Article: Identifying your future leaders: A recap of Are You in the List?

Strategic HR

Identifying your future leaders: A recap of Are You in the List?

As 'Are You in the List' draws to an end, here's a recap of the journey to identify the future leaders of HR
Identifying your future leaders: A recap of Are You in the List?

Leadership is not magnetic personality — that can just as well be a glib tongue


As ‘Are You in the List’ draws to an end, here’s a recap of the journey to identify the future leaders of HR

As we move closer to identifying India’s top 25 future HR leaders, the time is ripe to reflect on the journey so far and the learning it has brought. The idea behind the initiative ‘Are You in the List’ was simple. Does the young Indian workforce show the promise of future HR leaders who can help businesses grow and make HR a significant business contributor? The aim was to dive into the young talent pool across different industries and identify the brightest 25 who will lead the HR function tomorrow. Over 1,200 HR professionals across the country applied or were nominated by their peers, managers and colleagues to compete for the coveted list of final 25.

The rigorous 5 stage assessment process was spread over 6 months. The Leadership Insight Inventory (LII) and other leadership assessment tests administered by DDI for Stage II and III had candidates respond to situation based questions as well as provide interesting solutions to case studies. Stage IV included candidates recording video interviews on the online portal Video Recruit. A new tool for many, the videos are a repository of practical examples of the innovative work done by HR professionals across the country on a day to day basis.

The NHRD Delhi chapter also provided a unique platform to the candidates to showcase their work to the HR community. Three of the top 50 ‘Are You in the List’ finalists presented at the December special event which focused on the innovative practices by young HR professionals.

As participants took these assessments and the short-listing from stage I to IV were taking place, the jury also had their hands full. ‘Are You In the List’ adopted a unique crowd-sourcing methodology to gain intelligence from the industry itself to identify the top competencies for the future HR leaders. Three roundtables conducted in Gurgaon, Bangalore and Mumbai had over 40 heads of HR participate and actively debate on the critical competencies. The conversations hosted at the Aircel Academy in Gurgaon and the boardrooms of MphasiS and Aditya Birla Group brought out the enthusiasm of the HR community and affirmed that such an initiative is the need of hour.

Obviously, there cannot be a checklist of competencies for a budding industry leader. However, to judge the candidates and provide a scoring basis the jury and the roundtable attendees voted and prioritized all the skills discussed and the 6 key competencies were as follows - strategic acumen, business acumen, managing ambiguity, foresight, driving execution, risk management capability, courage and conviction, effective communication, cognitive ability to execute, innovation.

The excitement for this initiative has been palpable within both the young HR professionals across the country as well as the senior leaders who sincerely believe such an initiative can shape the future of HR and pave the way for strategic alliances.

The final 25 will be revealed on January 24, 2013 at a gala event in Gurgaon. With over 200 HR professionals attending the evening to celebrate the future of HR, ‘Are You in the List’ marks the beginning of an active community investment in building the future of HR.


Dr. Aquil Busrai
CEO, Aquil Busrai Consulting
The three key skills that an HR leader should have include the ability to, understand business realities, enhance the utility of manpower through HR intervention, and scan the external environment to identify the issues of concern.

Pankaj Bansal
Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer, PeopleStrong
I think the ‘youth’ in human capital space today have immense potential and are doing very interesting work. This platform, the first of its kind in the country, gives a unique platform to the young professionals to showcase their talent and skills. Being on this list will create an opportunity for the candidates to mentor and lead the people who have treaded on similar paths and help them grow.

Sonali Roychowdhury
Country Head - Human Resources, Procter and Gamble
The three key skills that can be used as common scoring factors for such a vast talent pool can be – the impact and tangible results they have had in the organizational context and the extent of innovation. The power of ideas in large or small organization always stands out.

Gautam Ghosh
Consultant, Social Wavelength

Assuming that the fundamentals are in place, the two basic qualifying criteria would be diversity and innovation. Diversity in terms of the experience they have, not just in HR but also exposure to business. It will bring out the diversity of thought and different perspectives.

Jacob Jacob
Chief People Officer, Apollo Hospitals Enterprises
The Top 25 HR managers should have made significant improvement in business results of their organization through their interventions within a span of 1-2 years and this should have a direct correlation to growth in productivity of workforce, growth in revenues and reduction in cost. The other desirable attributes are proactive behavior and an eagerness to learn and implement.

Nisha Ninan
Global Lead - Organization Effectiveness, Aditya Birla Minacs
A HR leader has a strong impact to play in the lives of people in building their potential, self confidence, values, contributing to the interests of the family & community. Some of the key attributes I would look for is the sense of purpose, passion and integrity.

Elango R.
CHRO, MphasiS
I would look for the following traits in selecting a high potential HR leader - High Energy, Adaptability and ability to thrive in ambiguity. In addition they should have strong persuasion and selling skills. HR Leaders who display these in addition to cross functional HR competence are the ones to look out for to get on the list.

Rajesh Rai
Sr. Director – HR, Expedia-APAC
This list represents a set of HR professionals that bring credibility to the fore. I wouldn’t want this list to be a precursor to professionals adding CV value and en-cashing it for opportunities – so passion for their work is one of the most important criteria to be seen.


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Topics: Strategic HR, Leadership, Learning & Development, #AreyouintheList?

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