The New Era called Tech HR

As we all know, International trade is expanding at a great pace and the talent market is shrinking with limited availability of talent. The world of Business started its journey from the Stone Age (hunting and collecting food for themselves), travelled through Barter System (exchange of goods), Industrial Revolution (buyers’ market), and finally landed in the age of Information Technology (where new techniques like SMAC pitches in the market to satisfy customers’ needs effectively and efficiently).

Business in relation with HR:

As business evolved, the people (workers/labourers/employees) who are the foundation for a company to go from good to great, have started facing challenges in their workplace. They have lost their autonomy and discretion as to how to structure their work tasks, when to do them, and where they were going to work. Hence, there evolved a Personnel Department (regarded as a significant asset in terms of skills and abilities) who were responsible for basic roles like payroll and assigning jobs, etc. Then, they stepped into the strategic business function by executing various practices like Recruitment, Learning & Development, Organisation Design, Appraisal, and Compensation. The function evolved furthermore with HR becoming a business partner.

Human Resources as a Business-Centric Approach:

As a Business Partner, HR will be working closely with the business and thrive to achieve business results. Core HR skills include data-driven decision making, emotional intelligence, cognitive flexibility, leadership development, succession planning, total reward, people and performance management, employee relations, laws governing people in the workplace, and health and safety.  All the legacy HR activities like Talent Sourcing, Onboarding, Skills assessment, L&D, Performance Management, Total Reward Management etc., are now in a digital form, hastening the HR Business Partner to act at ease with loads of data and not just based on guts. The digital platform provides varied big data to the HR partner and enables him to strategically support business, by narrow down to the most apt business decision.

 The New Era called Tech HR:

The nuptials of Human Resources with technology is getting stronger and stronger, as industries witness disruptions for the future, as published in a report by Deloitte titled ‘HR Technology Disruptions for 2017’.  The study indicates that people management plays a vital role at the strategic table, aligning personal aspirations with the organizational direction. Organizations must imbibe these changes and set up their talent and subsequently, the enterprise for success. The outlined trends indicate a significant shift including the ‘ways of work’. Both employer and employees will need to engross these new regimes. For example, the field force is now tracked through the GPS tracker in the mobile. The route map is tracked and the deviation appears as an auto pop-up to the reporting manager.  The software professional’s time spent on the coding is validated by an app, which updates the team lead about his/her efficacy.  For employers, investing in the Chatbot and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an essential investment and will form a major portion of budget.

Gone are the days were employers spent time and money to conduct the engagement or satisfaction surveys!   With the advantage of digital medium, the pulse survey speaks tonnes of reality and is a greater feedback mechanism for the performance management.  The dashboard is now dynamic and clocks in at the same speed of those updates.

The digital age/era pushes healthy integration of many tools used by the HR professional right from sourcing to talent management, engagement and compliance management. The new era of hiring is just not an applicant management software but a tool that helps employers to create branding and value proposition to the prospective candidate from the available universe.

Ganapathi Subramanian
Head – HR
Sundaram Finance

It does analyse the available pool of talent from the market in all aspects, including the culture fit, and does the first level assessment with a prominent level of predictivity.  The HR partner is now equipped with the right selection choice and can concentrate more on the value adding role!  In a nutshell, HR will be doing a great level of marketing and brand building and not just hiring!

Cloud and mobile-based tools will help employees get end-user experience and chatbots will assistance in the monotonous routines with lesser service time. AI is designed to automate many of the workflows relating to policies, ESS, Learning etc…   The mobile tool will dominate workforce connect.  The precedents and predictivity help the AI to respond naturally and the user may not feel that they are interacting with a chatbot i.e., a robot.  AI will also disrupt the way the Learning and Development environment wok/s today. It will pick the real area of learning needs and help the employee to learn on the go.

HR professionals have seen a flux in performance management system in terms of regular vs. yearly feedback, doing away with the Bell Curve and rating system etc., The digital will again help HR to use different applications to manage performance and feedback. This will be the “next wave”, which not only engages but also provides valid input in the talent management space. The automated platform linked to performance and behaviours in the work culture will detect features that lead to predicting probability of talent retention.

Gen Z, the new generation work force is going to move from Institution to Industry. This Talent may require a highly rewarding and value-driven culture. They are indeed born in the digital world.

The HR function will undergo some sea changes in terms of using Big data, the need to partner with their technology teams to identify and improve the employee value proposition. Applying machine learning to HR operations will eliminate some of the current roles that HR is occupied with. This will allow HR professionals to take data-driven decisions and deliver innovation in the HR space without losing the human touch!

– Author is the Head- HR, Sundaram Finance






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