A Much Needed Makeover of HR

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on February 05, 2016

We see almost every function in an enterprise is progressing towards the use of latest technology. For example data engineering, market apps, websites etc. being used for marketing. However, apart from a few exceptions, HR is still rooted to its traditional methods. HR till date is considered as a facilitator and not as a decision maker in many organizations. A research shows that only 30% of business leaders believe that HR can make sound decisions; only 22% believe that HR is adapting to the changing workforce needs.

Many of the job seekers today have started finding jobs online on job portals and other social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn etc. Many employees today are also using social platforms such as twitter and Glassdoor to talk about their workplace. With the kind of reach that internet has, these platforms can very well affect the employer branding. However, HR is still lagging in connecting with the world through social media. Only 26 of the fortune 500 companies provide a mobile optimized job application process. According to a survey by Capgemini consulting, 75% of the organizations rely on traditional recruitment and branding techniques. If we talk about learning and development, 80% of the organizations rely on traditional classroom training and webinars to train their employees. According to a research by Society of Human Resources, 90% of performance appraisal systems are a failure. These are just a few examples, but HR has become quite rustic and needs a change in the way HR processes integrate and work together. [2][3]

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It’s time for a reinvention in HR processes. The function of HR in an organization needs to be much more agile. New skills and competencies are required for HR professionals. Also, the entire HR system needs to be entirely digitized to meet the frequently changing needs of the business. It needs to keep pace with the changing business and fill the gap between what the business leaders want and what the HR leaders provide.

The question now arises: How can this reinvention happen?

The top management needs to be convinced that there has to be a change in the way HR works. Various consulting firms can help the top management redesign the HR function. HR needs to become a recognized business partner and must be a part of strategy and decision making. Various functions such as recruitment and branding should be coordinated centrally and implemented locally.

Every HR should undergo a rigorous training to acquire the skills and capabilities required to be in an analytical or strategic role and have the business acumen. HR managers should carve out to be strong leaders.

Technology can very well be used in many HR functions to cope up with the global advancements and redesigning HR as a whole. For example a good presence on social media can boost the employer branding. Also, using digital channels for recruitment can help in speed up the recruitment process and make it more efficient. The data gathered from various social platforms can be utilized to know how well the performance management system in working. This is known as crowdsourcing and it will eventually help in making performance assessment more accurate. The use of gamification techniques can enhance the learning of an individual.

HR can also be reshaped by using analytics. It helps in analysing HR trends in terms of recruitment, employee retention, employee performance and manging the workforce in all. The previously available data can be analysed and inferences with respect to the workforce can be made out. Based on these inferences a good strategy plan can be laid out. It would also help a HR make better decisions as they would be based on practical data and not on assumptions. The HR practices should be based on scientific insights so that the people in a company can perform their best.

HR functions should be more data driven. It should be used across all the HR functions such a performance management, learning and development and recruitment to make decisions. Shifting to a data driven approach would help HR to be more strategic. All the data across all the geographies should be kept at a centralized repository. Various analytics tools should be used to interpret it and then an informed, innovative and scientific decision should be taken.

Also, efficient IT systems need to be integrated with HR processes to make them more effective. They should be centralized and integrate all the HR processes across all the geographies. However, they should be flexible enough to incorporate future advancements in technology. This is where cloud based architecture can come into picture where it provides centralization along with cost efficiency and scalability.

The HR professionals also have to be trained to manage such IT systems and analytical tools. Also, new roles such as R&D talent manager or data jockey can be created to research more in the field of HR. [3]

In all, we see that HR needs to be redesigned in and out and this should be on priority for Companies. It needs to have a greater business impact by having more of a recognized strategic and analytic role. HR professionals should be skilled and equipped enough to carry out such role to meet with the pressures of the business environment. HR should be considered as a nurturer of the talent and leadership in a company which would eventually help the company align itself with the changing market needs. It should be treated with respect and bought at par with the top most executive level. This would help HR being looked at more than just a facilitator role. The use of IT and analytics can also help HR meet with the technological advancements. It would make it a more agile and robust function.

This article has been authored by Kriti Gupta from XIMB


1. Global Human Capital trends 2015 by Deloitte University Press

2. Using Digital Tools to Unlock HR’s True Potential by Capgemini Consulting

3. The future of HR by Accenture.

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