Dr. Rakshita Shharma, VP - Human Capital at Bobble AI is a senior HR professional with over 20 years of leadership experience across diverse industries as a global leader. She has worked in all the integral constituents of HR & Organizational capability development specializing as an HR Centre of Excellence professional. As a human resource leader, she has successfully built leadership effectiveness, strategic HR transformation, resource engagement, talent and learning capabilities in multinational organizations that helped achieve business objectives and deliver premier performance.
In addition, she is also an angel investor in Bobble. In an exclusive interaction with People Matters, she throws light on how 2019 was as a year for HR Tech and how 2020 see more movement towards corporate learning & development, HR analytics, and performance management & collaborative team-based technology solutions.
How was 2019 as a year for HR Tech startups?
The number of new HR Tech companies are growing at a very fast pace and newer technology in various aspects of the HR function is proof that HR tech is here to stay and is transforming HR function faster than what was expected. Most of the activity has been around recruitment technology and this space is undergoing some major transformations.
Large companies are now slowly moving away from the years of legacy HRM solutions towards new tech solutions along with a new focus on collaborative platforms and rich social experience for the employees with tools such as Yammer, Teams etc.
What as per you were the general trends in adoption, hiring talent in startups?
The general trends in hiring talent are focused on
• Optimizing the Hiring funnel with intelligent recruitment automation to funnel the right talent for the job which includes looking at in-house talent that might fit the job but has not applied for it. This would result in a significant drop in cost for acquiring talent and also help retain and enable the growth of talent at a faster pace within the organization.
•Tackling challenges resulting from recruitment bias using new tech screening tools ensuring candidates are assessed solely on merit driving diversity and inclusion as key the philosophy.
•Assessments & Screening of candidates- this is a very big advantage for early adopters of the technology who recruit large numbers of fresh graduates from colleges. It will help not only get the right talent but also the right cultural fit for the organization.
What do you think were major challenges faced by HR tech startups?
While much of the effort has been focused on talent acquisition, collaboration and analytics, the new tech also opens up many new vistas of employee wellbeing, development, and performance management & employee engagement. Technology is here the biggest challenge for tech startups and also resistance to change & adopting the new technology.
While there is a general fear that technology is going replace people from their current jobs, there is also this vulnerable feeling about the vast data that is being collected by HR tech and issues around values & ethics around the use of this individual’s personal/professional data. With the lack of regulations & governance around fast-paced technological advances, the fear is not unfounded but that also puts the brakes on the HR tech startups that make a good business case but are held back fearing a pushback from traditional HR organizations.
How do you predict is 2020 going to be for HR Tech-what major trends you see in the future?
I think 2020 is going to see the continued growth of HR Tech, with larger organizations embracing the change heralded by HR Tech. Data protection and impact assessment of the large data collected will lead to new leadership roles like Data Protection officers and Governments will become more structured in forming regulation bodies around data. One of the big changes in the near future would be around performance management processes.
We at Bobble are already working on changes to this process moving away from the usual quarterly, half-yearly and annual performance reviews which is seen as a slow & non-progressive process towards a more dynamic, real-time data-driven process. We aim to do this by providing a dashboard of parameters that can quantify performance, quality of deliverables, individual’s contribution as a team player, engagement, cultural behaviours & organizational priorities. The goal of this dashboard is to help drive Self-Management practice across the organization.
Also, moving on from the days of annual reviews, the goal is to identify the issues as they arise. As an HR leader, I think this is wonderful for HR as it not only makes performance management more dynamic, self-managed and growth driven but it also helps identify & bring to surface systemic problems across the organization, by using data analytics.
How do you think will be the year for HR and HR Tech investment-wise?
Investment in HR tech is riding the high wave and will continue the next year too.
I personally think this is a very good time to invest in HR tech. The following stats give an idea of how 2019 was-
• Recruitment technology for targeting high-quality candidates (72%)
• Team collaboration platforms such as Slack, Chatter and Jive (69%)
• Voice recognition software (58%)
• Virtual reality interfaces (57%)
• Chatbots (54%)
While the above will continue to remain the main attraction for HR tech investors I think there will be more movement towards corporate learning & development, HR analytics, and performance management & collaborative team-based technology solutions. With the role of HR Business Partners shrinking slowly and most of the administrative tasks such as compliance etc. being outsourced to specialists, I think the industry is poised to embrace innovative HR tech solutions. There will definitely be resistance in the path; it will be the HR Business Partner who is bogged down in the daily operations and will play a very key role in enabling successful rollout and acceptance of the new HR technology in his/her respective companies.