Thursday, March 12, 2015

HR in the driving seat:Hail HR

     
How have things changed from when you started to now?
If you talk about HR or Recruiting (considerably a sub function of HR) it is an evolving function and lots of thought leadership and experiments have been done to identify/spot talent. Tools galore and interviewing and assessment techniques are getting used to make hiring very objective process. We have certainly moved from the ‘pigeonholing’ hiring time and now are the time we see war for talent in India evident in face of start up revolution we are witnessing . Word ‘talent’ has got its meaning in true sense as hiring has traveled from bean counter mind-set to focusing on building sustainable (and predictable) stellar performance, that only talent can deliver. Skills and past achievements on which previous day hiring was based is losing sheen as skills and past achievements are outcomes not the real hidden prime factor (talent) that interviewers are trying to find. Strengths based tools used for assessing tech, functional or leadership competencies are now used by progressive companies and even start ups today, to portray the cross-sectional view of the candidate’s talent. In earlier times, such tools and techniques of assessments were preserves of celebrated MNCs only. Companies have realized that hiring mistakes are disastrous and have become cognizant that they do not have time to train and groom an employee in many cases and so a connoisseur act is required by the interviewing and selection panel.

What do you expect will happen differently in 2015?
HR is going through a phase of rechristening its avatar as it is finding it is just not a catalytic function, managing change but also ensuring success for future. It is involving in career and succession planning and is truly aiming at ‘building leadership pipeline’ for the organisation. While attracting and engaging talent is everyday issue in 2015, it is equally baffling for HR folks to plan for long-term for each top performer/top potential as the career and technology Diaspora is changing unimaginably quick and, we cannot keep talent immune from being influenced by new wave of opportunities. Focus will move from making work a fun place to making work more fun than fun. Task ahead is challenging and would define shape and destiny of HR. 2015 HR will not just have to be business savvy it has to be the business itself.  
How is the role of an HR manager/ Recruitment manager changing?
As explained above, with the advent of technology, availability of information to employees is with them 24/7 on their HRIS and Other Apps about their company policies and other ESS (Employee Self-Service Needs) and this means they do not have to interface with the HR Admin or Recruiting manager for anything they need to know. This makes HR a function that has all the time to add real-value to the business. HR will have to run like a business partner in the value chain of business. Either they will do it, justifying the cost of their services or the function will get outsourced to “shared Services” or “specialized HR consulting organisations”, who would be hired to implement projects. HR role in fact will be more demanding as Business Partner than what Dave Ulrich defined decades back. 

Do you use any technologies to assist you in your HR practices?
We extensively use technology in everything we do in HR, from ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to LMS (Learning Management System), PMS from SuccessFactor to HRIS and Assessment tools that we use from vendors like Gallup, IBM’s Kenexa, etc.

 Are there any changes, or any technologies, that you yourself would want to see introduced?
Changes that I would like to spread are the following:
Start following shared CHRO, Shared CFO and Shared CIO models as anyways we have run ahead of on-premise tech infrastructure management to cloud and we have answers for all conservative risk factors and confidentiality.
Move people across functions and businesses to HR. KPMG and several other organisations have done this and they are seeing change. KPMG India’s Head of HR is from outside HR. She (Shalini Pillay) is a Chartered Accountant and has been a very success client delivery Partner.
On technology side, make all employee related applications move from desktop to mobile.
  
How can managers strike the right balance between Technology and People? How are they getting it wrong currently (if at all)?
Managers who need predictable performance manage average talent and would expect people to follow technology and produce and re-produce expected results. Those managers who expect people to create enviable solutions would use technology as runway and not the defining thing. They will treat people as ‘creators’ not just ‘producers and re-producers’ of work pieces.

Give one piece of advice for:

1. Job seekers when applying for a job:

Ensure that the job is challenging (a level up, not just in title and compensation) and you would have opportunities to test your talent, learn niche skills and derive career growth and satisfaction. Check for kind of people you will work with and do not hesitate to talk to some of them and get a good hang of the workplace, before you accept the offer.

2. Employers when hiring for a job:

As always said, hire for attitude and train for skills. However, there is only certain degree to which you can train. At workplace, people have to learn by themselves.

3. Employees when looking to keep their job:

When you feel like you have an undisputed position of samurai in the company, try looking out for next arena. Complacency is a silent killer. Look for a change when you are more a guy used for challenges and much less for opportunities”. Do not assume too early about the worth of the job. Great career is always a mixed bag.

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