As HR purists, we have witnessed, what has been a practice for many years now, the concept of ‘Hire to Retire’. When businesses began to get exposed quite a few times during its life cycle, we amended it to ‘Recruit to Retain’. Mainly because we knew that lifetime employment is not sustainable. Truth be told — every individual, irrespective of organisational hierarchy is fearful whether expressed or not of one crucial aspect, that being— Personal Relevance or Obsolescence. There are numerous times where one encounters ‘relevance checks and what next’ during their professional life cycle.

This thought piece is to ensure that every individual who has some good amount of predictive skill intelligence can reposition and develop oneself for certain success.

We have to start by asking a simple question and that is— When businesses undergo so many changes during its existence, why do they hire people for lifetime employment and assume that the process of renewal will happen automatically through some devised learning centres or forced self-renewal?

It is invariably a moral commitment that an organisation makes— of developing its people. It is however not necessary that an individual may travel this journey of renewed learning successfully. Few attempts are successful, but a large number of employees are left wanting for no fault of theirs, to fend for themselves during this journey. The inevitable then happens; under different forms of downsizing, trimming, reshaping, rebadging, automation among others.  

Is it not worthwhile hence to hire ‘Skills for Success’ as the new hiring mantra for a specified period?

This will keep the enterprise and the hire both razor sharp in terms of their relevance and future employability. There is a three-fold advantage to this efficient process — businesses will run efficiently, the end customers will benefit more, lastly, it proves to be a service to the workforce, which will renew itself 5 to 7 times (at least) during a working span of 3 decades and more.

We are making machines much smarter than us and that puts us at risk of being displaced yet again. Manual work was displaced first, then clerical, which in turn led the way for managerial systems easing executive headcount. It is now headed towards intellectual and conceptual work being challenged for displacement.  If only we had an answer to plugging in social intelligence along with artificial intelligence into machines, we then would be displaced for eternal vacations for life.

Here are some thoughts to realign oneself for a better employable future in this highly digitized world.

  • Be solution driven at all times and develop systems and processes to get to the end solution. Alter, renew, change and make bold detours to get to the right solution needed at any cost without compromise. Solution architects will be a sought after group at the time.
  • High cognitive abilities will always be premium. The aspect of being able to create IP and be ahead is clearly a winning trait. Thinkers are always in demand.
  • Leading people in a collaborative way and through inspirational leadership will be the only model of leadership. The term ‘Manager’ will slowly perish as no one manages anyone in this modern era. Words like reporting to, control, direct report, thick line, dotted lines, matrix among others will all be challenged unconditionally in the future and the only way out will be ‘influencing through collaboration for a winning purpose’.
  • High-end transactional work and developing process capabilities will have continuous shelf life and the onus is on the self— to deepen the knowledge and be a process/transaction specialist.
  • Subject matter expertise will be prime movers and shakers. They will always be in demand so long as learning is steep in their own area of knowledge. I will also club hot skills along with this group. It is important to figure out tomorrow’s need and prepare for it now.
  • Technology infrastructure will remain a focus area and will continue to be modern, futuristic and relevant for enabling customer services.
  • Data analysts will always be relevant. Developing the skill to handle loads of data with ease using modern technology will be highly employable.
  • Finally there will be a small set of folks who will simulate and champion the cause of analytics. Now this will be a set of professionals who will get an extraordinary premium.

The new age digital world will be a common denominator irrespective of the nature of the business and some of the new age people skills mentioned above may be the answer to reposition oneself or consider adding to the repertoire of skills. The above list is not exhaustive but could be worth considering for being highly relevant in the digital world.

Don’t think on this but start acting right away!



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