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6 Crucial Areas for HR & TA to upskill in 2021

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Job titles may stay the same, but in this day and age, the skills needed are always evolving. Who would have guessed in 1980 that TA and HR professionals would have to be marketers and UX designers? Yet here we are in the year 2021 as employee brand experts designing the candidate experience from start to finish. 

This last year with the disruption of COVID-19 has only underlined the importance of future-proofing our skillsets. Stay-at-home orders accelerated many trends that had already been on the horizon and brought new concerns sharply into focus such as data security, automation, and diversity and inclusion. 

We dove into the themes that will shape 2021 in our last article which you can read by clicking here and now we are taking this exploration one step further by not only ‘asking what’s around the corner?’ but ‘how can we prepare for it?’

Who better to talk about these themes than HR Tech suppliers? After all, they work with thousands of HR and TA people everyday - giving them a macro view of what’s happening, with the data and system analytics to support this view. So we reached out to some of our partners, including Globalization Partners, JobAdder and Bullhorn to get their global perspective on how we can strategically upskill for the year ahead.:


To answer this question we spoke with top industry experts: 


The TA and HR skills you need in 2021


Charles Ferguson, General Manager for APAC at Globalization Partners General 


  1. Proactive Data Protection

The rapid increase in data availability and the advent of powerful people analytics tools have generated rich opportunities for HR and organizations—but they are now also generating a variety of potential risks. 


“Most businesses are actively managing the risk of employee perceptions of personal data use, and a similar proportion is managing the risk of legal liability, only a quarter are managing the impact on their consumer brand. 


“Organisations face a tipping point: Develop a set of well-defined policies, security safeguards, transparency measures, and ongoing communication around the use of people data, or risk employee, customer, and societal backlash. “


  1. Help Your Team Stay Healthy

“Design and execute a comprehensive programme for health, safety, and wellness. In addition, you can relieve stress from your employees by creating a competency framework for skills beyond the ‘job’ like psychological safety, agility, collaboration, resilience.”


  1. Master Remote Work

“Design and execute a programme of training leadership on EQ and remote team management, thus refining your WFH policies. Also, consider a hybrid approach to staffing, more choice in employment options and the ‘new norm’ of remote-working will drive diversity, calibre and more balanced global workforce.”


  1. Don’t Forget About Your Team

“Empower your HR function to get mentors/coaches/partners so you can expand your wheelhouse and add real value to your company.”


Christina Knock, Head of Marketing at Jobadder

  1. Do More with Less

In times of uncertainty, teams are asked to do more with less. This definitely applies to TA and HR in terms of optimisation and/or automation of time-consuming administrative processes. 

Bob McHugh, Content Manager at Bullhorn

  1. Engagee CRM to Reach Scarce Talent

There is a skill shortage in almost every sector, but especially for IT. About 40% of industry professionals report a shortage of skilled talent in their field. TA and HR professionals must learn to strategically reach these hard to find candidates.

Daniel Callaghan, CEO at Veremark
  1. The Soft Side of Team Management & Outcomes Management

With Covid, digital transformation and remote working, many of your employees may be out of their comfort zone. This is where “soft skills” like empathy come into play for leaders. As well as managing for outcomes in a remote world… 

Closing Thoughts

HR and TA are uniquely positioned to take on upskilling as we have practice designing these programmes throughout our companies. We tend to put the rest of the organisation first, but it’s important not to forget about our own development. In the end, a strong TA and HR department—with the right skills for today’s challenges—will best be able to serve the company to its greatest potential.

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