#SHRMi16 Speaker Series: Meet Arun Dhaka: Today HR is an Appified World

There's a lot of buzz around HR. There's a new image in the making - its bold and brave. HR is now emerging to be one of the crucial functions in an organization. And it should be, after all the HR does manage an organization's most important asset - its people. So, what exactly is this new change in HR?

We spoke to Arun Dhaka, Country Sales Director, India & South Asia - Cornetstone OnDemand, for his take on the role of HR in people engagement, whether firms are ready for HR to take the lead and the buzz around Bell Curve.

"It's basically the Millennials who are asking for the change! If you think of how the scenario was 10 years back, it was about one-way communication. The CEO would speak about firm changes and plans, with the rest of the employees executing it. Today, we live in a feedback economy, said Arun.

"If we take the example of Apps, all age groups will have a different take on it and the utility will differ, too.

Today HR is an "Appified" world. Appified is an application world that people are looking at in terms of what and how their feedback has been taken by the HR department, what kind of changes are being made and how Millennials and people even younger than them are making use of these apps. So HR at the end of day is looking two things, that is, bringing the right skillset and taking the feedback to make the change happen. That change is already happening in the enterprises today," he added.

"Every company that is looking at making change happen, is looking at HR as an integral part of that change and at the CHRO as a partner in that change. We work at Cornetstone with more than 140 companies across India and our experience is witness to companies who have been ahead of the curve to make that change happen and leaders who understand that change. Leaders like Anand Mahindra are active on Twitter and are responding to tweets. They believe that this is a way of open-communication. Why restrict ourselves only to HR! I know it's an HR conference but every horizontal owner or every vertical owner is part of that change and is an ambassador of that change and the leaders that are making them are a part of the change also," he shared.

We were curious to know his take on how technology can lead to better solutions and he answered how the journey of an employee starts with recruitment and that not only should one have the best onboarding experience but it should also remain so throughout the employee's tenure with the company. So I look at technology from that point of view. I also look at technology from three broad parameters. I think technology should give consumer-grade experience to the employees because employees have experience outside the enterprise. They also should look at how people are recruited, how people are managed, how people are developed, how people are connected and how people are succeeding in their talent life cycle. And I also should probably encourage all the HR leaders to look at data to make decisions-which are not based on intuition, in terms of what they think. So I think technology is helping on these fronts: (1) talent outcomes, (2) user experience and (3) people analytics. That's how I look at technology from a broader perspective.

For the much talked about bell curve, he says, "Fortunately or unfortunately, everybody is based on that same curve and people are compensated accordingly. There would be a time where people would look at changing this. There are already companies across the world that are changing the bell curve and coming out of that system in terms of simplifying ways of evaluating people on defined goals and objectives. If the bell curve helps them in being better, no harm in that. Organizations are looking beyond in terms of fitting people in to a spectrum and paying them. People want to be paid for their efforts and outcomes and based on the outcome, they deliver for the company."

For more of this discussion, join us at the SHRM India Annual Conference and Exposition 2016.


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