The evolution of HR in the Digital Era
The scale of the change in the HR function has been staggering and has witnessed an exceptional surge over the last few years. Global companies who have established a presence in India over the last decade have brought with them different perspectives and some new HR practices as well. Technology has significantly influenced the HR function. It has led to new business models coming into existence, allowing technology platform companies to make a significant impact. Competition has come not from within the known set of businesses but from different industries by leveraging technology. The velocity of change has posed unique challenges for the HR function and HR professionals have seized the challenges and are equipping themselves to meet the needs. It has become quintessential to re-imagine the way that we work. HR is already evolving from a process-centric function to be more agile. Leaders today are moving away from a 'process' mindset, to a more' outcome' based mindset.
In this digital era, an organization's competitiveness will depend on its talent readiness, skill-sets and how it will bring in diversity of thought and perspectives for organizational excellence. Along with the digital age come opportunities, challenges and trends for the HR function around the globe. Rapidly changing requirements for novel skill-sets in fields such as data science, AI, cloud, blockchain, security etc. signal a need for flexible recruiting practices that allow organizations to reach out to these fresh talent pools. How skills can be deployed in an agile manner within the organization or with its clients has become important. This also creates the need to build an enabling environment for constantly re-skilling talent. Skill will become the new currency and skill based wage differentiation will increase. This will also require a fundamental compensation redesign by HR.
Finally, there is an important shift in the expectations of the workforce as employees demand work experiences that are more personal, engaging and authentic. Deploying new technology platforms to enhance the employee experience will hence get increased attention. Building on existing HR investments in technology and processes, including core HR platforms, cognitive solutions, for example provide an opportunity to enhance employee experience, reduce costs and increase the quality and accuracy of HR services through the discovery of new workforce insights. The focus should be on developing leadership skills in the new era will also be a key area for HR.
In 2018, we will see organizations transforming the HR function to deliver employee experiences that are human-centered, leveraging the latest technologies to deliver personalized, compelling, and engaging experiences.
As far as the outlook for the industry in 2018 is concerned, HR must act as a catalyst to leverage and deploy technology to enhance the overall employee experience. HR professionals will also have to focus on reducing costs, increase the quality and accuracy of HR services and provide talent insights for business impact by deploying analytical platforms to discover new workforce insights.
Another key area is to focus on developing leadership skills that can succeed in the new cognitive era. Lastly, it is essential that HR professionals build more effective listening skills and pay heed to their employees on a continuous basis and keep taking corrective action as and when necessary.