More power to HR in 2019
In 2019, power will mean exercising greater influence and creating higher impact, but with lesser authority. To become more powerful, HR must give up power. Increasing their credibility is an important and necessary condition for them to be able to influence and impact higher order business outcomes. Credibility is about competence. The business environment is changing rapidly, creating significant business and people challenges. HR must build a sound understanding of the business and industry backed by strong domain knowledge of human capital management concepts and practice.
This will give HR the brand permission to play a significant role in building an environment of trust, an opportunity to participate in setting the direction for the organisation, develop new capabilities and help raise the overall level of consciousness leading to higher contribution.
“While AI can improve hiring efficiency, accuracy and speed, it cannot replace the innate ability that a human being possesses to ascertain the right fit”
The biggest challenge for HR in your sector
HR’s biggest challenge in consulting is how they can help build a more customer-centric organisation. This will mean building a talent pool with the right skills and knowledge required to engage and retain customers. Today, there is a heightening of competition coupled with a mushrooming of independent freelancers in the market, resulting in many more choices being available to customers when it comes to partnering with a consultant. In 2019 and beyond, the ability to present and differentiate the value proposition, and meaningfully engage and retain the customer, will be an increasingly difficult task for every consulting company.
“HR’s biggest challenge in consulting is how they can help build a more customer-centric organisation”
Earlier, consulting was a very attractive career choice for people because it promised an accelerated learning curve along with a higher salary compared to other industries. This has changed over time, and there has been an equalisation of pay with other industries. While consulting still provides variety and speed in learning through exposure across industries and geographies, the toll on work–life balance has only worsened. Many individuals, especially the young workforce, are taking a more balanced and holistic view while making career choices. Today, the big challenge for HR professionals in consulting organisations is to attract the best talent and have them stay with the organisation.
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Personalised people policy – one size doesn’t fit all
In 2019, there will be greater efforts put in by organisations to build a deeper understanding of the needs and preferences of their workforce. The focus will shift from generic employee policies to tailor-made policies, though in general organisations will still frame their decisions keeping in mind the majority. However, the future will see these policies better aligned and with sharper focus. While there will be an attempt to take care of the needs of the minority with the objective of being more inclusive, decisions on introducing such new policies will be based on a cost vs benefit analysis.
“To become more powerful, HR must give up power”
Role of HR in the temp workforce
The temp workforce in India is on the rise and I see the trend continuing in 2019. The role of HR will entail developing an eco-system that allows for such a workforce to co-exist with full-time employees. This will mean developing ways and means to ensure that the temp workforce feels equally valued and is not treated any differently. Needless to say, sourcing such a workforce with the right capabilities at the right cost, onboarding them quickly and ensuring they are culturally integrated will remain key considerations.
AI-based recruitment – the differentiator
Well, the differentiator is really about being able to identify, assess and select the talent that is best suited to the requirement of an organisation. Artificial intelligence makes the recruitment process cheaper, faster and better. However, being a good judge of talent is a must for any talent acquisition specialist. While AI can improve hiring efficiency, accuracy and speed, it cannot replace the innate ability that a human being possesses to ascertain the right fit.
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