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The 6 skills chief HR officers must have today

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When asked whether the HR function today deserves a seat at the C-suite table, it might be tempting to answer with a resounding “yes” – but do HR leaders today really have the skills required to make a valuable contribution to the business?

A recent study by Aon Hewitt recorded insights from 45 chief human resources officers (CHROs) at leading global organisations on what skills would make them more efficient.

It reported that in order for future CHROs to be successful, they would need these six key skills:

1. Data and analytics-based decision making
CHROs and aspiring CHROs should be able to make decisions based on data and analytics. They should place focus not just on giving the right answers, but also asking the right questions to solve the problem.

2. Be the architect and assessor of shifts in organisational culture
HR plays a key role in shaping the culture of an organisation. As such, CHROs have to be able to ensure that their company’s culture is shifting in the right direction by making sure the styles of the firm’s business leaders are aligned with the organisation’s cultural goals.

3. Proactively map out the capabilities an organisation needs for its future strategy
To do this, CHROs have to be able to examine the gaps between the current capabilities the organisation has and the ones it needs in the future.

4. Take up the role of ‘talent scout’ for internal and external talent
With the talent shortage today, it is critical that CHROs are able to spot pools of talent the organisation needs by using both intuition and insight backed by data and assessment.

5. Understand the impact of technology
Given that technology is only going to get more advanced, in order to improve HR processes and analytic capabilities, CHROs have to be aware of the rapid progress in HR technology, especially SaaS solutions.

6. Ask organisation-specific questions
Instead of following the heard, CHROs have to know which practices can be best applied to their organisational context. They have to realise that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution and be able to ask questions specific to their organisation.

“HR is used to helping other parts of the organisation with succession planning and leadership development, but could improve in the area of developing its own leaders,” said Dave Kompare, partner, Aon Strategic Advisors & Transaction Solutions.

“To build a strong bench for the future, HR must work on creating an environment conductive to the growth of future CHROs from both within and outside the function. It must also look for ways to help CHROs of the future pick up critical experiences that matter in the CHRO position,” he added

HR needs to step outside of its comfort zone
Getting into the CHRO’s head


Image: Shutterstock

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