HR Survey: Will HR survive or thrive in the Information Age?


The need for HR teams to upskill and reskill has never been greater. The question is, what must HR teams do to stay at the forefront of technological change? Take part in our global survey and share your views.

The Reskilling Revolution is picking up pace

The World Economic Forum has been highlighting the need for reskilling for at least 5 years. In January 2020, just ahead of the pandemic, they announced the Reskilling Revolution, “an initiative to provide one billion people with better education, skills and jobs by 2030”.

Over the past 12 months, we've witnessed an acceleration of business digitalisation. According to a recent report by Cognizant, HR teams need to be prepared for the emergence of roles such as Algorithm Bias Auditor, Chatbot & Human Facilitator and Gig Economy Manager. 

HR is evolving, with the job descriptions of the future requiring a vastly different set of skills than those of the past. This change highlights a number of issues for HR teams. How much time, money and effort must they dedicate to development beyond their current capabilities, and on what topics should they focus?  

Take part in our global HR survey

To help global HR professionals plan their personal and team development activities, we've partnered with People Collider and Thrive HR Exchange to learn more about how HR professionals are preparing themselves for the future, and their plans for skills development in 2021.

The survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete and in exchange, you'll receive a full write-up of our findings, as well as results from the initial research conducted by People Collider and Thrive HR Exchange in the Asia region.

We want to know:

  • How much time are HR teams dedicating to development?
  • What types of activities are being undertaken?
  • Where are HR teams focusing their learning efforts?
  • Will 2021 Personal Development Plans equip HR teams with the skills they need?

Take the survey.


What do we know so far?

Recent research in Asia paints an interesting picture. To discover how HR professionals in the region are preparing themselves for the future and their development focus for 2021, People Collider and Thrive HR Exchange partnered to conduct a survey, "HR Skills and Development for the Information Age". Results were concentrated in Singapore where 70% of the respondents were based. Most of the HR professionals surveyed (mostly generalists - 76%) have been investing time in their own development; only a quarter did not participate in any development activities over the previous 12 months. Approximately half (52%) spent more than 20 hours on development activities, but those efforts were primarily spent on familiar topics, HR and Leadership, and less than a third was spent on less familiar yet critical skills for the new world of work; Analytics and Technology.

It's time to shift focus

The results suggest HR understands investing in core capabilities is not the right approach for 2021. Over 62% thought it was “very important” or “critical” that HR understands new and emerging technologies. Not surprisingly, over the next 12 months most indicated that their development activities will focus on Technology and Analytics.

Technology and data have changed the capabilities needed by HR professionals and are fast becoming a significant part of HR’s remit. While on-the-job learning is valuable, project opportunity and quality limits the capabilities that can be developed on-the-job. Some people make use of open online learning such as Coursera and others by attending training programs. However, courses can also be a source of frustration, providing irrelevant information and examples in unfamiliar contexts, compounding confusion rather than facilitating clarity. Accessing the right courses is contingent upon the ability of HR professionals to know what they do not know. Being aware of one’s learning needs is a prerequisite for self-directed development.

It’s time for HR to lead the digital agenda 

Reskilling and upskilling is critical for ongoing employability. Nevertheless, some HR professionals have yet to undertake training themselves, even while they help reskill employees. To lead the digital agenda, HR teams need to show initiative and take responsibility for their own learning. Without driving their own learning and development journey, HR professionals are in danger of being left behind. 

The expectations of HR are changing. Will HR survive or thrive in the Information Age? Complete the survey.

The survey closes on 28th February 2021.

Thanks in advance and we're looking forward to sharing the results with you.

A big thank you to Philippa “Pip” Penfold, CEO of People Collider for her contribution to this article.

If you'd like to continue the conversation about the upskilling and reskilling of HR, I'd love to hear from you. You can get in touch with me at

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