Article (January-2022)


Modernization of legacy system is a crucial step before moving to predictive tools

Ruhie Pande

Designation : -   Chief Human Resources Officer

Organization : -  Godrej Housing Finance Ltd.


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As HR function seems becoming more automated, what are some of the most important areas we see transforming workplaces by digital adaptation?

RP Digital Transformation has been the talk in most business circles and HR has not been one to be left behind. This has in fact been a significant advantage as it has allowed HR professionals to practice the art of HR with the backing of strong scientific principles. Most if not all domains within HR have been touched by digitalization. One of the first areas to migrate seamlessly to digital has been Recruitment and Selection which now allows efficient process management right from the time of sourcing to on boarding. Use of AI has also enabled HR and Hiring Managers to make better informed selection decisions, understand productivity and people capacity requirements. At Godrej Housing Finance, we take pride in running our entire Performance Management process the digital way. Our process is fast to ensure employees spend less time on mundane tasks like updating data on goals and more time in exploring the WHY & how of goals. This is done through enabling auto-uploading of goals. Frequent feedback cycles that are system owned have provided us with a wealth of data allowing us to spot trends in the way in which employees perform and manager rate thus enabling talk around how to drive high-performance. Rewards & recognition has not been left behind in the digital transformation journey and adoption of technology here has enabled businesses to deliver recognition "in the moment" and therefore be effective. Using digital tools enables a culture of recognition where appreciation is peer-driven rather than the just top-down. Needless to add learning has always been easy to adapt to technology, and with the world going virtual this has been more evident than ever.

How HR professionals should prepare themselves in terms of their own skill sets to make optimum use of technology?

RP The most critical enabler of digital transformation surprisingly is not technology itself, but its people. But the fact remains that not enough people have the skills required to leverage digital capabilities. Skills shortages will prove to be one of the main barriers to digital transformation within large organisations. As such HR needs to lead the way by up skilling themselves and adopting the new wave of digitalization. There has to be a conscious shift firstly in breaking away from traditional operating models to newer ways of working. Developing an agile mindset, belief in the value add that comes from using analytical and data driven insights, design thinking, a deep understanding of new media or social media channels, seamless use of virtual collaboration tools and above all a passion for continuous learning will be the success toolkit for HR professionals to remain relevant in the digital world.

What are some of the crucial challenges in your opinion when it comes to implementing tech tools like AI, machine learning and robotics solutions for HR?

RP One of the early blockages to adoption of tools like AI, ML and robotics solutions within HR is experienced when organisations find that their existing systems and processes don't migrate seamlessly to the new tools or don't talk to each other. Studies have found that legacy systems were not designed to work well with prediction algorithms. Therefore modernization of legacy systems is a crucial first step before moving towards the use of predictive tools in HR. Secondly ML models need good quality data in order to make the best inferences. Without data comprehensiveness or proper quality standards in place, the old adage of "garbage in, garbage out" will come out to play. And once again coming to my core belief that HR cannot always be a pure science, it is the people who make the ultimate difference. Enabling any machine led tool to deliver the best outcome will need a 360 degree checklist with due consideration to cultural appropriations, norms pertaining to diversity & inclusion and other philosophies. As such involvement of multiple stakeholders in the process of data creation and evaluation is a must for tech tools to succeed.

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