‘Organisations are Moving to Real-Time Performance Appraisal’
Data would be the most-relevant attribute in transforming human resource (HR) departments around the world, says Yazad Dalal, Asia-Pacific head of Human Capital Management (HCM), Cloud Applications, at Redwood City, California-based enterprise software company Oracle Corp. “Just as insights from data have changed many areas of business, so will they change the way organisations recruit and manage their staff. The potential benefits for those that get data insights right are massive,” he adds. In an interview with Rica Bhattacharyya, Dalal talks about the role of digital solutions and technology in bringing in major changes to the HR profession both in India and overseas. Edited excerpts:
What is the role of digital in HR and how is it transforming the HR practices globally and in India? The concept of HR is much more compli- cated than before. Today, we have to recognise that most employees will not stay with one organisation for more than three to five years, and we have to get the best and most out of them during that period of time and retain them for as long as possible. The big imperative for today’s employers is that they have to provide employees the technology they have at home: That’s the recipe to retain talent. While you can put a price on the cost it takes to integrate user experience into your solutions, the value gained from providing a simple, intuitive interface is unquantifiable. This is why many CHROs are looking for ways to create quality experiences that will delight — not frustrate — employees.
How is the Indian market poised to take the rapid changes and disruptions in HR? I have a concept that I call skipping a step. For instance, mobile phones in 1995-96 started to slowly become prevalent in the West. Yet, when we look at it today for markets that are the fastest in mobile phone adoption, we see the markets are in Asia. In the US, which is the innovator, the adoption of new innovation in mobile technology is slower because there is a legacy or history, whereas in India we went from no one having mobile phones to some people having feature phones to everyone having smart phones. So we skipped a big step where the slow adoption was not there as there was no legacy to break. The same applies to the processes in HR too and India is in one of the most advantageous positions for rapid adoption of the big changes.
How would data help transform recruitment for HR departments around the world? Rather than using job descriptions, HR departments are increasingly focusing their recruitment activity on staff profiles. These profiles will be based on high-performing people already within the organisation. What qualifications do they have? What experience do they bring? What personality traits do they possess? A new data-driven approach is also being taken for staff management.
How is technology helping transform performance appraisal and management? The most common cliché is “performance appraisal is dead”. What it means is the annual performance appraisal is dead and most organisations today are adopting regular, real-time, anecdotal and casual feedback. Just as young people do not write emails anymore — they WhatsApp — similarly we don’t have to write a long performance appraisal at the end of the year. We are moving to real-time performance appraisal and that is why in our system everything is shareable and real-time. And technology plays the most crucial role in providing the platform to have fast and quick and informal communication.