4 digital HR skills that will boost your influence

Last week, the Human Resource Executive editorial team announced the Top 100 HR Tech Influencers for 2023. If you haven’t checked it out yet, now’s the time to become familiar with this group of leaders. Many of them will attend the HR Tech Conference this year and some will even be presenters. For those readers who aspire to earn a spot on the list in future years, note how the influencers aren’t one-title-fits-all. Plenty of unique skills and backgrounds are celebrated on this list.

HR tech check logoAnd speaking of skills. Alex Zea, HR transformation services leader at Mercer | Leapgen, recently told an online audience about the right skills for digitally focused HR leaders. She says that learning generative AI is one of them. Also important are data governance, experience management and design for change aptitudes.

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This month, Stephanie Ferguson, a director at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, published a new report about the industries most impacted by labor shortages. She notes that some fields have a shortage, while others have a surplus—and focusing on reskilling or upskilling workers can bridge the gap. For example, providing training to a construction worker (an area with a surplus of professionals) in the durable goods manufacturing trade (where facilities are understaffed). And such moves also diversify the workforce. To remove barriers to entering the workforce, Ferguson points to expanded childcare access, “second-chance” hiring and “opportunities for new and existing staff to be upskilled and reskilled on the job.”

If you’re looking to get the basics on artificial intelligence—a skill with increasing value for all of us—Amazon AWS recently rolled out a free course that might be for you. Generative AI for Executives is available now.

HR Tech in action—digital skills leaders need 

Let’s look at places where those skills Zea mentioned—learning generative AI, data governance, experience management and design for change aptitudes—are playing out in the HR tech space.

Generative AI

In his whitepaper, Understanding AI in HR: A Deep Dive, Josh Bersin wrote: “Rather than try to preach the basics of AI engineering, we want to help HR leaders become more comfortable with the technology and what it can do.” He says it can reduce the time to hire and identify hidden talent pipelines, among its use cases. “Ultimately, we are clarifying AI’s role in the future of HR so that employers can proactively convert its potential.”

Data governance

“The challenge that HR faces is that it is often custodian of very large amounts of raw data, but paradoxically it can be incredibly difficult to then use that data to make informed decisions,” says Geoff Webb, vice president of solution strategy at isolved. The answer is usually buried in raw data, and the emerging role of HR analytic technology focuses on answering how to find and keep good people. 

Experience management

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According to a recent e-book published by Qualtrics titled Experience Management: The HR Imperative, the U.S. economy may suffer as much as $550 billion in lost productivity annually due to poor workplace experiences. “Data mapping between operational and experience data could provide the missing link to connect employee experiences and business decisions,” say the report’s authors.

Design for change

This is the concept that project-focused change management should evolve into a mindset that values continuous adaptation. Powering through change resistance is a prevalent error in typical change management methods. According to a recent Gartner survey, more than 80% of organizations lean on top-down approaches where leaders strategize, implement and communicate while employees and managers are expected to follow along. A more functional skill now, when change seems to be the name of the game, is a mindset that’s designed for constant change, rather than muscling to finish line after finish line.

More from Human Resource Executive

Steve Boese, chair of HRE’s HR Technology Conference, writes that the HR tech industry—and by extension the HR Tech Conference—is shaping up to be more important than ever in 2023.

The i4cp team surveyed about 1,500 senior leaders from organizations with at least 1,000 employees about their use of AI. The preliminary data (to be released in full at the HR Tech Conference) showed that 42% are exploring what AI can do for their organizations.

In a recent webinar, Stacey Harris of Sapient Insights Group leads a conversation on what it really takes to achieve an outcome-focused approach to HR. Learn research-backed steps involved in shifting the methods, mindset and metrics needed to become a strategic HR function. Get the replay.

HR Technology Conference 2023 Must-See Speakers from the Top 100 List

ChatHRT: Recruiting

Kyle Lagunas, head of strategy at Aptitude Research, will participate in a focused yet informal discussion where industry analysts set the stage for open dialogue among HR leaders.

Women in Tech: Change-Makers Fireside Chat

Melanie Lougee, head of future HR products at ServiceNow, will speak alongside her colleagues about achieving equitable gender representation in leadership positions. 

The Changing Face of Talent Acquisition Technology

Tim Sackett of HRUTech.com and Madeline Laurano of Aptitude Research Partners will co-lead a session about how to assess and evaluate TA technology providers.

Check out the full list and HR Tech Conference agenda here.

Jill Barthhttps://hrexecutive.com/
Jill Barth is HR Tech Editor of Human Resource Executive. She is an award-winning journalist with bylines in Forbes, USA Today and other international publications. With a background in communications, media, B2B ecommerce and the workplace, she also served as a consultant with Gallagher Benefit Services for nearly a decade. Reach out at [email protected].