HR Is Facing Serious Skills Gaps that Need Attention, Especially Right Now – According to New Study by the HR Research Institute

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Although HR professionals tend to be highly educated, with 41% holding a master’s degree or higher, their professed areas of expertise do not often align well with today’s crisis. Whereas a majority consider themselves experts in the area of “employment, recruitment and placement,” relatively few say they have expertise in risk management or health and safety, two critical areas of competence that employers will need on their team during the current pandemic.

The free research report, The State of HR Skills and Education in 2020, is now available for download.’s Research Institute conducted the study of HR professionals to take an in-depth look at the state of HR professionals’ education and skills and how they are able keep them up to date.

Further examination highlights the details of where HR professionals today are lacking in specific skills. Only 21% have expertise in risk assessment and just 23% consider themselves expert in both employee wellness and health and safety.

Data analysis also indicates there are often large gaps between the perceived importance of a skill and the HR professional’s actual competence in that area. HR skills that will need much further improvement in the near future include:

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