Talent acquisition, the single biggest challenge

and Business aligned HR, the top HR Game Changer for India Inc. in 2016 

Bangalore, 25th February, 2016: Attracting the best talent with critical skills, retaining them and enhancing workforce productivity are the top three human resource challenges that organizations in India anticipate, according to 54% of the respondents of the HR Game Changers 2016 survey, which was conducted by Randstad, one of the country’s leading HR service providers. Findings of the survey clearly reflect the impact of the new war for talent that is continuing to be a serious impediment to India Inc. today.

The HR Game Changers survey findings also offers an overview of the top 13 workplace trends that are likely to define HR landscape in India in the year 2016. According to the survey results, a majority of HR leaders in India feel that HR 'needs' to be aligned with Business and ranked this as the top HR Game Changer for 2016

The findings of the survey are based on the feedback and outlook of almost 500 prominent HR leaders from India's most admired companies across industry verticals. The top 5 HR Game Changers that are expected to prevail in 2016 are the following: 

• HR 'needs' to be aligned with Business

40% of the HR leaders surveyed in India ranked greater alignment of HR with Business as the top HR Game Changer of 2016. The respondents feel that this is the need of the hour and also agree that over the years, HR has progressed from being a mere support function towards playing a more strategic role of being the 'business partner'. The respondents mentioned that HR and business cannot function in silos as the end objective is common for both. They also feel that for HR to earn a seat at the C-suite table and to add value to the organization, they need to be receptive to the dynamic business environment and speak 'business'. This, the respondents said is of paramount importance for the success of any organization. 

• Multi-generational workforce management 

According to 35% of the HR leaders surveyed in India, managing the expectations and aspirations of a multi-generational workforce is the second most important HR Game Changer of 2016. The survey respondents feel that specific strategies geared towards different generations are critical to optimize organizational cohesion. A vast majority of the respondents also mentioned that today’s multi-generational workforce come with significantly diverse needs and demands pertaining to communication, use of technology, expectations from the employer etc. and meeting their aspirations and expectations is directly linked to top talent retention as well. 

• Innovation and risk-taking culture to become prevalent   

34% of the survey respondents mentioned that fostering a culture that empowers employees to take risks and drive innovation is going to be the third biggest HR Game Changer of 2016. Majority of the survey respondents felt that for organizations to create the desired market impact and to differentiate itself from the competitors, it has become vital for HR to drive a culture of innovation and risk preparedness within the organizational talent framework, especially in context of the start-up boom flourishing in the country. The respondents also mentioned that fostering such a culture will also help organizations build a ‘smart workforce’ who are engaged and inspired to go the extra mile and outperform.

• Nurturing and developing leaders is a necessity

34% of HR leaders surveyed said building a leadership pipeline is an imperative and ranked this as the fourth biggest HR Game Changer of 2016. The respondents felt that internal succession planning and cultivation of a sustainable talent pipeline of future leaders at all levels is a key competitive advantage for organizations and this will aid effective change management as well. 

• Evolution of Performance Management systems imminent

28% of HR leaders surveyed in India said that Performance Management systems will undergo a significant & structural change and ranked this as the fifth most important HR Game Changer of 2016. A majority of the survey respondents felt that of late, with top companies announcing their intent to shift away from the bell-curve based performance appraisal system, this topic has come back into the limelight. Going forward, performance management systems might undergo a complete overhaul and evolve into something more transparent. Examples of such evolution are 360 degree feedback, continuous performance management, task based assessment, open ranking systems etc. 

Presenting the survey insights, Dr. Moorthy K. Uppaluri, MD & CEO, Randstad India said, "India being a knowledge economy and a human resource power house, the spotlight is on HR as a people function. With the new war for talent intensifying, HR cannot assume a mere transactional role with a short term focus on hiring for jobs, training for productivity and retaining for cost efficiency. It’s about time HR, as a custodian of the talent 'capital' move into a more strategic role, with a long term focus on hiring to support a steady career, training for a bigger impact and retaining the talent for creating a differentiation in the market place. This reincarnation of HR is definitely a disruptive game changer that India Inc. is looking forward to and this is clearly reflected in our survey findings".

While typically innovation is referenced to either a product or a service, innovation in talent strategies is what corporate India needs to drive the people ecosystem today. The HR function plays a pivotal role in defining and aligning people to the organization's proposition to its stakeholders, help navigate uncertainties and meet the ever accelerating pace of change. With a quantum leap anticipated in this field in the coming few years, I would say the role of HR is more important than ever", Moorthy added.

Other top HR Game Changers of 2016:

• Shift to skill based hiring as opposed to experience (Rank 6)
• Enhancing HR efficiency through SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud)  (Rank 7)
• Increased investments in Employer branding (Rank 8)