Article: Designing Apollo Hospital’s HR Technology Strategy

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Designing Apollo Hospital’s HR Technology Strategy

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In this article, Jacob Jacob, Chief People Officer highlights the prevailing business context in the health care industry, the factors driving HR technology and the benefits of relying on data to make human capital decisions.
Designing Apollo Hospital’s HR Technology Strategy

The health care industry is one of the top five industries in the world that has gone through a rapid and consistent change in the last five years. Like any other industry, hospitals and healthcare is facing unprecedented competitive pressures. Added to this is the problem of a shrinking talent pool of healthcare professionals, healthcare savvy IT talent, administrators, and other critical talent being drained by related industries like extended care services, retail pharmacies, and health insurers. While the needs have increased, the influx of talent into the sector has not increased in proportion to the needs. India has one of the lowest physicians per 1000 people (1.5worldwide vs. 0.7 in India) and Nurses per 1000 people (3.3 worldwide vs. 1.7 in India)*. Therefore, it is imperative for the Organisation to focus not only attracting the best talent but also developing and retaining the talent to face these challenges. 

The advent of new technology has accelerated talent mobility not only within the organization but also across the globe. The prospective candidates have the privilege of exploring career opportunities anywhere across the globe. And for the organization and the HR Professionals it brings a lot of opportunities, but at the same time throws many challenges. The addition of social media adds on to the talent management challenges and requires a comprehensive, integrated approach to tackle these challenges.  HR must be closely aligned with the goals of the overall enterprise to attract, develop, and retain associates who can help achieve the goals. If organizations can’t hire the right people, they can’t sustain their core mission of delivering high-quality care.

Driving factors and implementation

The key factors to determine in identifying a technology are: 1) Where we are currently 2) Where we want to be and 3) What will take us there. In the process of identifying a technology, we have identified the HR Key objectives keeping in mind the Organisation Vision, Mission and Values, the key challenges and the solution that will help us bridge the gap.Data is very crucial for analysis and today we are loaded with tons of data and numbers. Acquiring or collecting information does not benefit company’s decisions, it gets futile without analytics that further makes the information useful and meaningful. The big question in front of us is how to crunch these numbers and extract meaningful knowledge from the Big Data, identify and develop new decision models and how to manage Big Data. In addition to this, we also looked at the Scalability, Reliability, Security, Adoptability and Integration with the existing systems etc. before making the decision. Based on these parameters, we chose Oracle Fusion HCM.

Implementation of HCM at Apollo is one of the transformational initiatives that have happened in Apollo over the last decade. Automation enabled us to clear the bottlenecks, eradicated the functional silos and helped us manage the complete life cycle of an employee with great efficiency and with ease. HCM has given us an integrated platform to handle Talent Management Challenges. This involves an integrated approach i.e. a Focused Recruitment Strategy to attract niche talent, Talent Review to identify HIPOs, Succession Planning for key positions and Training & Development to enrich the performance of every associate.

Benefits of HCM implementation

Technology today not only empowers managers but also touches every associate and even prospective candidates. 

Real Time Data for Decision Making – Automation has enabled us to analyze and evaluate alternatives and make informed choices. HCM system gives us reliable and timely data upon which we make effective decisions in managing our Human Capital.

Predictive Analytics–Has played a crucial role in extracting and providing valuable information from colossal amount of data which is extremely important for formulating strategies, plans and crucial decisions. Predictive analysis gives us a hypothetical analysis of cause and effect, and this model helps us to test any structural, performance, compensation and career progression related new initiatives before being implemented. This approach minimizes the risk.

Response Time – Response time in various processes like recruitment, on-boarding, induction, associate engagement, goal setting & reviews, talent management etc. has improved considerably.

Recruitment –Today many prospective healthcare professionals in India as well as abroad, those who aspire to be part of Apollo, have direct access to our organization through our career section, and apply for suitable vacancies. This has helped us hire the best talent from across the globe with ease, and recruitment turnaround time has come down considerably.On the other hand, candidates’ recruitment experience is also of top notch.

Associate’s Engagement – We are able to have a better engagement with our associates by knowing our associates better. Our associates have the privilege to access and update their own and dependents’ information, give their work preferences, capture their career aspirations, track their performance and development goals, and find best-fit jobs within the organization etc.  

Talent Management– All the managers have moved from being dependent to being self-reliant in managing their own teams. Each manager is empowered to access the information of their own team members, and this has enabled them to do workforce planning, selecting the best talent, engaging their teams, rewarding the performance, identifying the training needs and addressing them through performance development plans, creating talent pools and succession plans. Over and above all of this, predictive analysis has been very helpful to measure the performance vs potential and risk and impact of loss. 

The HR department carries many responsibilities in an organization, all of them with the underlying goal of advancing the business by helping associates to be more productive and innovative. Today, companies are using business process automation to lower operational costs by eliminating time-consuming processes - and making information more transparent and accessible to their people.

Apollo is the one of the largest integrated health care providers in the world and provides best health care services. This is possible only when we have the best people. We nurture our talent and also engage them with best HR practices. Our HR Practices combined with technology is the key differentiator in managing our human capital.

*Based on World bank’s 2011 data

Topics: Lets Talk Talent, Strategic HR, HR Technology

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