Article: HR should adopt a ‘training-forward’ approach: Sahil Sharma

A Brand Reachout InitiativeStrategic HR

HR should adopt a ‘training-forward’ approach: Sahil Sharma

Employees want career advancement and they want to do great work, says Sahil Sharma of RateGain. HR leaders in emerging organisations must focus on creating these growth opportunities.
HR should adopt a ‘training-forward’ approach: Sahil Sharma

Industries hit during the pandemic are slowly and steadily moving towards recovery. Owing to this positive business outlook, many sectors in India are witnessing an upward trend in recruitment. 

The worst-hit sectors, such as Travel & Hospitality (169%+) and Retail (112%+), witnessed a triple-digit year-over-year growth rate, according to the latest Naukri JobSpeak Index. 

To discuss these changing talent trends in online travel agencies (OTAs) and the wider travel sector, we interacted with Sahil Sharma, Global Head - Human Resources, RateGain Travel Technologies Limited. He shed light on the changing role of HR in fast-growing organisations, SMEs and startups. 

OTAs and the travel industry have been among the most affected sectors. How are you planning to bounce back from the crisis? 

India has resumed international travel after a period of two years, which will help in bringing back tourists, and help direct as well as indirect job creation in a sector that has been a key contributor to the GDP of India. 

We also witnessed a few emerging trends across cities in India, where bookings surged across cities in February as the COVID wave came down. Cities like Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Jammu, Bangalore, and Delhi registered 40% to 50% growth in bookings. However, cities like Mumbai, Goa, Mysore and Pondicherry lead the pack with MoM bookings increasing between 70% and 90%.

How are these business disruptions shaping the talent landscape? 

Business disruptions have an impact on both available and potential talent. 

While current employees are trying to adopt the hybrid or remote model, they are missing out on office culture, in-person collaborations, brainstorming sessions, round tables and the like. 

With remote working, the human experience is missing. You like what you see and feel. For external talent, it is challenging to understand the organisation’s culture, values, team members and more. They are moving towards technology to connect, learn and engage. This is why adopting technology, automation, and AI has become most important for organisations.

Given these new priorities, how is the role of HR in fast-growing organisations and emerging sectors changing? 

The role of HR is rapidly evolving, and HR and people leaders are becoming more agile and tech- and data-oriented with a strong emphasis on being ‘human’. 

In fast-growing organisations, for HR leaders, this is the time to start looking to the future, asking what is next. What can be the next challenge? And how will these challenges impact people leaders? 

The need of the hour is to be more strategic, visionary and transformational in enhancing employee experience and talent management for business continuity.

As HR leaders take on a more critical role in driving people and business success, what skills and resources do they need? 

On the people aspect, HR needs to rise to employees’ shifting expectations. Now, employees want a great work-life balance and career advancement, and they want to do great work, which they feel is making a difference in the world. They prefer an organisation that truly values them and respects them as more than just human capital. 

New evolved HR should be able to put the ‘human’ back in HR and should adopt a ‘training-forward’ approach to meet employees' expectations. 

On the other hand, HR leaders should be building trust in the workplace through improved, honest, authentic and trustworthy communication. Adopting automation in HR will free up time for HR leaders to focus on the things that really matter and take more of a leadership role across organisations. 

Another important point is understanding how HR data and insights can drive business impact. Data is becoming the daily language of HR, with it defining and creating the way in which HR communicates with strategic stakeholders.

Startups, by design, are known for their intuitive and compact business models. How can leaders use these strengths to compete with large enterprises in the war for talent? 

In the recent past, we did a survey and asked millennials who were keen to join corporate – what do they seek from their first organisation? And 74% selected Learning & Opportunities. 

Startups give fresh and experienced talent the opportunities to learn, grow and evolve within the organisation. 

They get to explore and work on their ideas to take the organisation to the next level, wherein large enterprises give a structured environment. 

Young and emerging talent are looking for a challenging and winning culture. In a small setup, they get to wear many hats, which means immense learning. In monetary terms, in startups, personal involvement pays off with shares or stock options.

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Topics: Strategic HR, #SMEcorner, #Leaders Talk

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