Governing the Disruption Digital Transformation is Imparting to Businesses & Functions


Organizations are faced with a quandary on governance as they invest heavily in digital advancements. The impact is twofold, business growth and acceleration for the organization at large and digital mindset and behavior shifts for HR as a function. The latter is a frequent subject of conversation with our clients across sectors. The pressure of translating business needs into skilled and higher performing talent has increased tremendously these past years. A common dilemma is maintaining legacy functional competencies and injecting new knowledge in the enterprise, and, digitally transform every function, every interaction between the organization and its clients.

The pressure on HR functions has shifted in nature from hiring traditional roles to innovative ones, where capabilities are different and patterns to interview and select have clearly changed. If you have never used a data scientist or understood in detail predicting through statistical modeling, how can you spot the right talent for your organization? If you are still thinking of a CA or MBA when you hire for your finance analytics business partners you might not find the right fit for the job requirement of your internal client. Another pressure HR functions face has to do with the development of this talent pool. What is the talent development plan for an artificial intelligence professional and how will you make sure you spread automation competencies across the organization?

I personally discuss these dilemmas often and what stems out from our learnings at Adecco India can be organized as three primary solutions:
1.Prepare the HR Organization for the Digital Shift: Often there is a need to build maturity models to assess the readiness of the organization in terms of digital skills. Embarking on a digital transformation without thoroughly understanding the consequences stemming from automation and the introduction of productivity enhancing digital techniques can derail the program.
2.Technology Training is Now a Continuous Process: Introduce the Talent Acquisition (TA) team to continuous training on emerging technologies, new collared jobs and how functions are shifting their competency requirements. It is imperative to be able to understand the exact requirement for the talent sought, not just relevant skills for the right fit but to also ensure he/she will be successful in the enterprise.
3.Think Reskilling & Upskilling of Existing Resources: We work closely with many clients to drive reskilling programs to ease the pressure of digital adoption on the existing talent pool. There are many traditional models of replacing old skills with new ones, but we see higher success rates where there is a lucid and organized upskilling program that enables the current workforce to be able to cope and collaborate with the organizational effort towards digital transformation.

While defining a maturity model, we usually observe that building it internally with some help from a trained external vendor is the right choice. In other words, keep the effort internal and make sure you build it as a strategic initiative of the transformation program. This approach has several benefits. In the first one, you make an effort to clearly define the objectives. The translation of the business target into required competencies is a tedious and complex process where you will learn a great deal about what is needed and what are the topmost priorities and requirements (in terms of competencies) of the new resulting organization. The second, you will start expanding knowledge and create awareness past your leadership team. Sweating out the details is an exercise that must be done in brain storming sessions where multiple functions and levels must participate. This ensures better alignment and synergizes for the overall transformation program.

It is imperative to be able to understand the exact requirement for the talent sought, not just relevant skills for the right fit, but to also ensure he/she will be successful in the enterprise

We have experienced significant delivery excellence from TA teams trained on technologies and trends in digital transformation. Thinking outside the box must be aided with examples of other successful organizations. The inclusion of the TA team in the digital transformation efforts will benefit during the execution phase. What if a TA member understands and builds a maturity model of digital competencies together with other functions? What if the same member is called to hire for skills identified during the exercise? Results will be surprising constructive and the talent pool in the company will rapidly grow and evolve.

Upskilling and reskilling have become imperatives in modern age talent management. Can I train a CA who used to be a traditional financial business partner to grow into a professional capable of extracting data analytics?Can I reskilla marketing professional to support the business through digital techniques to drive more customer awareness and provide better buyer experience? The answer is yes, it can be with an appropriate training program. If so, then why is reskilling and upskilling still not so widespread? The answer lies in the maturity model. If I don’t know precisely where my organization needs help in terms of a skill roadmap and if I don’t know who is missing what specific new skill, it is difficult to create a structured program. I might bump into a gap and fill it with training, but to be successful, careful and widespread planning and participation are key.

We are experiencing an unprecedented rate of change in the competency portfolio of organizations. This phenomenon will only increase with competencies and skills changing dynamically: recombining skills and adding newer competencies. It is exciting to be part of this journey from a talent perspective because the HR function is gaining tremendous strategic importance in every organization. There is no success without the right talent and the word ‘right’ is now changing at an impressive speed. Build and grow a strong HR function and your ‘right’ will remain relevant and met for your business. 

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