Jan 9, 2019

Thoughts for 2019



It's been a week and a day since 2019 started. I have mostly been hibernating metaphorically. Mostly because the whole greeting everyone "Happy New year" feels not-quite-genuine

Resolutions are also not my style.

However, I have been reading and ruminating. Here are some thoughts that I think are going to happen in 2019

Benefits and Wellness are going to be big in 2019: This is personal experience . Two Benefits providers have approached me in January which means they are ready to spend money to promote it

Specific HR Tech solutions become more relevant: point solutions offer more details for specific solutions . Which is why many #HRTech solutions will be integrated with the larger suites like Workday , SAP SuccessFactors

Analytics will be front and centre: to take any advantage analytics in HR will need be to be cleaned up and answered.

Talent Acquisition and Learning will lead the way for tech adoption: Recruiting has always been the arrowhead for tech adoption.. they are also been for HR Tech adoption

Jul 13, 2018

Reflecting back on 2018



I learned a lot about myself this year.. mostly about what I failed at.. and my weaknesses. Thankful to those who chose to forgive me. In 2018 I became a real orphan.. My mother passed away in June.. And I have been shunned by my extended family..I think they blame me for her death..
I lost a job.. In fact I left it as I wasn't doing it justice.. and I didn't.. financial trouble has haunted me this year like no other..

While I don't expect an arbitrary change of human calendar due to the new year, hoping against hope that 2019 is so much better than the one that is ending.

Apr 27, 2018

Listed as No. 2 #SocialMedia Influencer in India by @SHRMIndia at #SHRMTech18



I couldn't make it to SHRMTech conference this year which started yesterday and will end today.

However was pleased to know when my fellow BlogSquad members told me that I was number 2 in the list of Top 30 social media influencers in #HR.

Abhijit Bhaduri, author and consultant and a person who I consider a friend is number 1.
Another friend, Achyut Menon, was my first "social media" client and also a friend - was ranked number 3 😊

Another fun fact - XLRI Jamshedpur alumni are 75% of the top 4, and 50% of the top 8! 😁


Here are the posts by the blog squad members who were actually there Achyut Menon, Kavi Arasu, Harlina Sodhi, Ruchi Bhatia, Jonas Prasanna

Jan 4, 2018

Future of Jobs, #FutureOfWork in the age of #ArtificialIntelligence, Gig-economy - The #India perspective



“It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future” – goes a Danish quote. One routinely sees the fallacy of predictions even by experts. That’s because we overestimate the quantum of change in the short term, but under-estimate it in the long term.

Another reason why predictions fail is that the human brain is more comfortable thinking linearly, however changes happen in complex systems, where a small incremental difference can impact a disproportionate impact in another are – or what is known as “the butterfly effect”
So at the risk of sounding like an idiot when someone revisits these words (as I am quite sure I would be) here are my thoughts about the short and long term future of jobs and work.
However if we observe from an India perspective here is the current state of affairs:
Technical and Professional education is at a standstill. More and more engineering colleges and management schools are shutting down due to over-supply of seats, lack of proper selection process and job-ready candidates, and a shortage of teaching staff. Outside the elite institutions people are getting jobs that they would have got even if they were plain graduates.

Traditional big industries from manufacturing to IT to banking to telecom are introducing automation and Artificial Intelligence to take away jobs that would traditionally be done by humans and is prone to human error. RPA (Robotics Process Automation) is taking over tasks across industries.

While re-skilling is imperative, incumbent industries that are trying to compete with disruptors are under tremendous pressure to cut costs and hence are unable to take on the costs of reskilling.

It is also accepted as a given at today’s generation that is coming into the workforce will need to reskill of radically different skills about 10-15 times in their lifetime. So careers are going to be “emergent” rather than planned and more like a patchwork quilt than a traditional ladder. New skills are evolving all the time. And an openness to experiment and learn would be imperative for any employee.

Everyone talks about the rise of the gig-economy and the freelance workforce, that is enabling a lot of talent that traditionally drops out of or is ignored by the organized workplaces, like people with disability, LGBTQ people. The rise of niche online/app-based marketplaces is empowering for these people. However, the ones making the money are doing it without the safety net of traditional employment like health insurance or retiral benefits. In addition since this economy is ruled by algorithms and attention so the “power-law” applies – some freelancers who are recognized as brands or get rated higher get disproportionately higher work and compensation. Think of the movie industry analogy (which is essentially a gig economy) where the stars get paid the most than others.

Put together all these trends, what emerges is a pretty dismal looking scenario for humans looking for work in the organized sector (I’m not counting the 90% of the workforce in the unorganized sector) is the rise of specific types of jobs that would require people to not just be operationally excellent but who can look at what the algorithms/bots can’t spot or do. While driverless cars and trucks are still some way off from Indian roads – automation will also impact the semi-skilled workforce in the building and construction as well as textile industry.

We will see  a lot of people realizing that the onus of developing their professional and vocational skills are up to them. They will sign up for the various free and paid online certification to build skills that are in high demand as they make radically different shifts into unrelated careers. HR departments and organizations would need to give their people flexibility to do that, otherwise they themselves will lose out on talent. This would also impact the kind of talent organizations will hire as the fascination with “pedigreed campuses” will wane and with the rise of micro-certification of specific skills

(This article was written for the January, 2018 issue of People Matters magazine)

After I shared this article on Twitter I recieved two thoughtful responses, one from a Recruiter and one from a HR consultant. Here they are:
First response:
Second response:


Dec 27, 2017

Happy New Year wishes to all of you



As 2017 draws to a close, here's wishing all of you and your loved ones a very Happy New Year.

May 2018 bring you meaningful and purposeful work, continued love of your close ones, and lots of new learnings!

Dec 20, 2017

Chatbots, AI, HR Tech - quoted in this article by @toymango in Economic Times



My friend Tanmoy Goswami was working on an article on chatbots and AI and reached out to me about the earlier wave of HR technology (which we called ESN, Enterprise 2.0 etc)

Tech-enabled engagement platforms have a patchy history. Before bots, there was the office intranet - which flamed. Gautam Ghosh, consultant, talent advisory services, VBeyond Corporation, and former director of talent branding at Flipkart, says intranets didn't work because companies thought buying the tech would be enough. They didn't think through the design ("why employees would use it") and the human intervention needed to nudge people along.
Read the whole article here.

Dec 19, 2017

Interviewed by the students of IIITM Gwalior on HR, #socialmedia



The students at IIITM Gwalior interviewed me for their atudent magazine and they've published it online on their blog.

You can go read it here.

Some excerpts I wanted to highlight.

On my social media journey:
Well I was lucky I started blogging in 2002 and I was one of the few people blogging about HR and business those days. So, it was just a circumstance of being at the right place at the right time starting off as an early business blogger. I convinced a lot of people within HR that if you take to social media, take to blogging, take to Twitter you could connect with people across the world. So, I guess that momentum from blogging to twitter and to other social media helped.  So, if you start early people know you much more and when you move to another platform they follow you into that platform. I’ve now spent more than a decade on twitter and one and a half decades on blogging. It’s just a matter of being consistent and keeping at it, trying to share something of value.

On what students should read:

Don’t discriminate, read everything, form your own opinions. I think that’s critical.

On qualities we look for when hiring people to VBeyond:

We hire recruiters and we hire engineers into recruiting roles. So, if you are an engineer and you feel that you want to try something else, if core engineering is not your cup of tea but you have knowledge of engineering, you can talk and convince a person that you have self-confidence and are willing to work hard and earn a lot of money if you are successful then this is it.