to take away a number of jobs, but then it does create new ones too, and also gives employees a push to align their focus and look to pick up the requisite skills. And, this is nowhere more important than for human resource professionals. 

The responsibilities handled by HR have always depended on human capabilities, which digitization cannot substitute but can only supplement. Certain tasks can be automated or simplified, but the intricacies of non-tangible growth and rewards, for instance, will need human involvement. 

To prepare for the future and stay up to pace with enterprise evolution, HR professionals would do well to add the following skillsets to their portfolio: 

Balancing budgets with talent needs 

It is but obvious that numbers cannot be forgotten in the quest for consistent and sustainable growth. The number of people needed and the money available appears to be contradictory parameters, but mastering a suitable balance between the two is imperative. Through a thorough understanding of recruitment choices and their implications in both the short and long runs, an HR professional is assured of success. 

Research and technological competence 

HR will soon be an integral part of strategic decision-making processes at companies desirous of success. This would require the development of a ‘skills funnel’, which must constantly be studied and tweaked as per the requirements at hand. For instance, a human resource professional would need to conduct research to: 

  • Possess up-to-date market knowledge
  • Identify the right HR software tool that best serves the purposes of the company
  • Understand in-house trends and behaviors when it comes to the employees

Such knowledge will be key to implementing impactful initiatives, given that the organization only stands to grow in reputation. The use of employee-friendly technology backed by solid research could be a major differentiator in the race to pull in the most talented people into the fold. 

Taking strategic decisions 

Human resources will no longer stay in the background on a day-to-day basis. The involvement and interaction with senior management will only increase, given that human resource professionals are best placed to understand the intersect of people, processes, and technology. Good people management requires them to have a thorough knowledge of industry trends and appropriate organizational strategies. They must, for instance, be able to master the questions of: 

  • Existing skill gaps and addressing the same
  • Workforce expansion requirements
  • Essential training

Creative use of in-house messaging 

There is no denying the fact that communication is the most human of all activities at any workplace. Chatbots may get faster and smarter, but they can really not take away from the capabilities of dedicated support professionals, for instance. Millennials are rushing to join the workforce, and they bring with themselves a high degree of familiarity with advanced communication platforms. HR professionals will need to be mindful of the following aspects: 

  • Adopting social media, professional messaging boards, and other means of engaging with employees
  • Maintaining a focus on soft skills, always a key differentiator in an increasingly-digitized world

The way ahead 

Given the need of the hour, a certified HR professional is best placed to possess the requisite skills. Certification is a great way to boost one’s candidature and show the readiness to take the organization to the next level.

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