Amid a focus on recruiting people who advance digital transformation across their organizations, most HR leaders struggle to enhance their own digital competencies. According to the Harvard Business Review’s latest global leadership survey, HR leaders tend to lag behind other professionals in their ability to operate in a highly digital environment and use data to guide business decisions. To overcome the skills and credibility gap, HR leaders should begin by upskilling their teams in areas that affect two vital business outcomes: building bench strength and linking HR metrics to financial success. The first step is to forge internal partnerships. Other departments may use data and technology in ways HR could apply to their own work. For example, marketing can provide guidance on search engine optimization (SEO), a skill that can help HR improve its recruitment efforts. Second, HR should map talent analytics to business outcomes. This will enable it to highlight key areas of risk and opportunity for the company. Third, HR needs to develop data visualization skills. Simply collecting data and analyses will not help HR leaders advance their efforts unless they know how to leverage that data to influence others. As such, HR should learn how to create graphic presentations of data. Finally, implement leadership planning models. Beyond using data to highlight current talent trends and gaps, HR should use it to fuel predictions about future talent needs, especially for leadership positions.
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