Article: Collaboration between CFO and HR is going to increase: EY Interview

Talent Management

Collaboration between CFO and HR is going to increase: EY Interview

In an exclusive interview with People Matters, Dina Pyron and Anna Kahn of the People Advisory Services at E&Y, talk about the changing dynamics of digital transformation and the rise of the gig economy
Collaboration between CFO and HR is going to increase: EY Interview

Q. Could you tell us about the People Advisory function in EY and your role in it?

Dina Pyron: Ernst and Young has what we call globally as people services. And what’s unique about it is the fact that we’ve brought not just services that unpack the world of work but everything that encompasses the HR journey with people including compliance and the entire talent agenda, right from the role of HR in organizations, transformation agenda across different departments, leadership development, succession planning and so on.

There are about 12,000 professionals globally who work in the practice which is a very integrated and global practice. If you look here in India there is a lot of development and companies are struggling and dealing with the same questions such as what is the future of work? What is the labor force in xyz market going to look like? And how do you export labor and import contingent workforce? It’s really about aligning people to business priorities. It is combining and integrating solutions to people agenda. I’m the Europe, Africa, and Middle East leader.

Anna Kahn: I have two roles – I’m part of the global council on people advisory services team, in which I have the privilege of looking at accelerated growth opportunities, alliances, acquisitions, and the development of services.

Secondly, I work very closely with Dina, I work on parts of India business and particularly focusing on how to improve the people agenda, optimize our HR, and value-adding activities of that function and take forward new and innovative ways talent management and support throughout the employee life and support re-organization and organization design. The function is closely aligned with the business agenda.

Q2) What are some of the transformative forces that are shaping the world of work in light of digital transformation? And how is it different from previous technology transformations?

Anna: The difference from previous transformations has to do with the pace and acceleration of growth in technology power, in enabling or requiring businesses to quickly adapt to these forces. The second difference is the global nature of information and access to it. No matter what social strata you belong to which is critical to support education and democratic forces.

With workforce globalization, there are two trends, one is to do with political forces of retrenchment of national barriers, and the other is to do with the implications of skill shortage. Essentially, the question that we are facing is “what are the skills that we require as a business and social system for the future?” By 2030, half of the jobs that we have today will no longer exist or will require a different skill set. These are tough challenges for businesses, civil society, and governments.

There is a huge increase in the appearance of unicorn companies. It took Apple 30 years to become the world largest company. So this is definitely exhilarating! And the ability of a business to tap into the bigger market due to digital channels more nimbly enable their growth geographically. These industries don’t need infrastructure to tap into the global market. Similarly, there is also a proliferation of HR related technologies; we’re seeing an explosion in VC funding around new types of cloud-based solutions. And not to mention small applications that are emerging to support performance aspects, engagement, collaborative remote working.

Q. What are the skills required to navigate this transformation?

Dina: When you look at a specific function in a particular organization, for example, if you look at the tax function. Traditionally, the skillset was about compliance and regulation knowledge. It’s a struggle now because that’s not the only skill set that’s required for the future. In the future, it is more to do with interpreting data around tax and audit and having a predictive mindset. There is already a discussion around whether the role of a tax director is around less technical and more technology skills and data understanding and a blend of skillsets.

We did a study and conducted a CFO series and one with HR. The study suggested that collaboration between CFO and HR is going to continue to increase. It’s about how data is integration to strategy and leadership expectation. It is something that continues to evolve and change.

Anna: With automation and artificial intelligence, we see the acceleration powered by RPA (Robotics Process automation) technology. Technology in white collar production and skill-based jobs will call for a blended workforce consisting of humans and robots. And for human beings, this will also mean a focus on more empathetic tasks, more creative tasks but on another hand, it will lead to a significant decrease in labor.

The nature of collaborative competencies and the nature workers to quickly adapt to the ever-changing environment - flexibility and adaptability. And obviously, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics), an approach put forward by MIT, which emphasizes on the interplay of ideas in these fields as being critical for the future. There are some people who believe that creativity can be automated, but I still believe that we as human beings have the ability to create experiences that are not necessarily, or emotionally difficult.

Q. There is research that E&Y has done on the Gig economy, what are key highlights that HR professionals should know vis a vis workforce trends?

Anna: The gig economy has been used to describe contingent labor. There are many other terms that are used today like flexible labor, temporary labor, just-in-time labor, but it is about the end-to-end labor supply chain which has huge implications for businesses.

Companies are very concerned about what are the cultural implications of not having full-time employees. If you have a very strong culture and brand identity, how is the brand of that employee going to be exhibited in the way they work with the business? How would it be exhibited to the outside world to the customer base?

Secondly, you have to make sure that you are fairly remunerating these individuals. How do you make sure that there is a social security system and a taxation system that is adapted to managing this workforce? And what are benefits that they are entitled to? These are huge questions that we have to face and address together over the next five years.

We conducted a research report on Gig economy that says that already 56% of the organizations are using gig workers for programs. And they are competing for the expertise of the workforce. These are very challenging considerations.


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Topics: Talent Management, Skilling

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