As the digital-first movement continues to evolve and companies change the way employees do work, HR must shift their perspective too. HR professional skills look a lot different from what was needed five years ago. Digital transformation requires new technical skills for HR professionals, and the time is now.

Human Resource Professionals Must Shift to Digital

With technology being such a huge part of HR, the skills of an HR professional have changed. HR professionals now have a more strategic place in guiding the organization and ensuring new and old employees have the tech skills needed to succeed. Not only must the HR professionals enhance their technology background, but they are now tasked with ensuring the company follows suit.

This calls for a reinvention of sorts, with new mindsets and new skills that embrace digital trends and understand how technology may replace some tasks that were a large part of the role. In addition, the skills of an HR professional must be able to adapt to consistent change, dealing with different and evolving styles of how employees work and their experiences.

HR Professional Skills That Define the Future of HR

The new face of HR is data-driven. That means HR professionals must be able to use analytics and information to help develop innovative experiences that help move the company forward. While the essential skills for HR professional delivery still include tasks like recruitment and retaining employees, onboarding for new hires, training for the entire organization, and benefits, modern technology has streamlined these tasks.

Human resource professionals must have an entirely new skill set that enhances their work. The three main areas they must focus on are Data-driven, experience-led, and business focus.

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This could become problematic as studies have shown only 41% of HR professionals are confident in their ability to converse about data, and only 23% are proficient enough to use the data and pull the analytics without assistance.

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While HR used to use instincts to make decisions, that role has now shifted to using data to make the same decisions. The management team relies on HR to help guide them through this shift. These are a few examples of HR professional skills needed in this digital transformation:

1. Social Media

HR professionals must engage new tools to reach their audiences. Recruits are continuously found in non-traditional settings, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Companies that do not utilize these platforms miss tremendous opportunities to connect with the types of talent their companies want.

2. HRIS (Human Resource Information Software)

While HRIS solutions are not new, the way they are used has changed. HR professionals and employees can communicate without being face-to-face, while videos and other information are accessible continuously. With so many companies offering remote work options, these systems play a massive role in delivering a robust employee experience.

3. Talent Acquisition and Management Software

Today’s ATS platforms have taken the recruitment process to a higher level of engagement and interaction. They use social media to post positions, and screen candidates, before getting the resumes to the HR team, and have automated the interview scheduling and documentation. While HR professionals have greater flexibility and can get to qualified talent faster, candidates who do not understand how their resumes are filtered are also at a disadvantage. That means HR professionals must also find additional ways to guide talent that is more comfortable with the traditional way of recruitment.

Most systems also have a built-in TMS component that centralizes employee information. Performance reviews and feedback can be done via video through the system to accurately understand how employees are rated. This can also help with disputes and reshaping career objectives. New hires can also access an entire suite of training videos that can be done before their start date, enhancing the onboarding process.

New hire paperwork can also be completed online, with the system sending reminders of documentation needed. Several HR professionals also arrange video chats with the new team, so everyone will be familiar with each other on the official start date. This creates a smooth transition.

4. Cloud-Based Systems

The days of hard copies, tons of paperwork, and filing cabinets are gone. HR professionals now have the tools to automate their systems and store everything on the cloud orderly and efficient. This helps with communication between HR and employees, giving employees access to their personal documents privately and securely. This also helps HR professionals create policies that everyone can access and implement best practices across the organization.

5. Gamification

The HR professional must focus on connection and collaboration within the organization. Gamification is one way to keep employees and prospects motivated and engaged. Learning how to use games to recruit and attract talent can help demonstrate the types of talent that may be a good fit for the culture. Additionally, using gamification as prework for training and understanding the workplace is a great way to keep employees tapped into their workplace.

Are HR Professionals Willing to Evolve?

Absolutely. They must challenge themselves, finding ways that upgrade HR professional skills and competencies while understanding the key trends upending the old order to prevent future shock. Although some feel the need to reinvent the wheel, it is up to the HR professional to learn how to deal with the mistakes of the past that may continue into the future.

Robot culture and AI are here to stay, while employee activism, diversity, and inclusivity cannot be ignored.

Millennials have different mindsets and perspectives on things. Born into the tech age, they pose a challenge for HR professionals that must deal with their political expression and how to manage the challenges of their dissent. Finding ways to upgrade your own HR professional skills and competencies must come from a combination of places, including tech training, networking, and new areas of people management.

What Will the Workforce of the Future Look Like?

According to ISG, the future workplace is the ability to adapt to changing surroundings, as the shift from a workforce-driving workplace has reversed into a workplace impacted by the workforce. The ability to work anywhere at any time drives choice and experience. HR professionals are tasked with leading the way and building and supporting the tech-driven workplace of the future. Collaboration, new business models, delivering, having the right technology, modeling change for the next generation, and having the right components of an evolving business model are essential.

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Sara Paul

I enjoy supporting ad hoc work at Biz-buzz as a primary research analyst. I usually write about marketing, business, finance, IT, and HR topics on social media, as I am more into marketing and business. As a podcaster and award-winning creative marketer, I still enjoy my pie on my couch, as should all right-thinking people.


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