Since the beginning of the pandemic, HR functions face greater demand for support: Fifty-five percent of HR leaders say they receive more requests for help on a wider, more complex variety of topics than before the pandemic. As such, HR staff are under pressure to expand their expertise, sometimes into unfamiliar areas.
Gaps in expertise are frustrating for many CHROs who have invested in upgrading their teams’ capabilities in recent years. The problem? It's not enough. The breadth of expertise needed to fulfill HR’s growing portfolio of responsibilities is expanding faster than HR can handle through internal development alone.
Many of these responsibilities are in areas where there is no proven practice — or where HR may have related expertise but no applied experience. Generative AI, for example, has massive implications for the workplace, but few HR professionals understand it at a sophisticated level, and its impacts are not yet fully known. New technologies, volatile economic conditions, social and cultural conflicts, and other hot-button issues are all landing on HR’s plate, but HR employees may not have the background to handle them effectively.
To address these new challenges, CHROs must shift from just expertise development to augmenting HR with external expertise. This requires going beyond their team’s internal capabilities to find ways to regularly incorporate knowledge and ideas from outside the function into HR’s work.