While some young men, on the brink of starvation, desperately look for work, employers elsewhere look ± with

almost similar desperation ± for appropriate persons to fill tens of thousands of vacancies. That this should happen in the same country is odd enough; however, what is more striking is not the known urban-rural difference, the clichéd India-Bharat divide, but the vast differential within educated urban India. Even as unemployed graduates abound, others with the very same qualifications are chased by recruitment agencies and offered huge raises over already-high salaries. In the case of engineers, while some fresh graduates begin at over Rs. 25,000 a month, others have difficulty in getting employment, even as industry bemoans a shortage. Clearly, the market is providing strong signals about the failure of our education system. It is not producing enough people of the quality and skill-sets that the economy needs. Over the last decade, the Indian education system has gone through many changes. However, the overall regulatory framework has remained substantially unchanged, with a continuation of the philosophy of control, standardized norms and bureaucratic rules. There has been some expansion ± mainly through private institutions in the case of professional education ± but quality has declined. A few institutions have earned a good reputation, but the average quality is inadequate and a huge number are of abysmal quality. Many of the steps required to correct this will have an impact only in the medium to long term. Meanwhile, there is need and scope for industry to play a major role in creating short-term solutions that will meet its needs. There has been much talk of industry-academia collaboration. However, till recently, examples of this were few and far between. Now, in the last few years, there have been many initiatives and more are in the pipeline. The IT industry has been at the forefront of this effort. While it continues to support education at the grass-roots level, particularly through work in primary schools in rural areas, collaboration with institutions of higher learning is growing. This industry now employs over 1.3 million and last year its revenue was about USD 30 billion with a potential to grow by about 25% and touch revenues of 80 billion in 2010. Current projections indicate that by 2010, the IT industry alone may face a shortfall of 500,000 professionals, unless proactive steps are taken. Sadly, of the large number of engineering and other graduates being churned out every year, only about ten per cent are employable in the IT industry. Most are unsuitable because of a lack of soft skills, particularly communication skills, which are essential for industries like IT. This could seriously stymie India¶s economic growth, even as we lose the opportunity of large-scale job creation. Immediate as well as long-term measures are needed to tackle this problem. In the long term, radical reforms are essential if we are to compete globally. We need to reform the education system, and free it from the stifling control of governments and other regulating bodies, so that institutions have flexibility on fees, salaries and curriculum, among other things. They need to be detached from any political influences and control. It is necessary to make teaching an attractive career option. Many alternative approaches must be encouraged. One of these could be to adapt the Special Economic Zone concept (deregulation and removal of restrictions) for education, with the creation of Special Education Zones. As an experimental measure, an institute could be permitted to run on a model where there is no ceiling on the fee charged, as long as free education and adequate support is offered to a fixed percentage of students who meet the entry requirements. While government investments in higher education are essential, it is clear that budgetary constraints will not enable the kind of massive investment that is needed, especially when there are other critical social sector and infrastructure needs, including primary education and literacy. Encouraging private investment in education ± whether through philanthropy or as a financially viable proposition

and the recruitment-universe for companies. a partnership. In the short term. . it will provide feedback and thus enable candidates to improve in areas where their score indicates inadequacies. The test will shorten the recruitment process. NASSCOM. therefore necessary. This would be better than the insidious commercialization that is now underway. this may mean evolving new learning modules and joint teaching of courses. we need to ensure high-quality education and appropriate skill-sets. in turn. and has already run 15 programmes across India. thereby enlarging opportunities for individuals. needs and technologies so that they could. providing inputs to about 500 faculty members. Often. NASSCOM¶s annual HR Summit. HR professionals now need to broaden their horizons and be outward rather than inward focused. with the support of the IT industry. This will evaluate candidates on seven identified basic skills required of BPO employees. to engage academia on a sustained basis through faculty development programmes. including keyboard skills. Human resources are India¶s biggest asset. values and motivation of employees have become more important than ever. has been working on a broader IT Workforce Development initiative. Making our large population base an asset and adding value to excellent raw material: this should be the new role for HR professionals. and HR professionals have not only to work on sophisticated tools to gauge these. communication. Meanwhile. HR professionals have to identify and constantly review the requirement of skill-sets for employees. more importantly. This requires that they establish a close relationship. From focus on recruitment and in-service training. Jhunjhunwala of IIT-Madras to explore the possibility of 3-4 month courses in a ³finishing school´ for IT professionals. NASSCOM has signed MoUs with UGC and AICTE to take forward these initiatives. The transition from locating talent to retaining talent has now moved to creating talent. However. While much needs to be done by government and the universities. curriculum updates and regular industryacademia interface. Once considered a liability. to capitalize fully on this opportunity. It will also enable aspirants from all over the country to appear for the test. on this week in Chennai. This will add 20-25% people to the µemployable¶ pool. our large population and its growth rate have resulted in a demographic structure (with about 50% of the population below 25 years of age) that provides an unique competitive advantage. academia and government. The Faculty Development Programme also addresses the need to develop soft skills.± is. Faculty members spend time in companies to understand the industry's outlook. articulation and presentation. primarily in Tier II colleges. a BPO certification for entry-level employees (NASSCOM Assessment of Competence) is all set for an operational roll-out. they can now occupy centre-stage and be the key drivers that create business value for their company and economic gain for the nation. HR professionals in industry have a major role and a big challenge. The growing engagement of industry with academia requires a major re-orientation in the traditional role of HR in the corporate world. but also on ways of integrating them into college curricula. The NAC pilot has been completed. especially in communication and presentation. From a useful service function. with the academic community. sensitise the students to these developments. NASSCOM has been working with Prof. mentorship of colleges. Attitudes. we have to think of ways to groom the qualified students in an effort to make them µemployable¶ in the industry. in addition to teamwork. takes this process further by bringing together three key stake-holders: industry. and work with educational/training institutions so that these are inculcated.

resilient. While some need for this role occasionally remains ² you wouldn¶t want every manager putting his own spin on a sexual harassment policy. Within this environment. The role of the HR manager must parallel the needs of his or her changing organization. hiring. This strategic partnership impacts HR services such as the design of work positions. the HR professional served executive agendas well. In this role. the HR professional. recognition and strategic pay. reward. This advocacy includes expertise in . policing arm of executive management. Employee Advocate As an employee sponsor or advocate. Strategic Partner In today¶s organizations. as an example ² much of the HR role is transforming itself. The tactical HR representative is deeply knowledgeable about the design of work systems in which people succeed and contribute. and employee development. HR managers need to think of themselves as strategic partners. who is considered necessary by line managers. In this role. is a strategic partner.2 paragraph More About: y y y y y nd human resources new roles strategic human resources employee advocacy change management administration Some industry commentators call the Human Resources function the last bastion of bureaucracy. the HR person contributes to the development of and the accomplishment of the organization-wide business plan and objectives. an employee sponsor or advocate and a change mentor. to guarantee their viability and ability to contribute. career and succession planning. quick to change direction and customer-centered. but was frequently viewed as a road block by much of the rest of the organization. The HR business objectives are established to support the attainment of the overall strategic business plan and objectives. the role of the Human Resource professional in many organizations has been to serve as the systematizing. Traditionally. performance development and appraisal systems. the HR manager plays an integral role in organizational success via his knowledge about and advocacy of people. Successful organizations are becoming more adaptive.

skillsets and job requirements as well as the regulatory environment change at such a rapid pace that the staff needs of tomorrow are very different to those of today. the HR manager provides employee development opportunities. organization development interventions. In this role. Both knowledge about and the ability to execute successful change strategies make the HR professional exceptionally valued. Knowing how to link change to the strategic needs of the organization will minimize employee dissatisfaction and resistance to change. vision. values. contributing. goals and action plans. communication and empowerment through responsibility. The leading firms have been taking steps to ensure that they extract maximum value from their HR investments. Change Champion The constant evaluation of the effectiveness of the organization results in the need for the HR professional to frequently champion change. Fostering effective methods of goal setting. 3 paragraph IT and the changing role of HR (page 1 of 4) y rd Friday. employee assistance programs. builds employee ownership of the organization. The HR professional contributes to the organization by constantly assessing the effectiveness of the HR function. he helps determine the measures that will tell his organization how well it is succeeding in all of this. Finally. Article continues below y » more E-Business news HR has therefore become a huge investment for medium and large companies across industries. He also sponsors change in other departments and in work practices. The HR professional helps establish the organizational culture and climate in which people have the competency.how to create a work environment in which people will choose to be motivated.2005 at 09:53 In today's competitive business environment. . company workforces are i n a continual state of flux . To promote the overall success of his organization. gainsharing and profit-sharing strategies. due process approaches to problem solving and regularly scheduled communication opportunities. June 03 . and happy. concern and commitment to serve customers well. with people-related costs averaging over 60 percent of total corporate expenditures. he champions the identification of the organizational mission.

the information that sits inside the HR department is being made available for effective use throughout the wider organization. This situation has resulted in a relentless drive for cost control. organizations now have months or quarters instead of years to modify and execute business plans to take advantage of opportunities. These competitive conditions have led stakeholders throughout enterprises to demand an end to the siloed nature of employee data and quicker. which in turn allows them to be more flexible. For these companies. Of course. As a result. yet there has traditionally been limited access to such workforce data outsde the HR department. In doing so. efficiency and productivity of their workforces. . Managers have lacked visibility into even the most basic characteristics of their workforces. enterprise retailers and network operators. 80 percent of a company's worth is tied to the value of its employees. identify and resolve skill shortages. is a thing of the past. they often avoid expensive layoff/rehire cycles that sap morale. "People are our greatest asset" is a mantra that companies have been chanting for years. organizations can incorporate processes for leveraging worker skills across the enterprise. yet alone been able to answer more detailed questions about areas such as staff certification and training levels. Firms with an in-depth view of employee competencies across regions or markets can immediately locate "best-fit" candidates. and profits. Take Trintech. payment processors. HR now has to demonstrate that it can develop and deliver programs as efficiently as possible. helping companies align their workforces with long-term business objectives. HR programs require new processes. As a result.introducing models that go beyond basic HR functionality to embrace new ways of improving the quality. focusing predominantly on basic administrative. productivity. The current economic environment has also forced firms to become more nimble. more frequent access to information that can help all levels of leadership make better business decisions. the siloed HR department. and re-allocate resources in response to changing conditions. increasing workforce flexibility and responsiveness is a key objective for HR departments in leading companies. The backdrop to the introduction of these new systems is the uncertain business conditions that followed the economic downturn. providing greater value at a lower cost. These businesses recognize that. supported by leading technologies. a provider of transaction management and payment infrastructure solutions to financial institutions. According to the Chartered Management Institute. Yet it is only relatively recently that businesses have started putting HR systems in place that support this philosophy. to be fully effective. The time to evaluate before taking action has decreased dramatically. Yet with increased access to information on their employees. Businesses now realize that a strong foundation of information about individuals is a highly valuable organizational resource that can be used to drive efficiencies throughout the business. which affects the HR department as much as any other. record-keeping and transactional duties.

working on community development projects is not seen as wasting company time or being in conflict with everyday corporate objectives. The most significant notion to emerge was what tomorrow¶s HR manager should be like. general manager (HR). On CSR and future drivers for HR initiatives Sridhar. ³There was a time when recruiting issues were about educational backgrounds or the value that someone brought to the organisation.4 paragraph The Ever Changing Role of HR The line it is drawn . Business world latest edition has an article on ³the changing role of HR canvas´. indeed. The order is Rapidly fadin'.The curse it is cast . Aviva (No. In other words. There is no gainsaying the fact that concerns such as this will drive HR thinking in the near future. this (CSR) cannot be a substitute. On what makes companies great place to work Little wonder many of the HR heads from companies in the Top 25 are devoting their time on understanding how swiftly the workplace is evolving and. the µsofter¶ issues of HR will be the hard drivers. the difference between a great workplace and a not-sogreat one may lie in the mere fact that the former has a relatively better understanding of the problems.And the first one now will later be last. ³HR should play the role of a strategic business th . the HR manager needed to think very differently. ITC. even though the solutions aren¶t perfect. 13 on the list). GSK¶s Dwarakanath argued that keeping in mind how Indian businesses were evolving. It talks about the transition of HR from talent retainer to talent nurturer and an instrument in building a culture of sensitive and responsive organisation.As the present now Will later be past. But in 2010. director (HR).´ says Anuradha Purbey.The slow one now. says that CSR can work only if the more standard HR practices in a company are in place. And is attempting to tackle them in an equitable manner. On employee¶s new expectations from Corporates Employees want to feel good about the organisations they work for. Today. For the times they are a-changin'. Will later be fast . ³If there are too many issues internally.´ he says. what tomorrow¶s workplace could look like. many of the activities mentioned are done on company time. These lines of my favourite Bob Dylan Song are also being sung by HR professionals all over by in a different tune. but more as a joint effort between the company and the employee. In fact.From business partner to strategic partner HR in Indian organisation have come a long way and here¶s a brief summary of the article.

HR managers need to have knowledge of the market and not just the internal processes. Otherwise.´ .partner. there will be a disconnect between the rest of the business and HR.