HR Needs to Skill Up If It Wants to Thrive in the Future – Only 27% of respondents said their HR functions were well prepared

Few Human Resources (HR) departments are well prepared for the future despite the fact that most HR professionals think HR will undergo a major transformation in coming years, according to a new report released by To better prepare, HR needs to improve key skills, become more strategic, and boost employee performance rates.

The research report, The Advancing HR Function, is based on new state of the industry research by and is now available for download. It is based on responses from 889 HR professionals participating in an exclusive survey fielded from November 2017 to January 2018. The study covers:

– HR’s preparedness for the future
– How successful it has been in changing its role
– Which functional areas will be most important in the future
– The areas where it needs to grow stronger
– How HR technology is changing
– How HR will look in five to ten years

Only 27% of respondents said their HR functions were well prepared to thrive over the next three to five years, indicating most need to engage in better planning, skills development, and more.

“HR must gear up for the future,” said Debbie McGrath, Chief Instigator and CEO of “Just 8% of HR professionals think HR will pretty much stay the same over the next five to ten years. They know change is on its way. But not many are well prepared. One way to gear up is to address major skills gaps.”

HR suffers especially large skills gaps in the areas of communication, leadership, and HR metrics. In the area of leadership, for example, whereas 96% view this skill as essential or important, only 54% view their HR departments as excellent or above average in this area. Things are even worse in the area of metrics. Fewer than half say their HR functions are very (12%) or fairly (36%) successful at measuring the impact of HR.

The study also found that there are three HR functional areas that over 60% of respondents identified as critical to the near future:
– Recruitment and selection
– Training and development
– Succession planning

DOWNLOAD REPORT: The Advancing HR Function: Strategies for Attaining Future HR Excellence

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For more information, contact:

Debbie McGrath
Chief Instigator and CEO,