Human resource strategies are long-term guidelines adopted to help the workforce perform at their optimum. Contrary to being deep-seated secrets guarded by companies, they are a set of policies, best practices, and human-driven thought-leadership ventures that are often subject to reinvention in the open market. Therein stems a health competition to be humane and driven at the same time.
Transformation is an inevitable part of human resource strategies because the people behind these rules and the subjects they serve are people too – who are both dynamic. Human behavior is rarely consistent. HR leaders and policymakers acknowledge this and make way for this changeful nature. Turbulence from a multitude of factors necessitates reshaping human capital. It is up to the HR leaders to do this in a humane, realistic fashion.
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More than ever, now in the post-crisis world, the adaptation of ground-rules to meet the needs of the times is key to helping businesses make their way back to profitability. It follows that human resource strategies are in for a paradigm shift.
Hiring-as-needed model mimics the just-in-time strategy of inventory management
Instead of seeing them as exceptions, modern human resource strategies see on-demand hiring, freelancers, gig workers, and part-time workers as clever solutions to the mammoth problem of budget cuts and cost deficits. Short-term work contracts, contract-to-hire positions, and flexible work arrangements bring ready talent that has minimal requirements for induction and training.
Some advantages are immediately obvious with these human resource strategies:
Gig workers start to contribute almost immediately and organizations are not liable to retain their services for the long term unless it is explicitly stated in the contract.
In reality, however, short-term workers who prove themselves competent in the digital workplace tend to find longer engagements within the networks they form during the short stints. This is a win-win for the human resource departments who readily swap talent according to the best-fit of ongoing needs.
Decision-makers of each functional area collaborate with human resource departments to initiate contact, recruit, and select the most suitable talent. The one factor that was inflexible until lately was that of geographical location. Companies and business-owners could not hire across physical borders owing to limitations in language and skill competencies, permissions to work, and minimal availability of talent in the free-range job market.
The turn of the decade brought the assurance of reward for talent to a new height. Now professionals know how to market themselves on professional networks like LinkedIn. There are job sites and forums dedicated to niche workers like teachers, IT workers, or even more specifically – for coders well-versed in a specific programming language or library of skills. Dropping an introduction or soliciting someone’s expertise on a specific problem can happen in minutes.
Global talent-sourcing powerhouses such as Monster and Indeed keep location-specific search available to all users, even free members. LinkedIn’s filters are effective and user-friendly.
Digital workplace is all set to tap into fresh talent
In the post-COVID-19 era, business travel is likely to remain curbed. However, ample digital business transformation and affordable high-speed Internet in developing economies such as India allow its youthful workforce to telecommute and fulfil time-sheet requirements. Thinking out-of-the-box, they welcome the greater work-life balance offered by flexible employment contracts. Freeing up their calendars and planning for projects instead of stringent full-time work-hours breeds a new generation of workers who are at the peak of their efficiency and motivation.
In contrast with the last few decades of the millennium when the prized workforce came only from English-speaking nations, it is now spread out. Globalization moved from being a commodity of the industrialized regions to being one that every educated, upwardly-mobile professional can take advantage of, even in the capacity of an individual contributor.
India is an exemplary destination for the task-ready talent market. A study into the latest HR trends and insights shows that the strength of the emerging markets is a mix of old-world values as well as the rapid modernization that these young people have grown up with.
Some of the advantages of hiring from emerging markets like India are –
- Bilingual graduates spread across both urban and semi-urban regions
- Workers ready to learn and upgrade their skills on the job
- A sizable chunk of educated young men and women (with roughly 47% of the population aging below 21 years) according to the 2001 census
- Openness to peer-learning, apprentice-models, and microlearning modules
- More graduates taking gap years, workshops, internships, and working holidays to explore various work cultures
Along with these, human resource strategies in India now rely heavily on HR analytics. The outcome-based approach to reviewing applicants’ credentials and skills is one that will go the distance. Watchful recruiters look for proof of the skills that recruits bring to the table – those supported by numbers, live use-cases, or projects that have relevance to the modern world.
At the same time, recruiters and business owners acknowledge that their existing and newly-hired talent has some skill-gaps which need to be fused. For this, they turn to buddy-learning models (synergy within monitoring), virtual corporate learning modules, gamification, and artificial intelligence (AI) to help identify and plug skill-gaps.
This is why L&D (Learning and Development) provisions are not far in the minds of progressive, future-focused leaders. Often, they are the guiding force behind human resource strategies.
HR process management goes through a paradigm shift
Human resource executives and leaders observe that the greatest shift in human resource strategies occurs in the areas of digitalization, agility of work locations and teams, and the ability to work seamlessly with teams across the globe. These skills are prized because more collaboration will be expected between outsourced vendors, part-timers, and skill-based specialists/consultants. It is set to become the norm, as opposed to the exception.
For Indian professionals, this requires being able to communicate, work along, and compete with their counterparts from Eastern Europe, the rest of Asia, as well as the Middle East and Latin America.
Some of the industries set to be impacted by business relocation, and therefore talent acquisition and human resource strategies, are in the sectors of Heavy Industry, Financial Services, Business Services, and Travel & Transportation.
The redistribution of talent requires CHROs and their hiring teams to develop standardized processes for drafting job descriptions, and acting on assessment, performance evaluation, and retention on a case-by-case basis. The future of work is focused on a candidate’s psychometric profile as well as a skill-sets for matching each job requirement. Similarly, from a candidates’ perspective, the size of the organization matters less in comparison to the alignment of long-term goals and values.
To achieve these new standards of human resource strategies, the onus is on the leaders to retain networking strengths and pass back to the workers the benefits of working in a truly global world of work.
- How the new geography of talent will transform human resource strategies | Global Talent 2021 | Oxford Economics
- HR Trends in 2020 | Abel HR – Human Resources Today | Tiffany | July 2020
- Age Structure And Marital Status | CensusIndia.gov
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