Digital Skills to Future-Proof Your HR Career
With the coronavirus pandemic, the world witnessed a seismic shift in the way we work. Even though the worst of the virus seems to have (hopefully) passed, the changes wrought to established work practices look destined to remain. More and more of us, for example, have discovered the benefits of working from home, and the diffuse nature of decentralized work teams and digital transformation suggests that this was a trend that was approaching regardless.
Therefore, as the dynamics of the workplace evolve, it’s only natural that human resources and recruitment practices will have to adapt alongside them.
The result is that there are more recruitment tunnels available than ever before, but this also means that recruiters have to develop new skills to utilize these channels effectively. Additionally, some softer skills will now be more in demand in HR to help compensate for the increased reliance on digital and remote hiring methods. We’re going to go over the most vital current digital skills necessary for HR professionals to meet the challenges presented by the future.
In the current landscape of human resources, success is often defined by the ability to adopt new digital tools for maximum effect. Social media is one such tool and covers platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Their cultural and social influence will only continue to grow in the future, so as HR professionals, we need to get comfortable leveraging these channels for acquiring the best talent.
Integrating an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) with your social accounts will allow you to post on career portals, recruitment boards, and the various social media channels from a single interface. ATS platforms also offer analytical feedback to help you monitor the effectiveness of your recruitment strategies. You will also have to get comfortable with employing the right tone for a particular platform, as they all have their own unique demographic makeups.
While HR is still a field where people skills are at a premium, the evolving nature of the sector means that recruiters need to be tech-savvy to truly prosper in today’s market. As digital transformation engulfs the application process, onboarding systems, and online recruitment channels, recruiters with strong tech skills who can quickly learn to use the latest powerful HR tool will stand out in their field. Employers will recognize you as a recruiter who can hit the ground running, and you’ll represent a better value proposition for the company you choose to work for. Plus, general tech awareness is likely to improve your overall success rate and help you manage prospects more effectively.
HR Software Platforms
Both small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and corporate giants are enjoying the benefits of dedicated HR platforms that streamline workflows and improve efficiency and interdepartmental communications. HR professionals need to be banging the drum for these services, as they can bring real value to HR processes. Knowing the difference between low-cost HR software and more costly, specialized systems will enable you to choose the solution that best fits your company. These software tools work as an additional help for your recruitment skills, so they need to be taken seriously. You also need to be able to familiarize yourself with the tools and services these platforms offer, such as:
- Time off scheduling
- Performance tracking
- Health and safety reports
- Employee development
These are the bread and butter of HR work. Modern HR software with its additional extension allows you to streamline and automate many of the more linear processes, so you can spend valuable time elsewhere working on more ambitious and creative assignments.
In an age where remote work and decentralized teams are on the rise, cloud technology is becoming a staple of HR systems. Cloud technology allows HR departments to centralize the relevant data for improved ease of access, management, and organization. Cloud technology also improves efficiency when it comes to dealing with areas like payroll, onboarding, and feedback, all while improving transparency and reducing the chances of manual error. HR professionals need to familiarize themselves with the cloud, as its ubiquity is only set to increase in the future.
If we weren’t already before, 2020 forced us to become familiar with talking to friends, colleagues, and families over Skype and Zoom. However, for HR professionals, this medium is one that needs to be mastered. Some of the skills for conducting a remote interview vs. a face-to-face interview overlap, but the format offers its own set of challenges. Interviewers may require a more proactive approach to questioning candidates to overcome the less intimate nature of remote communication and provide more prompts for candidates to ask questions and make their own contributions to the dialogue. It will also be harder to pick up on signs from body language that would normally tell you how confident and assured a candidate is in the moment. Interviewers need to learn the ins and outs of this format and must ensure that they’re recording interviews to review in the future.
Analytics is a massive driver in modern business, and recruitment is no different. HR professionals need to familiarize themselves with analytical software to leverage available data for the most relevant insights. These insights will be critical in building effective recruitment strategies and HR policies while also pointing the way towards more efficient business processes moving forward. Most ATS software and digital HR platforms will have proprietary analytics systems in place or can integrate with third-party analytics solutions. Either way, recruitment, and HR are becoming increasingly data-driven, so mastering analytics is essential.
Marketers and HR teams have always had a skill overlap, but that Venn diagram is tightening more with each passing year. Companies want recruiters and HR staff who can leverage their brands to attract the best talent to convince valuable prospects to take a job with them over the competition. Therefore, HR professionals need to understand how they can use brand engagement in their role and leverage their company’s reputation to get better results. HR materials need to be aligned with the tone of a company’s broader marketing strategy to help support brand values so that the two departments cohere for a mutually beneficial result.
The era of digital transformation requires HR professionals to revolutionize their outlook on established practices, whether it be the design of job listings, exploiting new recruitment tunnels, or improving staff retention. HR professionals need to remain agile and grasp the workings of new HR digital resources before they become industry-standard if they truly want to future-proof their skillsets and be ready for whatever changes lie in wait for the industry.
About the Author
Maria Kot is SignalHire chief HR expert, so she knows everything about recruiting. Her profound understanding of managing human talent, along with a keen eye for human psychology, make her recruiting-related blog posts such an exciting read. And, even though Maria did not choose writing as her profession, she gladly shares her talent with us.