HR Business Partner – No 1 most mobile skills set


This article was written by Mary Connaughton, Director CIPD Ireland.

August 2016

An extensive analysis of skills transferability has identified the role of the HR Business Partner as the number one role for skills transferability across different industries. The HR Business Partner role tops a long list of job titles and proves that the skills of the HR profession are mobile, can be used across industries, and easily applied in different functional areas. It makes the HR profession very attractive, with the recognition that our transferable skill set gives us great international mobility, can be used in global roles, and lets us easily switch from one sector to another.

This finding was made in this year’s World Economic Forum’s Human Capital Report (2016), drawing on data from LinkedIn to analyse global skills diversity to find out which industries can share skills across a wide range of roles.

Job titles with high skills transferability across industries

Job titles with high skills transferability across industries

On a scale from 0 to 1, the HR BP role achieved a near-perfect 0.94, as higher scores indicate that different industries require similar skill sets.

Skills transferability

The overall value of skills transferability information will help resourcing and upskilling as organisations can assess what skills will transfer from other sectors, and where sector-specific experience is required. It can be used to inform redeployment capability from one function to another and more broadly, help us to build resilience into the labour market by focussing on transferable skills in any one role, rather than the less-transferable sector specific ones. This has particular implications for the third level sector.

This process of quantifying the level of skills overlap and transferability across industries gives invaluable insight especially in a tight labour market, as employers and recruiters can see how much the skills used in a job in one sector are applicable to a different sector.

Human Capital Index

The Human Capital Index aims to quantify the complexity of education, employment and workforce dynamics so at national and international level, we can better manage the changing landscape. It measures how 130 countries globally are developing and using their human capital, quantifies the levels of education, skills and employment available across five different age groups. The 2016 report has also examines the skills arena, drawing on an analysis of skills profiles and diversification based on over 430 million LinkedIn profiles.

How does Ireland fare?

Ireland comes 14th on this Human Capital Index (HCI), down 2 places from 2015. However our overall index score was up slightly to 80.79.

Human Capital Index 2016

Human Capital Index 2016

The HCI uses a life-cycle approach, and Ireland performs best at the 10-14 age group, and worst for the 65 and over age group. Our strong score in the 10-14 age group shows that our policies to support and retain young people in school are working. However our lack of progress in addressing the older workforce, such as the right to stay in employment and access to skills development, are preventing their full contribution.

The top 10 countries are the same countries as last year (though ranked differently) and are dominated by smaller European countries, Generally Europe performs below average on the 15–24 age group and Ireland does not do well on labour force participation rate and unemployment rate for this age cohort. A greater commitment to progressing the implementation of the Youth Guarantee Scheme for under 25s is needed to tackle this.

Overall the report warns of the need to consider the preparedness of different age groups for being re-skilled to deal with emerging skills challenges, and how older cohorts are likely to be located in shrinking occupations. It points to the opportunities presented by new digital learning platforms to enable high-quality low-cost personalised learning, this is certainly an area that employers should be taking centre-stage.

Overall the results show that all countries, including Ireland need to do more to nurture and fully utilise the human capital potential. Improving practices will benefit individuals, businesses, the economy and society.