The Netherlands is leading HR into the future!

Based on expert discussions and more than 120,000 HR-specific job advertisements across nine focus countries and various seniority levels, HRForecast together with its partner ESCP Europe Business School examined how far HR has adapted to the changing business environment. We investigated the future orientation of HR departments as well as skill trends and requirements for HR positions since 2017.

Future readiness score (%)

Germany is falling behind

  • Companies in the Netherlands and United States search for significantly more skills with increasing importance in the future in their job postings (32%) compared to other focus countries.
  • German companies should keep up to date with emerging trends in HR and search for skills that will increasingly be needed in the future.
HRForecast has analyzed more than 123.2k job postings in 9 focus countries to assess the future orientation of branches

IT skills in HR continue to gain  importance

  • In the future, IT-skills will continue to gain importance (growth of +1.3%-points from 2017-2018), whereas the development of demand for soft skills is negative (decline of -0.3%-points from 2017-2018).
  • A reason for that is that companies slowly start to include Machine Learning, Big Data and Analytics/BI skills in HR positions, which is reflected in the shift from repeating administrative work to more complex tasks in the HR environment.
  • With emergence of new skillsets, the role and organization of HR within the business will change
Global skill demand growth 2017 - 2018 Global skill demand growth | amCharts

In comparison to other skill clusters, the demand for IT skills in HR in Germany decreased massively from 2017 to 2018, which underlines the urgency for HR departments to catch up on digital skills.

Social & digital skills
convergence in the area of
human resources.

  • Digital skills

    Machine learning, Algorithm driven development, Smart employees platforms, Robotics and process automation, (e.g. chat bot, recruiting and payroll), …

  • Soft skills

    Social listening, Leadership empathy & sensitivity, HR with a heart, Building relations, Trusted advisor, …

  • = The future of HR

    Decreasing need for administrative tasks performed by humans and increasing focus on the human side of HR, Increased productivity through a stronger focus on employee well-being and motivation, Strong focus on strategic decisions, Provision of data-driven employee services, available 24/7 via bots, …

Everything is moving –
except for HR.

bar with scroll | amCharts

Future skill profile

It is essential not just to follow and understand the trends and technologies that are important for the Human Resources, but also be able to translate them into the concrete job roles and skill requirements. Get a glimpse at our examples of future-oriented HR roles.

Recruiting Specialist

Future duties

  • Utilizes market data analysis to predict and shape industry trends, create success profiles and build competitive advantage
  • Pro-actively adopts modern platforms popular with candidates to engage with the best talent pool

see more

  • Uses Big Data and Artificial Intelligence to uncover opportunities from skill-matching and identify and attract the best talent from an ecosystem of data
  • Collects and analyzes data and KPIs to predict and influence the hiring timing and methods
  • Leverages Design Thinking skills to visualize a candidate’s journey to attract them to a company

Hard skills

  • Social selling skills
  • Usage of web-based technologies, job portals and social media for recruiting activities

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  • Experience in working with Applicant Tracking Systems and Candidate Relationship Management Tools
  • Knowledge of gamification techniques for recruiting
  • Knowledge of aptitude diagnostics exercises
  • Knowledge and application of different interviewing techniques (video interviews, behavioral interviews, peer interviews, etc.)

Soft skills

  • Consulting skills
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Empathy

see more

  • Attention to detail
  • Team player attitude
  • Communication skills

Talent Intelligence Consultant

Evolution of traditional roles

  • Acting as the Employer Branding Specialist, the Talent Intelligence Consultant will attract this hard-to-find talent into the business through a hightouch pre-boarding experience

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  • As Social Media Manager, the Talent Intelligence Consultant leads employer branding initiatives identifying what about the company makes it attractive to candidates and leveraging social media, and video to convey the corporate culture and employee experience
  • Obsolescence of “Sourcer / Recruiter / Headhunter” arrangements into a hybrid role which capitalizes talent digital skills and maintains people relations in order to investigate their social personas, scanning and tracking social footprints and talent movement across geographies, industries and workforce types

Job Description

  • Scanning and tracking talent movements across geographies, industries, workforce types (output: talent heat map) equipped with powerful analytics tools

see more

  • Collaborating with external partners e.g. LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Payscale
  • Acting as an external facing spokesperson providing ‘safe’ insights to candidates

In the Spotlight

  • High-value relationship building with in-demand talent

see more

  • Mastering analytics capabilities for strategic / proactive sourcing
  • Building and sustaining long relationship with candidates

Skill demand growth 2017 – 2018 (in %-points)

Future of HR - Germany | amCharts


Everything is moving – except for HR

  • In times of automation and the usage of advanced technologies like artificial intelligence across all areas, HR departments in Germany do not adapt accordingly.
  • The demand for IT skills in HR decreased massively from 2017 to 2018, which underlines the urgency for HR departments to catch up on digital skills.

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Live Webinar


In 10 to 20 minute live webinar we will introduce you to
the methodology of the conducted study and guide you through its results.

Next webinar: TBD