“Collaboration is cultural but it needs framework,” Geethaa Ghaneckar

In conversation with Geethaa Ghaneckar , CHRO Raheja Universal on 'HRKatha 2019 Forecast' talks about the changing trends in HR and how HRs need to carefully make a choice on the new HR technologies that are coming up rapidly.



More power to HR in 2019

As technology takes a place of honour in all facets of HR, it’s important to ensure that we work harder to keep the humanness in human resource alive. Digitisation will help us release time from the more mundane, repetitive and time-consuming tasks. It is our responsibility to then use this time to enhance the one-on-one connect and deepen our understanding of employees through meaningful interactions. This will help further customise our offering, making jobs and engagement richer, leading to better productivity.

2019 will also see HR heads belabour on the choice of what is useful technology and what isn’t so as to not get into something because it is the new shining object.

Leadership hiring will also be an important agenda. With business life cycles shortening and relevance of longterm strategy reducing, the need to get the leadership team right is becoming so critical. Fortunately, there are tools now that help reduce the risks but at the end of the day picking the right fit is always a little subjective.

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Lastly, HR will play a central role in creating a fair and inclusive workplace with a larger focus on diversity next year and in the years to come.

“2019 will also see HR heads belabour on the choice of what is useful technology and what isn’t so as to not get into something because it is the new shining object”

The biggest challenge for HR in your sector

The real-estate sector is going through a difficult phase. While there is no dearth of talent availability, good quality niche talent is always in short supply. That’s a challenge.

One of the biggest gaps that can be filled progressively is building better managers. This is a brick and mortar industry, literally. Long-serving leaders grow in their careers on account of their experience. Traditionally, in this sector, unlike other industries, there is not enough investment on building people management capability. Therefore, it’s a lot easier to find a good technical senior resource than someone who is also a well-rounded leader.


AI-based recruitment – the differentiator

AI-based recruitment helps cut levels of assessment and expedite the turnaround time on hiring. But the big differentiator it can bring, if managed well, is that of removing recruiter bias to a larger extent.

Perennial issues — weakened productivity, high turnover rates, and a lack of team collaboration and innovation

That’s true and much is being done to impact each of these areas. It is also a continuous effort and one can never reach a place where you have done enough. Turnover is not such a big issue for this industry. A large section of our employees is long serving and there are also many who would have worked start to end in one organisation.

“Innovation is the lifeblood of modern business. Look for impact, Look for simplicity”

However, other issues on productivity, innovation and collaboration are perennial. Continuous skill development, use of productivity tools, talent renewal, and so on, are good ways to impact productivity.

Collaboration is cultural, but it needs systems and a built-in framework to make it a natural way of working. Just expecting employees to bring a collaborative mindset isn’t good enough.

Innovation is the lifeblood of modern business. A lot of innovation is happening in terms of business models, go-to-customer strategies, as well as product and pricing strategies across all sectors. This requires serious unlearning and learning, use of design thinking principles and deep data analytics to instil insighting and zero-based thinking in the company, which is the fulcrum of an innovative culture.

Less is more: HR to cut steps and create more impactful and innovative initiatives

I strongly vote for less is more. Look for impact. Look for simplicity. Establish feedback loops and stay grounded.

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