Everyone wants to build skills in their job and be as useful as they can be to their team, but you need to understand which skills are going to be of the most use to your industry before you start developing those skills. Identifying the right skills to develop will ensure that HR professionals are able to thrive in the digital age and be as employable as possible as businesses adapt. 

digital skills
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The importance of digital literacy

There’s no denying the influence of digitization on how we live and work. Sometimes it feels as though we spend more time interacting online than in-person, and we’re continually influenced by the opinions and recommendations we read online. But digitalization requires HR professionals to rethink their approaches and learn emerging technologies to stay on top, especially when we consider that one third of U.S. citizens are at risk of being left behind due to digital illiteracy.  

Digital literacy is a broad term which encompasses everything from understanding the latest software to data skills and communicating in virtual environments. As the workplace continues to evolve with advancements in digital tools, HR professionals need to adapt and stay proficient. Technical ability and application are top skills and are considered skills that HR and recruitment professionals must prioritize to stay ahead in this age of technology. Digital literacy skills are key for enabling HR teams to do a range of tasks, such as:

  • Navigating, strategizing and leveraging multiple digital systems
  • operating applicant tracking tools
  • utilizing performance management software
  • planning onboarding and employee training
  • arranging appraisals and salaries
  • establishing and operating employee self-service portals. 

Analytical skills

The demand for analytical skills continues to grow, particularly in instances where it helps the business grow. From predicting how many people the business can hire to the areas where teams need reskilling and enhancing business operations through redesign, data is everywhere and HR professionals need to understand how to use it to their advantage. HR teams don’t need to be statisticians moving forward, but the better their understanding of how data can be used, and how to harness that data in the right way, the more value they can bring to a business to support strategies and decision-making. 

Analytics and data insights are already a part of the operational strategies of leading companies, and those looking to compete need to develop the same skills to stay ahead. Businesses are far more likely to achieve their goals and reach ambitious targets with data behind them, whether it’s gathering key information or evaluating it. 

AI Tools and ChatGPT

AI is evolving at such a rapid rate and it can’t be ignored. In every industry, HR included, AI tools are being used to improve efficiency, productivity and to handle complex challenges with greater ease. ChatGPT is one such tool that’s garnering a lot of attention right now, and HR teams can use it in numerous ways, from content marketing like blogs, email newsletters and social media posts, to creating chatbots for the business’ website, creating email templates for communications with candidates and drafting interview questions. Similar tools include Bard and Bing AI Chat which was recently released. 

One skill HR employees can benefit from learning is prompt engineering, which is a very different way of interacting with a search engine that will take some time to adjust to. Following Google’s I/O conference, advances in prompt searching will enable users to take advantage of a new generation AI tool, the ‘Perspectives Feature’ which according to Technical Writer, Dan Walton will “highlight videos, images and copy from social media platforms, discussion boards, forums, Q&A sites, and so on, to help users understand subjects and topics through different perspectives, opinions and experiences of others.”

However, for HR teams, understanding how to use the new prompt tools and latest AI features are a skill in itself which will need to be developed. The quicker HR professionals can learn how to acquire prompt AI tools for the right responses and use, the more effective the results will be. 

Social media

Social media affects companies in virtually every industry today, and HR teams can put it to great use when it comes to building connections with potential hires and raising brand awareness. It’s a powerful tool for brand image and can be leveraged to improve recruitment processes, provided staff know how to use it properly. 

For example, social channels can be used to handle a wide variety of employee-related concerns, from common questions HR employees are receiving to skill development and developing strategies as the market changes. More people look to social media when seeking a new job to find out more about a company’s culture or to see if the brand’s ethos and values match their own. When used correctly, HR teams can ensure that they’re bringing in targeted applicants that are the best possible fit for the business, all through making sure they’re communicating the right messages. 

Hybrid management skills

With more people working remotely than ever before, businesses need to adapt to hybrid ways of working in order to succeed. One of the most important HR skills to develop to fit a company’s internal structure this year is hybrid environmental management. Onboarding new hires and helping them settle into their new role can be a challenge when they’re working remotely, and it requires a whole new set of skills from a HR perspective. 

It’s essential that recruiters can transform feedback into action, so developing empathetic skills, having the right policies in order and providing training to staff to help them communicate more effectively will strengthen teams and the business as a whole. Regular training and ongoing development will keep workers ahead of the curve and equip them to handle the challenges that come with hybrid working and maximize output. 

In conclusion

Digital skills are non-negotiable and transformation in HR is necessary to improve efficiency and keep businesses ahead of the curve. Whether it’s AI tools, analytical skills or being able to support leadership teams with new challenges, utilizing digital skills within the HR sphere will make a big difference to how companies operate, for the better.