Daily Top 5 Global HR News – 11 August 2017

Daily Top 5 Global HR News – 11 August 2017

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We bring together from ICube Research and published news, a summary of 5 items that are contemporary.

1. An HR Journey: Touching People’s Lives

In his role as retired president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, in his work at corporations such as Ford, Sperry and Unisys, and through his extensive career as a consultant, Michael R. Losey has accumulated a wealth of stories about how HR leaders touch people’s lives—for better or worse. He recently discussed his book Touching People’s Lives (SHRM, 2017) with the HR Magazine Book Blog:

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    Your book has a refreshingly different take on advocacy. How do you define advocacy?

    I define advocacy, within the overall concept of leadership competency, as a leader or individual taking a position on a controversial subject and making things happen in a positive and corrective way. Unfortunately, management tends to be characteristically hesitant to change policies and practices. Too frequently, managers do not see the future, are comfortable with what they know, and have adapted to current policies and practices. Sometimes they simply want to be seen as team players and avoid “rocking the boat.” They can easily live with policies and practices that a person with a different perspective or experience might assertively challenge.

    What’s the most important part of management?

    Anticipating the future and knowing how to adjust to future requirements, including competitive, technical, social and legislative challenges.

    How does accurately anticipating the future help leaders touch people’s lives?

    Corporate actions, and inaction, can not only negatively affect the future of the business but also negatively impact employees’ lives. For example, IBM’s failure to fully adjust to changes in the computer industry cost [Mr. Akers], the CEO, his job, and many employees were negatively impacted, too. By contrast, Apple’s Steve Jobs was terminated but then brought back to revitalize the company and to successfully address major changes in the industry.

    What can HR professionals do when they discover something is wrong in their organization?

    Make sure your position is correct and unbiased; recommend changes that are necessary to address the problem; and, if you’re unsuccessful, appeal. Remember, senior management wants executives who aren’t afraid to tackle problems and make things happen. If your analysis and recommendations are correct, you will eventually prevail.

    How can HR professionals help create quality leadership throughout their organizations?

    They can create an environment in which employees are recognized and appreciated for their initiative, innovation and competency and in which specific behaviors, such as strong moral principles and good interpersonal skills, are modeled and rewarded.

    What are some of your proudest moments as SHRM CEO?

    Helping people—members and employees—maximize their contribution to the organization.

    How can HR professionals take a career inventory?

    Don’t postpone or ignore your own personal career planning. Start with a career inventory and appraisal to identify what you like and dislike about your current job. Conducting a career inventory and its related assessments are useful tools, especially for high-potential individuals. This process can help you determine how your interests, skills and values fit into specific occupations and match an employer’s needs. The most important factor about self-development is to start now. Good leaders don’t wait for some possible future company training program that may or may not meet their needs. Have a clear understanding of your own aspirations and the requirements necessary to achieve them.

    You write that resumes are for rejecting, not hiring. Please explain.

    In the current business environment, Web-based job boards and tools provide an employer with many more job candidates than it needs or can effectively evaluate. Therefore, HR staff or hiring managers usually review resumes not to see whom the company can hire but whom it can cull in order to reduce a pile of a hundred resumes to 10 or less as soon as possible. Employers need a reasonable number of qualified candidates to make an effective selection, so the process is frequently more of a rejection process than an employment process.


2. Attention, Men! A List of Best Practices for Hiring Female Tech Talent

Yawn repeatedly, don’t look her in the eye, and make sure your fly is unzipped. Then pat yourself on the back for ending the gender pay gap.

Only hire women for marketing, HR, assistant or lunch-lady positions.

Invite the candidate to work a full trial day—paid, of course. Ask her to respond to customer complaints about your company’s unresponsiveness for at least five hours. Introduce her to your female employees who are exactly the same age and ethnicity. Give her a tour of the office, including the room with the bunk beds where several of these female employees sleep at night. Tell her she’ll hear something next week, but never pay her or respond to any of her attempts to reach you.

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    Ask the candidate to rewrite a thought-leadership article about an issue facing women in tech. After four interviews, explain to the candidate that the job requirements have changed and that she no longer qualifies. Wait a month, and publish the candidate’s article with minor changes under the name of one of your executives. Don’t worry about all those Glassdoor reviews accusing your company of using the hiring process to crowdsource content. Clearly, the commenters are bitter, because there’s no way an organization would be foolish enough to waste that kind of time and money.

    Ask the candidate to plan your family’s trip to China in detail, including flight times and not-touristy activities in Beijing. Invite her to your architectural gem of an office in SOMA for an interview consisting entirely of questions about what she likes to do for fun. Make sure not to make eye contact—you know where to look. Have your parent company’s virtual assistant, with whom she’s never had contact, send her a form letter thanking her for applying. Enjoy your vacation. She can live vicariously through you with three months of targeted advertising from the Opposite House hotel.

    During the interview ask her what she sees in her career future. When she starts to respond, interrupt her and say, “I’m sure you’re mostly concerned with having babies.” Surreptitiously glance down at her baby maker.

    Insist that the position primarily consists of completing your expense reports despite your partner telling her he’s looking for a strategic thinker. Tell her during the interview that you’ve been practicing your social skills. Yawn repeatedly, don’t look her in the eye, and make sure your fly is unzipped. When she’s on her way out, ask her if she wouldn’t mind washing the office’s dishes.
    Have someone in HR call and say she is the top candidate. Call your top candidate, and after she answers a question, laugh piteously and explain that the challenges she’d face in the role are a little more “sophisticated” than what she described. Wait a week, and send her a text asking her for a date.

    Put up an admin/office ad on Craigslist offering $90K for someone to work at your stealth-mode start-up. Strongly suggest that candidates post a video introduction on YouTube. Have no intention of hiring anyone, and instead plan a “movie night” with your bros. Screen the video submissions using a complex cleavage-rating algorithm. Drink every time one of the job seekers claims she’s a hard worker.


3. The Importance of Chief Learning Officers

To develop and implement a learning strategy that solves enterprise problems, deliver results and enables business breakthroughs, organizations don’t have to look far from home to lean on the expertise of their CLOs and training teams.

These days, more and more organizations are seeing the improved business results of elevating human capital management to the same priority as financial capital management. Author Mike Hawkins said, “Indeed, learning no longer stands alone, but rather enables business change as much as it enables human development.”

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    As Deloitte’s 2015 Global Human Capital Trends Report said, “Chief learning officers are taking on critical business roles. With a background in employee development, change, and leadership, the CLO of today wears many hats: chief capability officer, chief leadership officer, chief talent officer and even chief culture officer.”

    The multifaceted nature of an organization’s learning function makes it one of the most valuable resources in an organization. Here’s why:

    1. Learning solves enterprise problems.

    While training functions can still be regarded as an “add-on” or “nice to have,” in reality, the function is critical to disabling systemic business problems. Brent Schlenker, chief learning strategist for Litmos, said, “Training departments exist to solve business problems.” By developing strategic learning programs that are tailored to a particular business issue, training functions can single-handedly reverse the downward trajectory of organizational problems.

    2. Learning delivers results.

    Observing the workforce and advocating for its people’s needs has the power to yield proactive, enterprise-wide results. According to a 2011 study by the Association for Talent Development and the Institute for Corporate Productivity, high-performing organizations are more likely to have a formal process in place in which leaders look at the annual performance outcomes for the business and use those to help shape the future learning strategy. Similarly, Josh Bersin, principal and founder of Bersin by Deloitte, said, “The learning curve is the earning curve. If you’re continuously learning, you’re always adding more value.”

    3. Learning enables business breakthroughs via personal breakthroughs.

    Professionals are asked to know a lot about a lot, but among the many skills and types of expertise they are expected to possess, it is their knowledge of themselves that truly has the power to multiply their success. In 2013, a study by Korn Ferry analysts David Zes and Dana Landis titled “A Better Return on Self-Awareness” confirmed the “direct relationship between leader self-awareness and organizational financial performance.” It is this interconnectedness between the effectiveness of the individual, team and organization that warrant organizations to lean on learning to reach their business goals. CLO and writer Dan Pontefract said, “When an employee discovers their personal purpose and it is lockstep with the role they perform in the organization, both the employee and the firm benefit.”

    Trends show learning functions will continue to grow in support of their high-performing organizations. According to Deloitte’s 2016 Global Human Capital Trends Report, “Chief learning officers (CLOs) should become part of the entire employee experience, delivering learning solutions that inspire people to reinvent themselves, develop deep skills, and contribute to the learning of others.” To develop and implement a learning strategy that solves enterprise problems, delivers results and enables business breakthroughs, organizations don’t have to look far from home to lean on the expertise of their CLOs and training teams.


4. Cognification and its impact on Human Capital

Ranjan Wadhwa, HR Head at Fidelity Investments moderated the session which had eminent industry experts – Prativa Mohapatra (IBM), Rajesh Dhuddu (Quatrro), Dev Khare (Lightspeed India Partners Advisors) and Ishan Gupta (Udacity) discussing about what role will cognification play in human capital with the evolution of ‘horsepower to mind power’.

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    What comes to your mind when you hear the term Artificial Intelligence?

    The fear of the unknown arriving to destroy mankind has perhaps engulfed majority of human population. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a vastly used term but actually understood by few. In fact, the journey of AI has started long back. It isn’t as new as we talk about it. The shape of AI over time has kept on changing. To put it simply, cognification can be viewed similarly to electrification that had taken place during the industrial revolution. We are currently in the dawn of another industrial revolution. As it advances in due course of time, we all will take everything we’ve previously electrified and then cognify it. And after 40-50 years, some of us will recall “How did we ever live without AI?”

    Moving ahead with this context in mind, there are some correlations drawn on what all things can be cognified in respect to the human capital management for future of work. Let’s have quick bytes:

    Transactional processes

    There are some areas which can be cognified easily and you will be pleasantly surprised to know how IBM Watson had evolved to process 200 million documents per second. As per Prativa Mohapatra, Vice President – Cognitive Solutions at IBM, there are huge volumes of data available for training manuals. This is where congnification can work fantastically. Prativa further goes on to state that there’s a great need to cognify mundane processes citing the example of visa processing done for employees in every organization. This can be a great step towards proving the benefit of AI to the masses at the workplace.

    Talent acquisition strategy

    Ranjan Wadhwa states that cognification has helped them to make better predictions on HR strategies and systems. The entire campus strategy was changed based on research by data sciences. The process of TA can be made simple and effective if we use it in the blended form of technology and human experience.

    Performance management

    There are a good number of industry leaders who would want to see cognification in the area of performance management. This is likely to bring in a lot of transparency and meritocracy in the system which we all have been craving for a good number of years. In fact, Rajesh Dhuddu – Senior Vice President Quatrro quotes, “The pinnacle of AI can be accomplished if it produces a balanced bell curve”.

    Learning and development

    Learning platforms will be an area where cognition will work amazingly well, states Dev Khare, the Managing Director at Lightspeed India Partners Advisors. Employees don’t want to choose but want the organization to know by themselves on what they need. A cognified learning system will be a part of the future of work.

    Every consumer interface company wants to have a chat integrated mechanism that feels like a chatbot.

    “There’s more marketing happening around it rather than actual neural networking being applied to it,” says Ishan Gupta – MD of Udacity, India.

    The global demand pattern of AI training is changing. The biggest demand in IT is for machine learning trainers. Every start up is an AI startup nowadays. AI indeed will play a big role in future. However, the catch is to re-architect the balance. AI will certainly not replace those jobs where people have learned to use AI as a tool. So, it’s time for a wakeup call to get prepared for the disruption instead of stereotyping AI as a tool of destruction.


5. The death of HR is just part of its resurrection

I suspect my career path reflects the changing nature of human resources as much as anyone’s. Having spent the best part of three decades in sales and management, I was picked for a global HR leadership role at SAP precisely because of my lack of conventional HR experience.

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    There was, of course, a method to SAP CEO Bill McDermott’s madness. He wanted to bring a fresh kind of business perspective to the role. Someone who had seen what it takes to succeed in business, the challenges leaders and employees face, and the reality of HR’s impact on morale, employee development, productivity and workplace culture.

    My story fits neatly within the wider trend of HR moving away from its traditional practices. In its place is a new kind of emotionally intelligent HR, made possible by digital technology and a strong desire to impact the success of the business, which informs the C-Suite while giving employees more tools and resources they value.

    For many years there was a perception that most working in the field were primarily administering corporate policies and regulations to deal with personal employee concerns and workplace encounters.

    It helps to be sympathetic about why this happened. As corporations grew, HR became an increasingly difficult job. Juggling the sizable tasks of maintaining a harmonious company culture, helping employees develop their skills and careers, making sure they were happy and tracking their performance levels was a less daunting prospect when there were set rules to guide them.

    In recent years, we have seen breakthroughs in technology that have made dealing with much of the nitty-gritty of these responsibilities easier and less time-intensive. Software spanning recruiting, onboarding, talent management and performance management have given traditional HR professionals room to breathe, making some wonder about HR’s role in the organization.

    Futurists have prophesied the death of HR for some time. The combination of low-cost, hyper-effective hiring tools, consumer-grade training software, big data analysis that transforms evaluations, and the workplace expectations of millennials has them questioning the need for the discipline. A colleague summed up the sentiment pithily when he declared “the future of HR is no HR.”

    Others, myself included, believe we should be treating the supposed death of HR simply as part of its resurrection. One way to think about this is that while HR was once required to use rules and regulations to navigate the sometimes-difficult business of human emotions and avoiding lawsuits, it now has the goal of encouraging human interaction to flourish.

    The rise of digital-first workplaces has made work a more impersonal and less engaging experience for many employees. Furthermore, ever-improving automation technology has swaths of people wondering when, not if, their jobs will be made obsolete. Thus, the new HR finds itself not only at the centre of the debate about improving employee engagement, but also the call to forge new opportunities for those at risk of being replaced by robots.

    Economist Daniel Culbertson recently identified HR as one of the most future-proof professions, predicting that technology could actually lead to more jobs in the field. His reason? HR can be a hotbed for renewed human-to-human interaction and decision-making that must go beyond data.

    If the HR discipline does grow, the responsibility of retraining displaced workers will fall on its shoulders. HR workers will be expected to offer more strategic direction in the boardroom, using big data analytics to spot opportunities to create roles with new value across the business. Success will come from being one step ahead of change and instilling continuous learning in the company culture.

    Emotional intelligence will become the measure by which HR workers are judged. C-Suites will look to them to understand how to engage and communicate with employees, as well as how to build and nurture positive, productive workplace cultures in the digital age. When HR teams show executives they’re in tune with the business, its employees and the reality on the front-lines, they’ll truly become known as trusted advisers.

    The technology that has traditional HR professionals worrying about the relevance of their jobs is exactly what they need to embrace to give them time and space to grow into this new era. The old school of HR is fading into the background as software invisibly connects the dots on routine processes. Coming to the fore is an HR more tightly connected to the overall corporate strategy and focused on handling employee issues and development with curiosity and empathy.

    Forward-thinking HR professionals know this and embrace the opportunity to impact the success of employees and their organization. They see a future in which the function is truly about humans, while at the same time playing a larger role in shaping the destiny of the business.


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(The articles above have been curated from various sources but not been edited by ICube staff)

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