Future Competencies of HR Professionals

The Thane HR Group is a very active informal group of HR professionals that organizes interactive sessions for HR professionals. These events are open to all and are free, no charge for attendance. In case you would like to receive intimation please register on Thane HR Group’s Linkedin site. The theme of the year: Telescoping into the Future.

Mr. Sanjay Jha’s [ED, Dale Carnage India] spoke at the Thane HR Group’s meeting at Voltas Training Centre on 24th April, 2010. This is a gist of his speech on ‘Future competencies of the HR Professionals’. I am grateful to Mr. Suresh Ogale [Head-HR, Technova Imaging Systems] for sharing his notes; this concise report is prepared by him. Though in ‘Bullet points’ format it will surely give you a very accurate overview of Mr. Jha’s speech.


Who creates the value/brand is the key question. If one takes recent example and asks a question who has created the IPL as brand .By and large the perception is that Lalit Mody has created the brand the value of it worth 300 Mios. Look deeper and one finds that players like Tendulkar have done so. Therefore, it is the players who create the value for IPL.

If we use the analogy to organisations and ask a question who creates the values, the answer is: the employees.

We have been saying for some time that Employees come First. Some are likely to see this as weak statement. However, every stage has one thing that is crucial; and at this stage the time of people has arrived. It is for HR heads to SEIZE it. The moment has not passed us.

HR is toughest job. We must stand for something that we believe. HR’s role is one that of conscience keeper. Trust is vital for the job. Employees should not see you as CEO’s man and CEO must see you as people’s man. The sign that HR has arrived is when there is peer recognition.


In growth economy, which we as country are, do not only look at recruitment, but at those that have stayed with you

Trust your instinct. Nothing works better than that. Those who see you and deal with you have innate sense of separating TRUE from FALSE.

It makes lot of sense to walk to the employee rather than other way round.

Many of HR heads believe that understanding business is not there job. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Understand fully what adds value and where it adds value. One need not be an expert.

Make CEO part of the HR. Block CEO’s time for briefing him on various aspects such as mentoring, get togethers, birthday calls etc. One can be thus proactive.

Look at what is in the interest of employees, CEO’s peers. They respond best if it is in their interest.

Develop focus on work culture

Competencies for Future HR Heads

Diversity: Understanding diversity in terms of gender, religion, caste, creed is critical and what kind of stance one takes and policies on develops will be critical. As new generation with new work ethos has entered the work force and there is lot of internationalization of the work force. Once one understands this and is competent women, handicapped etc will feel more secured.

Understand Finance. Impact of HR on costing and productivity needs to be closely understood and articulated.

Employee Development: Critical success factor for HR Head will be employee development much more critical than appraisal. Employees should experience good things. The art is to say things appropriately. Say things upfront. Transparency and honesty is crucial. People love it. Therefore, have competency to develop employees and be transparent and honest even to say what you cannot deliver.

Creating Ethical Culture: India will be prosperous. We are not used to handling sudden growth. The chances are that we become more arrogant. With this we look down upon people. The competency required is to have humility in the workforce by exemplifying the same.

Broader Outlook: Working towards becoming a corporate citizen is important. Engage employees in that process. Everyone wants to be good. Create opportunities for the employees to participate in Community Development work. Two consequence of this are that firstly employees feel proud to talk about it and secondly it brings in sense of humility in their mind. For all this to happen HR Head must have broader outlook.

Leadership Identification: This is biggest challenge for Corporate India and therefore to HR Heads.

Ability to identify people who know how to do business is major competency. Besides once identified, ability to test them in simulated environment and encouraging people to invest in them is vital.

Epilogue: Be the change that you want to see. You make the difference and you are the competitive difference.