“Legacy skills are as important as the disruptive next-gen skills,” Kishore GR

In an inorganic growth, HR due diligence brings forth every aspect of the organisation’s strengths and areas of challenge. In conversation with Kishore GR senior vice president HR, Mphasis for HRKatha 2019 Forecast.

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More power to HR in 2019

It has been quite a while since HR in the IT industry evolved from being governing bodies and facilitators to partners. HR has now made its presence a necessity at the centre table of business discussions and growth plans. Irrespective of the organisations’ intention to grow organically or inorganically, HR’s contribution is immense. To elaborate, in an organic growth scenario, when an organisation is pitching for new business in new markets/technology, HR insight on the sociocultural texture, existing laws of the land and talent availability amongst many other things helps in the deal-related decision making. In an inorganic growth, HR due diligence brings forth every aspect of the organisation’s strengths and areas of challenge — from talent quality, culture of the company, leadership vision, commitment, ethical practices and so on — which are essential to makeany merger and acquisition (M&A) a successful integration.

The role of unions in the IT industry is minimal and will have lesser prominence. One must ensure this does not make space for bad practices in the industry.

The biggest challenge for HR in your sector

HR in your sector Among other challenges, a significant one is maintaining the balance between legacy skills and next-gen skills. We are in the times where the legacy skills are as important as the disruptive next-gen skills, and the fact remains that both the sections of the talent pool bring in diversity. It becomes vital for HR to blend the two and provide necessary interventions to bridge the gap between skill differences or cultural differences.

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Unionisation of employees: a big challenge in 2019

Unionisation as we all know came into existence to provide the workforce with proper working conditions, wages, benefits, transparency in operations and similar requirements. The IT industry has evolved and there are different tools, procedures and departments which have helped overcome these basic needs. Hence, the role of unions in the IT industry is minimal and will have lesser prominence. One must ensure this does not make space for bad practices in the industry.

Developing new skillsets for the future workforce

Skill upliftment is a necessity for existence and no more a ‘good to have’. Once this message becomes the norm, acceptance will be easier. Organisations must create different learning platforms, classroom training, virtual training, access to digitallyenabled content, real-time curation of content, mock projects, designsimulated environments for workforce to participate /experiment their learning, and set up skill communities.

Introduction of policies/practices that encourage a learning environment plays a vital role

(i) Compensation structures, variable pay and salary increases should be viewed from a different lens

(ii) Performance evaluation practices should consider the fact that individuals are getting into unknown terrains

(iii)Coaching to the workforce on how to handle current assignments while transitioning to newer skills/projects will enable minimal disruption to the business and individuals. Finally, equipping leaders with the right tools/frameworks to help the workforce acclimatise in the newer environment/skills will go a long way in the upskilling journey.

India is very much party to the gig economy, but we still have some social stigma and supply-chain issues to address.

Role of HR in the temp workforce

India is very much party to the gig economy, but we still have some social stigma and supply-chain issues to address. Skill wise, there is no difference in temporary and permanent workers. While we do need the temporary workforce, the fact remains that temp workers are not available in abundance as compared with some other nations.

The gig economy will play a crucial role in the coming years as we require special skills on a temporary basis. We will welcome the concept of the temporary workforce, but there is still a lot of work required to cross the bridge and strengthen the infrastructure of supply chain for the temp workforce in India. I believe if the workforce is able to view the various options that are lined up for them and the opportunities available to them, through the agencies at the end of one project, the insecurity and stigma will lift.

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