Randstad initiates talks on the changing world of HR

The Company organised the launch of its new handbook followed by a panel discussion.

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Randstad India, the HR consulting firm, launched a handbook called The five forces changing the world of HR, which touches upon how the workforce and the workplace are changing rapidly with the introduction of AI, machine learning and digitisation. The handbook majorly speaks about how the HR function has changed in the last 40 to 35 years. From the age of industrialisation, where responsibilities included employee attendance, labour dispute management and safety requirements, the HR world has now entered the age of information. While this new era presents many opportunities, there are various challenges that come with it.

Now HR has to focus more on how new technologies enable cross-geography business processes. It also includes HR managing employees, working at different locations and unifying new cultures.

Shilpa Vaid

“In every industry, from insurance to retail, automation is happening rapidly. Reskilling the workforce is one of the most important agendas for the organisations.”

 

The book launch was followed by a panel discussion on the skill gap in today’s workforce and how the future workforce, ‘the milleninals’, can be engaged to perform better and give good results. Hosting the panel discussion was Alka Gulati, director-HR and administration, Hughes Communications. Some of the industry HR experts and business leaders participating in the discussion were, Raj Raghvan SVP- HR, Indigo, Shilpa Vaid, CHRO, Arvind Lifestyle Brands, Vivek Khanna, managing director, First Advantage and Paul Dupuis, managing director and CEO, Randstad India.

The discussion highlighted the skill gap, which is the most vital issue in India concerning the young workforce. Dupuis shared a shocking fact that in India out of five million people who acquire higher education, only 34 per cent are employable. Companies are making efforts in their organisations to reskill their employees for the future and fulfil the demands of business operations. “In every industry, from insurance to retail, automation is happening rapidly. Reskilling the workforce is one of the most important agendas for the organisations,” opines Vaid.

Vaid also shares that in their organisation they have introduced a mobile learning app called I-learn where employees can customise their learning and learn whatever they wish, wherever they want to, through their mobile phones.

Raj Raghvan

“Millenials form an interesting breed, which is immensely gifted and possesses a perpetually learning attitude. These are people who want instant gratification, so organisations need to update themselves constantly and with the help of data analysis collect information fast and in an accurate manner.”

Dupuis says, “For companies it is important to not just hire the right skills but also provide them with the right onboarding and re-skilling programmes.”

With millennials set to make up the lion’s share of the workforce in India, it is very important to understand them and keep them engaged at all times.

According to Raghvan, “Millenials form an interesting breed, which is immensely gifted and possesses a perpetually learning attitude. These are people who want instant gratification, so organisations need to update themselves constantly and with the help of data analysis collect information fast and in an accurate manner.”

Paul Dupuis

“In our study, we found that they want to be a part of an organisation, which gives them attention; they want to be part of the team and be involved in the decision-making process.”

 

Adding to Raghav’s comment, Khanna mentioned “I see apps, such as Uber and Ola update their interface every 48 hours, and the new generation wants something new every day. They expect the same thing from the organisations, so companies need to update their policies and culture every day. “

Refuting Raghav’s statement, Vaid says, “At the core, we are all the same. Every generation can learn and adapt to the new workplace. It is very important for the organisations to ready their workforce for the future.”

Interestingly, Dupuis revealed that their research brought to light that amongst the factors that attract millennials the most to an organisation or job, the one that ranked number 1 was the need to have a leader worth admiring.

Vivek Khanna

“I see apps, such as Uber and Ola update their interface every 48 hours, and the new generation wants something new every day. They expect the same thing from the organisations, so companies need to update their policies and culture every day. “

Khanna adds, “It is not just about wanting a leader, millennials want to work with role models and become role models themselves for the upcoming generation.”

“In our study, we found that they want to be a part of an organisation, which gives them attention; they want to be part of the team and be involved in the decision-making process,” adds Dupuis.

Clearly, engaging millennials is one of the functions that HR needs to focus on. “Our organisation has an AI technology, which asks our employees working at the stores, ‘How are you?’ Whenever more sad faces are seen in responses, it is observed that it affects the performance of the stores as well,” shares Vaid.

Technology is growing rapidly and now people have started questioning its impact on their jobs. It is feared that many jobs will be automated due to technological advancement. Commenting on this, Dupuis cited the example of the time when conveyor belts and the Internet were introduced to the world, and people worried about machines taking away their jobs. But things turned out differently. More jobs were created instead.

It is very important to embrace machines. Humans have to work with machines, hand in hand, to make progress.

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