The hottest HR skills to master

The hottest HR skills to master

HR consulting firm Randstad is seeing a trend toward tech-driven HR roles in 2019 – and those willing to take on new skills will have the upper hand in the game.

An effective digital strategy doesn’t just rely on the best software to do the heavy lifting.

There’s also a growing need for HR professionals who are proficient with the latest tools and unafraid to explore new platforms and management techniques.

The modern HR professional
For years, the umbrella term “HR technician” encompassed a limited range of computer-assisted functions in HR, mostly involving data entry and tracking.

In the dark ages of HR tech, most reporting had to be done manually using spreadsheets and documents. Even the most tech-centric HR jobs were limited by their own tools.

With today’s HR tech ecosystem evolving, companies are now developing roles within the discipline that are more analytical, agile, and responsive to the needs of the modern workforce.

Today, there are HR Data Engineers, People Analytics Specialists, and Employee Growth Managers who play a strategic role and rely on business intelligence tools to better manage the workforce.

And they’ve mastered three of the hottest HR tech skills every HR professional should know:

Employee Experience Design
Employee experience (EX) design applies to both workplace technology and culture. It follows the principles of design thinking: empathizing with users (employees); defining problems; and ideating, prototyping, testing, and implementing creative solutions.

EX design takes its cue from user experience and interface (UX/UI) research and design, and is concerned with how reliable and responsive the company’s workforce tools, applications, policies, processes, and protocols are.

An HR professional with EX design skills is more attuned to developing and implementing HR software, mobile apps, and employee portals that meet the needs of workers.

People Analytics
People analytics branches out into many subfields, such as talent analytics, organizational network analysis, impact analysis, and sentiment analysis to name a few.

Experts in the field take events and observations in the workplace and translate them into the language of mathematics to identify overall trends and patterns that wouldn’t otherwise emerge from anecdotal evidence.

People analytics borrows heavily from data science and statistics but also turns to the social sciences to interpret findings on behavior, sentiments, attitudes, and decisions.

Analysts use a range of business intelligence software that perform descriptive, prescriptive, and predictive analytics.

Agile HR Methodologies
Inspired by the way software development teams respond to rapid change, Agile HR moves away from rigid organizational structures and traditional hierarchy.

Instead, it focuses on smaller, more nimble teams with a “flattened” hierarchy and collaborative relationship between leaders and employees.

A mastery of Agile HR methodologies can help HR and talent managers foster a more dynamic workplace culture – where every employee has a voice and feedback from all levels and specializations is welcomed. As a result, management constantly listens and adapts to change.

The design of most team messaging and collaboration tools like Slack, Asana, and Workplace by Facebook reflects the openness found in agile systems.

These three HR tech skills don’t just focus on the technology at hand – which is bound to keep evolving – but they enable HR pros to thrive in a fast-paced environment no matter the tech trends that emerge.