We live in a highly inter-connected flat world where technology rules, and we are increasingly becoming dependant on it for the most trivial of our tasks. Did you know that technology is disrupting our lifestyle at the speed of thought? 90% of the world’s data was produced in the last 2-3 years because we yield approximately 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. 78% of companies believe Big Data and Analytics will change the nature of the business; US employees check their phones 8 billion times day, and many such circumstances that make our life complex.

“The idea was to make LIFE SIMPLE. Instead, it has become more COMPLEX.”

This complexity is making our world a highly dynamic VUCA world. VUCA, an acronym for (V) volatility, (U) uncertainty, (C) complexity and (A) ambiguity, is gaining popularity to shelter the various magnitudes of this ‘uncontrollable’ digital environment.

It is reassuring to see how the human resource has evolved through this digital age and is still a crucial part of all organizations. Initially, it was speculated that the Digital Age would also overcome HR, but the field has held firm. Human resources have, in fact, made use of digital technology in its working processes to enhance their capabilities and become better.

Talent Trends – Impact of the Tech World

It’s a HUBO (HUmanoid RoBOt) world now, today’s skills will be irrelevant tomorrow. Skilling, re-skilling, up-skilling and multi-skilling are the keys. It is a continuous war between technology and human jobs.

And the question persists, will tech replace jobs?

While the job sector is at the chaos with five generations working together, it was speculated that human resources would be dead by 2020. But then, will machine run HR? Will the expectation of 70%+ HR Professionals upskilling to acquire digital skills, be possible? We are experiencing the highest level of anxiety now.

It is a VUCA world, and it is a very, very wild world!

Why is the HR shift needed?

Everyone will agree that change is constant, and it is of utmost essentiality that we adapt to the changes for survival.

  • Mind Set Vs. Mind Shift
  • Generalist Vs. Specialist
  • Managing Vs. Engaging
  • Support Function Vs. Strategic Partner
  • Administrator Vs. Business Advisor

More than 1 million HR professionals, globally, are re-inventing themselves as a critical step for the survival of the fittest.

HR Tech evolution over the years

The HR technologies have seen an uptick, like other sectors, in terms of tech evolution. The evolution over the years happened as below:

  • Automation – 1990s-2000
  • Integration – 2004-2012
  • Engagement – 2012-2017
  • Performance – 2018-Present

Talent Management – Integrated processes and systems; a talent was recognized as core to HR and business agendas. The method of automation was practice-driven solutions.

People Management – The focus was laid on the culture, environment, leadership, and fit. The system of engagement was empowerment-driven solutions.

Team and Work Management – Optimising productivity, alignment, connection or the network of ‘Teams,’ tools to make work better. The system of productivity was productivity-driven solutions.

The incorporation of digital technology in HR has not only enabled it to survive and grow, but it also has profoundly impacted the way HR operates. Gone are the days when HR managers used to walk around distributing papers and asking the employees to fill them for appraisal and then used to sit down and analyze this data painstakingly. Today, everything is managed through specialized tools and data collection software; analysis has become easy.

Human resources today use digital technology to understand employees better as technology enables more efficient employee management. It helps understand employee interest and ways to attune their interest in the company’s benefit. Through the last few decades, human resources have traveled from being a mere administrative function to managing talent, teams, and workforce. That is, the field has moved from providing practice-driven solutions to productivity-driven solutions.

Human resources, today, has various technologies at its disposal to take care of any eventuality. But we must not forget that; they can if they have to, function without technological support as well. Mindset is equally vital as a skillset. The ‘will’ and the ‘skills’ are the armory for the new world. As skills are never taught, they are acquired through continuous learning.

“We live in a digital world, but we’re fairly analogue creatures.”

Saying that, currently, technological HR is a $50 billion industry and this value is only projected to increase through the years. All Human Resource employees must know how to use technology, to a digital vision and knowledge to employ suitable technology for extracting the best of human resources. Technology has only enhanced the field of HR.

Astasutras for Digital Strategy

  1. Conduct an AS IS Digital Readiness Audit
  2. Create a compelling Digital Vision for the Future
  3. Build a Road Map for CHANGE
  4. Technology, Skills, Organization, Costs, Stakeholders
  5. HR Framework, Leadership, Metrics
  6. Identify an Ambassador Digital Leader
  7. Adopt Suitable HR Technology
  8. Nurture and Transform New Digi-Culture
  9. Adopt Digital Talent Skills
  10. Measure Metrics for Success

To conclude, HR is the most significant gift to this world; whether you are known to the unknown or unknown to the known, you need to be digitally well known in today’s world. You may be proactive or reactive, but you have to be digitally active; you may be a socialist, a nationalist or a capitalist, but you need to be digitalized first!

“One may be a great performer or a reformer, but the need is to be a digital transformer.”

Remember, your life has a PURPOSE, your story is IMPORTANT, your dreams COUNT, your voice, your choice MATTERS, you are born to make an IMPACT, and who are you?

You are Human Resource that takes on the world!

About the Author

Naganagouda SJ Vice President & Head – Human Resources. He can be reached at naganagouda.sj@globaledgesoft.com.