In these present turbulent, yet exciting times, an HR professional has to constantly stay ahead of the curve in order to preempt and evade the pitfalls which the new environment unfolds from time to time. The industry is witnessing new developments on the HR front – be it the guidelines that help Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace; attempts towards unionization in IT; handling the Gen Next workforce or retrenchment of non-relevant skillsets. These are patterns which need to be understood by any organization to negotiate the maze of corporate survival and HR here becomes the pivotal delivery mechanism to comply with these new requirements.
A few of the new paradigms that HR needs to be aware of are:
Gen Next, the new Talent destination: With more young talent entering the workforce, it is absolutely essential that organizations are geared up towards effective utilization of this energetic and talented segment.
Be Proactive: The conventional reactive mechanism of HR will become a bottleneck for this set as these individuals require their needs to be fulfilled on the fly. This demographic is also very connected and one wrong move from the organization can jeopardize its ability to attract any good talent.
Socially Active: Organizations are becoming immensely active on social sites since those are now the new marketplaces for talent. According to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 77 per cent of organizations in India are increasingly using social networking sites for recruiting. Hence, this is an area that organizations are focusing on and are even changing their recruitment strategies to be in line with such social products. These websites are also heavily used by potential talent to scout for opportunities, give and provide references and keep track of what other colleagues and classmates are doing.
Diversity: This is now both a buzz word as well as the most misunderstood term. The term is being wrongly construed as another quota system wherein opportunities are specifically earmarked for a particular segment of individuals whereas the whole idea behind this concept is to aid innovation by encouraging different kinds of perspectives from varied set of individuals.
Geographical Talent availability: Organizations are today engaged in a war for talent as they have realized that the cost of a wrong hire is much higher than the effort that can be expended at ensuring the right hire. According to industry estimates, the cost of a wrong hire is roughly one third of the annual salary of the hire. Therefore, many progressive organizations today even go global in search of talent and are encouraging multi-cultural teams to aid diverse perspectives and thereby innovation.
Technology, Technology, Technology: The use of technology effectively is increasingly becoming the competitive advantage that organizations are making a note of. As HR become more expensive, there is a pressing need to move the transactional component out of this domain and use technology to fill the gap as in the case of companies which plan to fully automate low end services thereby freeing human effort to only value added tasks. What this means for the HR professionals is to ensure that there is a smooth skill transition from low value jobs to value added roles making organizations leaner, agile and focused on their core competencies and core business processes. HR as a function needs to be more hands on regarding technology and its effective use or risk becoming obsolete as a function itself.
HR is evidently going through an interesting change where contemporary paradigms are being challenged and hence traditional HR may appear to be binding. However, to command a seat on the right side of the CEO, the personnel function needs to focus on the return on investment brought to the table. This becomes more pronounced with knowledge based organizations, increasingly taking on the centerstage, since the prime capital that such organizations can boast of is the human capital. To ensure a sustained value addition, HR professionals must watch out for these trends in the work marketplace and design strategies and tactics around the same.