Among the few corporate functions that have undergone a massive makeover in the past decade is human resources, or HR as most of us know it. It has been a classic journey—and, no, we are not referring to the journey from the staffroom to the boardroom. HR has changed in the way its customers, i.e. the employees, experience it, and the demands and expectations they are placing on it every single day. From the times when people used to think about HR only on pay-days, to today when HR plays a major role right from day 1 to the last, it has been a major leap. The year 2017 is not going to be any different. Here are five key trends which, I think, are going to shape the face of HR this year and beyond.
India HRified: India, in the past few years, has become the hub of a large number of small and medium businesses, thanks to the recent government initiatives. Today, there are about 63 million small and medium business enterprises in the country. An interesting trend that 2017 will see is these business power centres will become the HR power centres as well. HR practices in their entirety will not be led by Fortune 100s or 500s, but by these new-age organisations who are digital natives in the space of business transformation.
End of the relationship—digital adoption and “collar” of employees: Traditionally, HR practices and their maturity have been governed by whether the workforce is white-collared or blue-collared. Though the digitisation of HR started the same way, the year 2017 is going to change it. The journey of new-age HR will not be restricted by industry boundaries. Be it traditional enterprises, those in a manufacturing set-up or new ones that have a distributed non-traditional workforce, everyone would want to embark on the journey of cloud and mobile.
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New job description for HR department: As the HR department and the demands people have from this function change, HR’s job description will no longer remain the same. This year will see adoption of new-age technology systems, mobile apps and chatbots. HR is expected to move out of the web of transactions and start working towards business and technology enablement (we might see HR professionals employed for training chatbots so that employees get an unparalleled experience).
Jobs and gigs: Human potential of India has gained a lot of interest in the last couple of years. This year will see an equal focus on India’s employment story. There will be two major trends that will distinctly come out. One is the move from the unorganised to the organised segment. Almost 90% of India’s workforce belongs to the unorganised segment and there over 44 national and 100 state-level Acts which often discourage the move of this segment of workforce to the formal segment. With the kind of labour law amendments the government is trying to bring, digitisation of government processes and initiatives like demonetisation will put a lot of push in this direction. The second interesting trend is the move of the economy from jobs to gigs. Whether we like it or not, uberisation of jobs is just round the corner, and once it hits India, the job market will no longer be the same.
RPO rises: As the job market of the country gets more dynamic and complex, organisations would want a partner to help them meet their talent needs. According to a report by Everest, a leading global analyst firm, RPO or recruitment process outsourcing market in India will grow at the rate of over 20%, and it will be the fastest growing RPO market globally. The rise of RPO will put a lot of focus on reducing the hassles and manual transactions from the recruitment process and also on providing a memorable candidate experience. Though in bits and pieces, many forward looking organisations have already started this journey, this year will see widespread adoption of the practice.
Needless to say, these trends will take HR to its next trajectory. It’s going to be an exciting journey and we are sure we will see a new avatar of HR this year.
The author is Pankaj Bansal, co-founder & CEO, PeopleStrong, an India-based HR solutions company.