A professional working in the human resources sector will find themselves in a complex role as the times continue to move forward. Technological advancements may be pushing forward the possibilities of people analytics and allowing for the automation of previously laborious processes, but the key challenges for professionals remain very human; these include the management of a 5-Gen workforce and the ever-growing importance of policies around diversity and inclusion.

We speak to clients and candidates in the human resources sector every day. Our expert consultants have a unique insight into what skills your business might need to take the organisation to the next level. From this, we have amalgamated the top 10 skills set to drive the human resources sector forward in 2020.

1. Gen-Z: Sourcing/retention

Although currently at the younger end of the labour market, Gen-Z is set to make up an increasing proportion of the workforce over the next 10 years. Sourcing and retaining this talent is crucial in securing the future of your organisation. Investing in perfecting your recruitment strategy and improving your culture to retain this talent, will prepare your workforce for tomorrow. Operating the newest technology and being innovative with your processes can attract new generational talent to your business.

2. People analytics

People analytics is the future of HR. More data than ever is gathered on employees; having professionals in your team who can make sense of the information and use it to make decisions will be key in your attraction and retention strategies. Making significant data-led decisions can directly impact productivity, revenue, and profits. In the future, AI will enable us to make informed decisions based on data that can help our people to improve. Therefore, it is important to have professionals with skills in this area who can drive this initiative forward.

3. Strong D&I knowledge

Diversity and inclusion remain high on the business agenda as we enter a new decade. It is crucial for businesses to have a voice in this space, and be working on action plans to improve D&I in their organisation. A diverse workforce has proven to improve the bottom-line, productivity, and workplace culture. Therefore, having a member of the HR team that can embody this and champion it throughout the entire organisation will be beneficial throughout 2020 and beyond.

4. Modern mentoring nous

Getting the most out of professionals will mean developing them to become the best they can be within your organisation. Mentoring and reverse mentoring within the team is an important skill that will connect individuals and create a culture of cross-collaboration and continuous learning. Not only can this help individuals, but it can also reduce the reliance on managers and HR professionals to provide all the answers. Working with a senior mentor can really aid new members of staff to learn about the culture and expectations of an organisation.

5. 5-Gen workforce knowledge

The HR function is at the heart of making sure that all people in the business feel included and supported in their roles and everyday lives. However, this is rarely a one-size-fits-all approach. Five generations are now active in UK workplaces, meaning that HR teams must be adaptable to ensure they are supporting each generation with their differing needs. Through the utilisation of data and analytics, you can understand demographics and formulate a comprehensive management strategy.

6. Managing remotely

As the workforce continues to develop, the way that we work together in teams changes as well. Managing remotely is becoming more common in business. This is new territory for most people. Therefore, having the ability to keep your teams engaged, even if team members or their leader aren't present in the office, is a valuable skill that mirrors the dynamic workforce of the future. Effective management is crucial to ensuring your teams are working productively.

7. Digital communication

Communication in business has always been paramount. But as systems continue to digitise, employees must be able to communicate effectively through digital platforms. Utilising tools such as Skype, Yammer, and IBM Sametime effectively can contribute to a smooth-running strategy. Being flexible in your approach will not only open digital communication to every member of your team, but allow everyone to feel comfortable and prepared to communicate digitally. Clear communication in the HR function is essential to ensure productivity in the team.

8. Implementing HR systems

HR is a function that continues to develop through the implementation of new systems and technologies, and the relentless pace of change is only set to accelerate. Having members of the team that are experienced and knowledgeable in this area can help to streamline this process and implement the system in a quick turnaround time. With the amount of new and improved HR systems available to businesses, professionals who know how to involve and excite the team when these are implemented can help with the process.

9. Experience managing projects

HR is becoming a critical function for business development and ensuring that performance levels are optimum across the organisation. As a result of this, HR professionals are being pulled into larger projects that impact the wider organisation. Much of the work that HR teams conduct are reactive to the daily challenges of running an organisation. However, project management skills require more of a long-term view. Having professionals with skills in managing projects will help to drive your HR function forward, and enable them to assist with wider business initiatives.

10. Organisational effectiveness

Organisational effectiveness focuses on streamlining and refining your business so that it is as effective as possible, and so that your teams are working efficiently together. This means adopting change at all levels and moving away from a traditional approach in your business where needed. With competition for top talent fiercer than ever, organisations need to embrace change to keep up with the competition and increase levels of performance.

At Michael Page, we have access to an extensive database of top professionals looking for new opportunities, and who can drive your business toward success in 2020, and beyond. For a confidential discussion on how we can help you to hire and retain the best talent with the right skills to fill your vacancy, get in touch with one of our specialist recruitment consultants today.