Identifying critical skills biggest concern for HR

Half (50%) of HR professionals have said that their biggest concern for future jobs is identifying critical skills and characteristics, according to research from Aon’s Assessment Solutions

The firm stated that ‘skills are becoming obsolete at a rate not seen before’, with the shortest average shelf life of some skills, such as active listening, quoted at just five years shelf life.

This fed into the concerns of 45% of respondents around uncertainty of upskilling and reskilling employees, while attracting and selecting talent with key skills was identified as a worry for 43%.

John McLaughlin, commercial director of Aon’s Assessment Solutions, said many employers and HR teams are facing changes thanks to advances in technology and new ways of working but fail to rethink what jobs of the future may look like.

He said: “It’s forcing some to rethink job architecture to cover recruitment, structure, development, engagement, reward and retention. However, as much as this helps a business understand its recruitment and training needs – HR’s two biggest concerns – it can also be seen as complicated and inaccessible.”

Rethinking job architecture was of least concern to respondents (29%), despite the research suggesting this could be a route to better understand and define future organisational needs.

McLaughlin added that understanding employee behaviours is essential to identifying skills.

He said: “The three key traits that future-ready employees have are learnability, seeking continual self-improvement; agility, flexibly adapting to changing situations; and curiosity, being open to change.

“Other common traits that are also useful for a digitally-driven organisation include ambition, mental endurance, a coaching mindset and business acumen.”

The data for this research was derived from a poll of 318 people in HR through Aon’s Assessment Solutions. The main subject of the poll was ‘what future-critical talent issues is your organisation facing?’