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The DNA of an ideal HR director

The view of the profession
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In a time of significant change in the UK economy attracting, motivating and retaining talent has never been more important. In collaboration with the CIPD, we asked HR professionals to share their view on what makes an ideal HR director.

What skills and capabilities do they think are needed as we emerge from the global financial crisis? Are the skills required in the future different to those required now? What can the profession as a whole do to ‘future proof’ itself?

 Click here to access the full report

Key findings:

Social media opportunities

Having the ability to understand and progress social media opportunities is predicted to significantly increase in importance over the next 3 years. 25% of HR professionals think this will be one of the top 3 capabilities required of a HR director in 3 years’ time. (Page 5)


The HR professionals (at all levels) we surveyed told us that HR Directors of the future will need to increase their awareness and understanding of macroeconomic trends to best develop and deliver a sustainable strategy. HR directors of the future also need to increase their understanding of emerging business models and competitor strategies. (Page 7)

Business Knowledge & Acumen

The ability to build relationships, collaborate with and influence internal stakeholders is rated as an essential skill for HR directors both now and in the future. However, looking ahead, HR professionals told us that the ability for HRDs to manage external stakeholder relationships will increase in importance. It is clear that HR professionals’ career planning needs to focus more on encouraging an appreciation of the wider business and economic context. (Page 9)

 Click here to access the full report



The CIPD is the professional body for HR and people development. With over 130,000 members internationally - working in HR, learning and development, people management and consulting across private businesses and organisations in the public and voluntary sectors.

As an independent and not for profit organisation, CIPD are committed to championing better work and working lives for the benefit of individuals, business, the economies and society - because good work and all it entails is good for business and society at large, and what is good for business should also be good for people’s working lives.