When you think of HR roles, typically, the first thing that will come to mind is the soft skills heavily associated with the industry. Are you a good listener? Can you communicate well? Are you able to demonstrate empathy? Whilst these are absolutely valid and will no doubt always lie at the heart of every successful HR professional, I have noticed a slight shift in the industry of late.
Take, for example, the role of the HR Assistant. In the past few years, the demands placed on such candidates have evolved. Businesses now look for professionals who are more data driven, analytical and systems focused. In a way, it elevates the role of the assistant into a more pivotal piece of the HR function.
So, why has the job description changed and what, if anything, has remained the same?
Let’s start with the latter, for the sake of putting candidates’ minds at rest. You won’t suddenly have to lose all your people skills in favour of processing data and number crunching. You will still have to demonstrate excellent organisational skills, be able to provide a first line of contact for employees and undertake a selection of administrative duties. All of these skills are still crucial.
However, on top of that, you will be expected to perform duties such as analysis of employee KPIs or make crucial decision based on organisational awareness. Problem solving and analytical skills will also come into play. Why? Because the very nature of the HR industry is changed and adapting to the amount of technology that is now part of the day-to-day.
Many businesses, for example, are looking to move towards a paperless office which, in turn, means the implementation of new systems which will need to be managed and updated, with all data analysed. The introduction of cloud-based performance management systems could also mean that HR Assistants are tasked with analysing employee performance or sick days in order to raise any “red flag” before they become a bigger issue.
It is no bad thing for the HR Assistant role to diversify. Largely because it will benefit candidates working within the industry as they will hone and refine a more widespread skillset, which can only help any prospects of career progression. Whilst words like analysis and data may seem at odds with such a people focused industry, this is a natural “next step” for HR.
And, if you’re worried about the job evolving beyond your current remit, look to your transferable skills in order to flesh out your CV in order to make it more well-rounded. You probably have more experience than you think.
If you are open to a conversation about your HR career, I’d love to discuss available vacancies with you. Equally, if you are looking to hire great talent for your business, I’d be happy to help. Click here to see my details and get in touch.