Rahul Kalidindi is the Chief Executive Officer of Akrivia, a cloud-based HCM Product company headquartered in Visakhapatnam, India. Over the last seven years, Akrivia has focused on its mission to deliver widely deployable, enterprise-grade HRMS software.
As a tech entrepreneur and an alumnus of the prestigious UC Berkeley College of Engineering, Rahul brings vigorous industry experience to Akrivia. He is passionate about the augmentation of human tasks by intelligence systems by empowering human resource (HR) professionals worldwide with cloud-based HR solutions embedding data insights and analytics into HR. He envisions Akrivia as a game-changing technology reinventing organizations to become responsive to unpredictable business challenges with its new-age predictive HRMS solution.
In an exclusive interaction with People Matters, Kalidindi shares key insights on the future of work, the revolution in HR technologies, and the critical role of data and analytics.
In the era of rapid digital transformation, what are some of the key trends that will have an impact on the future of work?
Rethinking how work is done will become essential to the future of work. It's a paradigm shift in the workplace that encourages human-machine collaboration, allows for new skills and worker experiences, and promotes an intelligent and dynamic environment that isn't constrained by time or location. As per NASA's Future of Work Framework, the eight major themes to expect would be designing for agility, redefining talent, lifetime learning and development, talent deployment, adaptable workspaces, data security, comprehensive digital transformation, and unleashing AI.
However, I would predict that the five major trends impacting the future of work will be Digital Dependency, Resilience-Focused Transformation, Data-Driven Growth, Agility-Driven Organizational Structure, and Employee Experience.
The Black Swan catastrophe (COVID) has altered how companies view employee experience. As a result of the lack of human interaction, a culture of learning and sharing has taken hold. The emphasis will be on the holistic experience, which Gartner defines as merging the customer, employee, and user experiences to alter a business outcome.
With data and analytics playing a critical role in the decision-making process of the HR function, what are some challenges that need to be urgently addressed? How can HCM systems offer a solution?
Data and analytics will be the key drivers of the strategy for the HR function in the future. Decision-makers in today's fast-paced business environment have to make many crucial decisions that impact the success of their business.
Some key challenges that need to be urgently addressed are a change-ready mindset, holding information, unqualified truth, casual benchmarking, Digital Fundamentals, etc. HCM systems can help every employee manage personnel data, plan for future needs, and make informed decisions about the company. It includes processing transactions, providing decision support, and providing communication capabilities. It has significantly reduced the administrative burden from HR and has helped HR function align itself with the company's core business strategy as a true business partner.
With the help of HCM systems, HRs can grow their companies by leading and supporting change initiatives, fact-based decision-making, and systematic processes and programs. Measuring and evaluating the critical metrics on HCM systems to know successful change is ideal for achieving your business outcomes.
To be prepared for the future of work, what organizations need is a future-ready workforce. What are some key strategies that can help build that workforce? What role will people analytics play?
I believe the war for talent today is a testament to the lack of future readiness of today's workforce planning and management strategies. There is a severe skill gap crisis that needs to be addressed through different interventions, and HR technology and analytics can play a vital role in this transformation.
The pandemic has accelerated the need for a hybrid workforce consisting of regular employees, consultants and gig workers working in conjunction.
To address this challenge, the areas that have to be revamped are Workforce Planning, Skill Gap Identification, and Continuous Learning systems that evolve with the organization's needs. People Analytics provides an excellent opportunity to understand the composition and learning needs of the workforce, making it easier to align with organizational goals and Vision. Identifying future skills, ML-based workforce forecasting, and Continuous learning through LXP systems will enable us to create a future-ready workforce.
What role can digital solutions play in creating that work culture which can help retain talent and increase employee engagement?
Work culture is the experience an employee undergoes while working at an organization. Hire to retire Digital solutions today improve the employee experience across the lifecycle. The automation of transaction parts like leave, attendance, and payroll. A continuous performance system with regular feedback and checking. A career and development program planning focused on the employee aspirations and regular surveys enable instilling a work culture that is transparent and focused on the employee, which helps in hiring and retaining top talent.
Finally, what are some words of advice that you would like to share with fellow leaders leveraging people analytics to drive business growth?
Human resource automation is a reality now, and advanced HR technology is increasingly making inroads into workplace dynamics. According to the latest Fortune Business Insights report, the global HR technology market will grow from USD 35.68 billion in 2028 to USD 60.81 billion by 2028. HR technology offers advantages such as providing a single digital platform for managing employee data, enhancing employee productivity and engagement, meeting compliance requirements, etc.
Data-driven workforce planning is a way for organizations to make strategic staffing decisions based on employee skills and job requirements. Because it requires analyzing internal data and external benchmarks, it can help you find the right solutions to help align human behaviour with an organization's strategy, structures, processes, and business objectives.
Finally, the truth is that data-driven transformation is a way to prepare organizations for all the unpredictable and exponential changes in the workforce by emphasizing employees' strengths and diversity.