CO - HR Innovation

ADAPT or PERISH: It is time for HR professionals to decide and create a new function or move out of the way!

ADAPT or PERISH: It is time for HR professionals to decide and create a new function or move out of the way!
Artificial intelligence in recruitment and performance management giving employees their key deliverables the day they join; measuring real-time performance through identified key performance indexes, and mapping employees’ development needs and creating succession plans for critical positions is now a workplace reality.

Chatbots helping candidates to pick the right jobs and enhancing their application experience, predicting employee trends using data analytics to help manage staffing, using instant sensing tools to gauge employee engagement, gamification of learning programmes with immediate feedback, using virtual reality for a virtual walk-through of critical company processes and even offices – these all sound like a set of a sci-fi movie, does it not?

Only the beginning

The only difference is that this is as real as it gets, and is just the tip of the iceberg of what is to come in the next five years for the HR profession.

Five years ago, anyone saying any of the above would have been labeled as futuristic or a dreamer. But welcome to the age of complete disruption, where the future has caught up with HR. Technology has completely disrupted the one function that has always struggled to show tangible results. These inventions are enabling the function to demonstrate how it can impact businesses and their bottom lines.

With Gen Y-ers becoming the dominant work group and Gen Z's entering the workforce digital environments are the base operating standard for all organizations now. Gone are the days when HR professionals need to be interpersonally savvy. Today, they need to be tech-savvy.

They are expected to leverage technology at every level of the employee life-cycle to ensure that the mundane and routine tasks are eliminated not just from the employee’s life, but also from the list of tasks of the HR person so that they can focus on value-adding activities.

The role of HR technology has become not just critical, but an integral part of the talent management function. Today, an HR professional is expected to be on top of this technological wave as CEOs demand more accountability from HR and rush to make their talent the differentiator in the marketplace.

Shifting from output to outcomes

The whole focus of HR has shifted from output to outcomes as talent challenges take center stage. With global economic uncertainty, most organizations are experimenting with lean management strategies so as to try and maximize their financial outcomes.

With the intense war for talent and the changing demographics, CEOs today are looking to get the best people to focus on business priorities. CEOs look towards HR to lead people transformation projects and on solutions that will help the business to leverage their people to their full potential.

This includes the HR function itself too, where CEOs want HR to start focusing on adding value to the business and not spending time in administrative activities, which are being replaced by technological solutions.

As compared to five years ago, the amount of technology solutions available in the HR space has more than doubled. Employee self-help solutions, online performance management, digital learning, employee succession planning, digitised engagement and reward tools for employees are just some of the present basic requirements. Exposure to and knowledge of technological tools is an added advantage for HR professionals.

Adapt or perish

Today the conversations that happen are mostly in the areas of artificial intelligence and how HR can leverage it in its critical processes, how AI can be introduced into an employee’s day-to-day life, and how people analytics can help HR to help the business leaders anticipate and deliver more value to clients by being able to manage people challenges proactively.

So if you thought you could stay away from the dynamic and ever-changing technological world as you work in HR, think again. It is inevitable that if you do not embrace this technology world you would very likely struggle in your career.

In this age of smartphones and mobile apps, broadband and laptops, social media and instant communication, access to timely people and business data is becoming critical to the success of the HR function. So there is really only one inevitability for all HR folks out there: Either adapt or perish! The future of HR is here and it is happening now!
  • Dr. Gaurav Hirey,
    Dr. Gaurav Hirey,
    Business HR Leader and Success Coach,

    DR. Gaurav is Managing Director of GoEvals. Prior to that Gaurav Hirey was the group director of human resources and talent development at Teledirect, leading the group HR function for the organisation globally. At Teledirect, he focused on leveraging technology, artificial intelligence and data analytics for the human resources function. Gaurav Hirey was Chief Human Resource Officer for Millward Brown Africa, Middle East, and Asia Pacific region. Gaurav brings more than 20 years of HR leadership experience to Millward Brown. Previously, he spent seven years with WPP’s GroupM, most recently as Executive Board member and Chief Talent Officer, South Asia. Before that, Gaurav was regional Chief Talent Officer for Maxus Asia Pacific and, earlier, Head of Human Resource for GroupM South Asia. Gaurav is credited with establishing GroupM India the titles of the “Dream Employer in Media” and the “Best Employer Brand in the Media and Entertainment Industry” in India. He was also a part of the core team which created the Maxus PACE behaviors that have now been adopted globally by Maxus.    

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