Business leaders today want to fully understand what risks the business faces, have models in place to predict what is likely to happen and what needs to be done to succeed in this VUCA environment. Often, the strategy has a very significant ‘people’ component and the HR department is expected to project the RoI of people investments. This is not a new demand from HR, but for the first time, HR actually has the tools to examine its HR processes in granular detail and bring the full weight of Big Data to bear on its people decisions.
Our cover story this issue, The God of Big Things, talks about how Big Data can revolutionize HR. Adopting data analytics as an integral part of HR decision-making is the demand of the future. Under pressure to cut costs and boost productivity, organisations are aiming at predicting outcomes such as whether a prospective hire is likely to perform better, stay for a longer period, or if an employee will stay soon after been promoted. Today data can provide access to relationships that can predict behaviours and address the limitations of a resume, past experience or manager biases. What it means for HR professionals in terms of talent decisions is an increase in their odds of making the right decisions. Majority of the analysis that goes into hiring or career advancement process will remain the same. But what these new tools can bring to the table is a stronger pool of candidates (internal or external) to start with and an ability to build relationships that can predict the person’s success in the role. This is a significant tool for any business.
But data alone can’t help. While data analytics is a powerful tool, it is only as powerful as the operator. In the hands of those who are adept at looking at data, identifying relationships, patterns, hypotheses and testing them, data mining and analytics is clearly a source of competitive advantage. Otherwise, it is a just a set of fancy presentations and graphs. That is the challenge and the opportunity for HR.
For our cover story this month, we talked to various national and international experts like Stella Hou of C&A China, Genpact CEO & President N.V. ‘Tiger’ Tyagarajan and SHL stalwarts Eugene Burke and Y.V.L. Pandit for their perspectives on Big Data’s potential.
This time for Big Interview, we are in conversation with Madan Nagaldinne, Head of HR (Asia Pacific) at Facebook, who is of the view that you should not go into HR because you like people, but because you want to develop talent. Besides our regulars, we have two new columns this time: Foresight by KPMG India head Richard Rekhy and Leader_shift by Global People Tree Managing Partner Dr Tanvi Gautam.
We also have news features on the Telangana issue and the ramifications of the new Companies Law and an article by business performance and executive coach Rakesh Kochhar on how coaches help CEOs.
As always we hope you enjoy reading this issue. Please continue to share your feedback, criticism and suggestions with us.