Dr. Meera Shankar

I strongly believe that aspect of job fitment should be taken care by the interviewer , they must see that along with academic excellence ,candidates need to...

PROFESSOR ( OB & HR) and Director, JDBIMS at SNDT WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY,MUMBAI

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1. What motivated you to enter the field of Higher Education ?

My passion toward learning and intrinsic motivation to bring some changes in management especially in area of OB & HR ,doing research, to improve the quality of higher education through providing quality education and progressive research in continuous changing scenario of the world has motivated me to enter in this noble field of education

2.If asked to describe your job in a few lines, what would you say?

My job requires to teach, to guide the PhD aspirants , as well as masters students, to do research . To look after academic administrative responsibilities as Director of the Institute which provides management knowledge to only women students.

3.What according to you is the biggest Challenge in the Job Market today?

Education provided often does not prepare the students to match industry expectations and standards. There is a mismatch between the student’s academic knowledge and industry’s practical applications. Students are unable to think out of the box. There is a void in skills and creativity deficit. Due to skill shortage , the number of employable students shrink. On top of that the corporate sector values experience , since most students do not land jobs which teach them important skills and insight, they cannot gain relevant experience either. Thus, student face multiple barriers in terms of landing good jobs and gaining relevant work experience which may help in their careers.

4. How does your Institute strategize to overcome this?

Understanding Job Fitment is very important for students. In the Institute we focus on this aspect from the very first semester , where students are trained to understand their own culture , behaviour , attitude, beliefs, and values , which should match with the nature of jobs that they are looking for. They must also be able to evaluate their own requirements in comparison to the industries, where they wish to work . If there is a mismatch, it will not be satisfying for either the employee or the employer.

5.What drives you personally, to excel at your job?

Is it an event, an experience, a person you admire or something else? Personally , As I have mentioned earlier , I am a teacher , trainer , researchers , and consultant which gives me immense internal satisfaction . My psychology background helps me to know people better in many different ways. To excel in my job, it is my intrinsic motivation which drives me to go ahead in my professional life. The single greatest influence in my life has been my father, who have always given confidence to me in realizing that I can achieve whatever I wish to.. I have imbibed certain qualities like-hard work, dedication, integrity, confidence from him.

6.What does Human Resource Management mean to you?

For me it means guiding people to the right job.

7. What drives you personally, to excel at your job?Is it an event, an experience, a person you admire or something else?

I am very passionate about HR and can talk about it endlessly if given the opportunity. This is the passion that drives me. It also means a lot when a candidate thanks us for successfully getting a job. Matching the right candidate with the right profile is something I consider to be my goal. I don’t believe in judging people based merely on their communication skills but look for the right attitude.

8.Does the way Business hires need to change?

There is a need to change the way in which students are recruited in the corporate world today. Students should be judged by a broad set of criteria, and the recruitment process must reflect and acknowledge that. Creativity, analytical skills with real world applications, people skills and social intelligence, drive and passion, as well as life experiences of students are all valuable to an organization, and hiring processes should reflect that. Emphasis needs to be placed on these and not just theoretical knowledge.

9.If given a chance, how would you want the Human Resources Fraternity to bring about this change?

Human Resources Fraternity plays a central role in recruitment and selection, training and development, welfare and safety, wage and salary administration, collective bargaining and dealing with most aspects of industrial relations. Today , HRF are considered as backbone of the corporate system . They should give the guidelines about conducting proper interviews which is well prepared and help to select the right candidates for right job , based on which predictive and decision validity can be established. Often it is observed that selected candidates are not able to give the required performance as expected. Psychometric tests about measuring various aspect of the candidates personality should be evaluated by the professional, along with prerequisite knowledge required for the job . I strongly believe that aspect of job fitment should be taken care by the interviewer , they must see that along with academic excellence ,candidates need to have mental and emotional maturity as well.

10.What defines you as a person apart from your profession?Do you pursue any hobbies or believe in living life a certain way?

I was raised in a traditional and conservative family, and being the mother of two young adults, I have learnt to balance traditionalism and modernity. I have my own philosophy of life where spirituality comes on top. I love reading , traveling , singing and listening to classical music , yoga and exercise, cooking and photography. I take a keen interest in national politics, and like to stay up to date with happenings around the world.

11.What message would you have for young Job Aspirants?

To young aspirants I would like to say ” Do what you love , and love what you do”, . there is no short cut for success. Hard work, passion and dedication towards work will take you on the highest ladders of success. keep learning , add new skills and knowledge everyday in your professional life , because education is a process not an event , hunger of learning new thing should always be there in you. Must have clear understanding of the basic concepts, be grateful and respectful towards your superiors and colleagues.

Rajesh Tripathi

More importance should be given to emotional side of people. Content of so called experience is changing very...

Head & Vice President -Corp HR at GHCL,CHRO Award,100 Top HR Minds India Award,Change & Transformation Award

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1. What motivated you to enter the field of Higher Education ?

To add most to the purpose of organisations through the critical-most assets i.e. human assets

2.If asked to describe your job in a few lines, what would you say?

To be on continuum of people to understand them and change people strategy timely to make organisations sustainable.

3.What according to you is the biggest Challenge in the Job Market today?

The biggest challenge today I see, is making non- HR people understand that it is People who make organisations. Capital & Product are by products of people thinking and efforts

4. How does your Company strategize to overcome this?

Making people strategy first along with giving due importance to all stakeholders.

5.What does Human Resource Management mean to you?

Understanding people evolution and evolution of business needs. Building a bridge between these two.

6. What drives you personally, to excel at your job?Is it an event, an experience, a person you admire or something else?

My hunger to read & learn cross functional but research content and basic science.

7.Does the way we hires need to change?

I feel yes. More importance should be given to emotional side of people. Content of so called experience is changing very dramatically.

8.If given a chance, how would you want the Human Resources Fraternity to bring about this change?

To make them understand that HR is Strategic Function.

9.What defines you as a person apart from your profession?Do you pursue any hobbies or believe in living life a certain way?

My profession is my passion. I do think and try adding value to my profession from business point of view. Regarding my life, I live a disciplined life.

10.What message would you have for young Job Aspirants?

Believe in the profession you belong to.

Dr. Ejaz Surve

Basically the concept of HR what we follow is not utilized. I always mention we are not a support function but a function that supports the system....

VICE PRESIDENT,HR & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT-TYRO GLOBAL SERVICES

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A passionate leader with first class communication skills and long track record of successful management. Educated to a very high level with extensive knowledge of business and economics. Motivational manager & visionary possessing vast knowledge of Middle & Senior Management in 12 years tenure.He has played pivotal role in setting up business across globe, in Mergers & Acquisitions, setting up new business units and setting up business units in 14 countries

1. What motivated you to enter the field of Human Resources?

Basically I am an engineer. I went for campus interviews and was selected as a tester. When the IT boom started in early 2002-2003, there was a shortage of technical interviewers in the market. That is the time when I took the advantage of being an IT professional; that motivated me to move to the HR field plus an advantage of being an engineer. Would you like to expand on your education here? I have a diploma and a degree in electronics telecom engineering. I stood first in my batch. I am an MBA in Human Resource and a PhD in Human Resource. Besides, if you look at the trend in last 15-16 years the HR industry is moving more towards the technology, rather than the orthodox system was there.
It was more an analysis type of sector. More of the data analysis is now the focus in the HR field. So HR is getting advanced day by day. That is how I thought of moving as a technocrat. Basically the concept of HR what we follow is not utilized. I always mention we are not a support function but a function that supports the system. But nowadays it is used as a tool in the organization to demote and throw away people from the organization. But instead of throwing out people why we don’t make use of them? HR should evolve from a traditional system to an evolved system which will take advantage of the Human Resources within the organization. So even if I am being called off for layout we must ask ourselves; what impact will it have on the business unit? Secondly, how will my team be productive and how I can use my resources to make it productive? I involve the operations as well as the HR as one unit rather than taking them as two separate units; so definitely I have a technically driven approach towards HR. In my previous ventures with Wipro etc., in India I used to train my HR team towards operations through software.

2.If asked to describe your job in a few lines, what would you say?

In simple terms I will say its people management and being a people’s officer. So whenever I take some decision for the organization, it will be for the benefit of the organization as well as the benefit of the people also. These are the people who are going to monetize the company. So even if we have them technologically driven, the human factor should also be involved. It’s something like this; tomorrow all the planes will start running at 5:54. Robots are technologically driven. What if there is an error and no human intervention? There could be a major catastrophe in the sky – millions of people will die. So industries should have intervention of humans in all fields. Nowadays when you look at the case of Wipro and Infosys, bots in operations for the contracts tender means they will cut down around 4000 jobs. I am more of a traditional and technological driven person. If you have a combination of both it requires upscale training. If you are going to implement the bots there will be a major cost on the maintenance as well as the up gradation of the softwares. That cost will be higher than hiring an individual for the organization. Only software with no human intervention; no emotions. If you look at the market across the globe the most advanced market you have is US, India, China and Japan. Here we give more of an emphasis on the HR system. In the Middle East market, there is nothing called as practical Human Resources. The kind of analysis that we do in India are more advanced than in the Middle East. There is a culture gap as well as the hiring is ‘all over the place’. It will take another 15-16 years to match with the Indian market in comparison to the HR market in the HR sector. Japanese are more advanced than Indians. If you look at the HR side the commitment is more in the Japanese than Indians. Indians are also catching up now. Kaizan was first implemented in Japan and Indians are following it. The tech part used in Toyota is because of Kaizan and thus Toyota is far ahead. After the World War II, US supported the Japanese but Indians are more self driven people.

3.What according to you is the biggest HR Challenge today?

The major challenge for the organization in HR is the commitment. These people are not the combination of operations and HR. All HR practitioners should be given training on operations. Many times, operations come out with the wrong hire or the profile fitment. HR is not trained as per HR guidelines. When we are able to match these areas, we will be able to work at parallel with operations. Other than this, I see no other challenges. Look at the other side also; if there is a shortfall in operations, HR can also work with operations in times of crunch. So I would work on these areas rather than cribbing that operations are after our lives! Rather than finding faults, we close issues and we work parallel.

4.How does your company strategize to overcome this?

I have already implemented this. My HR team I welcome and encourage all my HR staff to work with operations, sit down at the shop floor, understand how they work and see what are the challenges they come across and that will keep us informed well in advance about the shortfalls that we see in a month or next 6 months. That is where we device our organizational policies.

5.What does Human Recourse Management mean to you?

It’s a way of life. If you look at Human Resources, what all factors are there in Human Resources? Where do you start an HR from? It starts from your college days. Whatever you study is part of your curriculum. Every day, everyone is a student. So every individual in HR is a student. We all have to study the organization and implement. So basically it is a complete way of life.

6.What drives you personally, to excel at your job?

Is it an event, an experience, a person you admire or something else? It is day to day experience. You start with a challenge and accomplish it that inspires everyone. Growth is the second factor. But the most important part is that you set your targets every day and achieve your targets. That really drives me on. One of my experience, though it may sound very funny, but I would like to share it. In my early days I had a fascination to work with an MNC. When I started working my first company was not an MNC, but an outsourcing unit. And I went to one company for an Assistant Manager’s job. People who were taking my interview were of senior executive level and I was very anxious in asking questions. The interviewee was not very happy with my questions. These people insulted me and the interview closed in a very bad shape. But after 1 year I came back to the same organization as the Head of the Department of all the 3 units. This is more of an experience where while interviewing someone, we should not demoralize or decapitate his or her capacity. Any resource or person who comes for an interview, he or she might have some qualities that we have not been able to read. And s/he might be tomorrow’s CEO. So that is the way I look at all the candidates. When I walked out of my interview I just thought what went wrong or where was I wrong or where they were wrong. So I corrected myself where I felt I went wrong. So the places, where I was wrong was that I was talking to the wrong people. I feel people who are personally so arrogant are not fit to be in HR, as HR is the gateway to an organization. We need people who are humble, who can understand, who can evaluate; basically those who can maintain parity. India is such a vast country, if we put religion or caste in HR, we are devaluating the factors of the other side of the people. All these things are required in an HR to be gatekeepers of any company.

7.Does the way we hire need to change?

It does not need to be changed; we need to add new things. Generally, we try to change from a traditional to a more advanced level of recruitment. I am not a fan of a technical online interview system where we use some 20-30 questions and we give 1 hour or 2 hours to solve it. Basically, in 30 hours you cannot judge the capacity of a person. In 30 minutes or 1 hour you cannot say, whether, a person is fit or unfit for an organization. What about the rest 23.3 hours that he is living outside? Basically if you look at the human psychometric, there are certain chemical imbalances in the brain. It keeps on changing every minute. Sometimes its high, sometimes it’s low. When the person is caught at the wrong time, the best fit for the profile is caught at a wrong time and s/he gives all the wrong answers. So the best person is missing in between. So I would say it has to change more into a human intervention. I would say it should at least have 2-3 rounds of general discussion rather than interview. The word interview will itself demoralize or make the person nervous. If you have more of conversation like we have with our kids, you will understand the candidate better.

8.If given a chance, how would you want to use your position within the Human Resources Fraternity to bring about this change?

It should be more about sharing ideas. There should be more of communication in between all the masses in the organization. All the leaders should come across. Everybody should be given equal opportunities to share their thoughts. As a person, I will collate the data from all the people around, collate the information from the organization across all the platforms. And even for the upcoming students, I would rather go to the schools. I will take the ideas they have; where the talent is being nurtured. The students in the schools give you more ideas that are required for today rather than people who are working for past 5 or 6 years in an organization. So it is more of a complete communication between schools, colleges and your employees in the organization.

9.What defines you as a person apart from your profession?

Do you pursue any hobbies or believe in living life a certain way? As a person, I like to do more of research. Whenever I get free time, I do research in many subjects so that I can give more knowledge, more information about everything. So basically you can call me as a data bank. I can answer on politics, I can discuss on space, on science, almost discuss on everything. So, it is more about being a student. My hobby is reading; I like to spend time with my kid, and travelling; yes it is one of my favorite things to do. Mostly I am on YouTube and Wikipedia. Even in YouTube I try to find out about subjects which normally people are not interested in; the missing Malaysian plane, the Bermuda triangle; the scientific things. As far as living life in a certain way; I take life as it comes. I do not plan because I don’t know whether I will live for 50 years, 100 years or 200 years. I believe in living life as it comes to me.

10.What message would you have for young HR Aspirants?

Young HR Aspirants- If you believe in something you will achieve it. And don’t take advice –do what you feel is good for you. My message is very simple; people are talking about removing HR as a function. I would rather say whoever is thinking about it they should have a second thought about it. If there is no HR, there would be no support function; who will support the function? I think lot of industry giants are thinking about it. So I spoke and we are in the verge of seeing something new in the next 5 years in HR.

Ramesh Jayaraman

Hiring has to be collaborative as a Human Resource Professional alone does not know how 100% about the role s/he is hiring for. Thus, it is important for someone from the business side

BUSINESS HEAD – JOBS TERRITORY

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Ramesh Jayaraman, Business head at Jobs Territory, talks to Pexitics about the importance of Job Fit and the need to match the right job to the right candidate. He believes in modernizing hiring and talking it online to take advantage of the latest technological developments. He enables work from opportunities for women

1. What would say about you work as a HR Professional ?

I enable work from home opportunities for women. There are a lot of women who cannot step out of the house due to maternity break, they do not have enough domestic support, they end up doing nothing. So, we kind of enable these women to work. We give them access to a portal as well as SIM card. All they have to incur is time.

2.What motivated you to enter the field of Human Resources??

I have been doing this since the last 13 years. As a candidate when I observed HR people conducting interviews, that motivated me to be a part of this industry.

3.If asked to describe your job in a few lines, what would you say?

My job is to give people jobs. I act as the mediator b/w the client and the candidate. In a way, I guide people to the right jobs.

4. What according to you is the biggest HR Challenge today?

One of the challenges is lack of knowledge about the role being hired for. Hiring has to be collaborative as a Human Resource Professional alone does not know how 100% about the role s/he is hiring for. Thus, it is important for someone from the business side of things to participate in the process to identify and hire the right candidate. Additionally, “Reaching the right candidate” is the biggest challenge right from day one.

5.How does your company strategize to overcome this?

We believe in making full use of social media platforms today. We try and reach people through various channels to mitigate this issue.

6.What does Human Resource Management mean to you?

For me it means guiding people to the right job.

7. What drives you personally, to excel at your job?

Is it an event, an experience, a person you admire or something else? I am very passionate about HR and can talk about it endlessly if given the opportunity. This is the passion that drives me. It also means a lot when a candidate thanks us for successfully getting a job. Matching the right candidate with the right profile is something I consider to be my goal. I don’t believe in judging people based merely on their communication skills but look for the right attitude.

8.Does the way we hire need to change?

Of course. For e.g. physical face to face interviews that require a candidate to travel to the company office to give an interview is a waste of time. All initial screening can be done online and through video calls. Additionally, when it comes to bulk hiring or niche hiring, its important to find people with potential who can be trained, rather than looking for the impossible candidate with 100% of job fit parameters.

9.If given a chance, how would you want to use your position within the Human Resources Fraternity to bring about this change?

I would like to help build an online tool that confirms the job fit of a candidate and screens out all irrelevant people. Belong and PexiScore.com are both platforms that are already doing this.

10.What message would you have for young HR Aspirants?

Just open your mind-receive learning. It is going to be a roller coaster ride for the next 5-6 months, but believe me it is going to be a fruitful experience post that.

Chetan Chauhan

Job fit is very important. For e.g. if you are hiring for a high-pressure team, you need to hire someone who can withstand pressure without buckling. We need to...

SENIOR MANAGER AT INVENTURUS KNOWLEDGE SOLUTIONS (IKS HEALTH)

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Chetan Chauhan, Senior Manager at Inventurus Knowledge Solutions (IKS Health) might have entered the field of HR by accident but was inspired by the endless opportunities to learn and grow. A specialist in recruiting, he is well versed with the biases that plague the Recruitment sector and wishes to implement a solution to address them

1. What motivated you to enter the field of Human Resources?

I don’t have an MBA. I am a Computer science graduate. My first job was a combination of engineering and network administration. But I switched to HR after about 11 months. I have 14 years of experience in hiring. Hiring has been my forte even though I have been exposed to other facets of HR. I have worked about 7 years in consulting, and another 7 or so in the corporate side. Domain wise, if you ask me, I have worked on several sectors including airlines, media, BFSI, BPO, KPO and Product Development companies. HR happened to me by accident. It was a career path that involved continuous learning which meant I was never bored. There was also a clear trajectory for growth. I measure growth by the number of opportunities I get to implement my learning. Quite early during my first job, I decided I needed change and wanted to move out of Bangalore. I approached several consultancies to help me find a job. One such consultancy, when I approached them, asked me to whether I would help them screen profiles of computer science graduates for jobs.
They felt that my technical knowledge would be an advantage for me during screening. That’s how it started for me but in about 3 months, I had moved on to a proper candidate screening role within HR

2. If asked to describe your job in a few lines, what would you say?

My job can involve a lot of travelling and includes lateral hiring and leadership hiring. I also handle all recruitment in the organization.

3. What according to you is the biggest HR Challenge today?

There are multiple challenges. Firstly, managers sometimes blame HR for attrition while the problem lies in the company culture itself. We need to formulate new strategies to curb attrition. Secondly, there is a sense of insecurity that prevents some managers from hiring highly capable people or highly competitive people. They fear that, if the person they hire performs very well or better than them, they might lose their job. This is a wrong notion. Hiring good people will only lead to business success. Thirdly, sometimes interviews are conducted just to fill the quota instead of interviewing to hire candidates with the best job fit. Job fit is very important. For e.g. if you are hiring for a high-pressure team, you need to hire someone who can withstand pressure without buckling. We need to identify key criteria and motivations for a job before hiring.
Fourthly, there is a tendency to cut down on costs while paying salaries. The moment you do that, you lose out on hiring the better candidate. If you give peanuts you get monkeys while a tiger is more expensive. So, it all comes down to how equipped the HR are to overcome these challenges. For e.g. the second point I raised about insecurity is a huge issue but to overcome it we need to understand why it happens. It may be because:
a.The person who is doing this is incapable of handling this position.
b.Or is he still not ready for that
c.Or he may be ready for it but grooming has not been proper.

4. How does your company strategize to overcome challenges like this?

The most important thing is to train. Skills can be acquired through short term training but competency takes around 4 to 5 years to build. But I believe organizations should invest in long term training to build competency and my organization tries to do that.

5.What does Human Recourse Management mean to you??

Managing the resources in your company which are human. While it is true that you cannot keep everyone happy, you can find out what motivates people in your organization to perform well. For some it might be money, for some it might be a good culture. For e.g. I have known people who have left top companies because they were treated badly. Some people I know worked in a top company where you needed to take permission even before taking a water break. They left and moved on to better companies.

6.What drives you personally, to excel at your job?

Is it an event, an experience, a person you admire or something else? It’s the people I interact with. As a recruiter, I am the face of the company and I take that seriously. I believe in respecting everyone I interact with, even while conveying that they have been rejected for the job.

7. Does the way we hire need to change?

Everything I have said till now indicates that it does. Yes.

8. If given a chance, how would you want to use your position within the Human Resources Fraternity to bring about this change?

I would like to bring about unity within the HR fraternity and enable a collaborative approach to handle the demands of the recruitment market.

9.What defines you as a person apart from your profession?Do you pursue any hobbies or believe in living life a certain way??

I believe that I am a calm and independent person. I also enjoy reading books. I am a sportsman and an outdoorsy kind of person. I like spending my personal time with likeminded people.

10.What message would you have for young HR Aspirants?

Please treat your candidates or employees as humans and not as HR rulebooks.

Rajesh Subramaniym

Candidates can be allowed to train at various aspects of the business and discover where they fit best and then continue in that...

HR PROFESSIONAL

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Rajesh Subramaniam, is a passionate Human Resources Professional with well over a decade of experience. He has watched HR transition from its grassroots to the complex function it has become now. His vision for its future is built on a core understanding of what leads to sustained business growth.

1. What motivated you to enter the field of Human Resources?

I am a hard core passionate Human Resource professional. My father was in Human Resources, therefore I followed his footsteps. I did my graduation as well as post-graduation in Human Resource. It was a conscious choice. Those days in the late 80’s & early 90’s manufacturing was dominant, and being part of a large conglomerate group. You had Tatas, Birlas etc. People were passionate to be part of companies where you needed to learn. We didn’t have technology and you had to clearly build on wireframes and hang on to those. It meant managing their entire operation, managing their performance, managing their learning and development all in white paper. So, it meant being well versed with all facets of Govt. regulation, internal policies-all these without technology. Then came the late 90’s when Y2K happened with the clear advent of technology and companies functioned with the minimal MS-Access database driven tools which they had. And you did not have functional enabling tools such as performance workflow, learning & development workflow or technology integrated system then. No technology integrated system then. My first company was a start-up therefore our intent was to build some of the best in class Human Resource practices which cut across areas like hiring on time. We fast tracked hire. The intention was to maximize the quality of engagement when people were hired and to look for people who were passionate about what they wanted to do in life. We were more value driven than volume driven. And value proposition was far far deeper then. It entailed more employee driven participation. You should be on the floor-talking to the employee, engaging the employee. That went thru a lot of reverse. Engaging human resource started to take a back seat, more of business administrative HR folk started emerging People who had to just focus on numbers, quantum and statistics to sit in a place to channelize. That became the norm. That started to create enough momentum. See functionally we were titled as personnel administration. Then we started to be called as human resource management. There was no statistics before. But now the strategy of people management practices has started to change. Now we analyse everything including attrition, employee satisfaction and the entire HR cycle. In India, we focus more on performance management and don’t tap into potential development. Now things are changing in India. Things like artificial intelligence and virtual reality are being explored in HR. Chatbots, Chat boards and automated holograms are being used to handle employee queries and administrative aspects of HR. Now you have both performance on the go learning on the go models in place. Companies have realised that performance needs to be measured through unconventional means.

2. If asked to describe your job in a few lines, what would you say?

Over a period, value based thinking has given way to volume based thinking. So, for e.g. if I hire 10 employees and 6 of them perform well while 4 do not, it is considered acceptable. But this is not right. All 10 hires should be trained to perform at a satisfactory level. We need to be willing to invest in continuous training and upskilling for all employees in the organization. These days we hire based on individual roles. So, if a candidate already has experience and qualification for this role s/he is hired. Others are not. But what if you found high potential people with a motivation to learn and perform and hire them as trainees. These candidates can be allowed to train at various aspects of the business and discover where they fit best and then continue in that domain.

3. What according to you is the biggest HR Challenge today?

One- Evaluating what the core business intent is.
Two- Improving the growth strategy of the business.
When you start a company, you must ascertain what is your core business intent. Then look at growth strategy to fulfil this intent. Then formulate job roles. After these roles are defined, look for passionate people.

4. How does your company strategize to overcome challenges like this?

One of the best ways to do that is to keep a lookout on online forums including LinkedIn, Technical forums and Blogging Sites. Who is contributing and participating the most. Additionally, I always keep an eye out when I attend conferences and look for people who demonstrate passion. After identifying, the next step is reaching out to them and tell them that we would love for them to explore a basket of roles in our organization. I would first use engagement tactics before converting them into employees. I would create a rewarding career path for them. But this process can take a long time. How do I cut it short? Maybe we can develop an app that enables us to discover passionate people looking for work in our proximity. Casual conversation can lead to formal discussions.

5.What does Human Recourse Management mean to you??

Do your job with passion and do it right. You do not have to be the best but you must be right for the organization.

6.What drives you personally, to excel at your job?

I believe firmly in being ethical in business. My work is not just business for me, I am personally invested in it. In my personal life, I am very fond of my daughter, who is an inspiration to me. I work with young people through engagement workshops. I believe they are the future. Professionally, I have an interest in predictive HR Analytics.

Rajesh Subramaniym

HRM is often the unattended child of most organizations which prefer taking care of the other children. Human Values play a major role in my way of handling...

HEAD HR OF ALLIGATOR SOFTWARE INDIA PVT LTD

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Vignesh Manickam, heads the HR of Alligator Software India Pvt Ltd. He believes in the importance of human values within the HR function and encourages hiring people who are the right fit for your company’s culture. He talks to Pexitics about how he became a human resources professional, what inspires him and what his vision for the future is.

1. What motivated you to enter the field of Human Resources?

Well, to begin with, I was never an academic person. I have always been a sporty guy. In both school and college, I was often chosen to lead teams. It was actually by accident that I got the opportunity to be a software engineer with a large corporate. It was during a time when I had to choose, think and decide about my career. Not being good at academics, I found Technology, coding, etc. quite challenging as well. It was actually an interviewer during my campus placements who introduced me to the new horizon of HR as a career. I subsequently did some research and now, I am in Human Resources. But I am not the traditional process guy. People and Human Values are my primary focus.

2. If asked to describe your job in a few lines, what would you say?

Take care of people and they take care of projects. Projects pay and the company grows. The company pays people and people feel happy – Happy employees mean a great employer and workplace. In a way, I work towards creating an awesome workplace for our people which directly results in business growth.

3. What according to you is the biggest HR Challenge today?

Finding the right people who fit your culture. There will always be a gap between skill and Attitude. However, more importance seems to be given to attitude.

4. How does your company strategize to overcome challenges like this?

We value every member of our team/organization. We respect the office assistant / Sweeper as much as the directors and C level executives. We are also equal opportunity employers. We invest a lot of time and money in feedback and coaching. We hire the right talent with a great attitude and train them with the skills they require on a regular basis.

5.What does Human Recourse Management mean to you??

HRM means people practices and is very different from other business functions. For me personally, this means being the best mentor, guide and coach. To achieve this, we must train and upgrade employees as often as required. By doing this, we keep our talent engaged and challenged, which results in motivation. Motivated people grow better and build a strong employer brand and deliver greater client success. This in turn results in revenue and the chain of benefits continues. Sadly, HRM is often the unattended child of most organizations which prefer taking care of the other children. Human Values play a major role in my way of handling Human Resource Management.

6.What drives you personally, to excel at your job?

In the Summer of 2007, we had an office assistant who used to go out during day time to get our lunch and then clean the office. Later in the evening whenever I had to stay back late to finish work, he would serve me coffee and watch whatever I was doing. One day, I watched him speaking to someone over the phone and using the same questions and providing the same instructions as we did whenever a candidate called us. Interested by his attitude, I started coaching him after office hours and within a short span, he went from being an office assistant, to an IT Recruiter. This experience of driving change in someone’s life, and motivating them to excel brought me a great sense of joy.

7.Does the way we hire need to change?

Yes. People these days complain about US policy changes, the lack of outsourcing etc. resulting in layoffs. The root cause is affordability. Most Hiring Mangers look for readymade products, right off the shelf and are not willing to invest in coaching/training internal resources more often. Companies are willing to hire at any cost without wanting to train, which results in frequent job offer declines and last minute fallouts. Existing employees who find out that the new hires are getting paid more than when they joined, started looking out for change, which in turn, leads to retention. It is important to start Hiring Talent and Training Skill.

8.If given a chance, how would you want to use your position within the Human Resources Fraternity to bring about this change?

I have already built a network of HR professionals in my region to try and do something contributory. We are exploring whether companies of a similar nature can build salary slabs or a compensation structure that assigns fixed compensations as per experience level. This way employees have the option of choosing to work in a culture where they will fit in, rather than choose a company for money, while struggling/compromising on their personal values. It is a dream and a work in progress.

9.What defines you as a person apart from your profession?

Do you pursue any hobbies or believe in living life a certain way? I live a non-process oriented life. I socialize with family and friends as often as possible. I also check out all the food joints across town. I take long drives across south India whenever possible. I am also preparing for the next phase of my life – Agriculture. Yes, my dream is to be an Agriculturalist in the near future. 10.What message would you have for young HR Aspirants? Choose this profession only if you have the desire to work well with a big smile on your face, even when you are humiliated and face sarcastic comments. You should have a thick skin and always remain neutral. Being biased will be your first step towards failure. Do not choose this profession for fame or for a fancy designation. Remember that we as humans should treat fellow humans the way we want to be treated ourselves.

Bulla Kranthi Kumar

I don’t understand why companies don’t recruit in this way. We need to search the job market for people with potential and...

HEAD OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS- RENOWN INFO SOLUTIONS

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Bulla Kranthi Kumar, Head of Business Operations at Renown Info Solutions, started off his career in recruitment and now handles a gamut of responsibilities as head of operations. His experience in recruitment taught him many things about discerning whom to hire and whom not to. He talks to Pexitics about the key challenges facing recruitment today and the need to address these challenges.

1. What motivated you to enter the field of Human Resources?

I entered human resources for two reasons. Firstly, I completed my MTech in engineering management, something very similar to an MBA. This degree trained me for a career in human resources and hence I was suitably qualified for it. Secondly, many of my friends were working in Human Resources and were enjoying their jobs and its perks. They seemed to be very happy and this encouraged me to make my career in this field. Really, I did not want to do anything else.

2. If asked to describe your job in a few lines, what would you say?

The job of a Human Resources professional involves multiple aspects including compensation and recruitments. So, there are lots of aspects to it. Personally, I would suggest that anyone wanting to make a career in Human Resources should try their hand at the recruitment function. There is more opportunity in that. In an entire company or for thousands of employees, you would have just one HR Generalist. For about 10,000 employees a company would need 10 -15 recruiters. It is a great career option. It is also a very enjoyable job. You get the opportunity to learn and use the latest advanced recruitment technologies and are not tied down by repetitive work.

3. What according to you is the biggest HR Challenge today?

My job is entirely different. I handle things from scratch. When I joined the company, I am working with presently, things were very different. We were still growing. But as soon as I joined, things started happening. The company started acquiring customers like IBM and Tech Mahindra. The scope of my job started to cover a lot more than just Human Resources. With the growing business, I had to take on a lot of responsibilities including scheduling meetings and interviews and everything you could possibly think of in terms of administration. And I handled it all.

4. How does your company strategize to overcome challenges like this?

HR faces several challenges. However, I can tell you about the challenge we face in the recruitment function. Especially within the software and IT industry, it’s difficult to hire the right people. For a single position, you can end up with a list of 60 to 70 people with the same amount of experience on paper. I have been recruiting for several years and I can immediately discern between real profiles and fake profiles. While some of these candidates might say, they have two years hands on experience, after hiring, you will discover that they don’t even have basic knowledge. They are not fit for the job they are hired for. They are probably only suitable for basic level projects. I have learnt that almost 60% to 70% of these candidates cannot be hired as developers or programmers. They would be more suitable as members of a project support team. The recruitment industry therefore must deal with this massive drawback of not being able to discern the right candidates for the job. But the fact is, the problem is deeper than we think. What these candidates are taught in schools and universities are of no relevance when it comes to jobs. I mean how many of us use what we studied at college in our jobs?

5.What does Human Recourse Management mean to you??

Ok, continuing from the example I gave you of the 60% to 70% who could not be hired as developers, it might appear that these candidates are making things up or bluffing. That they know they are not suitable for the job. So, to overcome this, most companies ask for years of experience. But again, what experience are we looking for. Most of these candidates have finished their education and struggled for 5 to 7 years to get a good job. Without the opportunity to build experience how can you prove the candidate is suitable or not? Sadly, companies don’t take this into account and demand experience before hiring. Therefore, ironically, to get this experience, candidates often show fake experience so that they may at least get hired. For e.g. a company may have a job opening that needs to be filled by someone with two years of experience and offers 40,000 rupees as salary. But is this two years’ hands on experience? How do you know? What gap does the experience part fill up? Can a fresher not fill this gap? Or are you unwilling to invest in minimal training? Isn’t practical knowledge more important? But if candidates are honest and show up for interview as freshers, they will not be offered 40,000 rupees and will be expected to work for a pittance. In fact, none of the companies would even hire them. How do we deal with this challenge? We need to identify the space between bluffing and the candidate’s actual capacity to meet the standards of the company. But how? I feel that we should create opportunities for candidates so that they don’t need to bluff to get a good job that they are willing to work well at. This should include both freshers and experienced people. We must let go of our biases regarding the value of experience and the value of percentages/marks in examinations. In fact, I find many backbenchers who have a better life now, in the real world than the front benchers. I myself was a back bencher, but now, when it comes to how much I earn, you would call me a front bencher. Similarly, there are many who might have done excellently in school but are somehow behind when it comes to the real job market. Finally, practical capability is important. I don’t understand why companies don’t recruit in this way. We need to search the job market for people with potential and capability. Invest in them for a couple of months in terms of training, and you will end up with much better employees than the ones you hire

6.What drives you personally, to excel at your job?

There are many people who have completed their MBAs but don’t really know what HR means. 70 – 80% of them think it means getting things done by people. That is what they learn from text books. But in the real world, human resources is a function which requires you to understand the diversity of the people in the organization in terms of cultural background and mindset. It means getting to know them in their own individual capacities and helping them to contribute accordingly to the growth of the organization. Everybody in the organization has to contribute and Human Resources is responsible for that.

7.Does the way we hire need to change?

Honestly, when I started working, I had no one to guide me. These days it is different. I learnt everything through my own experience. I developed myself through my own experience and now I use this experience and share it with all my team members. People who come in now only know the term HR. But I teach them what Recruitment is, as a part of HR and help them become comfortable in their role.

8.If given a chance, how would you want to use your position within the Human Resources Fraternity to bring about this change?

The traditional way of hiring is by connecting with candidates through interviews. But now interviews are conducted either through Skype or via telephone. I have often received complaints that interviews conducted in such a manner are leading to candidates using proxies to give their interviews. There is no system to track whether the person giving the interview is the one who joins finally. It is important to set systems in place to avoid such things and to be very smart and careful while taking the interview to avoid such instances.

9.What defines you as a person apart from your profession?

I would love to share the truth of what happens in recruitment and its challenges with everyone. Most people don’t believe that things like proxy interviews and made up experience happens. As an individual, I know it does, but cannot bring about change. I need the support of other people who have similar experiences like me to educate the business fraternity about such challenges. And for this, we also need to get deep insights into how hiring works now and why candidates do what they do. We need to build a forum to discuss such issues and formulate solutions.

10.What defines you as a person apart from your profession. Do you pursue any hobbies?

Do you believe in living life a certain way? Personally, I strongly believe in punctuality. I also love browsing the internet for news around the world. I have an interest in current affairs.

Sahana Shankar

Human Capital is an intellectual capital which is the most critical capital for any organization. If this capital can be managed, rest all...

AVP & HR HEAD-PALADION

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Every challenge is an opportunity for Sahana Shankar, AVP & Head of HR at Paladion. As she talks to Pexitics about her work, it’s clear to see, how seriously passionate she is about working as a transformative agent, within Human Resource Management.

1. What motivated you to enter the field of Human Resources?

Human Beings are the most interesting species and I always believed that it is the human capital which is the unique selling proposition for any organization. It’s like this, you can take away brand, money, name & fame from an organization and just leave behind its people the same people will build the brand again. It’s not the numbers which excited me but it was always people who bring those numbers that amazed me hence I wanted to work in the area of maximizing the human capital and help organization and people unleash their fullest potential. Strategy can be great but we need people who can execute those strategies. Vision/plan can be a gamechanger but we need great minds who will execute that.

2. If asked to describe your job in a few lines, what would you say?

I am a transformational leader focusing on organizational needs by optimizing human capital in achieving business objectives. I help organization and individuals unleash their full potential and contribute back to society by serving on the board of academic institutions.

3. What according to you is the biggest HR Challenge today?

  • Getting the right talent for right job.
  • Helping HR Team to think Digital
  • Building lean teams with design thinking mindsets
  • Engaging and motivating millennials
  • Driving Data Driven HR & Data driven decision making
  • Culture Formation and Culture Sustenance

4. How does your company strategize to overcome challenges like this?

Getting the right talent for right job-
we do Culture Fit, Behavioural Test, Technical Assessments, Employer Branding on social media, use digital tools for sourcing, target passive candidate, look at outbound hiring
Helping HR Team to think Digital –
We are showcasing how Digital HR will value add, simplify, fasten the process and deliver a great employee experience. We are encouraging HR Team to think digital by portrayal of how much of additional time they will have for doing more strategic work as mundane work Digital tool can do. Building lean teams with design thinking mindsets
Engaging and motivating millennials–
We are looking at outbound hiring tools, chatbot for employee engagement, mobile apps for learning, pride videos, recognition on app, encouraging Millennials to follow their passion, career paths, challenging work.
Driving Data Driven HR & Data driven decision making–
It’s a decision that every decision needs to be supported by data, trend, patterns.
Culture Formation and Culture Sustenance–
We are making it top down and bottom up by making it part of our culture fit assessment, All Hands Meet founders talking, employees being recognized for culture pillars of the organization
Cross Skilling Talent–
We have an initiative called Competency Belt where in entire organization is mapped under different competency belt and based on the belt cross skilling is encouraged.

5.What does Human Recourse Management mean to you??

It is Human Capital Management. Human Capital is an intellectual capital which is the most critical capital for any organization. If this capital can be managed, rest all will fall in place.

6.What drives you personally, to excel at your job?

Every challenge is an opportunity to learn and make a difference. The biggest driving force is the ability to make a difference based on your knowledge and competence/capability to the organization and teams. The motivation as a leader is to create more leaders. I always see the bigger picture and believe it is better to be a big fish in a small pond than being a small fish in a big pond.

7.Does the way we hire need to change?

Yes, I do see a big change in the way we hire. Traditional hiring is not giving us results and hence we are currently looking at Technical Hackathons, Culture fit, behavioural assessments, video based JD’s, Coding rounds, case study approach to hiring.

8.If given a chance, how would you want to use your position within the Human Resources Fraternity to bring about this change?

I would like to mentor more students who are graduating in HR and mentor start-ups in HR Space. I would like to give more guest lectures in colleges and share knowledge though various platforms more.

9.What defines you as a person apart from your profession?

Being passionate about Academics, I closely work with academic institutions for revamping the syllabus to ensure an industry relevant and application oriented syllabus is offered to the student community. On a periodic basis, I review syllabus for subjects like Human Resource Management, Organisational Development & International Human Resource Management. ->I write articles on LinkedIn/blog and I am co-authoring a book ->I spend time on following my passion for singing and travelling to places ->Next I want to learn photography

10.What defines you as a person apart from your profession. Do you pursue any hobbies?

HR is a profession where you can transform lives, to transform lives be passionate, work hard, have analytical thinking, right attitude, willingness to constantly keep learning and have a customer centric mindset. The most important aspect Just be yourself (Play with your Strengths) and you can conquer the world.

Hemang Desai

The focus of HR should be on culture fit aspect apart from the skill-fit aspect. We sometimes get so engrossed in the numbers and positions to...

HR PROFESSIONAL, TRAINER

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HEMANG DESAI, 42, is an astute HR Professional, Trainer and Management Thinker. With his sound interpersonal skills and strong background in human dynamics, he has been widely acclaimed as a Human Engineer as well as a successful Business Consultant. A Post Graduate in Social Work, he has a PG Diploma each in Training & Development and Psychotherapy & Counselling

1. What motivated you to enter the field of Human Resources?

I was (and I am !!!) a curious student of Human Dynamics, human behaviour and the complexity of interpersonal relationship dynamics. I realised the HR is the only aspect of Business Value Chain that is continuous throughout and yet so complex. I got into the ocean of HR with this basic curiosity of understanding a mechanism called human resources management and the phenomenon called human being. I am amazed and overwhelmed with the fact that despite my rigorous pursuit of last 20 years, I have not been able to get to the last drop of this vast ocean.

2. If asked to describe your job in a few lines, what would you say?

Job in HR is not just another “job”, It is a passion. HR is the only profession where you enable and equip people to do uncommon things. It is a great experience of creating vibrant and integrated organisations from mere structures / skeletons, generating life long bonds & comradeship among team members, developing leaders who take the helms of the industries in their hands, transforming cultures, which harnesses business growth and success.

3. What according to you is the biggest HR Challenge today?

There are two major HR challenges:

  • How to keep three generations, working under the same roof, motivated and yet productive?
  • How to manage the aspirations of gen-X & gen-Y, within the given organisational parameters and frameworks.

4. How does your company strategize to overcome challenges like this?

As I said, HRM is not just another profession. For me HRM has been an integral part of my life. It has been attached to me like my skin is. I am quite passionate, optimistic and enthusiastic about the future and the significance of HRM for the Business.

5.What does Human Recourse Management mean to you??

My professional and moral commitment to the HR team I work with, to the superiors who entrust me with responsibilities and my colleagues who inspires me, each time I bring about change through positive intervention.

6.What drives you personally, to excel at your job?

Yes, the “procurement” mind-set of hiring people like a commodity must change drastically. We need to keep in mind that we are not just hiring a set of skills, but also an emotional being. We need to stop expecting miracles immediately, from the incumbent, just because we have met all his/her expectations of compensation. The focus of HR should be on culture fit aspect apart from the skill-fit aspect. We sometimes get so engrossed in the numbers and positions to fill in, we conveniently neglect the culture-fit, which then becomes a pain, sometimes even hurdle for organisational growth journey.

7.Does the way we hire need to change?

I would request my colleagues in HR Fraternity to handle recruitments more strategically than administratively. We need to spend more time in developing robust HR plan, hiring schedule in line with the Business expansion / execution plans, continuously analyse and develop skill gap inventory, sound and methodical induction processes for various levels and disciplines. Impetus to be laid on internally upgrading of skills and creating a wide database of industry professionals, are some of the other critical steps HR professionals need to take in order to make recruitment a scientific, integrated and a value-adding function.

8.If given a chance, how would you want to use your position within the Human Resources Fraternity to bring about this change?

I would like to be seen as an approachable, warm and helpful person. It is very difficult to separate your profession from your personality after soaking the two together for more than twenty years. However, I still feel I am not at all as diplomatic and shrewd personally, as much as my profession would demand.

9.What defines you as a person apart from your profession?

I have a strong belief in the lessons of Shree Bhagawad Geeta. I have started believing in karma, without having any control on its outcomes and carrying out our karma, to the best of our capabilities is as good as Yog (meeting the divinity!!).

10.What defines you as a person apart from your profession. Do you pursue any hobbies?

I have two messages for HR Aspirants: Do not get into HR, just as another career option. It is far more than that. It will exhaust you soon if you are coming without passion for people. HR and Business are fast converging. In order to be a successful HR professional, know your business and its nuances well.

More about Hemang Desai:

HEMANG DESAI, 42, is an astute HR Professional, Trainer and Management Thinker. With his sound interpersonal skills and strong background in human dynamics, he has been widely acclaimed as a Human Engineer as well as a successful Business Consultant. A Post Graduate in Social Work, he has a PG Diploma each in Training & Development and Psychotherapy & Counselling.

With core focus being dissemination of learning, currently, he is operating as a freelance Organisational Transformation Consultant, Trainer, Success Coach and Management Advisor. His clients include reputed names into Engineering, Hospital, Agro & dairy products, Development sector (NGO), etc.

Having more than two decades of experience in managing Strategic HR interventions with some of the most esteemed organizations like Reliance Industries Ltd, GSPC Group, ESSAR Group, Hindustan Oil Exploration Company Ltd, and Torrent Pharmaceuticals’ Research Centre, he has created a niche with his stellar success in blending Strategy into execution for highly intellectual workforce. His last assignment was as the Global Head – Corporate HR with the multinational Bankai Group. He was recently been featured in Asia’s Who’s Who by HRM Asia Journal, Singapore. He has been invited as a member to the esteemed Human Resources Advisory Board of International Institute of Management & Technology. He is a Life Member of National HRD Network & NIPM, Associate Member of All India Management Association, Indian Academy of Applied Psychology (IAAP) and Indian Society of Applied Behavioural Science (ISABS).

With a keen interest in teaching and his strong academic orientation, he has been associated as a visiting faculty with various universities and institutes of national / international repute. He has to his credit several papers and articles published in some of the renowned HR journals as well as popular newspapers.

He is pragmatic and believes firmly that ‘nothing except change is consistent’. You can reach Hemang Desai at hemang.desai@consultant.com

Girirsh Karnad

Despite technological advancement in recent times, the actual hiring process has not changed much over the years. The first step in...

VICE PRESIDENT & HEAD(RECRUITMENT, FACILITIES & PROCUREMENT)-MASTEK.LTD

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Girish Karnad, who has led and headed the HR function in multiple established companies, took time out to tell Pexitics what HR meant to him. He is a leader with a visionary approach who understands the need for continuous change and improvement.

1. What motivated you to enter the field of Human Resources?

In my career spanning over three decades, I have been in the HR function for just over 16 years. My initial move into HR was to get cross functional experience, which would help me take on higher responsibilities. However, the complexities of human behaviour and the dynamic nature of HR made me choose this function as my career. Modern HR practices have brought about more predictability, along with an analytical and scientific approach. Considering my engineering background, the idea of matching people skills with business and engineering skills has continued to excite and motivate me.

2. If asked to describe your job in a few lines, what would you say?

Over the last few years, partnering with the business has been the focus area for HR. It is one of the biggest HR challenges even today! Putting oneself into the shoes of the business heads, understanding the nuances of businesses’ requirements and decisions and anticipating business changes is extremely challenging for an HR professional. The expectations from the business to be more analytical and adopt a data driven approach means learning skills which HR professionals never learnt in their career and probably never expected to learn. Employee engagement and creating an attractive company culture are among the top HR challenges today. Implementing Change in today’s VUCA world is another big HR challenge.

3. What according to you is the biggest HR Challenge today?

I have always believed that motivation comes from within. I do not believe in competing with or comparing myself with someone else. One must learn to always compete with oneself. Am I a better person today compared with what I was yesterday? Small, incremental improvements on a regular basis ultimately have a compounding effect which makes us excel in anything we do. One must of course have the required discipline and a system in place to keep track of our progress towards our goals.

4. How does your company strategize to overcome challenges like this?

Absolutely. Despite technological advancement in recent times, the actual hiring process has not changed much over the years. The first step in the hiring process is sourcing the right candidates. This is a very important step and determines how well a recruiter has understood the manpower requirement and screened potential candidates. Sourcing the right candidates relieves the hiring manager from the pressures of screening large number of resume. Technology has, at the most, helped to make the process faster and less tedious for the recruiter. However, the core selection process of interviewing and evaluating a candidate has not seen much change. The interview process should be competency based and objective. I have experienced scenarios where a candidate is rejected by an interviewer for a particular skill and a few moments later cleared by another interviewer for the same skill in the same organisation! There is a need for standardising the job descriptions with focus on competencies and skill levels, bringing the interviewers on a level plane and implementing objective and competency based interviewing and selection tools, which may also include psychometric tools. These processes tend to get overlooked, particularly doing mass hiring situations.

5.What does Human Recourse Management mean to you??

In today’s world, continuous learning is the only way one can remain relevant and survive in the industry. This is true not only for the IT professionals, but for other professionals as well. I have myself tried to keep abreast of the latest developments in the industry and it has not been easy. The best way I could contribute to the HR fraternity would be by sharing the knowledge and experience through training programs, seminars and workshops.

6.What drives you personally, to excel at your job?

I believe in living a simple and healthy life. Exercise regularly, eat healthy and try to maintain work – life balance to the extent possible. Stress has become an integral part of work today. Learning to reduce stress helps to maintain a healthy body and a healthy mind. Hobbies are good stress busters. I love to read, write, practice martial arts and occasionally draw. Develop good relationships – they help you in the long run.

7.Does the way we hire need to change?

Functional expertise is not sufficient to give a person competitive edge in the industry today. Adding business skills to your repertoire would go a long way in consolidating your position. The world is moving more and more towards big data, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. While one cannot expect HR professionals to develop expertise in these areas, they should learn how to use them effectively in their work. At the same time one cannot become slaves to technology. It is important not to lose relevance of people skills and the human touch. Business management skills, negotiation skills and people skills will ensure success in your career today and in the future.

Robin Verghese

I would change the rules of hiring and do away with certain rules that form the basis of...

FOUNDER & BUSINESS HEAD-BUILDING BRIDGES

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Robin Varghese, Founder of Building Bridges, has immense experience of the entire gamut of HR activity in India & abroad for over 30 years is also a prolific writer. He believes in the importance of empathy within the Human Resource Function

1. What motivated you to enter the field of Human Resources?

It happened by accident- I was actually a Trade Union activist, and had been the joint secretary of my union during my hey days. However, life teaches you and you learn to analyse yourself and your inputs in life. This self-analysis made me move away from being the fiery union activist into a soberer human resource professional. When I look back and ask myself what was the motivation, the first thing that comes to mind is the human capital, the vast sea of humanity who could be coached to become better individuals, because then, they are doing themselves a world of good and in turn, their families, organizations and society.

2. If asked to describe your job in a few lines, what would you say?

My job is to discover the hidden talent in people, hone it and help utilize it for all round betterment.

3. What according to you is the biggest HR Challenge today?

Keeping the younger generation glued to their work space for longer years (beating attrition) and helping people find their true selves.

4. How does your company strategize to overcome challenges like this?

I am not into full time practice at the moment so I can’t speak of my organization, but if I were to look back at the various places I have worked, my efforts were always centred around finding the right horses for the right courses.

5.What does Human Recourse Management mean to you??

Human resource Management is about being able to identify and raise individuals into ones who can stand on mountains and face the stormy seas. It also means sending solace during times of personal adversity to make them recover from their lows.

6.What drives you personally, to excel at your job?

It is a fact that all individuals are born equal, some are a tad lucky while others must be lifted up from their present state. As a Human Resource professional, it is my core duty to work towards this.

7.Does the way we hire need to change?

Yes, there has to be more empathy rolled onto recruitment and one must dispel with certain pre-conceived rules and notions that have almost become clique.

8.If given a chance, how would you want to use your position within the Human Resources Fraternity to bring about this change?

I would change the rules of hiring and do away with certain rules that form the basis of recruitment in industry.

9.What defines you as a person apart from your profession?

Empathy and sympathy define me as a person. At the same time, I am a pretty good judge of character. I pursue writing and pen down thoughts on anything that stirs my soul. I believe in looking forward rather than introspect indefinitely.

10.What defines you as a person apart from your profession. Do you pursue any hobbies?

Be yourself, look at what pleases your inner self and try to pursue that line of activity. Be sympathetic and empathize with fellow human beings and be very clear headed in your mind.

Suryatapa Guha

To build something that never existed or to challenge the conventional yet ineffective norms, to debate with perseverance and finally strive to...

ECO-CONSERVATION ENTHUSIAST, FORMER HR PROFESSIONAL

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Suryatapa Guha, first entered the field of human resources somewhat by chance. However, quite soon, the scope of what human resources as a function meant for organizations as a whole, and the extent of impact it had on business success, drew her in.

1. What motivated you to enter the field of Human Resources?

Well, to enter the field of Human Resources was not exactly a planned decision for me. My corporate career began as a Trainee in a well reputed organization after I completed my post-graduation in Economics and it was during my traineeship, that I joined the HR Team to support them in a project involving merger of two entities to form a new organization. This project offered a huge learning platform with a hands-on experience for me to manage a very critical, ‘time & people’ sensitive assignment, at a very early stage of my career. I think it was this experience and the scope to understand and manage the dynamics of Human Resources, which got me to build my career in this field. It was interesting to be a part of a function where one is expected to develop and manage the biggest talent pool of an organization while ensuring the best of service to its most important internal customers.

2. If asked to describe your job in a few lines, what would you say?

In my 12 years of HR career, a major part of my work involved managing strategic initiatives with respect to M&A, organizational restructuring and right-sizing scenarios. To put it objectively, my job involved partnering with businesses, understanding how they function, what is the value-add expected from their human resources, gather / analyse information around best practices while weighing the costs & benefits (not only ‘direct costs’ but considering ‘opportunity costs’ also) and work around a ‘best fit’ value- proposition which would benefit the employees at large along with a buy-in from the management …. and all this, with ‘no or minimum’ adverse effect on the organization’s ‘human sentiment’. This also meant that handling ‘employee-communication with utmost sensitivity’ was a very critical part of my job.

3. What according to you is the biggest HR Challenge today?

To state one ‘biggest’ HR challenge would be difficult. While there are issues related to Culture change, Diversity, Inclusivity etc., I would like to mention about the focus needed to develop and nurture the human resource professionals within an organization.
There is a need to ‘re-identify, re-define and re-develop’ the technical & functional skills of HR professionals especially those at the junior or middle level. Some of the focus areas could include:
a. Numbers & Analytics – With ‘data’ emerging as the most valuable resource, there is no scope for progressive HR professionals (irrespective of their area of expertise) to label themselves as ‘not a number person’. This isn’t about actually computing or performing the analytics. But in order to handle ‘people issues’ more effectively, having the knowledge of and staying abreast with the statistics that align Businesses and HR, is a must.
b. Communication with focus on handling ‘human sensitivity’ – With changing dynamics of the corporate world, businesses have to take tough calls around team restructuring, right sizing / layoffs, which obviously have an adverse effect on employees. Given this, knowledge of basic counselling skills, holding critical conversations, giving constructive feedback, driving policies to aid those who are affected, have evolved as the most critical skill needed by HR professionals, today. And to equip them, there is a need to develop a structured guidance and development plan around this. Some organizations are sensitive to this but most are yet to get there.
c.Knowledge of Law and Compliance – The context being same as in pt. 2 above, to educate and keep oneself updated about relevant laws and regulations is inevitable for any HR professional, irrespective of what their responsibilities are. For the Human Resource function to emerge as a successful Business partner and be identified as a core driver in organizational decisions, it is important to empower the millennial HR professionals to deal with ambiguity, manage human sentiments, and be nimble to cope with changing practices & work culture. And this is possible, if organizations nurture an open-minded culture, welcome new ideas and focus on defining structured trainings and skill development plans for their HR professionals. As the popular corporate mantra goes… the key to sustenance is to be able ‘to Learn, Unlearn & Relearn’.

4. How does your company strategize to overcome challenges like this?

My driving force while performing my job is primarily the whole ‘experience’ of making an impact, big or small, on the human talent of an organization. To build something that never existed or to challenge the conventional yet ineffective norms, to debate with perseverance and finally strive to make that ‘change’ see the light of day, is the impetus to carry on…and I think this holds true for any other profession or industry, alike.

5.What does Human Recourse Management mean to you??

Definitely, it does. Typically for most organizations, while external consultants take care of recruitment logistics and facilitate the process, somewhere the ‘value add’ needed to ensure quality of hiring is compromised… the onus of which should come from a collaborative effort between HR and businesses. Also, ‘quality’ of hire is no longer restricted to hiring someone based on their past credentials but also to be able to assess their potential as the ‘best fit’ for a long-term productive stint in the new organizational environment. It goes without saying that technology will come in to play a huge role in this regard. .

6.What drives you personally, to excel at your job?

I am a very research driven person and love to read and learn more about new developments and technologies around the world, be it in any domain or industry. With information being so easily accessible, I feel the facets of the ‘real world’ are more fascinating than fiction and I can never get ‘bored’ of knowing more.

7.Does the way we hire need to change?

I think, first of all it is important to know ‘Why do you aspire to be a HR professional?’ Unfortunately, I have come across reasons stated as, “because it offers a comfortable desk job”, “doesn’t involve customer meetings, no frequent travelling”, “because I am poor with numbers and I love talking to people” … Well, as HR aspirants, you need to realize and understand the impact that you are expected to bring about in organizations and equip yourself with the know-how of businesses, technology and people management skills to carve a successful and more importantly, a ‘fulfilling’ career in HR. And if you already know that you really are a ‘HR Aspirant’, then my best wishes to you for a remarkable career! There’s an ever-rising need for more HR professionals who are ‘thinkers’ & ‘change makers’ in today’s world.

Shrinath Gururajarao

HR and in particular organizations win by deploying a philosophy of Faster, Better, Steadier, Larger and Cheaper, the 6R framework, that still holds...

VICE PRESIDENT & CHRO- NEXVAL GROUP

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Srinath Gururajarao, Vice President & CHRO at Nexval Group, believes that excellence is a daily pursuit and makes it his mission to make people around him smile

1. What motivated you to enter the field of Human Resources?

Biggest motivator then and even now is a basic human need to do something different and impact lives around positively. Initially from working on Benefits administration with a 3rd party provider, to learning the how of hiring and influencing prospects, were an enticing opportunity. This has and continues to be a big motivator to enjoy and continue to work in Human resources. No other role can provide one with an opportunity to put a smile on another being like in HR. This became a conscious choice then to pursue and to lean deeper into creating meaning to my work by making another succeed.

2. If asked to describe your job in a few lines, what would you say?

Enabling More Smiles per Hour of Work!

3. What according to you is the biggest HR Challenge today?

Biggest challenge in HR today is an ability to invent and skill up in times of high VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) impacting people and businesses, coupled with the surety of digital infrastructure. This aids HR with great tools to tackle and continue enabling more happy employees with an assurance to stakeholders of positive impact. Clear threads emerge to win in these times:
• Ability to enable a strong cultural integrity and identity
• Higher ability of HR to get data driven decision systems to enable faster responses and innovation
• Enabling Innovation thinking at organization microcosms aligned to customer impact points
• To deploy MOOC (Massive Online Open Courses) to quickly upskill, reskill, cross skill and de skill
• Ability of HR to Create platforms and systems to utilize global talent quicker and linked to customer needs more than ever

4. How does your company strategize to overcome challenges like this?

HR and in particular organizations win by deploying a philosophy of Faster, Better, Steadier, Larger and Cheaper, the 6R framework, that still holds relevant. Digital systems and practices are a great leveller in integrating culture and ringing in transparency to power performance. Our approach in handling the VUCA is doing “simple things right and the complex a little bright”. What I mean by that is getting the basics right with a digital delivery platform as NEXAEI which is our internal engagement tool with basic GPS synced presence/absence information the trust and engagement is high. This is coupled with excitement I repeat the excitement that is generated in simple tasks eliminates the complexity and brings out into the open a very informed employee who focuses on the core. Bright aspects are all digital in way of communication, establishing factual intellect based decision support systems. On the learning aspects, we have been conducting Design thinking sessions for all our employees, not in a classroom environment but on real scenarios they confront in their day to day work. These workshops have been a big success in enabling transformation at the core and powering up the innovation engine.

5.What does Human Recourse Management mean to you??

Human Resource Management has long surpassed its traditional form and factor. What is now is Human Resource Delight towards being more agile, lean and with a digital edge empowered to deliver value for tomorrow. The organizations have moved away from doling out bouquets of offerings as a group which is available, to personalizing the same at an individual level, we have moved a long way. We are now in the realm of N=1 factor where each individual employee is considered a critical talent in the overall value proposition of an organization and ensures that there is delight with the experiences they carry within their journey. For example, at Nexval we have individuals to express their aspirations and then weave a personal learning map “Springboard” to help them achieve the same.

6.What drives you personally, to excel at your job?

Excellence is a daily pursuit, what energizes me is the ability to bring a smile on another fellow professional achieving their dreams. This Hunger is a major driving factor in my journey. Also, the fact that today at a click of a tab, one could visualize and represent information in more meaningful ways excites every time, knowing fully well that a positive event/impact is waiting to happen in the organizations ecosystem. Nexval for all it’s years in existence has been a harbinger of transparency and trust which motivates even a saint to dance in exhilaration! Founders have been a great motivation to all employees who are treated equitable and fair. One person I admire is Richard Feynman the famed Nuclear Physicist who thought fun at work in as serious an environment as making the first nuclear bomb!

7.Does the way we hire need to change?

Yes, traditionally hiring has been labour intensive with little or no science or one which has been passed on as science in the way we understand the potential to a current environment. What we have today are gaming zones which lets a prospect play in a remote part of the world and gives a potential success map in seconds to be able to make a hiring decision seamless and integrated well. Pymetric, Agora etc. have been championing gamified, artificially intelligent and question agnostic better decisions which every organization should learn from and adapt.

8. If given a chance, how would you want to use your position within the Human Resources Fraternity to bring about this change?

One would need to start looking at the 6R results framework and adapt technology and the latest assessment tools to power a great future for the organizations talent needs. One needs to ensure cultural fit by way of understanding a prospects cultural agility which is a big impact area especially if one is responsible for a team.

9. What defines you as a person apart from your profession? Do you pursue any hobbies or believe in living life a certain way?

As a person, I am an Extrovert, intuitive and thoughtful in my actions considering a genuine desire to make a positive impact and help another succeed. That philosophy moves at the core persona of me.

10. What message would you have for young HR Aspirants??

Dare to dream and start to act! Action is THE biggest differentiator of all and all times. One who acts moves ahead. HR is one domain which powers a professional to create more professionals who find satisfaction in fulfilling their dreams. An aspiring HR professional today needs to equip with the latest in HR Technology and Data Analytics world which has made this possible to think and act scientifically in enabling the journey of a fellow professional.