Today, India is on the cusp of several technological, demographic and social changes that have a direct impact on the current employees as well as people entering the workforce. This poses multifarious challenges for people managers as they try to attract, retain and engage people.
On the technological front, the growth of computing power, global access to information and social networking websites are fueling the rise of big data and analytics globally. On one hand, Analytics is described as a ‘must have’ capability for the HR profession (CIPD, 2013). On the other hand, doubts have been raised about HR’s ability to properly analyze the HR data they have at their disposal (Rasmussen and Ulrich, 2015). This raises questions on the impact of HR Analytics and the manner it is being harnessed in the Indian HR space. The changing demographic composition of the workforce has also led to new challenges for people managers. This raises questions about what organizations are doing differently to handle a multi-generational workforce. This also requires dialogue on the systems and processes that are needed to handle workplace diversity.
The change in workforce composition and workforce values are being complemented by organizational and legal changes. Organizations are experimenting with new organizational designs such as holacracy and network organization. Thus there is a need to discuss the emergent organizational designs and talent management strategies.
The plethora of challenges for the HR department and people managers, in general, suggests a relook into the tool kit needed for surviving these challenges. As an applied academic discipline human resource management is dynamic as well as context-sensitive. The dynamism is evident in the adoption of new methods of inquiry, such as evidence-based HRM. This suggests that there is a need to continuously identify the new intellectual thoughts and techniques in the world of HR. In India, the civilizational ethos is quite different from Europe and USA where HRM as an academic discipline has been mostly reared. This raises the issue of the need for an indigenous approach to HR.
Tentative Programme Schedule