Human Resources

Which Digital HR and L&D Skills Should Organisations Be Investing In?



Digital is now a ubiquitous feature in our lives, both at work and at home. As time goes on, this will only increase. Conscious of this, organisations are increasingly looking to hire candidates with specific digital skills that either complement or are essential for a role, and HR and L&D are no exception to this.

Read on to discover which digital skills organisations should be investing in for HR and L&D in 2020.


Social media

It might sound basic (especially to Gen Z applicants), but social media skills are increasingly important for HR professionals. While social hasn’t supplanted job boards and recruitment agencies, it is a strong competitor when businesses are looking to hire new talent.

As well as posting job vacancies, social media also helps recruiters vet potential candidates prior to their interview. And beyond job opportunities, social media is also essential for business communications, both internally and externally.

A working knowledge of the main social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) is essential. Understanding the specifications of each one, the best time of day to post, which audiences are present on which platform, and so on will give applicants a competitive edge in today’s job market.


Human resource management systems

As with most job roles today, there is a plethora of software available to help streamline and expedite processes. Human resource management systems (HRMS) integrate a number of disparate systems into one, so HR staff can stay on top of employee information.

Knowing how these systems work is an essential digital skill for HR professionals. Understanding how each process relates to and integrates with the next, and knowing how to manage digital forms for compliance, automate payroll, basic HR analytics, and so on all make for essential digital expertise that is worth investing in.

Of course, there are lots of different types, but the most popular include Workday, BambooHR, and Zoho People. These will vary depending on the industry — law firms use a more comprehensive time-tracking tool alongside their HR software, for instance.


Digital content creation

In an organisation, L&D professionals are responsible for identifying training and educational priorities for employees. They create resources that help nurture organisational staff as individuals, spurring them along their journey within the business.

Supporting all this is accessible, engaging digital content. The ability to create understandable and concise training content for employees is a valuable one for L&D professionals.

L&D professionals should have a comfortable working knowledge of a variety of digital content formats: guides, presentations, even videos in some cases. This knowledge includes being able to create these content types too. Eloomi, for instance, is a useful course creator tool that L&D professionals can use to create engaging training courses — being able to confidently use such a tool is a strong digital skill for such a role.

Of course, this can always be outsourced to videographers, copywriters, graphic designers, and so on if necessary. But if an L&D professional has the digital skills required, they’ll surely stand out as a worthwhile (and cost-effective) hire for the business.


IT literacy

In this post-coronavirus age, working from home is not just an option, but mandatory for many workers. With so many of us remote working now, often for the foreseeable future, it is therefore essential that staff are able to maintain and take care of their work computers.

It's about hardware to some extent. No advanced technical know-how is needed, as it’s generally common knowledge — don’t let laptops overheat, don't spill liquids on keyboards, turn screens off when not in use, and so on.

But it’s about software too, which is where many less digitally-savvy candidates fall down.

A degree of digital vigilance is essential — don't install unknown plugins or software, for instance, and don't click on dodgy links. Beyond this, they should know how to use available security tools such as antivirus programs (AVG remains one of the best) and VPNs ( has some good free VPN options).


Digital project management

Project management is nothing new — the ability to effectively plan, implement, and manage projects to completion is a valuable skill, and indeed is a job role in its own right.

But with the plethora of digital project management technology available today, not to mention the variety of methodologies on offer (such as Agile), the ability to navigate and deploy these technologies is essential.

Many businesses rely on one or more tools to help coordinate projects: Trello, Basecamp, Asana, Scoro — the list is virtually endless. Organisations will expect project managers to be able to comfortably and confidently use these tools (and any relevant methodologies) so they can hit the ground running when hired.


The points above are just a few digital skills that organisations should be investing in in 2020 and beyond. As digital becomes ever more ubiquitous in our lives, these skills will only grow more important, even diversifying as new technologies enter our lives.

Kayleigh Adams is a writer at Micro Startups: a blog that covers news and insight from the charity sector.

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