Opinion: India is sitting on the cusp of a people-centric digital revolution

The announcement last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discontinue Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes will go down in history as a harbinger of a digital revolution in India.

With over one billion mobile phone users and having the second-largest online population in the world (after China), India already has the groundwork for an explosive growth in mobile internet, digital payments, cloud computing and the internet of things.

McKinsey estimates these technologies to deliver an annual economic impact of USD 500 billion to USD 1 trillion per year by 2025 in India.

That would represent 20 to 30 percent of India’s incremental economic growth between 2012 and 2025.

However, as most digital transformation across industries and countries continues to unfold, the people dimension of these transformations has emerged as the key.

Leadership development and external talent acquisition may require entirely different and innovative approaches in the new digital environments.

Take the case of digital payments sector in India. It is estimated to grow to USD 500 billion by 2020, up from roughly USD 50 billion last year.

Driving this growth would rest on budding talents, technologists, the academia and fin-tech experts.

Premier academic institutions such as the IITs and the NITs, besides the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore can practically make a big contribution in this respect, starting specialized branches in keeping with the industry requirements.

The next level of growth would come from future technologies which graduates from these institutes can churn out, new concepts and scalable ideas which would deliver additional value to consumers.

In this game, whoever does the best job of getting best recall, delivering best user experience, will win the race.

A lot of movement is already visible in the fintech space as wallet majors are tying up with banks and NBFCs to offer a host of financial product and services including loans and insurance.

Innovation in delivery of services born out of this alliance would rest on developing cutting edge technologies.

Expansion in the offline world would also to a great extend depend on ease of doing transactions as well as the ease of doing payments on online sites for rail or air ticket.

All of this calls for creation of a pool of talent who can help realise these objectives.

Already, the value of digital transactions post demonetization has jumped 80 per cent and the amount is expected to touch Rs 1800 crore backed by Government’s extra push to realize the mission of a cashless economy.

New age payment gateways with robust security features can only support such large volumes of transactions.

This can be delivered by a rich pool of talent. The platforms have to be upgraded security features and safety features to thwart cyber crime etc.

RBI’s recent guidelines on inter-operability between digital wallets bring with them a host of opportunities for innovations in the payment space and the coming times would stand testimony to this.

Helping the rural populace, with limited access to internet and broadband connectivity, derive the benefits of digital payment is a challenge that talent in hand can help address.

The challenge is to help farmers get access to more buyers, enabling them to run a more profitable business and paving the way to a cashless agricultural sector.

A cashless India is a dream of the Indian Government and this can be met by an employee pool which can drive innovation.


Promoting HR cannot be done overnight: SL

Promoting and protecting human rights is a work in progress and it is not something that can be done overnight despite the most sincere of commitments, Sri Lanka told the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) session of the country in Geneva yesterday.

In the opening statement, the Head of the Sri Lankan Delegation, National Policies and Economic Affairs Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said the UPR, to us, is a process that recognizes this fact.

“The UPR is a process that is aimed at helping each other self-assess, share best practice, and support one another to take steps to more effectively address the concerns of individuals in our respective countries. There are many, both in Sri Lanka and overseas, who question the commitment of the National Unity Government to addressing concerns of human rights. Of course it is natural to be impatient; it is natural to question; and it is natural to feel a sense of frustration. We all know very well that some who criticize do so with the best intentions as they want Sri Lanka to do well,” he said.

He said there is no nation that does not have challenges, and no nation is perfect.

In a democracy, however, he said, it was not easy to always make changes at great speed, or navigate change in a rapid manner, or along a straight and preconceived path.

Dr. De Silva said significant progress has been made in Sri Lanka since the last UPR in 2012 and the National Unity Government has facilitated policy coherence and stability that enabled decision-making required to make the Government’s pledge to its people a reality.

He said the Government is committed to a process of truth-seeking, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence and that the reconciliation mechanisms that are being set up are for the entire people of Sri Lanka.

“Investigations into allegations pertaining to human rights and humanitarian law violations during the conflict are unfortunately misperceived by some in my country, as specifically targeting the security forces, which is completely erroneous. As the President recently stressed, security forces will not be unfairly targeted or punished. But, we are committed to investigations being carried out in respect of violations of the law, through judicial processes, respecting due process,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said the Constitution Reform process is prioritised as a measure for guaranteeing non-recurrence of conflict.

In response to the several advance questions that have been submitted in relation to implementation of the commitments in the UN Resolutions in Sri Lanka, the Deputy Minister reaffirmed the government’s firm commitment to ensuring their implementation.

He said Sri Lanka has accomplished much but the government does not consider it a reason to be complacent.

“We remain acutely aware and conscious that there is much more to be done, to ensure that all our citizens enjoy the rights due to them to their full extent. Our efforts to ensure harmonious relations between the different ethno-religious communities, and our commitment to constitutional reform, are often attacked by opponents as attempts to create divisions. Yet, we persevere with strong determination,” he said.

As a democratic country, he said Sri Lanka welcomed robust criticism and debate about its journey towards the full enjoyment of human rights, and sustainable peace and reconciliation.

Later yesterday, in a facebook post, the Deputy Minister said global response to Sri Lanka’s progress in human rights achievements was extremely positive and constructive.

“It was a great pleasure for our delegation to hear State after State commend the progress made by our National Unity Government after I made my opening remarks. Ninety countries made short interventions. They appreciated our commitment and understood the difficulties in implementing our commitments; and encouraged us to do more particularly on reconciliation and accountability,” he said. (Lahiru Pothmulla)


Why Artificial intelligence is vital for winning the war for talent

It’s a challenge that every large company across the globe is facing. As they transform into digital entities, tasks are getting automated with artificial intelligence (AI) taking away repetitive jobs. While, for the individual it finally boils down to how many of their individual tasks are automated, at the corporate level it is a question of human capital management (HCM) that is becoming critical.
HCM is becoming all the more important as while companies reduce the workforce with jobs getting automated, on the other hand, they are not getting key talent for specialized jobs. The War for Talent that global consultancy McKinsey had identified nearly two decades ago is now a reality. Shakun Khanna, Leader of HR Strategy & Transformation, Asia Pacific, at Oracle Corporation explains: “There is a need for building new skills and up-skilling for all kinds of people as existing skills become redundant.”
Ads by ZINC

Organizations today are fighting two types of battles. The first relates to attracting and recruiting people, while the other is within the organization for retaining and engaging existing employees. At stake are ‘open positions’ that can give careers to professionals and thousands of candidates who can work towards fulfilling an organization’s needs.
But, not everything is negative. According to Gartner 2017, AI is expected to eliminate 1.8 million jobs globally. However, starting 2020, AI will be a positive job creator creating 2.3M jobs. Says James Agarwal, managing director of executive search company BTI Consultants/Persolkelly: Technology enhances our abilities to deliver more and better if used properly and its role is vital for winning the war for ‘quality’ talent.”
To build on an internal pipeline of talent, corporations are redeploying people and do everything to retain the best talent. Many organisations have started thinking seriously on those lines. Khanna points out that within Airtel there is a team that is working only on trying to define how the organisation will be two years from now. That involves getting the right kind of people on board. Vishal Manchanda, National Head – Learning & Development at Indus Towers says Oracle is helping Indus build a strong internal network so that they can help the company set a new paradigm for a networked economy.
Khanna points out that according to a study done by Cognizant Technologies, 12 per cent of the jobs will get redundant, 75 per cent will get augmented (some of the tasks will be done by machines) and that 13% of the jobs will get created. These will be new-age jobs that people do not even know of now in the areas of data analytics and machine learning. The real action is augmented jobs, where machines would over time take over the mundane part of the tasks that people do.
Augmentation comes in three areas – predictive, pro-active and prescriptive. The predictive bit is quite like Google Maps telling you how long it will take to reach your destination by what it considers is the best route to follow. However, an individual can always overrule that and take another route. Pro-active is reminding you to leave for a meeting in advance so that traffic is manageable while prescriptive is something that provides you a solution to a current problem at the workplace.
How is an organisation building an employer brand? Oracle’ Khanna says to find the right kind of people, companies are now looking at the personal social network of an individual and not just their LinkedIn profile. The other is to proactively engage with the talent pool that you may need to tap in at a later stage. The last bit is the ability to understand how the business model of the company is changing and ensuring that HR too understands that quickly. That is imperative as then only will to look in terms of hiring such new talent proactively. But, as things stand, not many Indian companies are prepared for this new reality and could face problems.


An Indian recruitment startup is using artificial intelligence to become a “Google for people”

Belong, a Bengaluru-based startup, is creating a “Google for people,” as co-founder Rishabh Kaul describes it.

The three-year-old recruitment firm is part of a new crop of companies using technology to simplify hiring processes, from sorting resumés to scheduling interviews. Belong, however, goes well beyond all that.

It scours the internet to unearth publicly available information on any and all possible candidates, including scanning their Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, LinkedIn profiles, and more. “Earlier, a resume was just like a balance sheet—what you declare about yourself at a given point of time,” explained Kaul. “Now, you have a rich stream of constant data.”

After gathering copious amounts of information, the platform ranks potential hires according to their suitability for a role at a particular company—much like how Google tailors search results for each user’s query.

Belong stands out also because it seems to have cracked the code by selling its product to an impressive clientele. This list spans e-commerce behemoths Amazon and Flipkart, telecom provider Airtel, ride-hailing services Ola and Uber, and online grocer BigBasket, among others.

Talent Hunt

Founded by Kaul, Vijay Sharma, Saiteja Veera, and Sudheendra Chilappagari, Belong’s basic proposition is simple: using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to curate data from social media activity, and from niche platforms such as GitHub, ResearchGate, and Muckrack. “The technology acts like a magnet, finding different pieces of data on every white-collar person,” said Kaul.

The system scans all profiles with uniform precision to match every candidate to a company’s search requirements and previous hiring patterns. Where there is no precedent—say, if the company is setting up a centre for a new technology like the Internet of Things (IoT), or is expanding into an unexplored geographical region—Belong works with the employer to manually feed in ideal candidate profiles.

As companies approve and reject suggestions, the machine learning algorithm learns from the choices and fine-tunes the results further. However, Belong’s system does not eliminate candidates, it only re-orders them. So, while the grunt work is done by technology, the decision-making still lies with the human resources (HR) managers. “We want to make them (the managers) into Ironmen and Ironwomen, so we are being the Jarvis,” said Kaul.

The main cash cow for Belong, which has raised $15 million so far, is annual contracts. Kaul did not reveal how much it charges but said, “typically we need (companies) to hire at least 30 to 40 lateral people in a year for it to make return-on-investment sense.”

Between June 2015 and March 2016, Belong posted revenue of Rs83.2 lakh ($127,000), according to regulatory filings sourced by data platform Tofler. Overall, the company recorded a net loss of Rs6.41 crore ($979,000) during the same period.
Bigger and better

This technology-led process casts a wider net for talent and covers more volume in lesser time than humans can. Besides, it targets not just active jobseekers but even passive talent—those who haven’t even thought of quitting their jobs yet. And connecting with them is merely a matter of clicking a button.

“Can a recruiter write a great email to a candidate to excite them? Yes,” said Kaul. “Can they do it for 500 people or send 3,000 emails? I don’t think so.” AI, though, can tailor messages for a multitude of applicants, saving recruiters between 15 hours and 20 hours of work each week while keeping things personal, Belong claims. The platform also tracks the right time to approach someone based on factors like appraisal cycles at their current company and how often they change jobs.

“We have made offers for highly complex roles in about 10-14 days on the platform,” Abhinav Asthana, CEO and co-founder of tech company Postman, which has recruited via Belong for over a year, told YourStory. At health-tech firm Practo, Belong improved the offer acceptance rate by 65% while Tavant Technologies reported a 55% hike in candidate responses.

As AI becomes smarter, it could even conduct first-round interviews virtually, ensuring “better utilisation of a recruiter’s time and resources,” N Shivakumar, business head of recruitment process outsourcing at Teamlease Services, told Quartz. Overall, it’d help shorten hiring timelines.

Automation also helps curb biases, Kris Lakshmikanth, founder of HeadHunters India, told Quartz. Belong removes political affiliations, religious views, sexual orientation, and other extraneous factors. (The company includes gender so recruiters can exclusively search for women to up diversity. No company can search for only men, though.)

While the algorithm struggles at times—if a person’s Twitter name differs from the real name or if multiple social media pages appear for someone—Belong’s intelligent filtering mostly improves efficiency and saves time. It, however, falls short with personable traits.

Cookie-cutter categories like college degree and technical skills are easy to track but AI is no match for experienced human managers with seasoned instincts when judging if a candidate will fit into the office culture or if they are a team player, HeadHunters’ Lakshmikanth added.

Still, Belong has made attempts to quantify ambiguous descriptors. “(To) make the word entrepreneurial into something mathematical that you can search for…the platform looks for people who’ve scaled something small into something big or people who’ve been with a company since founding,” Kaul explained.

Similarly, someone may be classified an early adopter based on when they joined Twitter. “In 2007, being on Twitter was a big deal. No one knew about it,” said Kaul, “This person would have been on the lookout (for new technologies) rather than someone who joined in 2013, by which time even Amitabh Bachchan had joined.”

And just like human HR managers get better over time, Belong is betting that the machines will too.


Salary increases for 2018

Hong Kong workers will receive one of the lowest salary increases in Asia next year according to ECA International’s salary trends survey. Employees can expect an increase of 4% for the third consecutive year in 2018. With inflation predicted for the territory at 2.2% next year, that translates to a mere 1.8% real-terms salary increase down from 2% in 2017.

According to the survey covering 20 countries in the region, Hong Kong ranked 16th, Malaysia 14th and Singapore 9th with a real salary increase of 2.7%. India received the highest real wage increase in Asia for the second year in a row with a real rate of increase of 4.9%. ECA’s salary trends report analyses current and projected salary increases for local employees based on information collection from 260 multinational companies in 72 countries across the world.

“Although the real salary increases we expect to see next year are low compared to the rest of the region, on a global scale, salaries in Hong Kong are still rising relatively fast,” said Lee Quane, regional director of Asia at ECA International in a press statement. “In addition, the increases are also respectable compared with other developed economies. This reflects the need for companies to continue to use pay increases as a means of attracting and retaining staff in the city.”

China remains in the top 10 countries globally offering the highest real-terms salary increase in 2018 at 6%. Workers in Macau can expect similar increases to that of Hong Kong and lower inflation in Taiwan means their salaries will grow by 2.6% in real terms.

Despite Hong Kong offering one of the lowest salary increases in Asia the region overall offers the best increases globally. In fact countries in Asia hold eight of the top 10 spots in the global rankings of real salary increases with all locations expecting to receive above-inflation salary increases.

The global top spot for real salary increases is taken by Argentina, which is forecast to receive an impressive 7.2% real salary increase in 2018. Salary increases remained low in Europe. Germany can expect real wage growth of 1.2%, France 0,9% and the UK the lowest in the region can expect a 0.2% real wage increase. Uplifts for the USA and Canada are set to remain steady, at 0.9% and 1.1% respectively.


Why HR directors should think like economists

What would an economist do? It’s a question that more and more organisations are asking themselves.

Economists are good at making sense of markets, trends and behaviours and tend to be experts in collecting data and analysing it. They also develop forecasts on a large variety of topics such as business cycles and employment levels.

Tech companies are increasingly hiring economists and economic teams to advise on strategy, build or improve on products, evaluate economic impacts and build brand awareness.

So why should HR directors start thinking like economists?

To use data to help employers and job seekers find each other
“We’ve quickly gone from a world where there was so little data or information on what’s going on in HR to a deluge of data today,” said Tara Sinclair, an economist with global job site Indeed.

“What we need now is to develop insights from all this information.”

Putting workforce trends into a broader context helps employers understand whether there is something specific about their recruitment strategy or if others are facing similar challenges.

By keeping abreast of data and research trends (and even collecting their own data like economists do), HR managers can become aware of trends such as whether more individuals are looking for flexible working conditions or if candidates are looking for positions in certain locations, and can tailor their job offerings accordingly.

To build credibility and become a thought leader
Economists often use a company’s data as the basis for developing fresh insights about the sector or market the organisation operates in.

With increased competition in the marketplace, companies need to utilise research both for their human capital but also to be prepared for broader changes within the corporate environment. HR directors can communicate these findings via white papers, research reports, blog posts, articles or even by sharing snippets on social media.

To sort the myths from the truth
There are many myths that get perpetuated around the water cooler.

Having a savvy HR director who thinks like an economist and draws on hard data will inform an organisation’s knowledge about how the workforce is actually evolving. “We often hear that everyone is moving to either a start-up or a gig job,” said Sinclair.

“Nope! Actually today people are more likely to work for a large company than they were in the 1970s.”

Sinclair also points to overblown myths around millennial workers being job-hoppers (“Nope!”) and the idea that technology is changing our economy faster than ever before.

“It’s true that we’ve got all sorts of new technology and more than ever before, but its growth rate is slowing and that has lots of economists concerned,” she said.


GDPR: Where should HR start?

When the new regulation comes into effect, the HR department will be responsible for the personal data it collects on applicants as well as current employees.

In just over six months’ time the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be enforced – 25th May 2018 to be exact. We’re quite far through the transition period since the regulation was approved by the EU Parliament, and whilst this new regulation can seem overwhelming, organisations must prepare now or face hefty fines when the regulation comes into force. On a positive note, GDPR requirements are good data hygiene and best practices for data management, and help to limit or diminish risk related to data, surely in the case of a cyber-attack, but also by pushing to improve the quality of the data, and therefore, the value of the data.

The aim of GDPR is to protect EU citizens when their personal data is processed, by keeping it safe and secure and avoiding misuse. Companies are indeed beginning to take action. Some, like the UK pub chain Wetherspoons, are even taking the rather extreme measure of deleting their entire database of customer’s email addresses (Wired 03.07.17). So far, businesses’ focus has predominantly been on ensuring to protect client and customer data, but companies can’t afford to forget that the same rules will also apply to employee data, and that includes potential employees and candidates.

So, what does this mean for HR? When GDPR is enforced, companies will be able to collect personal data on applicants, but only data points that are necessary for the application process, having a major impact on the application process and assessments. For any further data, companies will have to ask for explicit permission and any information provided can only be used for the express purpose it was requested. If the person doesn’t get hired, all the information must be deleted. Likewise, all data collected and stored on current employees must be justified and relevant to the management or role of the employee. Companies must have consent for any data that requires employees to grant their permission (which employees can withdraw at any time) and if an employee leaves the company, for whatever reason, their personal data must also be deleted.

In companies that are processing thousands of data points, being compliant requires meticulous preparation. It can be a rather daunting prospect, but it is never too late to begin, and we recommend approaching GDPR compliance for your employee data in three simple steps. Oh, and you are surely not starting from scratch, many companies have data management processes in place already.

Step one: Privacy by design

The concept of privacy by design is about including data protection requirements when designing systems and processes. To be GDPR compliant, it’s easier to create a new process or system designed with the requirements in mind, rather than “fixing” it later on.

My tip is to start with the data, not the process, and document the justification for those data points. Different territories will require different data points – so it’s important to understand cultural requirements as part of this process. For example, in Germany you must declare your religion, as Church members are required by law to pay tax to fund the church. If an employee indicates membership to a tax-collecting religious community, the employer must withhold ‘church tax’ from their income.

Then, review the processes which relate to the data you really need, and incorporate the privacy requirements and the user rights within those processes.

This will be facilitated by having a clear view on all your data. It’s more efficient to build out and design processes around the data you need, rather than tweaking old processes to fit with new regulation. This is also a perfect opportunity for a good clean-up and you will get the added bonus of demonstrating compliance with the data minimisation principle.

Step two: Privacy impact analysis

Privacy by design could be a lot of work, so how do you prioritise? Conduct an audit of the processes and data you collect and the ‘treatment’ of this data, and perform a gap analysis and identify where higher risk sits. For example, if I were to suffer a data breach, which dataset would generate the worst consequences? Learning transcript or compensation data? You should start with those.

Also, review any data that may be collected automatically, you are equally responsible for the resulting actions of an automated process as well as a manual one.

An audit will help identify any points of weakness and areas of risk – but we are not done yet. It is also important to keep conducting these audits on a regular basis to ensure the quality (and compliance) of the processes is maintained, as well as adapting these to any further legal changes.

Step three: Establishing accountability

The third step is about closing the circle. Businesses need to provide full transparency, including on where employee data is stored and how it is processed, making it clear who can access what data. Once the datasets are clean and the processes have been reviewed and adapted, you now must document and prove how you are compliant. This is called the accountability principle, and essentially translates into documenting the datasets (and how they comply with the data minimisation principle), and documenting your processes (and how they implement privacy requirements and allow users to exercise their rights).

Step three and a half: So, who does all this?

Many companies are appointing general Data Protection Officers who are required to work closely with all departments, but we are now seeing a new role within HR departments. It is in HR’s interest to have a data privacy specialist “in-house”, who works closely with the Data Protection Officer to ensure compliance. Data privacy requires legal knowledge, technical knowledge and business knowledge, and such an expert would provide the much-required expertise around both the local laws and the HR processes of the company.

GDPR is not a straight-forward regulation and it’s important HR prepares now if it hasn’t already. It demands a rethink of certain processes and a review of personal data handling and housing. Even with these three steps in mind, it can feel intimidating to start the process. But I truly believe that the effort pays off with the higher quality of the data, more efficient processes, less risk of fines and penalties, and (much) better employer brand and employee motivation. You want your employees to feel safe and focus on their work, so you need to make sure that their personal data and information is secure and protected.

Compliance is a process, and data protection a culture: once in place, is a very powerful and effective tool.


6 ways of strategising talent management

Most organizations struggle with their talent management, swaying from surplus of talent to shortfall, here are six ways to manage workforce.

Most organizations struggle with their talent management, swaying from surplus of talent to shortfall. Keeping pace with global shifts makes the job extremely complex. Global politics, economic changes and accelerated technology changes all impact the business and consequently talent management.

Indian IT services sector is a perfect case in point. It has been disrupted by Brexit, new US immigration norms, AI, robotics etc. In such an environment how does one build a talent management strategy that will give the best leverage to meet the needs of today and future proof for tomorrow?

We are suddenly talking about an existential crisis in many sectors. Most of these sectors while show a good growth today have a questionable tomorrow. If electric cars come into effect, how will it impact the automobile or oil & gas sectors? How does one anticipate the need for human capital when both the number and nature of talent is highly unpredictable and the cost of getting it wrong is colossal?

In today’s context, the operating principles applied to talent management are rather uncharacteristic.

Here are six ways to strategise talent management:

Abandon long term talent forecasts. Shift to short term simulations – the idea that we can accurately predict talent demand for an entire company several years in advance is a myth. Lifelong employment and job security is not what the new generation of employees are looking for. An optimal approach is developing the internal talent, because it is cheaper, less disruptive and makes external hiring faster and more responsive.

Realize the shift from generic to technical– the job of a manager is becoming redundant, it is about the expertise and individual impact one has on the value chain. One must keep pace with the advancement in technology; it is impossible to build for internally. Technical experts have different aspirations; most of them do not wish to lead a business, and hence their engagement drivers are far from the traditional.

Be young by being relevant to the young. The new generation is special– 80% of them do not aspire to be a CEO. Purpose, impact on the community and learning opportunity mean more to them than job security, benefits and job title. For them a digital workplace is not just about offering flexibility to work from home, it is far more evolved. For the older generation refusing to take a new position was a career-ending move. Today, young employees are clearly looking for challenge and not necessarily the next level; promotion without job enrichment will not help you lure anymore.

Contingent workforce will be the trend – everyone you need in your organization might not be or want to be a full time employee; the freelance economy is growing and gives easy access to a very diverse skillset. This is not only effective to manage your people costs but also helps you manage expectations and deliver better performance. By increasing utilisation one can negotiate the wage, save on training, lessen the burden on office infrastructure and effectively reduce overall costs.

Make RoE count. Improve the return on employee development– by being selective, balancing build versus buy, looking for quality and not quantity companies can become more specific on who and what.
Embrace the misfits. Make diversity of thought your differentiator – our traditional talent management rewards conformity, familiarity and not creativity.. While we are looking for a very distinct “type” that will thrive in our context, the new age skills we need to remain competitive will require us to be exactly the opposite.
If you are lagging behind your competition, chances are your talent management is not working for you. When your CEO says that human capital is their biggest challenge/ risk, they are questioning the effectiveness of the current talent management.

Next time you submit a million dollar plan for your talent management, ask yourself if this is an expense or an investment and how is it going to get you any different results from the previous year. Pause and reset your agenda.


The power of a holistic HCM system

Organizations suffer from disjointed HR processes and scattered employee information across silos of files, spreadsheets, and systems. Compounding this challenge, siloed software implementations (separate systems for recruiting, performance assessment, compensation, learning, core HR, absence management) often fragment data that enable more accurate reporting and improved decision-making.

A survey by Sierra-Cedar found that both data-driven and talent-driven organizations are more likely to adopt holistic HCM systems versus those that are less data- or talent-driven.1 “This shows…organizations leading in HR practices are looking at integrated HCM suites to help them drive these practices. It also supports evidence that talent-driven organizations are more effective, and that having an integrated end-to-end HCM technology suite enables this.

Creating connections between systems allows for complete and accurate reporting and a whole view of each employee from their resume to their most current training certifications. Holistic HCM creates:

  1. Robust recruiting data. Capture resume information and integrate this within both employees’ talent profile and core HR once a candidate accepts a new position.
  2. Essential information at a glance. Each employee’s talent profile needs to show learning achievements, certifications and compliance as well as performance, 360 feedback and compensation. Integrating learning and talent strategies with workforce management communicates to employees that learning and development are central to their everyday experience. An integrated HCM system encourages constant learning and skills development and provides the resources and tools required to impact workers.
  3. Accurate performance assessment. Performance processes must include current learning and development completions and goals as well as development plans and assessment of skills and knowledge.
  4. Forward planning for pipeline development. “You may have the talent in place to meet your operational needs today, but what about tomorrow? Succession planning is a vital exercise to help your company determine critical roles, distinguish what skills will be needed to sustain them in the future, and then identify suitable candidates to develop to take over those positions.”Integrated HCM provides the long-term view required for succession planning.
  5. Support with scheduling. Rostering includes confirmation that an employee has the correct certifications and compliance before they are scheduled for a specific job or new position.

The benefits of holistic HCM systems are numerous. But what about the cost of migrating systems to holistic HCM?

25% of large organizations spend over 25% of their total HR technology budget on integration.4 When information is available in one place using one user interface, workers spend less time looking for what they need, managers spend less time collating data and IT groups spend less time building and maintaining costly integrations between systems.

The cost of integration – While initial costs to integrate systems may seem daunting, actual ROI numbers prove that short-term investment leads to long-term gains. After adopting a holistic HCM system, the New York City Department of Education posted an annual ROI of 279%. Based on the New York City Department of Education example, companies can expect $10.99 returned from every $1 spent.5

The cost of compliance – More than 200 labor laws change each year.6 The cost of manually updating systems and processes is high and leaves organizations open to errors in compliance.7 Leaving your organization open to error is costly: a Pizza Hut franchisee in Australia was recently fined a record $660,020 for underpaying staff almost $20,000.8

HCM systems that are integrated can help minimize compliance risks and ensure organizations are working in accordance with regulations and laws.

Disparate human capital management (HCM) systems make achieving strategic goals near impossible, but when organizations use one holistic platform, they can connect their people with their strategies while also realizing cost savings.


The areas finance bosses have focussed on to gain top millennial talent

Finance bosses may be confident about current retention and recruitment strategies, but that hasn’t prevented them from being victim to the dreaded skills gap.

The millennial workforce is changing the business landscape, with bosses having to ramp up their offerings in the effort of retaining and recruiting a generation easily swayed by the competition. They’re said to value purpose – thus development opportunities – prefer to work flexibly and want to have their opinions heard.

It’s something 97 per cent of financial services executives believe they successfully cater for, according to a Robert Half report. Just over a half (54 per cent) have implemented a flexile working policy, while 50 per cent now offer student loan assistance.

The majority of respondents thought emphasising these areas would help attain Millennial talent with well-developed communication skills, while 42 per cent wanted to recruit someone with the ability to sell or influence others.

But despite their confidence, the finance sector is struggling to find people with the desired skills – 58 per cent deemed it a down-right challenge.

As a result, many companies look to partner with universities, while others work directly with secondary schools to “ensure that curriculum matches the needs and evolution of the industry,” Robert Half pointed out. Social media has likewise become an area of recruitment focus.

With that being said, Robert Half made it a priority to find out which factors respondents thought most attractive.

Some 67 per cent attest that their company’s offered salaries were an appealing factor, while 49 per cent pointed out bonuses as a main draw. On the other hand, 42 per cent claimed career advancement was a main priority.

“Financial services organisations are definitely thinking about how to equip the next generation with the skills and experiences needed to protect the longevity of the industry,” explained Matt Weston, director of Robert Half Financial Services UK.

“Hiring practices are being examined to entice high-calibre candidates. For many, this means reviewing their employer brand alongside offering initiatives that encourage work-life balance, competitive remuneration packages and clear opportunities for professional development.”

Weston added: “Now more than ever, financial services firms are looking to hire graduates who are eager to progress and have the right cultural fit for a successful future with the organisation.”