Sunday, May 06, 2018

Listed in SHRM India's 'Top 30 Indian #HR Influencers Active on #SocialMedia'

Over the last week, SHRM just concluded their Tech Conference in Hyderabad. This year too they brought out a list of 30 most influential HR people on social media.

#Humble Brag - I am delighted to be featured in this list!

Here is the link for more details on the methodology, and the list of the individual names.

Personally, this is the third time I made it into the list in the 5 years that SHRM has complied it, and dedicate this 'recognition' to Gautam Ghosh, for it was he, who handheld in to my foray into Blogging, about 13 years ago. ( the term 'social media' wasn't known then!!)

And during this time, I was bestowed with beginners luck, as I found myself amongst some top recruitment blogs. Blogging made one google-able then, and of course it was Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter that perhaps been changing the game since.

Yes,I was fortunate to be listed twice in the list of top 20 by SHRM in 2013 & 2107.I must confess that the first time I was overwhelmed-and when it happen later after a gap,I didn't think I would belong there for too long :)!

Photo image courtesy Vijay Bankar

So this year, I must confess my self to be lucky myself in the top 5 for the first time. And I feel it is entirely because the algorithm (methodology adopted by SHRM) incorporated the number of followers, and the engagement on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and the Klout score. #this too shall pass

I am very much conscious, that as the world now sees more millennials coming in to the workforce, the future would be engagement on Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest and the like, and I am severely challenged on those fronts now!!

To me, social media has been the window to the world of learning. Be it blogging, or the social networks, or the engagement platforms, it is simply amazing to note that the universe of networking is at one's finger tips. 

I have been essentially following thought leaders across different domains, and curating information, it helps me to relate to the ecosystem very well, and stay relevant. They say the Six degrees of separation has since reduced. Facebook (in 2011) said that the average person was separated by 4.57 degrees-and it is now supposed to 3.something!

I know a lot of us are skeptical about these lists, but I am increasingly learning it helps, as more like an indicative reading index, and access to the extended network. It helps us stay abreast with the best practises in various domains

In this world,where Google is the GOD on the information highway, we have some exits -to connect and engage with some individuals who can help us be enlightened with some insights.

Please do feel free to reach me- if I can add value to your network. It is possible that I can help you connect to someone-who might be able to connect you to the person you need :)!

And meanwhile, feel free follow any of the twitter handles, among others, and be abreast on the latest in the HR domain in India. Again courtesy Vijay Bankar!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

#SHRMTech18 - Reflections & Takeaways

Revolutionising HR Technology was the theme of the conference in Hyderabad last week. The above photograph perhaps gives an idea of the #futureofwork. The Emcee for the inaugural session was MITRA the 'experienced' humanoid!! (Mitra has already met Mr Narendra Modi, Ms Ivanka Trump, apart from handling customers in some Banks and Hospitals.)

Well, a lot was shared, deliberated, debated -and discussed, and one can easily get the online footprints if one were to google for "SHRMTech18". Information is passe- for me, the interactions and insights are the ones that make the difference. Here is a summary on twitter!
1) The Employee experience
The keynote address by Vineet Nayar dwelled on "Organisational Transformation", revolved more on how the HR should first be transformed. It was humbling to note -that a person of his stature, and experience impacting not just the corporate world , but also in "frugal innovation led large scale social change", shared some thoughts on how, we, who are perhaps great managers of the "ants" (of the industrial economy) ought to be thinking of managing "butterflies" ( the new generation in the interconnected economy). And would you believe, his preparation involved crowdsourcing of thoughts/experiences on Linkedin-
-What impact an HR person has in an employee’s success. High/ medium/ low/ none?
- What should an HR person do MORE?
- What should an HR person do LESS?
-Will Organization performance increase if they adopt an employee first philosophy?
(please review -#priceless there were over 300 comments from practicising professionals)
2) Content is for sharing. The Context is the king!
Niel Nickolaisen shared a well researched study on creating a workplace culture that attracts, retains and develops talent. And he walked the talk by sharing his email id- for those want a copy of the 40+ slides he presented as well as the 250 page ebook " The Agile Culture".
3) Change is the new Constant.
While most speakers related to how we easily we adopt technology in our personal daily lives, and alluded to the bureaucracy at the work place(" try ordering a pen or a pen drive at office"), the 1000+ audience were enlightened as a bureaucrat, IT Secretary to Telangana Govt Mr Jayesh Ranjan narrated some of the innovative work done in Skilling courtesy TASK. He rattled the way -the paradigm has shifted with the Government intervention in students being taught Tizen (Samsungs OS), setting up training schools to cater to Apple's dev centre, and Wipro admitting the 'trained graduates' now needed just 15 days to be deployed on projects ( compared to 180 earlier!!)!
The variety of topics needed concurrent sessions to cover the entire gamut of discussions across products, services, new forms, Tech talks, Demos, apart from the informal chats across the networking sessions. Guess I cant do any justice trying to convey the charged energies -thanks to Sunita Bhuyan who demonstrated how "Music for Wellness" can be used as an alternative approach to L&D!! And ofcourse an aggressive "safron clad" moderatorPankaj Bansal who got the audience glued to their seats on a Friday evening as he goaded a set of 3 HR leaders and 3 Business leaders to go at each other -about the future of HR- with the buzzer et al!
As a person who has seen the ringside exposure of the disruptions technology has had on business in the last 3 decades,I come back relieved-there is no real need for the gloom and doom around-there is enough and more for those who are sensitive to the changing needs of the ecosystem, and learn, unlearn and relearn. 
Abhijit Bhaduri -who topped the list of 30 HR Influencers in India using social media, attributed his thanks to the 650.000+ follower community- who he calls 'the largest board of advisors' for reading, commenting and advising him !!
Psst..for those who feel threatened by the rise of AI, ML, Bots and others, here is something to reflect..we humans have a little more time to get our act together !

Monday, April 23, 2018

Technology, Millennials and Gig Economy: Will it make HR Obsolete? #SHRMTech18

HR as a function has gone through significant changes over the last few years due to the evolution of technologies/ digitisation etc. Today AI has a huge impact on the way companies hire, manage, and engage with the employees.

Earlier this month, as a precursor to the SHRM HR Tech Conference 2018, SHRM Forum had organised a interesting event.

Nitya Nivali was to have moderated the session along with on the above topic along with industry experts Revathy  ReddySravantiChekragari and Asim Rizvi, to deliberate issues like 

· What’s changing in HR due to technology advancements and automation?

· Advent of new technologies,AI,AR,VR,Chatbots,Blockchain etc.shift in the way talent gets managed

· Which part of HR can be replaced and what will survive?

· What role will HR play in the future? How can HR be better prepared?

· What are organizations doing to develop newer, relevant HR skills in the context of digital transformation?

What transpired was a truly 'Design thinking' approach. Given that the audience was a motley mix of HR professionals along with Consultants, and Service providers -or rather practitioners, the esteemed panel decided to instead convert it into a Round Table -to engage and interact with the group.

It was perhaps among the best learning experiences, as all chipped in with different perspectives across the ecosystem .One cannot but not mention that Sunil  sensitised the operational issues, and Ramlal Waghray, a technologist turned entrepreneur, triggered us to think beyond the surface.

Here is a gist of the proceeding as Nitya very succintly summarised the deliberations - 

AI is poised to be and will continue to be a game changer
AI powered technologies like Chat bot, VR etc combined with human experience and judgement will drive companies to success
both humans and machines - the combination would be critical to success - AI powered with human capabilities would bring in more effective and intelligent HR solutions

What is in for HR 
Disinclination towards adopting technology can prove disastrous for business
Train yourselves; be cognizant of the fact that digitisation makes life easy, make yourselves aware what AI as a technology can bring in transformation  - and yes, focus on leveraging AI shift clearly is from transactional HR to transformational HR

Well, the format was so engaging, that quite a few of us participants, stayed back to have private tete a tete, with a promise to network and learn more, offline also :)!

Photo courtesy Vijay Vedantam

Want to deliberate more on this topic?  We have William Tincup giving the key note on the topic on 27th April,as he shares his view points on how Artificial Intelligence has impacted Human Resources function and more so specific to Recruitment. In this session, he would also bring in the comparisions between the leverage of AI technologies in India and the West.

Its still not too late..Just 3 days to go..Register here :)!

PS : Yours truly is honoured to be amongst the blogsquad -do give me a shout if you are there. Else follow @achyutmenon for keeping abreast.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Weekend Smiles..All in a days work!

Only a recruiter would understand!!

Keeping Organisations Future Ready

Time to recharge, refocus, and renew.
The countdown has begun. The SHRM India HR Technology Conference in Hyderabad has over a 1000 delegates registered to listen to over 70 speakers and engage in a knowledge/breakout sessions.
Shweta has already shared some of the exciting pointers for us to be keyed into. For me, it is a great opportunity to discern between the 'noise' online, and engage a few to get some the insights on what could keep us more relevant in the coming days. (I believe there are at least 15 different personas of "Conference-goers', though I have always found it most beneficial tuning to Kavi for making the most out of conferences!! )
As a person who has had the ringside view of the changing landscape in Talent acquisition, I am keen to know of the approaches/best practices in hiring and retention. And particularly what is being done with respect the first basic step of hiring- Scoping. It is ironic that most job descriptions are at best laundry lists, or even cut paste jobs-hardly in sync with the life cycle of the company's growth-with very little attempt to supplement, (if not complement) the in-house skills. Sourcing and Screening have already seen a lot of changes, courtesy AI and ML, and perhaps speed up the process-but one must realise the difference between commodities and human beings !! Selection and Retention need a personalised touch that can build on the analytics and predictive models -to create a better impact.
What will be the new buzz words this time? Which are the new stalls that will get most footfalls will be interesting. Personally, I have been a little disappointed that the mortality rates of most HR Tech startups has been high-over the past few years. Some of them perhaps, solving the pain points that the promoters grappled with- weren't game changing enough -while a lot of them have been gobbled up by bigger players. I shall be glad to be corrected. ( Will be keen to follow Peoplestrong -they have been growing bigger and bigger every conference!)
Do check out the agenda here.
Should you be dropping by at the event, please do give me a shout. It would be wonderful to catch up over a cuppa coffee and compare notes.
Anyway, please do stay tuned by following some of us, part of the Blogging Squad, on twitter-you can be there will be a lot of bytes being shared on #SHRMTech18.
Let's meet up!!

Monday, February 26, 2018

#Careers. Can we afford to let someone retire??

Time to reflect if retirement is a myth!!

CREDIT: Getty Images

  • When the retirement age of 60/65 was mooted back in the 1950s or so, the average life expectancy was 61! Today average life expectancy is just under 80 years.
  • In fact, the percent of the workforce representing workers over 60 has doubled since 1992. We are heading for a economic disaster by ignoring the implications of increased life and work-life expectancy.
"Advances in longevity are making supporting retirement for another 20 to 30 years impossible for 90% of all workers."
A recent Guardian article about research on aging and retirement cast an interesting light on the topic.  Healthy retirees who worked a year longer (over the age of 65) had an 11% lower all-cause mortality risk. Even the unhealthy group reduced their likelihood of dying by 9% if they delayed retirement." An analysis on the study was also published in the Harvard Business Review.
And think of it - there is certainly some evidence that working longer, especially at something you love to do, contributes to a sense of well-being and purpose that may increase longevity and certainly the quality of your life.

Time to change the way we look ?

- Retirement was seen as a release from bondage--the liberating act from a lifetime of work. They were built for time when most work was manual, labor intensive, when brains were less valuable than brawn. In a world where knowledge is the universal currency for creating value, can we convert the experience of a lifetime - differently?

- With tenures in employment reducing, increasing technology to help automate the mundane and the routine, perhaps there is a case in leveraging remote working, part -time work, telecommuting? Add to the wealth of experience someone in the 60+ age brings, it could even help orchestrate a network of freelancers, and outsourced workers -perhaps  today one can achieve in 20 hours a week -than 40 earlier?

-Focus on the quality of the work, rather the quantity? Encourage more sabbaticals? More collaborative efforts in the gig economy? While the millenials can be depended on creativity and short term projects, do we see the retired folks complementing?

- Would we see 'retired ' employees as part of the Diversity & Inclusiveness policies of organisations soon? 

Well, seems like exciting times. And yes -the caveat? One needs to be constantly learning, unlearning, and re-learning.

Or am I missing something? Will love your inputs..

Friday, February 23, 2018

Book Review : "Competing on Talent in Today’s Business World" written by Mr Pradeep Sahay

It is uncanny that, even after 25 years in the hiring solutions business, I hardly find any top notch recruitment practitioner who doesn’t confess that she/he forayed into Recruitment/Talent Acquisition by chance, luck or fate. I cannot remember anyone ever saying that when they grew up they wanted to be a recruiter/TA specialist!
And it has always psyched me. 
Time and again we hear: “People aren’t the best assets. The RIGHT people are.” But very little seems to have been done to institutionalize recruiting/ talent acquisition (TA) as a profession. 
Probing more deeply, I find that often, the TA role is perhaps an entry level role, at times even delegated to a contract employee – to a career in the HR domain, where people aspire to do more glamorous roles in Training, Organisation Development, Performance Management, and so on. 
Not many have found their way to the corner office. And so there are hardly any ‘role models’ that have inspired generations to consciously pursue a career in Recruitment/Talent Acquisition.
Consequently, the book Competing on Talent in Today’s Business World is – to me – manna from heaven! 
Pradeep Sahay’s book is the foundation for potential professionals to make a mark in Talent Acquisition. 
-Both the science and art of hiring have been dealt with very meticulously. 
-Enormous research has gone into collating hundreds of papers and articles from across the world to authenticate the findings, 
-Hundreds of tables and visual aids help the reader to assimilate the theory effectively. 
-And there is also an amazing range of templates that help us to get to the “Why” and figure out the “What” and “How”.
And just as one is assimilating these thoughts, the detailed case study (applying the principles to an organisation named Sigma group) leaves one fortified with concepts that have developed over time. It helps us understand how TA has transformed companies into “Great Places to Work” – from mere transactions that are part of the everyday life of hiring.
I would not hesitate to call this book the “Grey’s Anatomy” equivalent to help readers become the finest Talent Acquisition professionals! 
It is surely a textbook that ought to find its way into the best educational institutes – and hungry organisations – and ought to be a handbook that every TA professional can regularly refresh her/himself with.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

#mustread :3 Reasons Global Firms Should Keep Investing in India

HBR recently published this article.

And Abhijit Bhaduri  produced this visual.  There is no way one can express it better.

Happy reading

Please do feel free to reach me -we help companies find talent they cannot find themselves. 

Options for professionals of Indian origin and international experience !!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

AI- Bane or Boon for Recruiters?

Image courtesy HR Talent IQ

There are so many theories predicting dooms days ahead in the next 10-12 years
-McKinsey argues that demand for work will increase as automation grows. Technology will drive productivity growth, which will in turn lead to rising incomes and consumption, especially in developing countries. Meanwhile, there will be more jobs in health care to meet the demands of aging societies and more investment in infrastructure and energy. For these benefits to be realised, everyone needs to gain new skills, with governments and private companies taking on the unprecedented task of retraining millions of people in the middle of their careers.
- Accenture predicts that by 2030, the only full time jobs that exist would be the C-Suite roles. The rest would either be automated, or outsourced -and if not be done by freelancers.
With the reducing tenure of employment, it is anybody's guess that the present pricing models -linked to annual salaries would eventually change?
With the mortality rates of businesses increasing, would they be really invested in the careers of their employees?
Are we seeing larger companies building their own internal/in-house recruitment teams -and reducing the dependence on third party firms?
Do we see recruitment models being changed?
Recruiting is no longer about Networks and Convenience.
Is the future of recruiting in Candidate Management + Marketing! With thousands of firms selling to the same HR Audience, it definitely going to be getting tougher. The smart recruiters are going to leverage the digital tools to Market to Clients better and pull them in by creating specific and exclusive talent pools that they alone have access to?
Perhaps we would be better off -managing 'rejected' candidates, and building a niche talent pool- and managing their careers?
Just like private bankers help High Networth individuals manage their financial assets, do we, as recruiters have our roles cut out to become trusted advisors. Surely, for professionals, careers are much as a financial asset-that needs to be managed ?
What are your views on this? Would love to hear.