“Temping is moving from transactional roles to specialised technology jobs,” Rattan Chugh

Talking about the the new employee engagement technology and AI based measuring tools adopted by Times internet, Rattan Chugh, Chief people officer, Times internet in conversation on HRKatha 2019 Forecast.

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More power to HR in 2019

The two key themes for HR in 2019 will be:

Differentiate or lose: 2019 will be a year of opportunities for great talent, and maintaining status quo in how we manage talent will cost heavy. There won’t be a dearth of choices for talented people and an organisation’s work culture and people practices will become a key differentiator. Some companies will falter and some will rise to the occasion. The proactive ones will manage to attract and retain super talented people who will influence business results in a big way. HR will be needed to lead this differentiation by focussing on the right initiatives and effective deployment of technology.

Less is more: 2019 is the year when HR will need to roll out high-impact initiatives, to drive employee experience and engagement. Instead of making incremental changes, it will be important to identify a few big changes that will make employees go “Wow!” and focus energies on them.

HR technology will become a true ‘system of productivity’

It is not only about driving productivity but also about ensuring personalisation in talent management through technology. ‘One size fits all’ just doesn’t work anymore and every organisation is a medley of talent segments, each with their own needs and aspirations. Technology can be used to have direct access to your employees’ needs and desires and also to understand what they are good at (that can be leveraged) and what they need to get better at.

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Technology will allow HR to be more human

It is an immediate reality. Technology expands your reach and ability to influence the quality of employee experience, much more rapidly than any HR structure or other intervention can. At TIL we have deployed an AI-assisted tool that helps us understand every employee’s perspective and engagement with the organisation. We are also piloting a skill tool to understand and leverage our skill capabilities as an organisation and help employees achieve their aspirations.

“2019 is the year when instead of making incremental changes, it will be important to identify a few big changes that will make employees go “Wow!” and focus energies on them”

AI-based recruitment – the differentiator

Most tools do look similar and there is hardly any attempt to change the fundamental approach to recruitment and selection. Mostly they are repackaging the concepts and applications into something that looks more contemporary due to gamification and a friendly user interface. I think there is a need to reinvent the fundamental concepts and/or how it is being applied in order to build tools that are plug-and-play and credible to the hirer. This has been done for engagement, for instance, where we have moved away from the conventional employee-engagement measuring models to something that’s fundamentally different in its approach — AI tools that measure mood scores based on employee lifecycle milestones and interpret data based on a combination of scores, responses and milestones. We do not have one set of questions, any longer, for all employees to understand how they feel.

“I think there is a need to reinvent the fundamental concepts of AI-based recruitment and/or how it is being applied in order to build tools that are plug-and-play and credible to the hirer”

Role of HR in the temp workforce

Temping is picking up and we’ll see more of it in 2019. Earlier, it used to be mainly utilised for transactional roles, but we are witnessing an upsurge of it in specialised technology jobs, especially for short-term project-based interventions, where a temp hire makes more economic sense. Many agencies are specialising in this and the turnaround is pretty decent. However, there is still a stigma attached to temping specially for tech and other specialised roles in India, and people still prefer permanent on-the-roll jobs. In the West, temping is seen as a way to have a flexible work schedule and to choose when one wants to work and when not. This is a big attitudinal change and there are signs that the trend will quickly pick up in India as well.

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