To say that the conference, DARE -A BOLD NEW HR, was a successful one is an understatement. With 1000+ delegates listening to the thoughts shared by over 70 speakers, social media was agog as #SHRM16 trended during the days- with over 10000 tweets and 45 million impressions. A lot of the action has been documented/ reinforced by many already, and so I shall stick to reflecting on the impact it had on me!
Pramod Bhasin shared his journey in creating a new industry (BPO) in the 90s that provided more than a million jobs, and touching lives of more Indian families alluded that context was going to be different. India would soon form about 35% of the global workforce, and the changing aspirations ( loyalty, tenure, willingness to be mobile) would need an (HR) mindset that encourages more risk-taking, building of leaders, breaking rules to ensure innovation and competitiveness.
Sharing that only 13% of the global workforce was highly engaged, Jim Keane treated us to some insights on a survey about how workplace had an impact on employee engagement. and drove home the point that meaningful work was the crux.
There were a lot of interesting panels – debating, crystal gazing and showcasing some best practices in the industry. A mixture of some banter, some prepared presentations, some last minute dropouts forcing some to get think on their feet (yes,some self plugs)-and a lot of clichéd jargons as there were a bunch of parallel sessions. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, borderless talent, actionable insights, struggle to make sense of data, and application of technology for sourcing, L&D etc. For one, the predictive diversity modelling example -ie deep data analysis that led to the adoption of the extension of maternity leave.
To me, the deliberations of Talent acquisition & management resonated the best- perhaps because of the mix of the practitioners on the panel –who debated on the pros and cons of the industry adopting technology and digital faster than ever.
-Candidate experience was a popular share. Given that companies reject more than they select, is it time to have a new metric “Consideration Index’ –the likelihood of the employer being considered by rejected aspirants?
-No longer about individual productivity as the aligning factor, while hiring but effectiveness in a team.
-Hiring with a view of the capability of the future, not the traditional rear view mirror approach.
-While one can perhaps use technology to predict attrition, can it be used to prevent from happening? Especially when a replacement is rarely ‘like for like’, but in realitythe replacement is often done with some additional skills thrown in..for the new hire.
Yet another interesting presentation that I liked was the one by Pamela, Dave and Jonasevangelising the power personal branding. The Dos & don'ts .Myths, stories, on how to position oneself with the 4-5 generations of colleagues, use of different platforms/tools to cross-pollinate content to connect with people better with conversations.
Amitabh Kant's perspective of how the Indian Government is sensitive to 'ease of doing business' was energising. Eloquently quoting statistics about the increasing impact of India ( country with larger area than 24 European countries put together, 65% of population of India belonging to East India), for the Nation to grow @9%, there is a need for 12 Champion States to grow at over 12% -and compete -not just in providing access but quality of education. In a bid to transform India by accelerating the pace of disruption, tapping the energy of young India. the key was
-to enhance the productivity per person, not just merely increase in jobs
-to redesign labour laws keeping the socialistic society in mind
-HR professionals to use technology to leapfrog as global markets needs companies of larger size and scale -especially if India were to move from an agricultural to a manufacturing revolution.
Deep Kalra shared some inspiring thoughts about entrepreneurship, and the importance of the team more than the idea, hiring being more an art than science, to create a culture where people enjoy their days of work so that ' they brim with confidence and seek the chance to change the world'. "Culture is the glue which makes all the magic happen. A company is as great as its culture is'. 'Hire for values -but with skill diversity.'
All in all, it was a perfect setting for the book launch of Abhijit Bhaduri's The Digital Tsunami on how the jobs of the future digital world are going to be different from those we have seen in the analog world. The dare-will each of us who anyway are in sync, make it a point to share the book with the youth in tier2/3 towns personally? Or through Corporates donate books to colleges 'in any town of your choice'- so that the next generation is aware of the demands of the digital world. Abhijit has promised to spend an hour -for every 1000 books donated to such colleges -coaching the students in terms of the opportunities that the digital world is going to throw open!
Oh yes,there were some interesting one-liners that stuck with me. I loved the quip made by Jonas about Facebook being like an old girlfriend -that one cannot dump after investing so much time in the past :)!
Sonali Roychowdhury " fall in love with the problem, not the solution". The need for a HR professional to be "credible activist" ( knowledge to influence) and a 'network integrator".