Deborah Vue: Technology to be an enabler, can't takeover HR functions
Deborah Vue is the global Senior HR Business Partner for Uphold Inc. She is a strategic leader with broad experience having led the development and implementation of core HR and operations infrastructure to scale business. Deborah spoke to People Matters on her maiden visit to India to kickstart Uphold’s operations in India. She was candid about her love for Indian food which she ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner while she was here. But ‘gajar halwa’ (a sweet dish made of carrots) topped her Indian food chart. And her visit to the Taj Mahal is something that she will always cherish.
Here is an excerpt of the conversation:
How do you see the role of HR evolving in India?
We are positive about the job market in India. India has always known to send talented professionals to the world, but in the coming years and also what we are seeing now is that a lot of professionals are coming back to India for emerging opportunities that the country is offering. Past experiences of skilled Indian professionals make me very optimistic about India. The importance will be given to skill development more than anything else. Emphasis will be more on the technical skills, and leadership development skills. The need to use technology in every sphere of organisational function will be something that businesses need to focus on including HR.
How do you think technology will impact HR?
HR is not a back-office function anymore. It has become the integrated part of the decision making process. Technology has already streamlined some of the HR functions – developing processes, finding the right kind of people through automated processes as well. It is cost effective which has helped HR to be able to do their work in the planned manner.
There is a lot of debate that HR processes will soon become technology-driven so much that we won’t require HR professionals in future. Your views on that.
Technology is an enabler. HR functions better with it, but it cannot do without that human intervention. HR cannot have a complete automated process where recruiting happens with the help of machines – HR is about relationship building and that cannot be done without humans. Technology is great in providing the HR professionals with a better, quicker way to enable HR functions. For e.g medicines are made better by technology but it is essential to have the human intervention to come up with the right formula. So it is true with HR as well.
What is your approach to retain talent?
Past experiences teach you sometimes to deal with attrition. But every company has different culture, so experiences might just help you to come to a certain decision, but each approach to retain talent is different. Uphold as a company is very egalitarian, collaborative in its employee approach, yet we do engage employees in different initiatives including engaging surveys where we enable them to give us honest feedback. And we work on those feedbacks.
Upbeat about the opportunities that India has to offer, she signed off by saying that there is a lot of potential in the young talent available in the country.
Deborah has worked in a variety of industries from start-up technology to global matrix consumer organizations including partnership with stakeholders on M&A efforts. She has a Bachelor in Business Administration and Management and completing an MBA with double concentrations in Finance and Entrepreneurship from Syracuse University.