Some Areas of HR Expertise Are Much More Common Than Others

Other than general HR, performance management is the most mentioned area of expertise

HR professionals must wear many hats, especially in small to mid-size organizations where budgets do not warrant hiring multiple specialists. We asked respondents to indicate their special areas of expertise amongst a list of twenty.


We found it is not uncommon for respondents to select five or six different areas of expertise. Given the many roles HR professionals tend to play in today’s organizations, it makes sense that 80% selected “general HR” as an area of expertise. On the other hand, we could argue that general HR is not truly a field of expertise at all. A competent generalist can potentially cover many bases well but few HR professionals can be experts in all areas.


There are, however, four HR specialties chosen by 50% or more of the respondents:

  • performance management (58%)
  • management (55%)
  • talent acquisition and retention (52%)
  • employee engagement/experience (51%)


By comparison, there are various areas where HR expertise seems in short supply, including those some that strike us as especially important our current era:

  • health and safety (31%)
  • diversity, equity and inclusion (24%)
  • EAPs and employee wellness (24%)
  • analytics (24%)
  • risk management (20%)
  • international and global relations (7%)


For example, we have seen diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) become much more prominent over the last year, and the issues related to health, safety and wellness have seldom been more critical to organizational success.


Source: HR
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