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Founders Two Pence – The role of Human Touch to Unlock Talent-edge

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Published on March 18, 2024

As outlined in Part 1 , tech is a true enabler for boundaryless hiring. To win the war for talent amidst local skill shortages, organizations are increasingly turning to on-demand skills & capabilities. As a result, we are seeing the rise of tech-enabled aggregator platforms or talent marketplaces for hiring on-demand talent. Talent management practices must also evolve in line with the new-age talent mix, if organizations expect to attract, engage, develop and retain a diverse workforce. This requires new skills, new attitudes, and new mindsets. Leaders of today must therefore, balance the ‘tech edge’ with the ‘human touch’, to be able to do justice to ever-evolving people and organizations.

The Power of “Human Touch”

Chandru Pingali, Founder and Managing Director, SolveCube, is a strong proponent of ‘not losing the human element in the tech rush’. He believes that ‘the best of technologies are created in the world, but it is humans who still need to consume them.’

Statistics agree with this insight, implying that an overreliance on tech negates the power of human cognition.

73% of people think technology can never replace the human mind. *7

In recent times we see people having a dual-fold reaction towards AI infiltration in their workplaces. 52% of employees globally expect to see some positive impact of AI on their career over the next five years, with 31% saying it’ll increase their productivity at work. Many people also view AI as an opportunity to learn new skills (27%). While 34% of Baby Boomers think AI will not impact their careers, only 14% of Gen Z and 17% of Millennials agree*6.

Chandru shares his two-pence on tech, “The power of Human Intelligence fuels innovation. It can never be replaced by technology”

In fact, the top two barriers to unlocking the workforce ecosystem are the need to shift the culture (27%) and the ways of working (26%). Indeed, the power of human intervention or the ‘softer aspects’ of people management play a significant part.

How to Unlock the “Human Touch”

  • Develop a boundaryless ecosystem mindset: Leaders need to think of the needs of all talent (external and internal), factoring in non-traditional workers [sic] into workforce strategy and working planning*1. Not just humans, but machines working alongside man also must be factored into workforce planning.
  • Value the uniqueness of human skills: As humans and machines collaborate to take decisions, cognitive human traits such as emotional intelligence, creativity, persuasion, innovation, adaptability, agility, resilience, are becoming more valuable*7.
    As companies bridge the critical skills gap with more contingent workforce*4, leaders must recognize the ‘qualitative value’ that different types of talent brings to the table. The SolveCube platform enables this not only for external talent, but internally espouses this philosophy at every talent touchpoint. Uma Jags, COO, SolveCube, shares a personal example, “I wanted to be part of an organization where I could be ME! SolveCube values me for being myself; my strengths and what I bring in with my ‘professionalism with a Personal Touch’ attitude. SolveCube is that ONE place which showed me that, if everyone moves forward together with a shared vision and goal, success will follow us all the way.
  • Enable continuous upskilling and reskilling: Encourage skills development by providing learners a high level of control to shape their learning and their working environment. Offer people the ability and opportunity to continually grow*3.
  • Uphold Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI): Leaders need to recognize and embrace the unique value and contributions of all types of talent, and value their unique needs, preferences and aspirations. Akshaya Gaur, CTO, SolveCube shares how the platform was designed to uphold DEI principles, “SolveCube’s  AI Engine technology identifies potential candidates from our vast database of about 450 million candidates from all over the globe; and matches based on skills, experience, working style, and job role alignment. Our technology is based on models that do not incorporate data that is subjective – names, gender, race, ethnicity, photographs, facial expressions, and contours. Probably, one of the early platforms designed with Inclusion, Diversity and Equity as a design requirement.
  • Cultivate a culture for all talent types: Leaders can bring to life the company values, vision and mission by ‘living and breathing’ those themselves. Show talent the meaning and purpose in their work to enhance the employee experience.
  • Redefine leadership roles: Leaders must pivot from directing to orchestrating i.e. shift from legacy command-and-control approaches to cross-functional alignment and integration. This will help effectively access, engage, manage and develop a mix of permanent and contingent experts, both man and machine.
  • Drive Total Value Creation: Leaders need to sign into the total workforce agenda i.e. focus on all types of talent*3. An integrated talent platform can help work towards Total Value Creation i.e. have the right people, skills and capabilities to increase the company’s productivity, profitability, create value, and drive towards success.

Building a talent operating model that aligns with the organization’s wider strategic vision and drives measurable ROI*3 is a C-suite agenda, involving high cognition and human judgment.

Chandru recommends the five-S model for talent acquisition, wherein, sourcing, screening and shortlisting can be done by AI, while selection and stakeholder engagement shall always remain with HI (human intelligence).

A New Era of Leadership: Balancing “Tech with Touch”

Balancing tech with touch is crucial because people form the core of business success.

Many of the roles and skills of tomorrow are unknown to us today. With the blurring of boundaries in the era of generative AI and ChatGPT, leaders must continuously ask themselves the difficult questions: “How can organizations prepare for a future that few of us can define?*7. The answer: by blending the best of tech and touch, leaders can leverage talent to create strategic business value.

60% HR leaders believe they will change the HR operating model in the next 2-3 years*5

In the wake of the new realities around the future of work, organizations and talent will need to work together to co-create new rules, new boundaries, and new relationships by putting humans at the center of workforce design.*1

This starts with leaders adapting new mindsets to accept new workforce fundamentals, for example, the ‘ecosystem mindset’ and the ‘integrated workforce strategy’. Today, the value-add of business extends beyond business itself, to broader society. Farida Charania, CBO, SolveCube shares how this comes alive every day at SolveCube, “SolveCube is a collaborative company that instead of focusing on competition, creates technology that benefits people. It believes in the same things I do: creating work opportunities and giving organizations access to resources that will make them successful. SolveCube built a smart platform to create a  level playing field, and is the future of work. We work towards the same goal – to make the world a better place.

Indeed, to thrive in the new world of work, leaders and organizations must create value around agendas such as climate and sustainability, equality, human-risk, wellbeing, etc. This is possible only when today’s leaders open their eyes to diverse perspectives i.e. diversity of thought and mindset to drive purposeful and meaningful change in the right direction.

It depends on how leaders look at the boundaryless world – 

as a cauldron of chaos and confusion, 

OR

as a positive path towards new possibilities.

So,

Are you ready to unleash these new possibilities?

Are you set to revolutionize your talent strategy?

Are you willing to unlock the best business benefits?

Let us be your talent-partners in this journey…

Click here to leave a message or email @ [email protected]

Reference Sources:

*1 New fundamentals for a boundaryless world, Deloitte’s 2023 Human Capital Trends

*2 Managing the extended and connected workforce, Deloitte Insights

*3 The future of HR: Moving from “function” to value generator, KPMG

*4 HR functional perspectives, Contingent Workforce

*5 The Future of HR: From flux to flow, KPMG

*6 PwC Global Workforce Hopes & Fears Survey, 2023

*7 Workforce of the future, The competing forces shaping 2030, PwC