Identity of HR in this “perceived” IT Industry slowdown

News of Indian IT companies going sluggish on growth is all over the papers, articles and blogs. H1B restrictions imposed by US are proving to be additional riders directly impacting top line of a number of companies with high dependence on US projects for Business.

Role of HR therefore is pivotal especially in such scenarios and it is important for HR folks to understand what the HR function should be identified as by Organizations going through such pressures impacting their growth.

In such situations, HR in any organization is suddenly expected to proactively take certain measures to “cut the flab”. Should HR succumb to the Business pressures? Should HR go ahead with layoffs as directed by Business? Should HR take the lead in making the bench policies further stringent by cutting the bench aging resulting in shorter turn around on separations? Should HR start scrutinizing every employee who may now have started pinching business by virtue of being paid well and in more common terms “high on cost”?

To me personally, role of HR function in any organization encompasses the following 3 areas:

  1. Enable Business Growth
  2. Strengthen the ecosystem & culture
  3. Enhance employee value proposition

While 2 & 3 are self-explanatory, it is extremely critical to understand how HR function can enable business growth. HR Business partners can truly play that role by being able to understand and comprehend the Business challenges and priorities thus working out Talent actions that can help Business address the issue(s) they are grappling with.

As an example to cover just one facet, if Business is looking for quicker turnaround on resource fulfilment so as to positively impact the top line, HR must device an innovative mechanism for faster redeployment by ensuring that the employee is mapped to future requirements and is equipped with necessary skills (through multiskilling/cross skilling) even before he/she hits the bench. The thrust therefore should be on making the employees relevant in terms of their skills against the industry demand.

HR must therefore act as solution provider to Business so as to be looked at as a true enabling function.

Separations therefore could address issues for shorter term but is likely to impact Business in the long run. As HR professionals, we must therefore invest all our effort to ensure that the value created by HR through creative and innovative ways far outweigh the short sighted decisions carried out by business especially on separations and cost cutting measures.

HR thus has to make a strategic shift in working closely with Business & help achieve its business goals which is the only way Identity of HR can truly be acknowledged and appreciated.

Views Shared By Ranjit Pandit

AVP HR, Zensar Technologies