As per U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, women represent 73 per cent of HR manager roles and 55 percent C-suite HR executives.
In the current age of technological disruption, the Human Resource process has undergone a major shift. Even though we celebrate technological adoption, sometimes we tend to overlook the people behind this crucial transition and integration.
There are women who have often been in the background re-engineering their HR processes to meet the fast evolving corporate landscape.
These are women who have proved their mettle by fighting all odds and come out victorious.
Want to know how these superwomen made it so far?
You have come to the right place.
This Women’s Day, Mercer Mettl interviewed superwomen HR leaders who are actively driving people and cultural agenda in their organizations. We bring to you stories of four women HR leaders whose rigorous efforts transformed the talent landscape.
Effective On-boarding Using 90-day Blended Learning Program
Powered with 23 years of rich and varied experience in the HR industry, Future Generali India Life Insurance Company Limited’s CHRO Ruchira Bhardwaja is a firm believer of the use of technology in recruitment space. She has worked in six industries ranging from dairy, agrochemicals, and hospitality to retail, banking, and insurance. Having experienced the culture of such diverse industries, she has closely witnessed the selection and hiring process shift from traditional to a technology-driven, more efficient one.
We reached out to Ruchira for a better understanding of how she has continued to adapt and adopt technology for hiring employees in her organizations. She believes every industry comes with diverse challenges because of the difference in industry dynamics and customer requirement.
Meanwhile, Ruchira also shared which online tools are being used at her organization.
She mentioned, “We use gamification tool while selecting frontline sales employees, spread across 100 locations in India to understand their proficiency level, selling skill and relationship management capability and competencies.” She further added, “We do not stop at hiring, but take the engagement with new joiners forward with a 90-day blended on-boarding program, through a completely aligned classroom and app-based orientation for new hires. The program is considered to be an efficient orientation and onboarding platform catering to get the new joiners at pace with policies, processes, culture and FG Life way of work-life."
Ruchira further emphasizes the importance of experiential learning for professional growth and its role in engaging with widely spread sales force and managing their retention. She says, "Online experiential learning is one of the efficient ways of learning which can be accessed anytime from any part of the world. It provides effective tools to the managers to groom and manage people, reach out to them and effectively work on performance development."
The Standard, Biased Interview Process is Now a Talk of the Past
Modern Foods HR Head Sonal Kapur Sinha began her journey 13 years ago. For her, it was a natural progression into this profession and a career path that she would have ultimately landed up in. According to Sonal, things were quite different when she joined the industry.
“That time, it was more about the employer and how much the HR would like to reveal. Candidates would not ask too many questions. We just had standard questions, interview form, and competencies which were unable to accurately map candidates. Today even freshers ask you what’s the size of the organization, what’s the revenue and the company’s vision. “
Sonal had her first stint with technology in sales hiring back in around 2007-2008 when the recruitment process was more about rounds of interviews while assessments were used more as a post facto validation tool. Line managers would have their individual surrogates to assess the relationship, influencing and communication skills. Not being happy with the generic profiling reports showed up to line managers, Sonal asked the vendor to connect organizational competencies to the online profiler. Talking about the change, she added, “Along with the report, I started getting scoresheet of my competencies. Once this was possible, the assessments made more sense to all stakeholders and became a decision influencer. We began using it for all roles up to middle managers.”
Modern Foods now uses virtual and blended assessment centres, leadership and psychometric profiling for hiring, learning and development purposes. Sonal believes that technology has indeed revolutionized the entire recruitment process. Differentiating the modern method from the traditional one, she says, “Modern methods give you an easy record and reference which traditional pen-and-paper tests don’t. Personal interviews are prone to subjective bias and recency influences, while new age digitized processes allow interviewers a reflective approach leading to more informed decision making.”
The move from traditional hiring methods to technology-driven hiring has structured hiring for Sonal. Since responses are captured in numbers, the whole process has expedited, become more scientific and data-backed. Sonal’s experience has enabled her to structure processes wherever she went, thus helping her streamline and improve recruitment drives.
She says, "The biggest success of technology comes in the form of engaged candidates who are aware of what’s in store for them after joining.”
How Technological Intervention Reduced Cost of Hiring
With a career spanning over 19 years, KPMG Human Capital Consulting Head Vishalli Dongri has emerged a fine leader having experienced many ups and downs throughout. According to her, humbleness, dignity, and depth are the core values that shape a good leader.
Leadership also involves being receptive to the change in surroundings. Talking about this change in the hiring space, Vishalli said, “In the past five years, the digital landscape has expanded exponentially be it in recruitment, performance management, organizational structure or mergers, and acquisitions.”
Sharing how her organization makes use of technology, Vishalli mentioned, “We have internally developed a virtual talent lab which helps in recruitment, succession planning and tracing career paths. The in-built 360-degree feedback and virtual assessment centres help in meeting our organizational goals.”
Witnessing organizations shift from traditional methods of hiring to online platforms, Vishalli concludes that some form of subject matter expertise is required along with the use of technology in order to maintain the reliability and validity of the tools. These two things together are the backbone of good assessments.
The use of HR technology at different stages of the employee life cycle has multifold benefits for organizations. Technological interventions have reduced the cost of hiring, at the same time giving a better turnaround time.
Vishalli’s stint with HR tech has helped her in getting the pulse of the market. The use of technology has proved to be a cornerstone in her professional journey.
AI-Based Pulse Check Helped in Retaining Hi-po Employees
Last but not least, we met with CoinTribe Technologies Private Limited HR Head Deepa Arora. With over 17 years of experience in the industry, Deepa is a strong professor of – ‘Do What You Like, Like What You Do.’ From BPO and manufacturing to start-up, her journey has been a roller coaster ride. Sharing how it all began, Deepa said, “When I started my career, I thought my aggressiveness would take me far in my work. But with time I realized, it was not aggressiveness but assertiveness which would lead the way.”
Moving on to the challenges she faced, Deepa mentioned, “Hiring has posed the biggest challenge in my career as the markets now are largely candidate-driven. Attracting the right talent on board and retaining millennials becomes a tough job especially if you are working in a startup.” However, technology helped in solving this issue to such an extent. Deepa mentioned that tools like psychometric and competency-based hiring models helped in addressing these issues.
“Recently we started using an AI-based chatbot which does an employee pulse check. It initiates a conversation with employees based on certain engagement driver which is different from the traditional form of doing engagement surveys. It's a tool which millennials can relate to and would not mind chatting with to give 5-10 minutes quick feedback. The participation and results were both phenomenal.”
To keep a track on employee performance and in turn increase employee motivation, Deepa follows a balanced scorecard approach. It promotes transparency between employees and managers where both can see work progress round the year. She believes that even though technology is required to help in predictive analysis and other forms of recruitment, human intervention is equally important.
Deepa’s long journey has taught her to have balance in every aspect of life instead of getting overwhelmed. Creating a balance is what helped her take informed decisions.
How Can Mercer Mettl Help
We at Mercer | Mettl understand the changing needs of the talent landscape. We assist HRs in embracing technology, thus bringing about HR transformation. Mercer Mettl provides an online assessment platform which delivers efficient, cost-effective and technology-driven skill assessments that help organizations to build winning teams by taking credible people decisions through a range of solutions. From hiring, performance appraisal and L&D to Leadership Development and succession planning, Mercer Mettl is a one-stop solution for all your people decisions.
Topics: HR Technology