Sumit Sarabhai, Business Head-Emerging Vertical, TeamLease Services, says that to adapt to the changing needs of organisations in the evolving HR landscape, individuals must continue to adapt, learn and stay updated with industry trends. He also puts emphasis on the importance of acquiring soft skills like communication, empathy and problem-solving.
Elaborating further, Sarabhai lists the numerous skill sets required for HR professionals to plan their careers better:
- Talent acquisition: Understanding of recruitment technologies, sourcing techniques and data analytics
- HR business partner: Data analysis, strategic thinking and business acumen
- Learning & development: E-learning tools, and design and delivery of training modules with new technology and tools
- Diversity, equity & inclusion: Cultural competence, DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) strategy development, bias training and experience in creating inclusive workplaces
- HR technology/HRIS management: Proficiency in HRIS systems, data management, analytics and understanding of emerging HR technologies
- Workforce planning: Data analytics, forecasting, workforce modelling and strategic planning
- HR analytics: Data analysis, data visualisation, statistical analysis and proficiency in HR analytics tools
- Remote work/global HR: Cross-cultural communication, remote work policy development, global labour law knowledge and virtual team management
- Cyber security and data privacy HR: Data security, privacy compliance, and understanding of cyber security threats in HR data
Avita Hazarika, General Manager-Human Capital Management of MAIA Estates, a real estate organisation that has been implementing new-age HR practices, says the hybrid work model has reshaped the skill set demands for HR professionals. “They now require digital proficiency to manage remote work tools, oversee virtual recruitment and implement online HR solutions. HR must excel in remote team management, ensuring productive and well-connected teams.”
She adds that using data analytics for data-driven decision-making, ensuring diversity and inclusion in the workforce, as well as possessing legal acumen, effective communication skills and conflict resolution strategies can assist HR professionals in navigating through the complexities of handling a diverse workforce.
How can data and tech help HR professionals perform their roles better?
Sarabhai says that data and technology can empower HR professionals to work more efficiently, make data-driven decisions, enhance employee experiences and adapt to changing workforce dynamics. However, it’s crucial to not just implement tools, but also develop the skills to analyse and interpret the data effectively to be able to leverage technology to its full potential. Listing the numerous ways in which data and tech can be of incredible help to the HR department, Sarabhai says applicant tracking systems can simplify the talent acquisition process; e-learning and training tools can ensure employees are up-to-date with the required skills and processes; analytics tools can forecast talent needs, employee turnover, absenteeism and workforce trends.Hazarika of MAIA Estates says technological advancements have improved the overall efficiency of the HR department. Applicant tracking systems have revolutionised recruitment by automating various tasks, and analytics tools aid HR professionals to seamlessly align the HR strategies with broader business goals. Furthermore, she says HR information systems (HRIS) automate tedious administrative tasks like payroll and benefits management, enabling HR personnel to allocate more time and resources to strategic initiatives.
How can HR roles be enabled to become more critical for business growth?
The recent spate of layoffs has impacted HR roles, too. What’s clear is that these people-facing roles must also be connected with business-growth requirements.
Sarabhai says that to enable the HR role to become more strategic for business growth, organisations must undergo a fundamental shift in their perception of HR from a transactional and administrative function to a dynamic and strategic partner. Besides, HR professionals should immerse themselves in the company’s strategic goals to comprehend its long-term vision and short-term targets. Doing so can further help to tailor its practices and initiatives to directly support the larger objectives. Strategic HR can be a dynamic force that leverages data, talent management, technology and a forward-thinking mindset to fuel business growth, he adds.
In Hazarika’s opinion, HR teams should be oriented towards aligning their strategies with the overarching business objectives of the company. This will foster close collaboration with other departments to ensure a cohesive and unified approach. She sees this as a path to elevate HR roles to a more strategic level. The adoption of automation and advanced technologies, including HRIS and AI-driven tools, can streamline administrative tasks, liberating HR’s bandwidth for strategic pursuits, she adds.