Administrative support roles within an organisation are essential to a company’s success.
Functions such as human resources are the backbone of a business, and are necessary for the smooth daily operations required at almost every level of a company.
But as businesses evolve, so too does the support they require. As a result, these HR and administrative roles have undergone much change in the last few years.
The skills that these roles require are more varied than ever, from employee engagement, to managing social media, and even digital workplace training. According to research by KPMG, while two-thirds of HR executives agree that HR has undergone or is undergoing a digital transformation, only 40% of HR leaders say they have a digital work plan in place for the future.
The jobs of the future in Australia
In an effort to understand the impact that technological advancement is having on businesses and their employees, Robert Half surveyed general managers on the top HR job of the future in Australia that are new or emerging as a result of technological advancement.
1. Virtual Assistant
According to Australian general managers, 34% believe this is an emerging role thanks to technological advancement. Virtual Assistants are becoming one of the most important jobs of the future in Australia. They are remote workers who provide varied administrative support: from planning and booking meetings and travel; responding to correspondence; and data entry; to bookkeeping, online research, and managing social media.
Virtual assistants are often trained in a variety of skills, and these roles are often a blend of several areas: some specialise in more creative fields, like marketing or PR, while others in the more traditional role of executive assistant; yet others take on specific industries, like real estate or small businesses.
Top virtual assistants are clear communicators, able to work to tight deadlines, and autonomously - time zones and different schedules can make it difficult to work closely. They should also be responsive, and pay attention to the details. A degree is not a requirement; rather, emphasis on previous experience should be prioritised.
2. E-Learning Manager/Digital Learning Manager
E-Learning (courses taken online rather than in a traditional classroom setting) has become a popular method of employee training within corporate business, both within the company, and outsourced. 31% of Australian general managers believe the e-Learning Manager will be a new/emerging role for administrative professionals.
It’s the responsibility of the e-Learning or Digital Learning Manager to oversee the development and dissemination of online courses; they may be involved in writing the coursework, but they may also take a more managerial role and work with subject matter experts who will write the course. As such, a background in education is helpful, as is experience with digital learning delivery platforms. Communication skills are key, as are organisational skills.
3. Digital Transformation Consultant
With the ongoing global digital disruption, the Digital Transformation Consultant is one of the key HR jobs of the future in Australia that will become increasingly important. In fact, 30% of Australian general managers foresee the Digital Transformation Consultant as a new/emerging role due to technological advancement.
It’s their job to work with companies to introduce digital solutions to challenges both in the long-term and short, driving change and innovation within companies. As such, they need to be familiar with the technology available, and have an understanding of business processes. They need to clearly communicate, but understand that change is not always easy.
A good attitude and people skills are essential for the successful candidate, as is the ability to work with multiple stakeholders, and an understanding of the expertise of different business functions. Digital Transformation Consultants typically have a Bachelor’s degree, possibly even a Master’s, and will require them to keep up-to-date with technological advancements and trends.
4. Manager of Employee Engagement
Organisational research over the past decade has focused on the benefits of employee engagement: higher productivity, lower turnover, and increased profitability are some of the outcomes of a highly engaged workforce. As a consequence, companies are now much more interested in engaging their employees.
Thus it’s the role of the Manager of Employee Engagement to develop strategies that drive initiatives within a business to improve engagement levels. This is a role that is usually within the HR department, and so candidates usually come from an HR background. It requires a good communicator, and someone experienced in driving cultural change.
Communication isn’t just an important soft skill; it’s often one of their main responsibilities. They are often required to give presentations, group discussions, and even one-on-one interviews.
5. Customer Experience Manager
Typically stemming from the field of customer service, the relatively new role of Customer Experience Manager - often shortened to CX Manager - takes the traditionally reactive role of customer service, and turns it into a dynamic process.
CX Managers are interested in the entire experience a customer or client will have, with all points of contact with the business between interest and check-out, and beyond.
An experienced CX Manager will have a background in sales, marketing/communications, or customer service, and have the ability to think strategically. A postgraduate degree is typically desirable, as is previous experience. Communications is an important soft skill in this job, as well as analytical thinking in order to create data-driven change.
Hiring a future administration professional
The human resources industry may be changing rapidly, but the need for administrative support is still there, so it’s important that companies hire the right people for such essential work that will continue to grow in-demand as technological continues to transform the workplace.