Article: HR Innovation- the perfect result of Technological disruption


Author: Achal Khanna, CEO, SHRM India

There was a point in time, when HR and Innovation were two words that did not connect with each other. Or so it was believed. Today is yet another point in time when HR Innovation is the biggest trend on the corporate landscape. Until some decades ago, there was a lot of conversation around how HR should be more business-focused and strategic. One big trend that has ensured that HR is unequivocally the most effective business partner has been the use of technology in people processes. HR technology solutions are one of the fastest growing areas in India. Not only is it growing in the size of business, but also in terms of investment levels. As per a PeopleStrong survey in 2017, India is expected to have the fastest growth rate in HR technology wherein the market is forecasted to grow by 25%. Given this kind of trajectory, the HR Tech landscape is one of most tracked one. There is a great deal of interest in how it is shaping up and the game-changing players entering it each year. Every area of HR, including recruitment, training and leadership development, has technology platforms and tools embedded in it.  



Achal Khanna, CEO, SHRM India
Given the situation, HR Innovation is no longer a buzzword. It is a market reality that has catapulted the HR leaders, in specific, and the fraternity, in general, into a different league. We live in a world where Design Thinking principles can now be applied to HR Technology strategies. This can influence better engagement and productivity levels at the workplace. All aspects of talent, such as acquisition, engagement and development, need fresh ideas and application of technology tools. Through rapid innovation, HR is making these key processes entirely business-centric. It is aware of the manner in which the jobs themselves are getting transformed. This needs a tangential way of thinking. That is where HR Innovation comes to the forefront.

Whether it is predictive hiring, designing HR Chatbots or app-based employee engagement, HR’s role has become a game-changing one. Technology was already being applied in other functional areas within organizations. But with its entry and more importantly, entrenchment into HR processes, innovative solutions are the new norm. HR has learnt how to use technology to make its role more meaningful and contextualized.. Going beyond HR systems, we are uniquely positioned to influence internal and external stakeholders through our grasp of technology.

There are concerns about whether HR is ready for Blockchain Technology or Cybersecurity challenges. There are also questions about the future of HR in such a technology-driven world, if it continues to remain inward-focused. All HR trends in 2018 are related to being externally focused. Some key trends in India are upskilling of the current workforce, growth of online and social learning channels, targeted emphasis on employee experiences, the role of social and community work in creating great leaders, regular and continual performance management. These are a few trends that are shaping up and each of these is linked to reflecting external market situations onto internal processes. These trends  cover the core areas of HR technology and analytics. India is believed to be in the middle of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, one which is based on technological innovation and automation.


As per a recent E&Y report, the future of jobs in India in the year 2022 will depend on how we respond to the impact of three major forces - globalization, demographic changes and our adoption of the  Industry 4.0 exponential technologies by the Indian industries.

In addition to the above, India is also heading towards the global trend of hybrid roles. Each role now has a varied definition of what it is expected to do. Most organizations are expanding their job descriptions to incorporate different skills and responsibilities. Our workplace needs each role to have a diverse skill set and technological knowhow. With the rise of analytics and big data, the future of jobs has taken a new direction. Also organizations do not want to hire many different people to perform a set of roles. With the lines blurring, they are upskilling the current set of employees or hiring only those who have the entire range of skills. Even educational courses are now designed to provide these competencies. Domain knowledge is not the reason for hire. For example, an HR practitioner with only knowledge of his or her area of work is not going to fit into the future. A practitioner who can uses marketing to create employee experiences or a great employer brand digitally, is more valuable. This is what is leading to an emergence of insights that are unique to this space of HR Tech.

We, at SHRM India, constantly work towards to bringing in these insights, trends and thought leadership on a common platform through a perfect amalgamation of HR, Technology providers and end users. Towards this end, SHRM India, will be organizing the 4th SHRMTech’18 Conference on April 26th and 27th at Novotel Convention Center, Hyderabad, this year to discuss and share HR Technology trends, concerns and the way forward for our future workplaces.  In 2017, 950+ Delegates, 12+ Countries, 70+ Global Speakers and 28 Knowledge Sessions made it an unmatched event for all those who participated. The conference, will share path-breaking insights into revolutionizing HR technology. The industry experts will be sharing their thoughts on a varied range of topics that define HR in Tech, today. 

(Author's views are personal)

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