As the HR market continues to evolve with new advancements, such as AI and automation, how can you stay competitive in the job market? What competencies do you need to develop? Let's find out
In the ever-evolving job market landscape, HR competencies have become the North Star guiding HR professionals to success. As we step into 2024, the demand for these competencies is not just a mere requirement; it's the cornerstone of a thriving organization.
In this article, we'll delve deep into the six crucial HR competencies that every HR professional should hone to meet the challenges and opportunities of the dynamic market economy. Moreover, we'll explore what the future holds, giving you a glimpse of what to prepare for in 2025 and beyond.
So, fasten your seatbelts as we embark on a journey through the HR competencies of the future.
The Significance of HR Competencies in the Ever-Changing Market Economy
In the fast-paced, competitive job market, HR competencies have emerged as pivotal tools for success. These competencies are the skills, knowledge, and abilities HR professionals must possess to excel in their roles and lead organizations toward prosperity.
A market economy, where the forces of supply and demand dictate the prices of goods and services, brings both opportunities and challenges for HR practices. Here, we explore why HR competencies are essential in this context.
The Evolution of HR Competencies in the Landscape of Market Economies
With the rise of technology such as AI, automation, etc., the role of HR in a market economy has evolved significantly. It is no longer limited to managing administrative tasks but now involves aligning HR policies and practices with the strategic goals and objectives of the organization.
Over the past century, we have seen HR competencies evolve from focusing on personnel administration in the early 1900s to employee relations in the mid-20th century, human resource management in the late 20th century, and strategic human resource management from the 1990s onwards.
The future of HR lies in its ability to adapt and thrive in the ever-changing landscape of market economies.
Essential Competencies that every HR professional should have for 2024
According to Gartner, HR's expanding scope of work is the focus for 2024, as non-HR issues start pulling leaders outside their traditional roles.
Based on the latest research and trends, we have identified six essential HR competencies that HR professionals need to have or develop for 2024:
1. Strategic Positioner
HR professionals must understand and respond to the external market forces that affect the organization, such as customers, competitors, regulators, investors, and social trends. This competency requires HR professionals to have a strategic mindset, business acumen, market intelligence, and customer orientation.
HR professionals who are strategic positioners can align the HR strategy with the business strategy, anticipate and address market challenges and opportunities, and create value for the organization and its stakeholders.
Some activities that you can do:
- Conduct regular industry analysis and identify emerging trends.
- Collaborate with department heads to align HR strategies with the overall business goals.
- Develop and maintain relationships with industry experts and influencers.
- Participate in industry conferences and share key insights with the organization.
2. Credible Activist
HR professionals need to advocate for the interests and needs of employees in a competitive marketplace. This competency requires HR professionals to have interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, confidentiality, and active listening.
HR professionals who are credible activists can build trust and rapport with employees, managers, and leaders, communicate effectively and persuasively, influence decision-making, and resolve conflicts.
To achieve this, you can
- Establish a suggestion box or an anonymous feedback system for employees.
- Organize regular "open door" sessions for employees to voice their concerns.
- Mediate conflicts within the organization, facilitating productive dialogues.
- Advocate for employee wellness programs and flexible work arrangements.
3. Capability Builder
HR professionals need to enhance the workforce's crucial HR skills and capabilities to meet the market demands. This competency requires HR professionals to have event organizing, recruiting, career management, and internal mobility skills.
HR professionals who are capability builders can design and deliver engaging learning and development programs, attract and retain talent, foster career growth and mobility, and develop a high-performance culture.
Some practical activities you can try:
- Create a training calendar and curriculum to address specific skill gaps.
- Implement cross-training programs to enhance employee versatility.
- Develop mentoring or coaching initiatives to nurture talent within the organization.
- Support employees in obtaining relevant certifications or qualifications.
4. Change Champion
HR professionals need to lead organizational adaptation to market changes. This competency requires HR professionals to have change management, communication, resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility skills.
HR professionals who are change champions can initiate and implement change initiatives, communicate the vision and benefits of change, support employees through transitions, overcome resistance, and cope with uncertainty.
To start with, you can:
- Lead change management teams for important initiatives.
- Develop and execute communication plans for change implementation.
- Offer workshops and training sessions to help employees adapt to changes.
- Monitor employee sentiment during transitions and address concerns proactively.
5. HR Innovator and Integrator
HR professionals must develop innovative HR practices that align with market trends and integrate with business processes. This competency requires HR professionals to have creativity, problem-solving, analytical thinking, and technology proponent skills.
HR professionals who are HR innovators and integrators can identify gaps and opportunities in the current HR practices, generate new ideas and solutions, evaluate their feasibility and impact, leverage technology to enhance efficiency and effectiveness and ensure alignment and integration with the business strategy and operations.
Some activities that you can do:
- Identify areas where HR processes can be streamlined with technology.
- Experiment with innovative recruitment methods, such as gamified assessments.
- Evaluate and implement HR software to automate administrative tasks.
- Integrate HR data with other business systems for a holistic employee performance and development view.
6. Technology Proponent:
HR professionals need to leverage technology to compete in the digital market. This competency requires HR professionals to have digital literacy, data literacy, artificial intelligence literacy, and ethical awareness skills.
HR professionals who are technology proponents can use technology tools and platforms to automate, optimize, and innovate HR processes, collect and analyze data to generate insights, apply artificial intelligence to augment human capabilities, and ensure the ethical use of technology aligns with organizational values.
Some activities that you can do:
- Investigate and adopt HR software solutions for onboarding or employee data management tasks.
- Train HR staff on the use of data analytics tools to inform decision-making.
- Leverage AI or chatbots to handle routine HR inquiries and tasks.
- Ensure compliance with data protection regulations when implementing technology solutions.
These six HR competencies are not mutually exclusive but rather interrelated and complementary. HR persons must have a combination of these competencies to perform their roles successfully in today's market economy.
Some of these skills are not new but need to be maintained or enhanced (such as strategic positioner or credible activist), while others are emerging or growing in importance (such as technology proponent or change champion).
Some of these competencies may replace or reduce the need for other competencies that are outdated or less relevant (such as administrative or compliance skills).
Therefore, HR professionals need to assess their current level of competence in each area and identify areas for improvement or development.
Preparing for 2025 and Beyond: Emerging HR Competencies
The market economy is constantly changing and evolving, creating new challenges and opportunities for HR professionals. To prepare for future market economies, HR professionals need to develop some of the emerging competencies and skills that will be in high demand in the near future. Some of these competencies and skills are:
- Agility: HR professionals can adapt quickly and effectively to changing market conditions and customer expectations.
- Collaboration: HR professionals can work effectively with others across boundaries and disciplines.
- Creativity: HR professionals can generate new and original ideas and solutions that add value to the organization.
- Critical Thinking: HR professionals can analyze complex problems and situations using logic and evidence.
- Emotional Intelligence: HR professionals can understand and manage their own emotions and the emotions of others.
- Global Mindset: HR professionals can operate effectively in a global and multicultural market.
- Sustainability: HR professionals can contribute to the social and environmental responsibility of the organization.
These are some of the emerging competencies and skills that HR professionals will need to develop to prepare for future market economies. However, this is not an exhaustive list, as new competencies and skills may emerge as the market economy evolves.
What do you think?
In conclusion, HR competencies are important for the success of any organization in a market economy. HR professionals need to have a set of core competencies that enable them to align human resources with the strategic goals and objectives of the organization.
They also need to develop some of the emerging competencies and skills that will prepare them for future market challenges. By developing and enhancing their HR competencies, HR professionals can add value to the organization and contribute to its success.