New Delhi, December 10th, 2018: Organisations, in India and on a global level, are facing a unique challenge. While the ever-increasing influence of digital technology has exponentially driven up the demand for new-age skillsets in domains such as AI, machine learning, digital marketing, and data analytics etc., the supply of professionals equipped with the aforementioned skillsets remains severely limited. It was to explore sustainable ways of addressing this disparity that Shine.com, the second-largest online job portal in India, brought together leading HR experts from across multiple industries at its recently-concluded 56th HR Conclave in Bengaluru.
Organised on December 7th, 2018, at The Taj, MG Road, the high-profile event was attended by top industry names such as Shilpi Saxena (HR Head – Kurlon Ltd.), Lakshmi Sridhar (Vice President, Corporate Talent Acquisition – Microland Ltd.), and Deepali Dani (Head of Talent Acquisition – Walmart Labs India). Jatinder Salwan (Head HR – Societe Generale Global Solution Centre) moderated the engaging panel discussions, as the speakers discussed the critical need to upskill/reskill the workforce as a means to create a high-value talent pipeline.
Speaking about the push for upskilling/reskilling initiatives, Zairus Master, CEO – Shine.com, said, “It is no secret that technology is ushering in widespread transformations within the business landscape. Not only has it changed consumer sensibilities, but is also giving rise to a rapidly-growing demand for advanced skillsets. Fulfilling this demand is something that businesses are struggling with at present. While companies will continue to hire from the outside to fulfil their talent requirements, they also have a massive opportunity to upskill and reskill their existing employee base. Doing so can help them solve the ‘skills’ conundrum that they face today, as well as become better equipped to deal with the evolved talent requirements of the future.”
Themed ‘Upskilling and the New Talent Pipeline’, the 56th Shine.com HR Conclave saw the panellists share their insights about how businesses can ensure their long-term success and growth by creating a culture of constant learning within the organisation. The importance of nurturing a work environment where employees had access to growth opportunities that come with upskilling was echoed by all. The increasingly-important role being assumed by nonconventional learning resources, such as ShineLearning.com, in India’s reskilling revolution was also discussed and debated.
Jatinder Salwan, Head HR – Societe Generale Global Solution Centre, discussed why the HR function and its approach needed an upgrade, saying, “The talent landscape has changed incredibly in the past couple of years. With on-demand outsourcing becoming a prominent aspect of business operations, managing the talent requirement has become extremely challenging for HR teams. How does one differentiated between talent and skills, ability and capability? These are the kind of questions that HR professionals really need to ask themselves right now.”
Lakshmi Sridhar, Vice President (Corporate Talent Acquisition) – Microland Ltd., tied this evolution with the need to create an environment of continuous learning. “Skills which are currently much sought-after might not even be relevant, even two years down the line. HR teams must have the right strategy and the right mind-set to adapt to the speed of this change. They need to become partners who can help accelerate the digital journeys of their employees,” she said. “Enterprises will have to nurture digital proficiencies within their workforce through upskilling and reskilling.”
Shilpi Saxena, HR Head – Kurlon Ltd., added her voice to this line of discussion, saying, “The mind-set of Indian consumers has changed drastically. They no longer want the same things they wanted five or ten years ago. Companies, even in traditionally slow-changing industries such as manufacturing, have had to evolve quickly to keep up with the consumer demands. There is a need for professionals with not just the skills, but also the kind of growth mind-set that can rapidly adapt to this dynamic.”
Deepali Dani, Head of Talent Acquisition – Walmart Labs India, added, “The competition to secure the best talent across the globe is only accelerating. Silicon Valley is just as hard-pressed to find professionals with new-age skillsets. In that sense, the Indian business ecosystem has a big advantage over its global peers. The country’s talent pool is one of the largest in the world and is also set to soon become the youngest. To realise its potential, it needs to be equipped with the right skills. That’s what we should be aiming to do: constant building and rebuilding of skillsets within the organisation. This is where I feel the HR function needs to initiate more strategic interventions, on priority.”