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Bangalore, Oct. 28

THE HR job today is tougher than ever before. This was the conclusion at a HR conference at the BangaloreIT.in here today.

Speakers at the seminar titled `Managing People - Driving Business,' HR practitioners were of the opinion that the discipline has become the growth engine for business and people management practices should work towards nurturing talent towards that end.

Mr Pallabh Bandyopadhyay, Chief People Officer, Scandent Solutions, said there are new demands from the HR manager because of developments such as competitive cost pressures from neighbouring countries such as China, Vietnam etc, mergers and acquisitions and emergence of new careerists whose aspirations are changing everyday.

"HR is no longer a soft role, there is a lot of accountability here," according to him.

Mr Sudheesh Venkatesh, Head, HR, Tesco, talked about the negotiating power shifting to the employees from the employer. "Everybody wants good people, right now, therefore increasing the pressure of recruitment and retention."

He also talked of the changing profile of the prospective employee: "People have higher risk-taking ability, and the relationship between employees and employers last only as long as it's good on both sides," according to him.

Earlier in his keynote address, Mr Simon Heath, HR Director, Retail Banking, Misys Banking Systems, highlighted the need for a Peak Performing Organisation (PPO) and why Misys opted for a PPO exercise. "Companies which have no common processes, practices and brand awareness need PPO."

Outlining the advantages of going through the people development programme, he said that PPO creates a family, belonging, trusting atmosphere and is something that `people want to join.'

Changing employee profile

MR C. Mahalingam, Senior Vice-President, Human Resources, Symphony Services, said that what was presumed to be `normal' on a resume about a decade ago, no longer holds good.

He listed out some changes that have come about in the employee profile that HR managers might want to make a note of:

  • Don't suspect `breaks' that employees take: A six-month break that an employee has taken to trek in the mountains should no longer be seen as `abnormal.'
  • Prepare before campus recruitments: Now HR managers have to give three good reasons why students should join them, and not the other way round.
  • Experience is now a liability: Look for candidates who are willing to `unlearn' rather than those who come with heavy experience in one area.
  • Resumes should be futuristic: HR managers are realising that it's important to know what the employee can contribute to the organisation in future rather than what he has done in the past.
  • Organisations are shrinking to greatness: `You cannot shrink to greatness' no longer holds good. Smaller organisations are focussing on core competencies.
  • (This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 29, 2005)
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