10 Skills your HR team need to know

Human resources management generally looks after recruiting administration and staffing, training and learning. It also covers escalated staffing issues within an organisation and is essential to the smooth running of an organisation. The implementation of GDPR in 2018, will ensure that the spotlight shines heavily on HR teams. So what skills does your team need to navigate this, and other complex areas? Drawing on our vast experience in the sector, we’ve put together a list of the most in-demand skills within human resources for the New Year. These are the skills we’re looking for in candidates when recruiting for our clients; skills that are set to really drive the sector forward in 2018.
Here are the key skills and areas of experience that your business needs right now.
HR systems 
Having the right HR system plays an important part in the smooth running of HR-related company data. A firm understanding of HR systems will be key, as a number of complex systems combine to play an important role in the smooth running of HR-related company data. Therefore, it's essential for your team to know how to use them and stay on top of platform developments. Popular cloud-based subscription services like Workday offer a single solution to analysing costs and staff pay. It can also identify talent gaps and capacity needs and offers a tailored software solution for specific industries. SAP SuccessFactors, another popular cloud-based application, offers employee performance management and the alignment of specific business goals to business strategy.
Talent retention
Retaining top talent is crucial to the success of any business. Hiring people with experience in running innovative and creative reward schemes that act as an incentive for employees to stay and build a career, is highly valued at a time when many organisations are scrutinising attrition rates. Finding a solution within an organisation with a defined culture can be a challenge. However, the right person on board should be investigating training schemes that are both of benefit to the workforce, and interesting and engaging enough to be adopted and utilised. Along with creating recognition schemes which boost morale and productivity to justify budget assignment.
Languages build bridges in business
As more international organisations, particularly in finance, look at potentially moving their operations out of the UK in the wake of Brexit, there has never been a better time to bridge that gap. International business liaison is increasingly commonplace. The ability to have business conversations in another language is a valuable asset for many corporations, regardless of whether a relocation is on the cards. Languages can bridge gaps within the networked business community and in a workplace with a shifting workforce. Due to the strength of their native economies, HR practitioners should be identifying staff that operate within German, French, and Mandarin regions, and running sustainable language programmes to enable those staff members to communicate more fluidly with those respective countries.
Diversity and inclusion
Diversity and inclusion continue to rise on the agenda of companies of all sizes and can help drive real change within an organisation. Its continued growth remains to be a key talking key point, so it makes sense to have a diversity expert on your team to help steer your business in the right direction. They’ll need to demonstrate experience in diversity and inclusion reviews and in analysing large chunks of data. Depending on the size of the company, this may feed into their global diversity and inclusion statistical process. The ability to pull the right data, fully understand it and compile it into a meaningful report, then create meaningful policies and actions - is a necessity.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect on May 25, 2018, and replaces the previous 1995 data protection directive. It consists of a raft of changes which includes a requirement of consent from persons for data processing. Building a team that possesses a comprehensive insight into GDPR regulation is an absolute must as it creates a set of standards that companies need to follow. Failure to comply could be disastrous, potentially resulting in fines of either 2% or 4% of total global annual turnover or €10 million or €20 million, whichever is greater and depending on the scale of the breach. Be sure your team of specialists possess the necessary skills to best prepare your business for the upcoming change. 
Transformation and change
Transformation and change experience relates to the planning and implementation of a change project. This is something that can affect an entire company and the implementation of this is a key role that your company should have high on its agenda. Your HR practitioner is expected to troubleshoot problems, predict reactions to events and manage expectations. A thorough understanding of company architecture is required, along with knowledge and direction around important aspects of the change process. This can then influence aspects of the rollout of a transformation and change plan, ensuring your company makes a fluid transition.
Programme management
Every sizeable company needs a programme manager, accountable for the delivery of a project or a department's HR elements. They are the voice of HR within the business, so confidence and clear communication are essential, as they will lead in these areas. A strong degree of project management experience is required to design the plans, and there'll definitely be an expectancy that project tasks run to time. An understanding of company governance procedures is a strong requirement, as well as a thorough grasp of popular HR systems.
Apprenticeship Levy knowledge
If your business is required to pay the Apprenticeship Levy, then you’ll need to get someone in with a sound understanding of the Levy. The UK's Apprenticeship Levy came into force on 5 April 2017. Under the regulations, any employer with a wage bill of over £3 million per annum has to pay a Levy - a new tax to fund the training of apprentices. Organisations need in-house expertise so that they don't fall foul. With an expert in place, you’ll know when an employer needs to pay, how much needs to be paid, and how to allocate the Apprenticeship Levy allowance the employer will be entitled to if they stop or start trading during the tax year. Having the right staff to navigate this will be highly valuable in the years to come.
Attrition management
Attrition rates are under the spotlight in many organisations as the war to keep top talent intensifies. Your attrition team should know all the tricks of the trade when it comes to keeping the workforce happy. They’re expected to know their company's current attrition rate, how it has changed in recent years, and have the strategies in place to improve it. They should also have recruitment plans in place if it does not improve.
Communication
Clear and precise communication on a corporate level cannot be underestimated in the role of an HR practitioner. Although this transferable skill is perennially valued by organisations, this is particularly important in a world that offers almost endless methods of communication. Whether conducted via modern technology, phone or face-to-face, the ability to listen effectively, understand and communicate a message clearly, is absolutely crucial. In every industry, communication within a team can make or break a business and today, in this fast-paced competitive market, there is very little room for error. 
We have a proven track record of successful assignments and work closely with both SMEs and blue-chip multinationals.  Our experience of over 40 years in recruitment, combined with the expertise of our specialist consultants, means we are ideally placed to ensure your team includes the best talent in the market. Don’t hesitate to get in touch today and find out how we could find the skilled candidates you need to drive your business forward in 2018, and beyond.