Frequently asked questions

Your questions answered

What skills are needed for HR?

There is a wide range of skills needed for HR, from creativity and communication to technological capability and data science. The qualities and skills required for success in HR and People have changed a lot in the digital era. The Changing Face of HR research report highlights four key areas for skills development, to meet HR needs today and in the coming years:

Tech savvy

HR leaders need to be tech savvy to make good use of the digital tools and capabilities that support process automation and data management. Speeding up processes through automation and artificial intelligence (AI) is another new challenge for HR and People teams. AI is already being used to bring more objectivity to candidate screening in recruitment and to refine the criteria that match successful applicants with roles.


HR people need to be creative, to tackle new workforce challenges and help their organization attract and retain the best talent in a competitive market. Teams need creativity to design and manage a broad range of compelling workforce experiences. For example, they may need to introduce a flexible working programs that can meet the business’s resourcing needs while supporting employees’ preferences and work-life balance.


Communication is vital, because HR and People leaders must inspire and motivate workforces, coach peers and business leaders and articulate culture and values in a variety of ways to suit workforce preferences. As the HR and People function moves from the backroom to the boardroom, HR people also need strong communication abilities so they can influence and collaborate at a senior level.

People analytics

HR and People team members need to use data and insight to support strategic plans and to direct the design of initiatives and programs. They need strong skills in interpreting People analytics and behavioral science, to obtain evidence-based insight into the most effective HR strategies for their organization and market.

Our research uncovers insights from 500+ HR leaders on how they’re dealing with the HR to People transformation in the digital world of work – and how they’re using technology to get ahead. Back to top